New park in Newport Hills neighborhood might be ready by November 2020

The Bellevue City Council included funding for the project in its 2019-‘25 CIP plan.

A new neighborhood park in the Newport Hills area will likely open to the public next year, according to the city of Bellevue.

“We’re kind of anxious to move this forward,” said Glenn Kost, Bellevue’s planning and development manager at a Dec. 2 city council study session. He noted that if progress continues as planned, the park could be completed by November 2020.

The project’s inception dates back to December 2018, when the city council included $3 million in the 2019-25 Capital Investment Program Plan (CIP) to design and construct a new park at 11560 SE 60th St.

By then, work in the park had been gestating. In February 2010, the city purchased, with help from King County, the 4.79-acre Tyler property parcel (situated along Southeast 60th Street in Newport Hills) for a neighborhood park space. In 2011, the Newport Hills Community Club (NHCC) approved, with the assistance of the city, a Vision Plan for the Tyler property to make available off-leash and general park areas.

Bellevue next bought the adjacent Patterson and Brick properties. When joined with the Tyler properties, a 13.7-acre space was created. Though, as noted in meeting documents, development in the combined space has to be limited to between 3 and 3.2 acres, due in part to the wooded and sloping elements of the site. The wooded area of the land — which is part of the Patterson parcel — saw the construction of a soft-surface loop trail in 2015.

In May 2019, city staff, following the 2018 approval to move forward with the new park’s design and construction, started community outreach for the project, which concluded last month. With the intent to create a Preferred Park Plan for the site, three neighborhood meetings (the first hosted by the NHCC, and the others put on by the city of Bellevue) were held to get feedback.

According to Kost, some 3,100 flyers were mailed out to residents to promote the meetings. Advertisements were posted on NextDoor and the Parks and NHCC websites. Feedback from the meetings is based on comment cards, emails and an online survey.

At the first meeting (on May 21 and attended by 75 people), residents noted a particular interest in new park amenities and a more formalized off-leash area — something similar, according to meeting documents, to what was heard in 2011 and 2012. Following the response, city staff shared three alternative plans with residents at the July 23 meeting.

“They look, at first glance, fairly similar to each other,” Kost said during the Dec. 2 study session. “They reflect a very similar plan, the difference being alternative A would be the least developed and has the least amenities, B a few more, and C pretty robust in terms of the number of amenities — which reflects, almost to a T, the feedback we received from the community.”

Kost said residents showed the most preference for C, and those who voted for a combination of plans wanted to basically merge alternatives B and C.

“The greater number of amenities, the more popular it became,” Kost said.

The city’s park board also supported alternative C, though it wanted the off-leash area to be reduced to about the same size as the general use area as outlined in the prospective designs.

The board ultimately recommended C. Planned features include a picnic shelter and lawn area, a loop trail system, an “adventure-themed” play area, and a fenced off-leash area with a shelter. Design, permitting and environmental review are set to progress through the spring of 2020. A public bid will likely come late that season as well, with construction completed by November 2020.

The council had some questions about the environmental review, the details of the proposed off-leash area, the implementation process and ADA accessibility. Councilmembers also expressed their gratitude to Kost not just for the fact that Kost is retiring from the position after 18 years with the city but also for the speed with which the progress made throughout the year.

Councilmember Lynne Robinson voiced an appreciation for what the park will provide to the community.

“I haven’t seen anything in Bellevue like it, and I’m looking forward to being there in person,” Robinson said.

For the full conversation about the park, watch the study session’s recording online ( For more details about the park’s background and planning, go to the meeting agenda item (

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was edited to correct the address of the potential park.

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

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website 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

Free masks at the Bellevue Salvation Army. Courtesy photo
Free mask pickup for Bellevue residents

New dates and times for mask distribution this week

Nurse Sylvia Keller, pictured with Gov. Jay Inslee, is on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle in Yakima County. Courtesy photo
Governor doubles down on mask rules

Inslee: Starting July 7, businesses do not serve those who do not wear a mask

State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Politicians get pay raises, state workers get furloughs

A citizens panel approved the hikes in 2019. Unable to rescind them, lawmakers look to donate their extra earnings.

Construction begins for Downtown Park entrance

The previously delayed entryway project is expected to be finished early 2021

Human remains in West Seattle identified

Bags of body parts were found in a suitcase along a West Seattle beach on June 19.

According to King County’s Mental Illness and Drug Dependency (MIDD) annual report, Seattle had the highest rate of people using services at 36 percent of the total, followed by 31 percent from South King County, 18 percent from the greater Eastside, and 7 percent from north county including Shoreline. Courtesy image
Drug courts, officer de-escalation programs impacted by MIDD cuts

The fund provides money for mental illness and drug dependency programs across King County.

Summer vehicle travel projected to decrease this year

Traffic this summer will likely be lighter across Washington state than previous… Continue reading

Governor Jay Inslee smiles and laughs Sept. 3, 2019, during a speech at the Lynnwood Link Extension groundbreaking in Lynnwood. A Thurston County judge ruled he exceeded his authority when he vetoed single sentences in the state transportation budget in 2019. (Olivia Vanni / Herald file)
Judge invalidates Gov. Inslee’s veto in roads budget

Lawmakers said the governor crossed a constitutional line.

King County cases among younger adults drives increase in COVID-19 numbers

Over half of all new cases are among people ages 20-39

Most Read