• Council Roundup: Mid-Bi Budget passed

    Published November 24 2021

    Plus, supportive housing best practices, neighborhood Comprehensive Plan Amendments discussed and arts funding approved

    On Monday, the City Council passed three ordinances and one resolution related to adoption of the 2021-2022 Mid-Biennium Budget. The mid-biennium budget is the halfway point in the city’s two-year budget cycle, providing an opportunity to make adjustments as needed to reflect current fiscal information.

    Councilmembers voted unanimously as part of the Mid-Biennium Budget package to approve Development Services fee updates, set Bellevue’s property tax levy for 2022 at the statutorily allowable increase of 1%, preserve the city’s banked levy capacity, and adopt all modifications to the 2021-2022 Adopted Biennium Budget and 2021-2027 Capital Investment Program Plan. 

    More details on the Mid-Biennium Budget elements are available in the meeting materials. 

    Supportive housing best practices

    Later, councilmembers were briefed on Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) best practices, specifically regarding neighborhood outreach, engagement and relationship building, and evaluating on-site supportive services based on populations served. This work was initiated by the council as a way to address the provision of PSH in the community and include it the Comprehensive Plan.

    The analysis of best practices included evaluating community engagement approaches for PSH in other cities and approaches used by other jurisdictions for on-site services based on populations served. Recommendations included developing a Community Engagement Guide for PSH based on best practices research, as well as working with PSH providers on requirements for on-site services when the city is a funding partner for these services. 

    Councilmembers discussed the importance of providing on-site services and transportation if services are not provided on site, as well as incentives for service providers partnering with the city to utilize the city’s Community Engagement Guide for PSH. Council provided staff with direction to develop a community engagement guide and work with providers on the provision of on-site services when the City is a funding partner. Details on the research are in the meeting materials.

    Neighborhood Comprehensive Plan Amendments

    Later, councilmembers heard Planning Commission recommendations for updating the Neighborhood Area Plans for the Northeast and Northwest Bellevue neighborhoods as part of the Comprehensive Plan Amendment (CPA) process.  

    The Neighborhood Area Planning process develops community goals and policies that are then reflected in regulations and programs throughout the city. It includes updating Neighborhood Area Plans for each of the city’s 16 neighborhood areas as a way to highlight what is unique and important in each neighborhood. A community outreach process helps develop the recommendations for each neighborhood area. Planning for Northeast and Northwest Bellevue updates – the first two neighborhood Neighborhood Area Plans to be examined – included over a year of outreach and community feedback collected through email, surveys, mailers, posters, data walks, digital methods, cultural outreach assistants, youth engagement events and public hearings. 

    During the outreach period, key topics of interest in Northeast Bellevue included neighborhood character, scale of redevelopment and surrounding growth, housing options and affordability, trees and open space, walkability, traffic and safety. In Northwest Bellevue, key themes included maintaining the diversity of sub-neighborhoods, enhancing the transition from downtown, prioritizing walkability, housing affordability, tree canopy and addressing single-family redevelopment. 

    The council discussed several topics and proposed additions in the language for each Neighborhood Area Plan to address further community input received. Councilmembers will review a draft ordinance that addresses those additions at a later meeting. The full discussion is available through video replay on Bellevue Television

    Arts funding approved

    In other business, councilmembers voted to approve recommendations from the Arts Commission for funding Eastside Arts Partnerships, Special Projects and Power Up arts programs in 2022.

    The city has allocated funding to these arts programs annually since 2001. This year, the city received 46 applications, 12 of which were new applicants, for a total requested funding amount of $272,530, compared with the available funds of $145,000. The commission chose to fund 32 Eastside Arts Partnerships, two Power Up grants, and 11 Special Projects grants. The funding is expected to serve over a million residents and visitors in 2022 with arts programs and experiences.

    More information in available in the meeting materials and on the city’s Arts Grants web page.  

    NOTE: Because Nov. 29 is the fifth Monday of the month, the next Bellevue City Council meeting will be held on Monday, Dec. 6, 2021, at 6 p.m.