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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Council Roundup: Plan for new Meydenbauer park approved

Also, more review of East Link draft report and South Kirkland park-and-ride plan

Aerial view of Meydenbauer BayThe City Council Monday adopted a plan for a new park on Meydenbauer Bay, which lays out how the city can realize a long-time vision to connect Bellevue's downtown with its waterfront.

The principles driving the park and land-use master plan were: create a memorable shoreline experience; improve pedestrian access; reflect positive environmental stewardship; and help increase awareness and understanding about the area’s rich boating and whaling history.

The plan calls for:

  • Pedestrian promenade and pier;
  • Marina redesign;
  • New activity building and historic whaling building restoration;
  • Beach and shoreline restoration;
  • A variety of outdoor gathering, play and activity spaces;
  • Uncovering a stream;
  • Multiple opportunities for access to and enjoyment of the water; and
  • Improvements to street frontage to strengthen connections to the lake.

The plan embodies a city vision that has been reaffirmed in several adopted plans for over 20 years. Land acquisition for the park dates back to 1953, with the most recent purchase in December 2007. 

The plan was adopted after an extensive community process. In March 2007, the council appointed a citizen steering committee to help develop the master plan. After many meetings, public workshops/open houses, public hearings and lively debate, the committee presented a plan to the council in November 2009. 

The plan was then reviewed by the Park Board, which recommended approval. In June the council considered the plan and a possible phasing approach.

The plan will guide the council, staff and city boards and commissions in developing future policy, regulations and budget proposals for the park and downtown connections to it.
No funding has been identified for the project, and it is expected to be several years before any development takes place. The plan assumes that park development will occur in multiple phases over many years, as has been the case with Downtown Park and Crossroads Community Park.

Details about the park plan approval are in the council agenda item.
Feedback: Pam Fehrman, Parks Project Manager, 425-452-4326 or pfehrman@bellevuewa.gov; Mike Bergstrom, Planning & Community Development Senior Planner, 425-452-6866 or mbergstrom@bellevuewa.gov

More review of East Link draft report
The council continued its scrutiny of an updated environmental review of the East Link light rail project, and discussed how best to respond.

Released in November by Sound Transit, the supplemental draft environmental impact statement (SDEIS) on East Link evaluates routes developed since the original draft environmental review was released in December 2008.

Among the issues in the SDEIS that council members expressed an interest in commenting upon were: noise impacts and how those impacts could be lessened; using a more detailed, in-house traffic analysis than the one done by Sound Transit; and the visual impacts of routes that cross Mercer Slough Nature Park. 

East Link will extend light rail from Seattle, across Lake Washington, through Bellevue, to the Overlake Transit Center in Redmond.

Bellevue residents and others may comment on the SDEIS during a 60-day comment period that ends on Jan. 10. A copy of the environmental review, and information on how to comment upon it, is available at Sound Transit.

Council members plan to take up the SDEIS again at their meetings on Jan. 3 and 10, and submit a letter to the Sound Transit Board of Directors that summarizes their concerns and preferences, in addition to detailed technical comments from city staff.

The final environmental review for East Link is scheduled for completion next spring and Sound Transit's Board is expected to select a route and station locations in the summer. East Link is expected to begin operations by 2021.   

For more information on East Link, view the council agenda item or Light Rail and Bellevue

Feedback: Bernard van de Kamp, Transportation Regional Projects Manager, 425-452-6459 or bvandekamp@bellevuewa.gov

South Kirkland park-and-ride plan reviewed
The council hosted Eastside officials for an update on plans to expand the South Kirkland Park-and-Ride and include a residential development as part of the new complex.

Bellevue has an interest in the project because the seven-acre, 600-space lot is at the north edge of the city, at 108th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 38th Place, just north of SR 520. The site is divided by the Bellevue-Kirkland boundary, with about half the facility in each city.

Plans call for expanding the park-and-ride by 250 spaces, and creating about 200 housing units and approximately 12,000 square feet of commercial space, both which would be on the Kirkland side of the property.

Kirkland Mayor Joan McBride and other city officials, along with King County Councilmember Jane Hague, presented a set of draft principles regarding redevelopment of the park-and-ride. The council is expected to vote on the principles in January.

For more information about the proposed expansion of the South Kirkland Park-and-Ride, see the council agenda item

Feedback: Paul Inghram, Regional Projects Manager, Comprehensive Planning Manager, 425-452-4070 or pinghram@bellevuewa.gov 

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