Percentage of city: 13 percent
Under 18: 4,205 (25 percent of the area)
Housing Units: 6,190
Predominately single-family residential neighborhoods rise up the slopes of Cougar Mountain in this scenic neighborhood area adjacent to natural, untamed stretches of countryside. While cougars are rare, it isn’t unusual for residents to spot raccoons, opposums, deer – or even an occasional bear – taking an early morning stroll through the neighborhood. In 2012, the large unincorporated Eastgate neighborhood at the foot of the mountain was annexed to the city, adding nearly 5,000 residents and 1,896 homes to this neighborhood area.
Steep grades, upscale developments with large new homes and spectacular views are characteristic of Cougar Mountain, and view preservation is a major issue. To protect views and other neighborhood qualities, many of the subdivisions in this area have strictly enforced covenants and restrictions on the use of private property. Many neighborhoods have community-owned greenbelts and other amenities.
Except for downtown, no area of the city has grown as rapidly in the last 15 years as the recently developed neighborhoods in the higher elevations of Eastgate/Cougar Mountain. Lakemont, Vuemont and other hilltop neighborhoods look out over Lake Sammamish and the Cascade Mountains to the east, downtown Bellevue, Lake Washington and Seattle to the west.
A pedestrian trail system links homes to neighborhood parks, the regional Cougar Mountain Park and the neighborhood shopping center at Lakemont. About half of this area is in the Bellevue School District; students in the other half attend schools in the Issaquah district. Commercial uses – primarily retail businesses and office buildings – line the area’s northerly frontage along I-90.
Cougar Mountain was a wild and scenic area until mid-century growth of the Puget Sound region began pushing development farther east along the I-90 corridor. Development was already marching up the hill by the time Bellevue’s annexations of the late 1980s to mid 1990s encompassed much of the area. Remnants of the wild past linger as forest animals put in appearances in local greenbelts and backyards.
Lakemont Shopping Center
(Albertson’s) Shopping Center
Cougar Mountain Regional Park
Lewis Creek Park
Lakemont Highlands Park
Forest Ridge Park
Eastgate Elementary School
Cougar Ridge Elementary School
Open Window School
Whispering Heights & Collingwood