Bellevue parks and open space levy will preserve, enhance quality of life in Bellevue

Guest editorial

By Dave Hamilton, Livability Bellevue

Bellevue is often referred to as the “city in a park” for its abundance of protected open spaces and family-friendly recreational areas. On November 8th, Bellevue voters will have the opportunity to uphold our city’s identity as one of the Puget Sound area’s most livable communities by voting “yes” on Proposition 1 – the Bellevue Parks and Open Space Levy.

High-quality parks, open spaces, greenways, trails, and wildlife corridors improve quality of life for all Bellevue residents while providing habitat for animals and improving the environment. Our city’s continued growth will only create greater demand for the kind of parks and open space that make Bellevue such an enviable and enjoyable place to live. But if we all want to ensure our “city in a park” remains that way for decades to come, voters should support Proposition 1.

If approved, the Bellevue Parks and Open Space Levy will fund much-needed new parks facilities and green spaces, as well as maintain operations for current park investments. It will also support waterfront restoration and protect the water quality of Bellevue’s lakes and streams. All at a cost of about $200 per year for a $1 million home. The nine-year levy is a valuable investment in our city’s future.

Proposition 1 is strongly supported by the Bellevue Chamber, Bellevue City Council, community leaders, and many more because it is both forward looking and ensures we can maintain what we have. Specifically, the proposal would:

Invest in open space, greenways, wildlife corridors, and trails by acquiring and protecting land that complement our existing parks system.

Expand access at our community parks.

Acquire, plan, and develop neighborhood parks at locations such as Eastgate, Factoria and Ashwood Park.

Plan community facilities such as those that support aquatics and a cross-cultural center.

Continue phased development of waterfront access including Meydenbauer Bay Park and other waterfront parks.

Invest in park enhancements to support emerging sports like pickle ball and cricket and improve access for off-leash dogs throughout the park system.

Fund annual operations and maintenance.

Bellevue’s robust parks and open spaces are a huge reason why families, including mine, are proud to call Bellevue home. As our city continues to grow and evolve in the years ahead, we owe it to future generations to protect Bellevue’s tradition as a “city in a park.”

It is incumbent on all of us to invest in our parks system, protect our open spaces and ensure that Bellevue continues to have a healthy, thriving community, environment, and economy. Having vibrant and well-maintained parks system will do just that. Vote “yes” on Bellevue Proposition 1 on this November’s ballot.

Dave Hamilton is chair of Livability Bellevue, an organization of community leaders, local businesses, and citizens who want to continue to support Bellevue’s Parks, Open Spaces, and Environment with the passage of Bellevue Proposition 1.