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Bel-Red project wins regional planning award

Bellevue
Bellevue's Bed-Red Corridor is expected to change from light industrial and retail use to more mixed use that includes transit.
— image credit: Chad Coleman, Bellevue Reporter

A plan to transform the city’s Bel-Red area into a vibrant corridor that links transportation, jobs, housing and recreation has won a major regional planning award.

The Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC), a regional growth and transportation planning agency, will present its Vision 2040 Award to Bellevue today.

“I’m pleased that PSRC has validated our vision and commitment to make the Bel-Red project a model of sustainable, transportation-oriented development,” said Bellevue Mayor Don Davidson. “I’m confident that we’ll realize our goals.”

The Bel-Red plan, which included changes to zoning and development regulations, calls for the transformation of a 900-acre light industrial and retail area into mixed-use, transit-oriented neighborhoods. Plans also include the creation of thousands of new jobs and housing units, along with stream restorations and new parks.

Located between downtown Bellevue and Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, the Bel-Red area is envisioned as a model for sustainable planning, utilizing large-scale, transit-oriented development that will be served by the future East Link light rail line.

Bellevue launched the Bel-Red initiative more than three years ago and the effort has included a citizens committee that worked for 20 months to develop a plan, along with an investment of more than $1 million. While work on the project continues, fulfilling the Bel-Red vision is expected to happen gradually as new development takes place over several decades.

Earlier this month, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, chairwoman of the Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, praised the city’s Bel-Red Corridor plan as a “leading model for sustainable development” during a hearing in Washington, D.C.

Bestowed annually to businesses, local governments and nonprofit organizations, the Vision 2040 Award honors work that focuses on new housing and jobs in urban areas, provides transportation access and mobility, protects the natural environment and improves the quality of life in the central Puget Sound region.

PSRC coordinates growth and transportation planning in King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties and is made up of city, county, port, transit, tribal and state agencies. It’s responsible for the distribution of approximately $160 million in federal transportation funds each year.

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