Five speak at light-rail hearing

The Bellevue City Council held a public hearing on a proposal that would amend the city’s land use code, creating a comprehensive new part to guide light rail permitting.

The “overlay” portion of the code would create permitting processes, development standards and design standards for reviewing the future East Link line. The changes are intended to fill in gaps in the current land use code, which did not anticipate a light rail line.

Five residents spoke at the hearing. Common concerns expressed by some residents and some council members included how state environmental regulations would be applied to the code amendments, and whether the aggressive schedule for completing the work is appropriate.

Next steps in the code amendment process call for two more council study sessions, tentatively scheduled for Nov. 13 and Nov. 26. Final council action on the amendment is anticipated in December, but the schedule could be modified if needed.

Before the council votes on the amendment, a state-mandated environmental review must be completed and a determination made on whether the code amendment is likely to have any adverse impacts on the environment.

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