Also, Surrey Downs Park, East Link update, other items
The City Council on Monday reviewed and provided feedback on the city's draft Shoreline Master Program update. The changes will be considered at a public hearing on the SMP scheduled for May 5.
Originally adopted in 1974, the SMP is essentially unchanged since then. Work to update the document began several years ago and is a significant environmental policy and code amendment effort. Once the updated SMP is adopted it will regulate the development and use of the city’s shorelines along Lake Washington, Lake Sammamish, Phantom Lake, Larson Lake, lower Kelsey Creek and Mercer Slough.
Monday's meeting, the third study session on the SMP Update, focused on light rail-related changes to the draft SMP, and on a draft document called the Cumulative Impact Analysis, which analyzes the current draft of the SMP. Councilmembers engaged in an in-depth discussion on how best to achieve the standard of "no net loss" of ecological function required by state law.
Additional council meetings on the SMP will be held in May and June to review topics such as public access, lake levels, setbacks, buffers, critical areas, docks, shoreline stabilization and floodplains. Another public hearing and final adoption of the SMP is expected in late June or early July, before the package is submitted to the state Department of Ecology.
More information on the Shoreline Master Program Update is available online (http://www.bellevuewa.gov/pdf/City%20Council/PacketExtendedStudySession4-28-143c.pdf)
Surrey Downs Park
Also on Monday, the council reviewed and expressed support for the latest master plan for Surrey Downs Park. The original plan, adopted in 2009, needed to be modified once it was determined that the East Link light rail line would run along 112th Avenue Northeast, cutting off current access to the park. During an extensive public involvement process, park neighbors expressed concerns about noise. Park planners responded with several revisions designed to minimize noise for residents while retaining an attractive "front door" to the park from 112th.
The updated plan calls for a smaller parking lot with access off Southeast Fourth Street, a "play meadow" instead of a sports field and other modifications.
The council is expected to adopt a final revised park plan later this year. The timeline for park construction will be decided in coordination with Sound Transit, which will begin construction on East Link in 2015. Also in 2015, Bellevue will relocate the District Court from Surrey Downs Park, and then demolish the current court buildings.
More information on the Surrey Downs Park Master Plan Update is available online (http://www.bellevuewa.gov/pdf/City%20Council/PacketExtendedStudySession4-28-143d.pdf)
East Link update
Councilmembers received another in a series of monthly updates on the East Link light rail project. Sound Transit, with input from city staff, are working on the final design for the alignment through Bellevue. The collaboration was outlined in a memorandum of understanding signed by both parties in 2012.
The focus on Monday was on Sound Transit's acquisition of residential properties along 112th Avenue Southeast, the city's right of way acquisitions for projects on 120th and 124th Avenue Northeast and a proposed operations and maintenance facility.
More information on the East Link Update is available online (http://www.bellevuewa.gov/pdf/City%20Council/PacketExtendedStudySession4-28-143e.pdf)
Odle Middle School demolition permit
The council reviewed a recommendation by the city's hearings examiner to approve the conditional use permit necessary for the demolition and reconstruction of Odle Middle School, located on 18 acres at 502 143rd Ave. NE. A public hearing before the hearings examiner generated no public testimony. The one-story school, built in 1969, will be replaced with a two-story building to serve grades six through eight. The adjacent Bellevue Aquatic Center will remain open during construction. Final action on the required ordinance is scheduled for the council’s May 5 meeting.
Days of Remembrance Proclamation
Mayor Balducci read a proclamation declaring the week of April 27 to May 4 as Days of Remembrance in memory of the victims of the Holocaust and in honor of the survivors, as well as the rescuers and liberators. The proclamation reads in part, "We, as citizens of the City of Bellevue, should work to promote human dignity and confront hate whenever and wherever it occurs."
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