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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Council Roundup: Comments on light rail code changes

Residents who live near the future East Link light rail line in Bellevue, along with other interested speakers, weighed in Monday on proposed land use code amendments under consideration by the City Council.

Twenty-one people, mostly residents of the Enatai and Surrey Downs neighborhoods, spoke during the public hearing on the amendments, part of a comprehensive new section, or land use code "overlay." The new section would create permitting processes, development standards and design standards for reviewing East Link plans. The changes are intended to fill in gaps in the current land use code, which did not anticipate a light rail line.

Councilmembers voted unanimously to close the public hearing last night but to keep the comment period open until 10 a.m., Feb. 14. That means people can submit written comments and they will be part of the official public hearing record. Comments can be submitted to legal planner Catherine Drews at cdrews@bellevuewa.gov.

After that time, comments are still welcome until such time as the council takes final action on the overlay, which is anticipated before the end of February. The council will meet again on the Feb. 19 to provide direction for any changes to the draft overlay provisions in preparation for adoption of the amendments.

People who live nearby the proposed light rail alignment encouraged the council to ensure the amendments address issues such as: noise impacts; full and partial property acquisitions that will be required by Sound Transit; tree cutting; maintaining city control over the permitting process; and the minimum required distance, or "setback," between the light rail tracks and private property lines.

A handful of people, including one Sound Transit representative, spoke in support of the proposed amendments.

Previously, the council held a public hearing last October. Since then, it has met in eight separate meetings to address different aspects of the proposed land use code amendments and provide guidance for the final content. The council is expected to vote on a final version of the amendments at its Feb. 25 meeting.

Bellevue also has been working with Sound Transit on cost savings options for the $2.8 billion East Link project, which will run from Seattle, through Bellevue, to the Overlake Transit Center in Redmond. Construction is expected to start in 2015 and service is scheduled to begin in 2023.

Council agenda item /// Land Use Code Amendments 

Feedback: Carol Helland, Land Use Division Director, 425-452-2724 or chelland@bellevuewa.gov

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