Energize Eastside Updates

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A public hearing was held on March 28-29, April 3 and April 8 at Bellevue City Hall.

The City of Bellevue Hearing Examiner issued a decision on the Conditional Use Permit on June 25, 2019. See the Hearing Examiner's office webpage for the City's Project File and additional information about the appeal process.

Notice of the Development Services director's recommendation of approval with conditions on the Conditional Use Permit and the director's decision approving with conditions the Critical Areas Land Use Permit was provided on Jan. 24, 2019.

Director's Report

Individual Attachments

A. Project Plans
B. Alternative Siting Analysis
C. PSE South Bellevue Segment CUP Analysis
D. Independent Technical Analysis of Energize Eastside (USE 2015)
E. Vegetation Management Plan
F. Comprehensive Plan, Map UT-7
G. Comprehensive Plan Policy Analysis
H. Photo Simulations
I. Critical Areas Report
J. Pole Finishes Report-City of Bellevue (South)

Explore these topics for more detailed project and permit-process information:

The Director of the Development Services Department’s Recommendation on the Conditional Use Permit (File # 17-120556-LB) and Decision on Critical Areas Land Use Permit (File # 17-120557-LO) has been issued. A prehearing conference was held on February 13, and a public hearing was held beginning March 28. For more information about the prehearing or public hearing click the Public Meetings and Hearings tab below or see the City’s Hearing Examiner’s Office webpage.

Energize Eastside Phase 1 Permitting

Puget Sound Energy (PSE) proposes to construct a new Richards Creek Substation in Bellevue and upgrade approximately 16 miles of two existing 115-kilovolt transmission lines with 230-kilovolt lines. Collectively this proposal, which spans from Renton to Redmond, is referred to as Energize Eastside.

In Bellevue, PSE is proposing to apply for permits to construct the project in two phases.

Permits for the South Bellevue Segment include upgrading 3.3 miles (the Bellevue portion) of existing 115-kilovolt lines with 230-kilovolt lines between the Lakeside Substation and Bellevue's southern city limits. The remainder of the southern portion of the project continues through the City of Newcastle, unincorporated King County and the City of Renton. Bellevue only has permitting authority for work proposed within Bellevue city limits.

Energize Eastside Phase 2 Permitting

Permits for the northern segment (north of the Lakeside Substation to the northern city limits) have not been applied for yet.

Over the course there have been many opportunities to participate in the city’s review of Puget Sound Energy's proposed Energize Eastside project. 

The public meeting, held on November 14, provided an early opportunity for the public to receive information regarding PSE's application, and to get information about the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) and Critical Areas Land Use Permit (CALUP) process. The land use permit process typically takes between six and nine months, but can take longer in the case of complex projects such as this proposal. The public had many meaningful opportunities to provide formal written comment on PSE’s application during this time, as described more fully below.

If you provided comments on the Draft EIS, those comments are being addressed separately through the EIS process. The Final EIS contains responses to the comments that the city received on the Draft EIS.

Please note that prior submission of comments concerning the Draft EIS during the EIS comment periods does not automatically make the EIS commenter a party of record regarding the city’s subsequent review of PSE’s specific CUP and CALUP applications. Individuals or groups who wished to comment on PSE’s permit applications needed to submit comments and contact information (i.e., your name and address) to be a party of record for the CUP/CALUP applications.

  • At the Public Meeting

The city held its first required public meeting on Tuesday, November 14, 2017. Unlike the EIS meetings, the primary purpose of this meeting was not to take public comment. The public meeting provided an opportunity for city staff to explain the permit process and provided an opportunity for the applicant, PSE, to describe the proposed project to interested parties. Because this meeting happens early in the land use process, city staff do not expect attendees to be prepared to provide formal comments on the project application at this point in the process.

However, although the primary purpose of the public meeting was to provide information to interested parties, individuals and groups who attended the meeting were nonetheless provided with an opportunity to provide written comments on PSE’s applications as part of the meeting. Comment forms were provided at the meeting, and as city staff explained, any interested party who wished to include comments in the record was encouraged to submit the comment in writing to city staff and include the party’s name and address on the comment form. Verbal comments made at the public meeting, that were not also provided in writing, will not be considered formal comments as part of the record for PSE’s permit applications.

  • During the Permit Review Process

Comments were welcome throughout the review process and have been accepted up until staff prepared Director’s decision and recommendation to the hearing examiner.

  • At the Public Hearing

Finally, comments were received by the city’s hearing examiner during the required public hearing on Thursday, March 28.

Public Hearing

A CUP is a Process I land use decision. A Process I land use decision is a quasi-judicial decision issued by the Hearing Examiner following the recommendation of the Director and input received at the required public hearing.

The City of Bellevue’s Hearing Examiner held a public hearing beginning on:

Thursday, March 28, 2019
Bellevue City Hall Council Chambers 1E-126
Beginning at 6 p.m.

The hearing examiner held a prehearing conference on:

Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Bellevue City Hall Conference Room 1E-113.
Beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Listen to an audio recording of the conference.

The decision of the Hearing Examiner on a Process I application is final unless appealed to the City Council. The City Council action deciding any appeal and approving, approving with modifications, or denying a project is the final City decision on a Process I application. A final decision by the City Council following a Process I appeal may be appealed to Superior Court (LUC 20.35.150.D).

Second Informational Meeting

Agenda and Presentation
Thursday, September 6, 2018
Bellevue City Hall
6 p.m. - 8 p.m.

This meeting* was another opportunity for residents and interested parties to learn about the proposed project and the permitting process. PSE provided a general overview of the project and Bellevue city staff provided more information about how to engage in the next steps of the process, including the public hearing. The meeting was similar in format to the meeting held in November, 2017.
 
*Code required meeting per LUC 20.20.255.C1b Electrical Utility Facilities

First Public Meeting

Agenda and Presentation
Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017
6:30-9 p.m.
South Bellevue Community Center
Community Room
14509 SE Newport Way

The purpose of the meeting was to outline the permit process and have the applicant describe the proposed project to interested parties.

FEIS available March 1, 2018

The City of Bellevue along with their partner jurisdictions (Kirkland, Redmond, Newcastle and Renton) have completed preparation of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for PSE's Energize Eastside proposal. The environmental impact statement is not a permit; it is one of many sets of information permitting agencies, such as the City of Bellevue, will consider as they decide whether to approve the project and issue necessary permits. No additional comment period is provided on the FEIS. Refer to the EIS project page for more information.

Additional Information

PSE offers detailed information about the Energize Eastside project.

Visit the Energize Eastside Environmental Impact Statement website for information about the project's environmental review.

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Contact

Heidi M. Bedwell
Environmental Planning Manager
450 110th Ave NE
Bellevue, WA 98004

Telephone
Business Hours
8 a.m. to 4 p.m., weekdays
10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesdays