Published January 20 2023
Plus, utility billing moves to monthly cadence and council recognizes Lunar New Year and Human Trafficking Prevention Month
As part of a continuing effort to address the urgent need for more housing and affordable housing in Bellevue, the City Council Tuesday directed staff to make it easier for people to build accessory dwelling units. The council also directed staff to begin preparing code requirements for duplexes, triplexes and quadruplexes to complement the city’s ongoing Comprehensive Plan Update process, and to simplify and expedite the permitting for affordable housing projects.
As part of the action to encourage ADUs and “middle-scale” housing complexes with two, three or four units, the city will explore mechanisms for separate ownership of units.
Since the adoption of the Affordable Housing Strategy for Bellevue in 2017, the city is well on its way to a target of 2,500 additional affordable housing units by 2027. But the need has increased, and the council is prioritizing “next right work” actions to encourage more housing production overall, increase the amount of affordable housing in the city and minimize procedural impacts to building housing.
The actions discussed Tuesday are targeted for implementation over the next 12 to 18 months. They come on top of three next right work actions prioritized in July, which include removing barriers to micro-apartments, allowing higher density for certain residential uses and reducing permit fees for affordable housing projects.
Additional details are available in the meeting materials.
Monthly billing for utility customers
The council also took action to approve monthly billing for utility customers. Currently, water meters are read manually every two months, and customers are billed every other month.
With new meter and billing technology, Bellevue Utilities will have the opportunity to offer monthly billing. This has been a long-standing request of customers that will help residents better manage water consumption and household budgeting.
Proclamations for Lunar New Year, Human Trafficking Prevention
Many community members joined the council for the reading of a proclamation recognizing Sunday, Jan. 22, and the week thereafter as Lunar New Year Week in Bellevue.
In addition, Councilmember Janice Zahn read a proclamation recognizing January as Human Trafficking Prevention Month in Bellevue. She urged residents to explore available resources.