Published December 16 2022
Plus, Comprehensive Plan Amendments approved and Human Services Commission appointments
NOTE: The next Bellevue City Council meeting will be on Jan. 9, 2023, due to the council’s winter break.
On Monday, the City Council voted unanimously to initiate work on two more items to advance the city’s Affordable Housing Strategy. The items were part of a set of actions selected earlier this summer under the “Next Right Work” planning effort to complement ongoing housing work and encourage more housing and affordable housing production.
On July 5, the council directed staff to move forward with three actions:
- Removing barriers to micro-apartments
- Council initiated the first action to remove barriers to micro-apartments in October
- Allowing higher density for residential developments
- Reducing permit fees for affordable housing projects
This week the council initiated the remaining two actions to allow higher density for residential developments and reduce permit fees for affordable housing projects.
Allowing higher density for residential developments will include a set of land use code amendments designed to increase housing production and affordable housing opportunities in the city. The work will be completed in two phases, with the first phase implemented through an Interim Official Control to test temporary code amendments allowing for higher-density housing in Downtown in exchange for affordable housing. Phase two will include permanent land use code amendments to address Downtown and mixed-use land use districts throughout the city, with higher density offered in exchange for affordable housing.
The third action to reduce permit fees for affordable housing projects would expand the city’s fee waiver program beyond impact fees to include permit review and inspection fees to reduce the cost of development for affordable housing projects. Councilmembers directed staff to develop a fee waiver program for qualifying affordable housing projects and return with a proposal, including an analysis of fiscal impacts, funding source and consideration of a potential upper limit to the program.
The full council discussion is available on replay through Bellevue Television.
Comprehensive Plan Amendments approved
The council also took final action to approve two city-initiated Comprehensive Plan Amendments (CPAs) for 2022. The proposed amendments, related to affordable housing creation and transportation system curb management, went through a review process including council study sessions, commission meetings and public hearings.
The curb management CPA adds policies to the transportation element and downtown sub-area plan in support of ongoing curb management to ensure the plan has future-oriented direction and a more coordinated curbside environment. The second CPA supports increasing affordable housing capacity on faith owned properties using a new policy to allow rezones according to specific criteria for eligibility.
The council unanimously adopted all ordinances related to implementing the 2022 CPAs. More detail is in the meeting agenda under Item 12. Other Ordinances, Resolutions and Motions.
Human Services Commission appointment
In other business, councilmembers unanimously approved two appointments to the Human Services Commission by council liaison to the commission, Deputy Mayor Jared Nieuwenhuis.
Chad Halsted will serve a partial term on the commission expiring May 31, 2025, and Akshi Jain will serve a partial term expiring May 31, 2026.
The Human Services Commission advises the council concerning human services planning and funding. The City Council appoints residents to boards, commissions and committees that provide detailed study and recommendations on important policy matters. More information on the city’s boards and commissions is available on the Boards and Commissions web page.