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City Budget Principles; NE 8th Partial Closure; Enviro Services Commission and Diversity Advisory Network Openings

Posted By Chris Johnson, Tuesday, August 7, 2018

City Budget Principles

The City of Bellevue is preparing an operating budget for the 2019 biennium and a Capital Improvement Program for 2019-25. A public hearing was held on August 6th and staff representatives from the Bellevue Chamber and Bellevue Downtown Association were on hand to offer a business perspective.

The single most important factor which emerged from our joint budget task force review, was the forecast of City expenditures outpacing revenues by 2021, dipping into the City’s historical 15% ending fund balance.

Consequently, we offer the following recommendations:

  • Take steps to control operating costs in the coming biennium;
  • Preserve existing levels of service for current adopted programs;
  • Maintain existing sources and levels of taxation for general government;
  • Preserve the 15% Ending Fund Balance to ensure adequate reserves;

Align revenues with adopted Council and business community priorities such as staffing Fire Station Ten and addressing the unfunded Law Enforcement Officers and Fire Fighters pension liability.

Stay tuned for another public hearing in November; In the meantime, we’ll be back with more detailed comments in writing next month.


NE 8th Partial Closure

As previously noted on this page, work to replace the Kelsey Creek Culvert under NE 8th Street is underway to improve fish passage and the long-term physical integrity of this busy major arterial.

A partial roadway closure between 132nd NE and 134th NE is planned for August 15th – 31st. Get additional details and review a map on the City’s website.


Environmental Services Commission and Diversity Advisory Network Openings

As we enjoy summer sunshine on the Eastside, we know that autumn is just around the corner and with it, new opportunities for civic engagement. Consider stepping up your presence in our community by applying for an opening on the City Environmental Services Commission through August 24th or the Diversity Advisory Network through August 20th. Business owners and operators possess valuable community-building skills, so follow your passion and sign up today.

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Homeless Shelter Good Neighbor Agreement; BAM Arts Fair – How to Get There; Youth Link Board Opening

Posted By Chris Johnson, Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Homeless Shelter Good Neighbor Agreement

The homeless shelter land use code amendment (LUCA) as adopted by Council on July 16th, includes provisions relating to a so-called Good Neighbor Agreement (GNA) and Committee. The GNA process is designed to foster communication between the shelter operator and residents of the surrounding neighborhood.

Here’s a summary of who will participate:

  • Up to eight residents who reside within one mile of the shelter;
  • Up to two residents of the city at-large to represent citywide interests;
  • Up to one parent or guardian to represent the K-12 student perspective;
  • Up to three representatives from businesses located within one mile;
  • One shelter operator representative;
  • One shelter services provider representative;
  • One shelter funding organization representative;
  • Up to one human services organization representative.

For more information, see the City’s news release or read Ordinance 6419.

BAM Arts Fair – How to Get There

Long-time Bellevue residents will tell you it has only rained once on Arts Fair Weekend over the last forty years. Regardless, you’ll want to plan how to get in and out of Downtown Bellevue and where to park. Be aware of the following partial closures, Thursday – Sunday:

  • 100th Avenue NE SB, NE 10th to NE 8th, 6:30 AM – 9:00 PM;
  • 100th Avenue NE NB, NE 4th to NE 8th, Thursday, 7 AM – 3 PM and Sunday, 5-10 PM;
  • NE 10th WB, 106th & 108th avenues Thursday, 5-10 PM and Sunday, 5-10 PM;
  • 106th NE in both directions, NE 4th to NE 6th, 6 PM Thursday until 10 PM, Sunday;
  • NE 6th will in both directions, Bellevue Way to 106th NE, 6 PM, Thursday until 10 PM Sunday;
  • 102nd NE in both directions, NE 8th to NE 10th, 7 AM, Friday until 10 PM Sunday.

Parking will be available on the upper floors of the Bellevue Square garage; see BAM ARTS Fair map and driving directions here. Alternatively, skip the hassle and travel via Metro or Sound Transit.

Youth Link Board Opening

For nearly thirty years, Youth Link has been developing young leaders in our community. Now is your chance to support this partnership between the City of Bellevue Parks Department and Bellevue Public Schools, by joining the Youth Link Board.

The Board is split between adult and youth volunteers and meets once to a month to oversee implementation and funding of Youth Link’s action agenda. Examples of past projects include the Bellevue Skate Park, Youth Council and Youth Court.

Learn more or apply by August 3rd here.

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Transportation Facilities Plan; Bellevue Traffic Alerts; Sound Transit Construction Update

Posted By Chris Johnson, Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Transportation Facilities Plan

As the City continues to grow, so does its need for additional transportation facilities. However, before a project can be funded in the Capital Improvement Program (CIP), it must first be designated a priority in the 12-year Transportation Facilities Plan (TFP).

At a study session this week, Council received an early look at the proposed 2019-30 TFP. After existing projects have been funded to the tune of $227 million, $140 million is expected to be available for new investments.

View the preliminary 2019-30 TFP, including the Bellevue Way Project (TFP 242) as presented to Council.

Following environmental analysis this summer, Council will review and adopt the plan later this year.

Bellevue Traffic Alerts

With arrival of summer weather, construction season is in high gear. Here are few new alerts you should be aware of, as you travel around town.

