Council looks at future of Bellevue College, housing

In an extended study session Monday night, the Bellevue City Council heard multiple reports from organizations updating their 2016 plans in the city.

Bellevue City Hall

Bellevue City Hall

In an extended study session Monday night, the Bellevue City Council heard multiple reports from organizations updating their 2016 plans in the city.

Among these was a presentation from Dr. David Rule, Bellevue College president, giving a state of the college-type address. Bellevue College continues to look toward collaboration and possible partnership with Washington State University.

Rule said a Washington State-Bellevue reformation was a possibility. Bellevue College is the third largest higher education institution in the state of Washington, serving more than 20,000 students, and as high as 25,000 if all Running Start students are taken into account.

The college is also a major transfer institution, sending more than 700 students yearly to University of Washington’s main campus and Bothell campus and a similar number to all Washington State University’s campuses.

 

In other council news:

• More than 400 residents helped complete the biennial Human Services Needs Update, with 96 percent surveyed rating the quality of life in Bellevue as either “excellent” or “good.”

Where the city falls short is affordable housing, with 68 percent of respondents rating the issue as a major or moderate problem, compared to 51 percent in 2013. Housing data found that the cost of renting a two-bedroom apartment in Bellevue has risen 43 percent from 2011. Of renters in the city, 16 percent find themselves “severely cost-burdened,” paying more than 50 percent of their income for housing.

Homelessness has increased on the Eastside, and with that the number of homeless students has increased as well.

Eighty-six students were homeless in 2008 and 224 found themselves without adequate, stable shelter in 2015. More than 19 percent of students in the Bellevue School District are on free and reduced lunch programs.

Affordable health care concerns have dropped in recent years, from 51 percent rating affordable medical insurance as a major or moderate problem in 2011 to 35 percent in 2015.

More services are needed for veterans, with 72 percent of the more than 7,000 veterans who call Bellevue home are 55 or older. Mental health and substance abuse services are needed, responders said.

• The council heard plans for the South Bellevue light rail station, and how to work with the Enatai neighborhood and the Mercer Slough Nature Park while still providing space for the station and the Bellevue Park and Ride.

• Bellevue resident Janis Medley spoke to the council asking for improved safety with Puget Sound Energy transmission lines.

“Our request is simple and specific. We are asking the city of Bellevue to provide our residents with the same safety standard that the federal agency in charge of the Pacific Northwest power grid uses to plan its projects,” she said. “We ask you to adopt a land-use code that states: transmission power poles and pipelines transporting petroleum products must be separated by a minimum of 50 feet.”

 


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bellevuereporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bellevuereporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Photo via Pexels
King County residents needed for first respiratory study using Apple watches

UW study to help find if devices can detect early warning signs of acute respiratory infections, such as COVID-19 and flu.

Photo courtesy of Johnson and Johnson (jnj.com)
Johnson & Johnson vaccine halted in Washington over side effect

Following federal guidance, Washington health care providers are temporarily pausing Johnson &… Continue reading

File Photo
High court ruling spurs effort to retool state’s drug laws

Meanwhile, the Blake decision has gotten people out jail, charges dismissed and possibly clemency for some.

t
Bellevue blanks Mercer Island on the girls soccer pitch

Bellevue’s Morgan Pingree (12) controls the ball while Mercer Island’s Addie Goepfert-Waterman… Continue reading

T
Sheriff’s office wants help identifying Green River killer victim

Staff reports In 2003, Gary Ridgway, Washington’s notorious Green River killer, pleaded… Continue reading

Sandwich selection at Tres Sandwich House (photo credit: Cameron Sheppard)
Bellevue’s Tres Sandwich House offers popular Japanese-style sandwiches

The shop is one of the only places to try the sandwiches outside of Japan.

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg. File photo
King County needs more lawyers to attack backlog of cases

6,107 open cases is double the normal amount for King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Public Health – Seattle & King County staff administering COVID-19 vaccine to a local emergency responder. COURTESY PHOTO, Public Health-Seattle & King County
Starting April 15, everyone 16 and older is eligible for a vaccine

Gov. Inslee said an expected increase in vaccine supply enables the state to open eligibility.

A CVS pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
Phase Finder for vaccine eligibility to be eliminated March 31

Eligibility verification via Phase Finder no longer required for appointments, vaccinations beginning this week.

file photo
Bellevue Police arrest man involved in fentanyl overdose death

Man who sold the deadly pills is being charged with controlled substance homicide.

Courtesy photo
Issaquah School District settles negligence lawsuit for $4.25 million

The lawsuit alleged the district covered for a now-convicted child molester while he was a teacher.