Council Roundup: City preps for neighborhood area planning

Council Roundup: City preps for neighborhood area planning

During an extended study session on Monday, the City Council was briefed on the upcoming Neighborhood Area Planning program. The new plans, to be prepared in collaboration with residents, will articulate each neighborhood’s unique character and include strategies for adapting to change while preserving what is valued.

The city is scheduled to meet with neighborhood leaders on Tuesday, June 12, at City Hall (6-8 p.m.) to get feedback on the proposed process. Anyone who is interested in the health and vitality of their neighborhood is welcome and invited to attend. A follow-up presentation to the council will be held later this summer.

Bellevue has 16 neighborhood areas, which were established in the 2015 update to the Comprehensive Plan. When complete, each neighborhood area plan will include a community profile, an opportunities map, a discussion of how of the plan fits into the larger Comprehensive Plan, and visions, goals and strategies for the future. The current proposal is to engage and complete two plans a year. Each plan will require a multi-layered process of engagement, draft development, and council review and action.

Councilmembers universally voiced enthusiasm for the launch of neighborhood area planning. Comments touched on the need for robust engagement strategies to concerns over the proposed work plan, which would span eight years, with two neighborhood area plans completed per year. Additional background can be found in the agenda packet materials.

Briefing on I-405 widening and Express Toll Lanes

Later, the council was given a presentation by a representative from the state Department of Transportation on the Renton to Bellevue Widening and Express Toll Lanes project. The first phase of the project will add one new lane in each direction of Interstate 405 and create toll lanes between Renton and Bellevue. In addition, the phase will widen the Main Street Bridge to provide more space for a pedestrian and bicycle multiuse path, and make improvements at the 112th Avenue Southeast and Coal Creek Parkway interchanges.

Dating back to the 1990s, Bellevue has been heavily involved in efforts to reduce congestion on I-405. Accelerating improvements along the corridor is a three-year Council Vision Priority.

Currently, the $1.22 billion WSDOT project is in the environmental review and preliminary engineering phase. Construction could begin as soon as the fall of 2019.

The full briefing is available to view online via Bellevue TV streaming. Additional information is in the agenda packet materials.

Published on 05/31/2018
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