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

What’s next for Washington’s 2045 green energy goal?

The Legislature set the goal, but how does the state actually get there?

City aims to preserve affordable housing unit

Bellevue plans to purchase an affordable housing condo unit to save it from foreclosure on June 30.

Bellevue council plans to approve county EMS levy for the November ballot

Bellevue council will vote on bringing the King County EMS levy to voters’ ballots this November.

30Bellevue offically opened for low-income individuals and families

The project was created through a partnership between Imagine Housing and St. Luke’s Lutheran Church.

Earthquake simulation sets the stage for emergency response training

Bellevue held a full scale emergency response exercise with 150 staff members.

Car crash impact pushes truck into pedestrian

Bellevue man arrested for vehicular assault.

Tasting room proposal could redefine alcohol production in King County

Pilot program would benefit wineries, breweries and distilleries. Several farmers are concerned.

Most Read