Also, East Main Station report
The City Council on Monday indicated its unanimous support for placing two proposed measures — one related to fire facilities upgrades, one focused on neighborhood transportation improvements — before Bellevue voters on the November ballot.
The council will consider two draft ordinances that would make the ballot measures official at its next meeting on July 18. A vote on the final ballot measure language could take place at the council’s July 25 meeting, in advance of an Aug. 2 deadline to submit the required paperwork to King County Elections.
The Fire Facilities measure would pay for seismic upgrades at existing stations, construction of a new downtown fire station and other improvements. The Transportation Neighborhood Safety and Connectivity measure would pay for a variety of smaller-scale projects that improve safety and connectivity for pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers across the city.
Councilmembers were also unanimous in supporting a property tax levy rate of 12.5 cents per $1,000 of assessed value for the Fire Facilities measure. A rate of 12.5 cents would cost the owner of a home with an assessed value of $640,000 (the median assessed value in Bellevue) $80 per year. It would raise about $120 million over the 20-year life of the levy. For the Transportation measure, the council agreed to proceed with a rate of 15 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.
Staff also informed the council that a deadline to provide feedback about the potential ballot measures through an online survey has been moved up to 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 13. The earlier date will allow staff to provide a final breakdown of the results in time for the council’s July 18 meeting. So far, the online survey, which opened June 14, has garnered more than 500 responses. The city also held three open houses on June 28, 29 and 30 to solicit feedback, and the Transportation Commission provided its input on the two ballot measures.
East Main Citizen Advisory Committee recommendations
The council also received a report and recommendations for development of the area around the future East Main light rail station from a citizen advisory committee. The plan, finalized on June 15, includes 33 strategies for integrating Sound Transit’s station and future redevelopment with nearby residential neighborhoods.
The strategies, recommended by the East Main Citizen Advisory Committee, touch on an array of topics, ranging from parking monitoring to pedestrian and bicycle projects to rezoning existing commercial properties for a mix of residential, retail, office and hotel uses. The East Main light rail station will serve the southeast portion of downtown, hotels and businesses east of 112th Avenue and the surrounding residential neighborhoods beginning in 2023.
In August 2014, the council appointed the East Main CAC to help create a unified vision around the future East Link light rail station. The nine-member body was comprised of residents, business and property owners from the study area.
An important role of the East Main CAC over the nearly two-year project was to engage the public in developing the plan. The committee hosted three open houses, two of which were online, and held over two dozen public meetings where they also received public comments.
After environmental review is completed, the council can accept the plan and the city can begin implementing the recommended strategies.