The Bellevue Skyline with the Cascades in the background. Photo courtesy of Rick Schweinhart

Bellevue City Council adopts major downtown land use code update

  • Thursday, October 19, 2017 11:46am
  • News

After nearly five years in the making, a major land use code update to the Downtown neighborhood was approved by the City Council Monday night. The project, referred to as “Downtown Livability Initiative,” is aimed at making Bellevue’s fastest growing neighborhood more viable, livable and memorable. It is the first overhaul to the Downtown area in over 35 years.

“The Downtown Livability Initiative is a monumental body of work that will enhance the character and vibrancy of Downtown Bellevue today and into the future,” said Mayor John Stokes. “This significant land use code update really was a great team effort and I want to thank everyone who was involved in moving this vision forward.”

The adopted code amendments include the addition of standards to increase walkability, enhancements to neighborhood character, refinements to the amenity system and an allowance for taller buildings coupled with added ground-level public open space and more slender towers.

The council voted 6-0 to adopt the package and accompanying “safe harbor” provision, which would prevent office floor plate reductions from going below 20,000 square feet. Councilmember Kevin Wallace abstained from the vote. In July, he voluntarily recused himself from the project to avoid any perceived conflict of interest.

The process began in 2013 when the council appointed a citizen advisory committee to evaluate and identify possible changes to the Downtown code.

The group completed a set of recommendations which were then refined by the city’s Planning Commission. Earlier this year, the commission transmitted the draft package. The council later reviewed the substance of the Livability proposal, incorporating minor changes, during six study sessions this summer.

The new code becomes effective on Oct. 26.

More in News

A Canadian safe consumption site in Lethbridge. Photo supplied by ARCHES in Lethbridge
County plans for second safe drug site on hold

Following intense resistance to the proposal from the suburbs, county officials are taking a wait-and-see approach.

Bellevue hosts open house on toll lane expansion

State and local officials met with residents about proposed expansions of toll lanes on I-405.

Bellevue police arrest man in ‘uniform’ who stole $100,000 diamond ring

The diamond and the man’s accomplice are still missing.

Bellevue seeks to curb cut-through commuter traffic

City hearing more concerns from residents who don’t want commuter traffic in their neighborhoods.

Enatai Beach Park. Courtesy of the city of Bellevue
City hears Shoreline Master Program update

The comprehensive update has been in the works since 2008.

Bellevue police investigating suspicious death of 17-year-old girl

She was found outside of a Bellevue house Wednesday evening.

Factoria Mall owners submit application to redevelop property

The proposed build-out would create 685 housing units and add 151,000 square feet to the mall.

King County Council passes renter protections bill

The legislation is intended to prevent landlords from discriminating based on the source of a prospective tenant’s income.

The Assault Survivor Kit comes with a sweat set, socks, underwear, toiletries and a nice message. Since 1997, the Assistance League of the Eastside has assisted 21,970 assault survivors through the Assault Survivor Kit program. Photo courtesy of Assistance League of the Eastside
Assault kits provide ‘fresh start’ for survivors

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Most Read