Published November 22 2022
Plus, tree code kickoff, Botanical Garden donation and proclamations
On Monday, the City Council voted unanimously to adopt a 2023-24 budget and 2023-29 Capital Investment Program (CIP) plan. The $2.2 billion budget package funds essential services while also making targeted investments to address Bellevue’s unprecedented growth. These include the council priority areas of environmental stewardship, public safety, affordable housing and Bellevue’s ongoing diversity work.
To address inflation and a lingering structural deficit, the adopted budget also includes minor revenue adjustments; a 0.01% Business & Occupation tax adjustment for businesses grossing more than $180,000 annually, a 1% council-directed property tax addition and a 1% adjustment in revenue utilizing the city’s banked capacity. Councilmember Conrad Lee voted against the property tax ordinance.
Tree code kickoff
The council also initiated work on tree canopy code amendments to support tree preservation, retention, replacement and protection. Bellevue’s Environmental Stewardship Plan has established a 40% tree canopy goal. The most recent tree canopy assessment completed using 2019 data found that Bellevue had a 39% tree canopy, which was up 2% from 2011.
Several opportunities to further support the achievement of the 40% tree canopy goal were discussed during the study session, including ways to improve the function and clarity of the Bellevue’s codes regarding trees, as well as capturing more useful data on tree removal and retention.
The council unanimously voted to direct initiation of the work on the code amendments and direct the Planning Commission to process a land use code amendment.
Botanical Garden donation
Councilmembers took a moment to laud longtime Bellevue Botanical Garden supporter Terry Hayes for establishing an endowment to fund a full-time curator position at the garden in perpetuity.
The position, currently part of the city’s 2023-24 proposed budget, will play a critical role in collection, conservation and education to achieve the garden’s core goal of connecting people with plants. More details about the donation are in the agenda memo.
Small Business Saturday and Native American Heritage Month
Earlier in the evening the council read two proclamations recognizing Native Americans' heritage and the upcoming Small Businesses Saturday.
National Native American Heritage Month was established in 1990. The month celebrates the accomplishments of local tribal communities as well as recognizing the many societal challenges and historical wrongs imposed upon them.
Small Business Saturday encourages all Bellevue residents to buy from local small businesses and merchants on Saturday, Nov. 26, as part of the kickoff of the holiday season. The city is collaborating with the Bellevue Downtown Association, Visit Bellevue, the Bellevue Chamber and many more local partners for the event. The Chamber’s Kim Fredericks was on hand to accept the proclamation.
Full text for both are available to read in the agenda materials.