During an extended study session Monday night, the Bellevue City Council discussed several policy issues related to homelessness. Bellevue has taken a comprehensive approach in addressing the issue, balancing strategies that are compassionate, pragmatic and ensure public safety. As part of the effort, council members have requested the city explore strategic enforcement tools.
The briefing touched on:
A proposed new ordinance would modify the existing 24-hour rule to include a provision mandating that owners must also move to a street with a different name. This new ordinance would apply to any vehicle parked on the street in Bellevue. Council members requested staff to return with the new ordinance. They also directed staff to return with some additional options aimed at closing enforcement loopholes.
Illegal dumping. Under the current code, disposal of waste water is only a civil violation. The proposed new ordinance would upgrade it to a criminal infraction, which the council voiced support for.
Public camping. The code change would prohibit camping on all city-owned property and public easements. Currently the Bellevue City Code prohibits camping to parks.
Staff is anticipated to return on Nov. 13 for council adoption of the new codes, as well as discussion on additional options related to vehicle parking.
More information on Bellevue’s homelessness response efforts can be found on the city’s website.
BelRed design reconciliation process
Earlier, the council was briefed on a possible process for reconciling current and future conflicts with BelRed area street development standards and specific transportation program project designs.
The issue arose over a recent Transportation Department design that only accommodates on-street parking on one side of Northeast Spring Boulevard. Under the 2009 BelRed Subarea Plan, parking is required on both sides. The project however is consistent with the council’s approved Capital Investment Program design for the street. Under the proposed Land Use Code process change, similar conflicts would be remedied if the project designs have been adopted by the council through an open and transparent process.
After a lengthy discussion, the council requested additional options to be discussed at a later meeting, including a project-specific fix.
Interlocal solid waste agreement with county
As the last item of business, the City Council voted 5-0 to authorize City Manager Brad Miyake to sign an amended solid waste interlocal agreement (ILA) with King County. Bellevue’s current agreement with the county ends in 2028, and the amended ILA will extend the city’s participation in King County’s regional solid waste system through 2040. Councilmember Kevin Wallace and Councilmember Lynne Robinson were not present during the vote.
In 2013, Bellevue, along with a handful of other cities, declined to sign an amended ILA with King County for solid waste transfer and disposal services due to the uncertainty surrounding the region’s future disposal option after the county’s Cedar Hills Landfill, the lowest cost disposal option, closed in 2023.
However, due to recent and planned improvements to the landfill, it is now expected to stay open until 2040, providing the most reliable and lowest cost disposal option for the term of the amended ILA. In addition, the county has also committed to cancel its plan to significantly increase the tonnage and traffic directed to the Factoria Transfer Station and to plan for additional solid waste transfer capacity at a different location in the northeast county.
The council will meet again on Nov. 6.