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Bellevue looks at Bel-Red plans

The Bellevue City Council members last week launched the first in a series of study sessions to examine proposed long-range changes to the Bel-Red area. If approved early next year as anticipated, the plan would be the largest rezone in the city’s history and dramatically transform the area’s landscape.

Over the past three years and numerous public meetings, a council-appointed steering committee and later the city’s boards and commissions worked to craft the Bel-Red Subarea Plan. The planning blueprint would guide the gradual transition of Bel-Red from a light industrial area to one that includes office space, housing developments, retail stores, commercial services, new streets and parks.

Proposals include seven new zoning designations, code provisions for continuing existing uses in the area, an incentive system that requires new development to contribute to public infrastructure, more parks and open space, stream restoration and a new Northeast 15-16th Street corridor to accommodate a variety of transportation types, including light rail.

The council also will study ways to pay for the plan using financial tools such as impact fees, local improvement districts.

Council study of the Bel-Red plan will continue this fall and into 2009. Meetings include:

An Oct. 6 presentation by the city’s consultant, Property Counselors, and the Urban Land Institute on the proposed incentive system;

An Oct. 13 review of Bellevue’s long-range capital planning and financial strategy, including infrastructure needs in Bel-Red; and

An Oct. 20 discussion on an interlocal agreement with Redmond called the Bellevue Redmond Overlake Transportation Study.

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