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Bellevue begins dreaming of its future

Paul Inghram, Comprehensive Planning manager, stands in front of a series of maps at a meeting seeking public feedback on Bellevue
Paul Inghram, Comprehensive Planning manager, stands in front of a series of maps at a meeting seeking public feedback on Bellevue's Comprehensive plan update, last modified in 2004.
— image credit: Celina Kareiva

The future of Bellevue seems hard to conjure up. But Tuesday, residents and city staff met to discuss their own expectations at a comprehensive plan update meeting hosted by the East Bellevue Community Council.

Community members were asked to share their thoughts about recent growth, and the next 20 to 50 years of the city. Last updated in 2004, the comprehensive plan is referred to on a nearly daily basis to ensure that economic, environmental and community growth all aligns with the city’s image for itself.

The council would likely adopt the updates in early 2014. But because much has changed since 2004 – most notably the light rail’s planned expansion into the Eastside – participants were split into groups and asked for feedback.

At one table, residents agreed that Bellevue needed to find housing to better match the city’s changing demographic, including an aging population and greater number of families. Matt Palmer, a resident of Bellevue who works in Everett, said he and his wife would like to live downtown but there is no affordable housing for a family of four.

Others noted that for the city’s elderly, it made more sense to move in with family then to find assisted living. Smaller living, they agreed, spoke to both ends of the life cycle.

Others expressed concern that despite the city’s growth, small independent businesses might lose its footing against the likes of Kemper Development.

City staff hope to collect feedback and use it to inform policy changes, future infrastructure and services.

To learn more about the plan and future outreach, visit their website.

 

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