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Bellevue Revitalisation Project concerns

Design concept for the Bellevue Revitalisation Project featured at the open house. (Municipality of Crowsnest Pass photo)

Nicholas L. M. Allen

Jul 19, 2023

One of the major concerns surrounding the Bellevue Revitalisation Project are parking spots.

Since the open house for the Bellevue Revitalisation Project, a number of concerns have arisen, along with some positives. One of the major concerns surrounding the project are parking spots.

Joanne Tulk said she is concerned about the Bellevue project as her and her husband own the company Revolution Carpet Care and Duct Cleaning and they do “a lot for the community” and “a lot for seniors and elders in the community” and she believes it will negatively impact them trying to access services in downtown Bellevue.

“Removal of parking is a sure way to negatively affect the [businesses] that currently call Bellevue home and will surely not encourage any new ones to come, it seems a strange way for a council who is struggling to get business taxes to behave,” said Tulk.

Joanne Tulk said she was concerned that “there’s been no consultation with the Bellcrest Society, which have been doing sterling service for many, many years” beautifying Bellevue and Hillcrest.

“I mean, you walk along Bellevue Main Street, it looks great,” said Tulk.

Dr. Kelly Mackenzie at the Bellevue Vet Clinic said she went to the open house and was happy to see the project being underway. 

“We think the street can look way better. We think it can become a more usable space for a lot of people,” said Mackenzie.

Mackenzie added she knows this is a “controversial stance” from a business owner on the street but wants to see the street improve. She does have an issue with the amount of parking near the clinic though.

“We do have a couple of concerns regarding our business and how it functions with regards to parking,” said Mackenzie, “For us, the parking across the street in front of the ice cream shop is a massive loss where they want to build all those seats and stuff.”

She said it will benefit the business moving in there but will make it really difficult for their customers with only two parking spots in front of the clinic.

“At times, we have five or six individual people and pets in here. Yes, there’s parking down the street further, but a lot of our people are seniors and so it’s okay for them to walk across the street or walk in from the street. But making them walk a block down the street and walking their dogs that they might struggle to contain, depending on what condition it’s got, can be a bit of a challenge,” said Mackenzie.

She understands that some parking will probably be lost compared to the rest of the street, but hopes they can find a compromise. 

“It’ll probably draw people to their business, but they could be sending people away from our business because people can’t get a parking spot anywhere near the building or near the clinic. So, it might be a situation where people don’t want to bring their dog here anymore,” added Mackenzie.

Maggie Reichel, the owner and operator of Magniphysio, said she is on the fence about the project.

“I’m not quite sure exactly how the parking is going to be finalized, so that was our main concern there,” said Reichel.

Although she is “pretty much pro-revitalization” she still doesn’t know how the parking situation will be. 

“The majority of our clients have mobility issues... That is the concern right now, but I understand everything is safer with the bump outs,” said Reichel, “I’m really on the fence because I’m still not convinced that there’s going to be enough parking for those places that need accessibility in front of their clinics or their businesses.”

“It would be wise for the municipality to set up a meeting with the businesses that will be affected by this, especially during construction,” added Reichel.

Sinister Sports owner Brian Gallant said he was really glad the Municipality took time to reach out to the community and have a venue for public input.

“I think the one thing that they missed, which they should stress more, is that the whole basis of this is the fact that the infrastructure in Bellevue needs to be replaced,” said Gallant, “It’s not just that they’re planning to do this just because they can.”

Gallant said there are some serious issues with Bellevue’s infrastructure and that it’s a really important point people might have missed.

“I do think it’s going to cause some parking issues for some of the businesses and I think that there are a number of seniors who agree. There are a lot of seniors that live in this neighborhood and access services and they are concerned about accessing the businesses.”

He admitted this will not really affect his business as they are not a retail location but recognized the issues that may arise from deliveries.  

“Every business along here typically gets a delivery at least once a week, some a couple times a week, sometimes in large trucks. It makes it difficult because they come into the front door typically, they don’t necessarily have a loading dock or parking in the back,” said Gallant.

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