Station area planning is a city program that aims to better incorporate light rail into neighboring areas once Sound Transit’s East Link light rail extension is operational. It is an opportunity for the people who live, work, do business or own property in the vicinity of light rail stations to consider what light rail could mean to their community and to make a plan for the future. Station area planning does not address the design, operation or construction of the light rail station, alignment or ancillary structures.
In January 2016, the City Council approved the South Bellevue Station Area Plan, which was developed through public input:
Strategies contained in the final Report will be considered to be integrated into existing city work programs, codes and policies for implementation.
The South Bellevue East Link station will be located on Bellevue Way, just north of I-90 at the current site of the South Bellevue Park-&-Ride facility. This will be the first eastbound station in the city. The South Bellevue station area consists of the space west of I-405, between I-90 and Southeast 16th Street.
- Established single family residential Enatai and Beaux Arts neighborhoods in western half of station area
- Mercer Slough Nature Park and Environmental Education Center in eastern half of station area
- Wooded, green and natural, conveying the “city in a park” image of Bellevue
- Zoning changes are not being considered for this station area
- The South Bellevue station plan seeks to preserve the character of the existing neighborhoods and Mercer Slough Nature Park
- Preserving neighborhood character and preventing crime
- Addressing increasing traffic, safety issues and noise
- Planning for station access and discouraging overflow parking
Public ParticipationIn October 2013, the city kicked off station area planning for the South Bellevue area with a community brainstorming workshop, which was co-hosted by the Enatai Neighborhood Association. This workshop generated ideas, opportunities and issues of concern pertaining to the addition of light rail to the area. Participants also discussed potential strategies for addressing these ideas and concerns.
Using the community input as a guide, city staff worked to refine and develop a station area plan to address comments voiced by the public. The city held several check-ins with the community and area stakeholders through small group meetings, open houses and focus groups. Staff also collected direct community input throughout 2014.
The city hosted a final public open house to share the strategies proposed for the station area plan on March 3, 2015.