During Monday’s extended study session, councilmembers were given an in-depth update on recent work done relating to a proposed citywide Land Use Code Amendment (LUCA) for homeless shelters. The presentation and discussion included a first look at the draft LUCA. Earlier this year, the council set a goal of developing a citywide shelter LUCA for adoption by the August recess.
A key part of the briefing included an analysis of crime statistics compiled by the Police Department. In response to community questions, the department presented data on the impact of the existing emergency winter shelter, located at Lincoln Center (515 116th Ave NE). While there was an increase in service calls specifically to the winter shelter in both the 2016 and 2017 data, this uptick is consistent with the call volumes seen for other new developments that concentrate people. Data for 2017 does not show a relationship between the presence of the homeless shelter and the crime rates for the surrounding area.
During the discussion, police officials emphasized the department’s compassionate response to people experiencing homelessness and building partnerships with local support service providers.
Councilmembers were also given details on the city’s homeless shelter LUCA public outreach effort. The initiative included a citywide online survey, one large workshop at Bellevue City Hall, an optional “listening session” and two “Q&A sessions” at local community centers. This feedback was then used in formulating the draft LUCA that will be discussed by the council moving forward. More opportunities will also be available for residents to weigh in.
The Land Use Code is a permitting tool that governs the location, design and approval process for development in the city. A LUCA will add regulations to the code to determine how and where a homeless shelter can be sited in Bellevue.
Continued discussion on the topic is tentatively scheduled for the following meeting dates:
June 11 (possible public hearing)
The full briefing is available to watch online courtesy of Bellevue Television. Additional information, including the draft LUCA, can be found in the council’s agenda packet materials. For more background on the public outreach process, please visit BellevueWA.gov/ShelterLUCA.
April 30 meeting cancelled
Prior to the briefing, the council unanimously agreed to cancel next Monday’s special extended study session meeting. Councilmembers typically do not meet on the fifth Monday of the month. The next meeting is scheduled for the regular place and time on May 7.