The City Council adopted land use code amendments in 2017, completing work on the Eastgate Land Use and Transportation Study.
With the Eastgate/I-90 study, the city sought to enhance the corridor and create an attractive employment area that also provides neighborhood services and is a vibrant and significant contributor to Bellevue's economic health in coming decades. The major focus is the commercial, industrial and office areas fronting Interstate 90 between I-405 and the Bellevue city limits — one of Bellevue's major employment centers, containing approximately 18 percent of the city's total employment. (project summary)
The study resulted in land use code amendments approved by the City Council on Aug. 7, 2017.
Ordinance 6366 amended the Land Use Code to advance the Eastgate/I-90 Land Use and Transportation Project, added new land use districts Office/Limited Business 2 (OLB 2), Neighborhood Mixed Use (NMU), and Eastgate Transit Oriented Development (EG-TOD); amended the use charts; adopted dimensional standards; amended landscape and design standards; and amended design guidelines as appropriate.
Ordinance 6367 amended selected land use districts (rezones) in Eastgate for consistency with 2015 Comprehensive Plan amendments, and repealed ordinances and concomitant agreements where the conditions were met or no longer necessary.
The City Council conducted six study sessions related to the Eastgate/I-90 Land Use & Transportation Study. Three of those study sessions (September 19, 2016; March 20, July 10, and July 24, 2017) were for the purpose of reviewing the proposed Land Use Code amendments. Two other study sessions (November 28, 2016 and March 6, 2017) were related to short term transportation improvements in the Eastgate/I-90 area in response to citizen concerns about traffic congestion during the Land Use Code amendment process.
With the new development of the transportation levy, the City Council on November 28, 2016, at the recommendation of Mayor Stokes directed the Transportation Commission to examine the 150th Avenue Southeast corridor to identify cost effective improvements that could be accomplished in the near to midterm, possibly using a portion of the transportation levy. This information will inform Council decisions prior to adopting the Eastgate Land Use Code Amendments (LUCA).
The City Council concurred with the Mayor's additional recommendation to direct the City Manager to have staff develop and present the traffic analysis to the Transportation Commission in January 2017 with proposed capacity improvement ideas finalized by the Commission in February 2017. This assessment of cost effective improvements will focus on addressing the current traffic conditions along 150th Avenue Southeast.
A more detailed analysis that accounts for WSDOT’s I-90 Peak Use Shoulder Lane project, incorporates the proposed Eastgate land use changes and takes into account a broader geographic scope area would be performed as one of the first levy funded congestion mitigation projects later in 2017. This analysis needs to wait for WSDOT staff to complete their traffic study and concept design, currently scheduled for finalization in April of 2017.
Planning Commission Recommendations
The Planning Commission held a June 22, 2016 public hearing to consider proposed Land Use Code amendments to implement the Eastgate/I-90 Land Use & Transportation Study. The Commission subsequently made a recommendation to City Council based on the following:
Purpose & Background
The purpose of the Eastgate/I-90 project is to enhance the corridor and create an attractive employment area that also provides neighborhood services and serves as a vibrant and significant contributor to Bellevue's economic health in the coming decades. The major focus of the project is the commercial, industrial and office areas fronting I-90 between I-405 and the Bellevue city limits. This area is one of the city's major employment centers, containing approximately 18 percent of the city's total employment. A project summary outlines the vision and land use concept for the corridor.
Policy and land use changes were included in the 2015 Comprehensive Plan Update in the Volume 2 Subarea Plan amendments.