Second meeting set on amending code for light rail


The Bellevue City Council on Tuesday scheduled a second public hearing Feb. 11 to take comments on amending the city’s land use code related to the East Link light rail project.

The proposed amendments will be part of a comprehensive new section, or land use code “overlay,” that would create permitting processes, development standards and design standards for reviewing East Link plans. The changes are intended to fill in gaps in the current land use code, which did not anticipate a light rail line.

Since its first public hearing last October, the council has studied different aspects of the proposed land use code amendments at six of its last nine meetings. The council also is tentatively scheduled to consider the changes at meetings on Jan. 28 and Feb. 4, and aims to complete the work on the overlay by the end of February.

Also on Tuesday the council discussed how a citizen advisory committee, or CAC, could be involved in the light rail permit review process. Such an approach was envisioned in a 2008 Light Rail Best Practices report, and similar public outreach efforts have been used by Seattle and Portland, Ore., when light rail plans were reviewed in those cities.

Bellevue has been working with Sound Transit on cost savings options for the $2.8 billion East Link project, which will run from Seattle, through Bellevue, to the Overlake Transit Center in Redmond. Construction is expected to start in 2015 and service is scheduled to begin in 2023.

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