Blackhawk Bank seeks rezoning for new branch; proposed site has history of neighbor concerns

Blackhawk Bank & Trust wants to rezone land in Bettendorf to pave the way for a new branch facility at Middle and Belmont Roads, a highly visible corner with a long history of neighborhood concerns about commercial development.

The bank wants to rezone 1.22 acres of land on the southeast corner at 4105 Belmont Road from C-5 (office transitional zoning) to C-1 (local shopping district) and combine the property with another 1.5 acres of adjacent land already zoned C-1. In addition to the proposed 3,500-square-foot bank with four drive up lanes, the site development plan shows a second commercial lot for a future commercial use.

A portion of the site was once proposed for development in 1999 as part of Quail Ridge Pointe by the Charles A. Ruhl Family Limited Partnership. That proposed development ran into concerns from residential neighbors living east of the development. Consequently, the developer agreed to a list of covenants restricting specific uses of the property under the commercial zoning.

The covenants would apply only to the undeveloped parcel in the bank's proposed two-lot plat before the zoning commission. Those prohibited uses include adult book/video or entertainment stores, convenience stores with gas pumps, and bars (unless associated with a sit-down restaurant).

Since the property is targeted for office transitional use under the city's land use plan, the developer must first have the city change the land use designation and then obtain the rezoning. The land use amendment, zoning change, the site development plan are on the agenda for Wednesday's (7/15) Planning and Zoning Commission meeting at city hall.

If approved by the plan commission, the land use changes and site plan would go before the city council for consideration. City staff supports the rezoning with the existing covenants and restriction on the height of outdoor light poles to 33-feet in height and the free-standing business sign to be no greater than six feet in height.

The Great River Bank & Trust of LeClaire once proposed building a branch on the Belmont and Middle Road site. The company later proposed locating just a drive-up ATM on the site. Neither plans materialized. In 2008, Blackhawk, headquartered in Rock Island, purchased Great River.

CLICK HERE to download the proposed land use amendment, rezoning and site development plan.

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