Sidewalk issue

Bellevue's Lincoln Avenue streetscape progress has run into a problem as work heads into the next block of Lincoln Avenue.

Landscape architect Brad Hazelwood, who oversees the streetscape projected funded primarily with grant monies, said that Ed Dietz, the owner of the building housing Fred Dietz Floral, had installed a heating element beneath the sidewalk in front of his building that is used to keep the sidewalk free from ice and snow in the winter. Hazelwood said that the borough could find no paperwork authorizing the installation of the heating element in the borough's right-of-way, although a permit for “sidewalk replacement” was found. Hazelwood said that, according to Dietz, the borough's code enforcement officer was present during the installation and approved the construction.

Council member Kathy Coder said that Dietz simply wanted the borough to skip the replacement of the sidewalk in front of his building. Hazelwood said that was possible, and that the existing sidewalk is similar enough to the new exposed aggregate being installed that few would notice the difference. However, he said, work is needed to the curb and stormwater inlet that would likely result in damage to parts of the heating system, and grant funds could not be used to repair or replace it.

Officials will meet with Dietz in an attempt to resolve the issue.