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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, February 23, 2017

Council Roundup: Funding approved for EBCC court appeal

Plus, levy project funding and two public hearings

On Tuesday, the City Council approved a resolution authorizing the city to fund up to $27,000 for the East Bellevue Community Council's petition to the Washington Supreme Court. The ongoing litigation concerns a 115-kilovolt overhead transmission line proposed by Puget Sound Energy that will increase electrical reliability. The EBCC requested the funds after the Division 1 Washington Court of Appeals reversed a lower court ruling in favor of the EBCC earlier this year.

Tuesday's resolution deems the petition and potential appeal costs as "necessary expenses" of the EBCC, which the city is obligated to pay under state law. A limited number of petitions are accepted each year by the state's highest court, and petitioners must satisfy a strict four-point test. To date, the council approved approximately $85,000 in additional funding to pay for the EBCC's legal fees in the case.

The EBCC is one of only two community municipal councils, authorized under state law, left in Washington. The law grants the EBCC statutory approval authority over certain ordinances affecting land development issues within its jurisdictional boundaries.

Levy projects funding added to capital budget
Also on Tuesday, the council approved an ordinance amending the city's capital budget to include funds for neighborhood transportation and fire facilities projects approved by voters.

On Nov. 8, 58 percent of Bellevue voters approved a Fire Facilities property tax levy that will raise approximately $120 million over 20 years or about $6 million per year. The transportation-focused Neighborhood Safety, Connectivity and Congestion levy, approved by 54 percent of voters, will raise approximately $140 million over 20 years, or $7 million per year.

The council's approval means work will begin soon to chip away at a backlog of transportation work that includes projects to reduce neighborhood congestion, neighborhood safety projects, new sidewalks and trails, technology for safety and traffic management, enhanced maintenance and new bike facilities.

On the fire facilities side, levy revenue will be used for construction of Fire Station 10, a new station to serve downtown and the surrounding area, seismic retrofits at the other nine fire stations, warehouse space to store and repair special equipment, and the remodeling or expansion of existing stations

Together, funding for fire and neighborhood transportation projects increased the 2017-2018 Capital Investment Program fund by $27.1 million and increased the 2017-2023 CIP by $94.85 million.

More information about the levies, including a list of the projects in the 2017-2018 capital budget cycle, is available.

Public hearings on Overlake Medical Center and Bellevue College street vacation
The night's agenda included two public hearings where residents and stakeholders were able to weigh in on Overlake Medical Center's requested Land Use Code Amendment and, later, Bellevue College's proposed street vacation.

In 2016, Overlake requested the code amendment in order to facilitate its proposed campus upgrades including the addition of a new East Tower. The need for the changes had been identified and prioritized by the council. Overlake has consistently maintained the upgrades are needed to remain competitive with other hospitals. Height and scale requirements applicable to the hospital campus are not proposed to change. Shortly after closing the hearing, councilmembers approved the amendment.

After listening to several comments from residents at the second public hearing, councilmembers directed staff to return at a future meeting with an ordinance approving Bellevue College's request to vacate a portion of 145th Avenue Southeast, north of Southeast 26th Street. The college's recently completed campus master plan designates this area for new student housing. One of the council's priorities is to support the college in its effort to develop student housing.

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Contact Information

450 110th Ave. NE
P.O. Box 90012
Bellevue, WA 98009
Contact: Lenka Wright, Chief Communications Officer
Phone: 425-452-4090
E-mail: lwright@bellevuewa.gov

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