Council adopts East Main amendment and discusses environmental goals

The Bellevue city council adopted a comprehensive plan amendment for the East Main district.

At its May 20 regular meeting, the Bellevue city council adopted a comprehensive plan amendment for the East Main transit-oriented district.

The East Main Station Area Plan, developed by a citizen advisory committee, outlines strategies to redevelop the area as the proposed light rail station arrives. The amendment was brought before council after the staff received direction at meetings in January and April 2019.

The amendment adjusts policies to align with the council’s guiding principles, keeps language in the plan supporting a pedestrian bridge across 112th Avenue Southeast, and addresses the treatment of publicly accessible spaces. The amendment also moves language regarding WSDOT’s Interstate 405 work that would impact 14th Avenue Southeast to the Land Use Code Amendment process.

The council also received an update on the Environmental Stewardship Initiative (ESI) Strategic Plan earlier that night at its study session. As part of the 2018-2020 council vision priorities, the council is updating the ESI with new tasks to meet the environmental goals set by the city.

The ESI implements the environmental policy in the comprehensive plan such as recycling education and outreach, energy conservation, and resource conservation.

The ESI covers five focus areas and the work being done in each area. The five areas are materials management and waste, mobility and land use, natural systems, energy and climate change. Each area of the plan has an overarching goal and targets for the city to measure progress toward that goal. Staff updated the council on the current progress toward each of the area goals and outlined where work is on track as well as what needs to be improved to meet the goals.

One of the goals for mobility and land use is to reduce the drive alone rate for Bellevue residents to 55 percent by 2035. That goal was listed as needing improvement as the city has hit only 77 percent of its current target. Jennifer Ewing, environmental stewardship manager, said the city is considering adding additional targets regarding electric vehicle use and transit ridership.

In this phase of work, the city will continue to engage the public for input on strategies to meet goals in addition to the follow-up research and analysis of current data. The council will return to the goals and targets to make more recommendations for direction in the next phase of the ESI.

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