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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Council Roundup: New regulations to address "megahomes"

New home construction in BellevueThe Bellevue City Council voted Monday to limit the overall height of new single-family homes, and to impose additional development standards on large new homes built in existing neighborhoods.

The new regulations were proposed by the Planning Commission as phase two of a "Neighborhood Character" package addressing residents' concerns about the negative impacts of  so-called "megahomes" -- new or remodeled homes out of scale with surrounding homes. An initial phase of  Neighborhood Character regulations was adopted by the City Council in December 2007.

When built in existing neighborhoods, large houses (those whose square footage exceeds 50 percent of the lot size) will be required to have minimum 7.5-foot setbacks on each side and roof pitches that reduce "shadowing" of adjacent houses. Houses in new subdivisions will not have to follow this rule.

Also included in the new regulations are:

  • Further limitations on  building height (maximum of 35 feet to roof peak, 40 feet for any single façade);
  • New rules regarding placement of mechanical equipment associated with new or remodeled homes;
  • Maintenance standards for vacant homes and abandoned building sites;
  • Change in ending time for residential construction noise (from 10 p.m. to 8 p.m.);
  • Increase in significant tree retention for new subdivisions (from 15 percent to 30 percent).

The amendments to the Land Use Code take effect five days after adoption; the amendments to the Bellevue City Code (maintenance standards, noise code) take effect 30 days after adoption. Within the boundaries of the East Bellevue Community Council, the Land Use Code Amendments will be presented for Community Council ratification on Sept. 1. 

Feedback: Matthews Jackson, Neighborhood Development Planning Manager, 425-452-2729 or mjackson@bellevuewa.gov, or  Cheryl Kuhn, Neighborhood Outreach Manager, 425-452-4089 or ckuhn@bellevuewa.gov

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