Council enacts moratorium to support Meydenbauer Bay study

In a move aimed ultimately at opening up access to the city's waterfront, the Bellevue City Council Monday enacted a moratorium prohibiting the city from accepting development permit applications in the area of Meydenbauer Bay.

The moratorium will maintain the status quo in the area while allowing the city to conduct necessary planning efforts to implement the long range vision for connecting Meydenbauer Bay to Downtown Park.

A hearing on the moratorium will be held within 60 days to determine if it should be continued for six months while the study is conducted. After that, the city may consider further extensions. The Bellevue City Council will begin discussion of the Meydenbauer Bay planning study at its meeting on February 5, 2007.

The city has long had a vision of connecting the Meydenbauer Bay waterfront to Downtown Park to create a significant city park and waterfront destination. Since the early 1990s, the city has progressively acquired land along Meydenbauer Bay to create Meydenbauer Bay Park and provide an important recreational opportunity for the citizens of Bellevue. The City Council recognizes that action is now required to plan for the ultimate goal of achieving a connection of this significant waterfront area to the Downtown and to enhance the surrounding area.

The City Council rarely uses moratoria. In this case, it is being used to avoid premature redevelopment in the study area until the city is able to refine its vision for the waterfront and to fully understand the possibilities and constraints of enhancing land uses and livability of the area between Meydenbauer Bay and Downtown Park.

The moratorium maintains the status quo in the study area while the city's planning work proceeds, preventing redevelopment that could otherwise hamper the planning effort. The moratorium affects thirteen properties totaling about seven acres. The moratorium is effective immediately and places a hold on the city from accepting new applications for any development, addition or alteration within the defined area (see attached ordinance for map). The moratorium does allow the city to continue to process building permit applications that have been submitted and are vested (legally "grandfathered") and new applications that directly address life-safety issues.

Community involvement will be an important part of this opportunity for Bellevue to plan for a strong new waterfront. More information will soon be available on the city's website, under City Initiatives in the left-hand column.

For further information, contact Paul Inghram, Comprehensive Planning Manager, Department of Planning and Community Development, 425-452-4070,