  • Eastgate overlay work, just east of Richards Road: 7/5 -12, Mon - Fri, 7 am - 3 pm for ramp work.
  • Newport neighborhood overlay work above Eastgate Safeway (east of 38th and 154th)7/5 -12, Mon - Fri, 7 am -3 pm for neighborhood ramp work.  
  • Newport Key Bridge construction: Ongoing through October 2018.
  • Cascade Key Bridge construction: Ongoing through December 2018.

For additional information, see the City’s traffic alerts page.

Sound Transit Construction Update

Here’s a short list of ongoing closures relating to Link Light Rail construction.

  • Bellevue Way Southeast reversible lane configuration
  • Sidewalk closures and detours on Bellevue Way Southeast and 112th Ave Southeast
  • Bellevue Way Southeast to I-90 west HOV ramp 120-day closure
  • Closure of Southeast 15th at 112th Ave Southeast
  • Winters House and Blueberry Farm Closure and new temporary lots.

To stay on top of day to day closures, see the East Link project page.

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Bellevue Blitz Roundup: Autonomous Vehicle Work Group; NE 8th Culvert Replacement; Safe and Sane 4th of July

Posted By Chris Johnson, Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Autonomous Vehicle Work Group

Earlier this year, the Legislature adopted SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 2970 establishing an autonomous vehicle work group. The bill directed the Washington State Transportation Commission to convene a work group of executive and legislative branch representatives, to develop policy recommendations regarding the operation of autonomous vehicles on public roadways in our state.

The Bellevue Chamber, along with AAA Washington, ACES Eastside (autonomous, connected, electric, shared) and the East King Chambers Coalition lobbied hard for this bill and we’re thrilled the first work group meeting has been scheduled.


Wednesday, June 27, 1 PM – 5 PM
Department of Enterprise Services Building, 2nd Floor Conference Room #22
1500 Jefferson Street SE
Olympia, WA 98504

We’ll report back on what happens, but you can learn more at the WSTC webpage and watch the meeting live online.


NE 8th Culvert Replacement

Earlier this week, City work crews began replacement of the Kelsey Creek Culvert under NE 8th Street, between 132nd and 134th NE. This work will enhance the safety of the roadway, while improving fish passage underneath.

Work will occur from 7 AM – 6 PM on weekdays, so be prepared for single lane closures in either direction on NE 8th.  Sometime in August, be prepared for full roadway closures and detours for up to 12 days, from 7 AM – 8 PM.

Visit the project webpage for additional details. 


Safe and Sane 4th of July

As we prepare to celebrate our national birthday, consider confining your enjoyment of fireworks to sanctioned and permitted public displays. Bellevue implemented a back-yard fireworks ban 1994, so be aware that police and fire services personnel will conduct emphasis patrols leading up to and immediately following Independence Day.

This year, fines have been increased from $100 to $1000! Just say NO and consider attending the one and only Family Fourth Celebration in DT Bellevue Park, instead.

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Employer Questions for Labor and Industries (L&I); More on the LUCA; Bellevue Way Project Still Alive

Posted By Chris Johnson, Tuesday, June 5, 2018
Updated: Monday, June 4, 2018

Employer Intro to L&I

Do you have questions about workers' compensation, quarterly reporting, or what to do if an employee is injured on the job?

Perhaps you would like to know how to comply with the Paid Family Leave Act, adopted by the Legislature last year, or the Safe and Sick Leave Initiative as approved by the voters in 2016.

Get answers to these questions and more, at an upcoming “Employer's Introduction to L&I” seminar at a location near you or enroll in the online webinar.

Learn more by signing up for the Labor and Industries small business newsletter.


More on the Land Use Code Amendment for Shelter Use

Last August, Council adopted what was known as the Interim Official Control ordinance, clarifying where a Permanent Men’s Homeless Shelter could be sited, under current code. With that action, Council gave itself a six-month “time out,” to accomplish the following:

  • Determine what land use code changes should be made to allow for this conditional use;
  • Establish the pre-application process and criteria; 
  • Clarify the public role in the permit application, review and appeal process.

The Interim Official Control was renewed for another six months and Council has used that time to conduct community meetings and workshops, and prepare a draft ordinance.

The public testimony on June 11 and likely vote on June 25, 2018, will not determine where a shelter would be sited, only the requirements for a conditional land use permit or development agreement.

Review the Draft Homeless Shelter Permitting LUCA and SEPA Determination of Non Significance, at the City’s Homeless Shelter LUCA webpage.


Bellevue Way Project Still Alive

Here’s a quick update on the Bellevue Way SE Project, also known as PW-R-184. Last month, your Chamber Board Chair and Director of Government Relations, both testified before the Bellevue Transportation Commission, in strong support of continued funding for this longtime Chamber priority.

With a projected price tag of $34 million, we made the following recommendations, to keep the project alive and moving forward:

  • Adopt a phased approach and continue design work for the full build-out 60%;
  • Extend project to the intersection of 108th and Bellevue Way, if not all the way to SE 16th;
  • Consider alternative configurations north of the “Y” on Bellevue Way, operating as a left turn lane, to increase vehicle and person throughput for all modes;
  • Aggressively pursue regional, state and federal funding partnership, as many PM peak trips regional in nature, beginning and ending outside of Bellevue.

For better of for worse, Council has tentatively endorsed the following staff proposal:

  • Build Phase I to the Winters House at the cost of $22.2 million in 2024-25;
  • Defer further design work on this segment only until 2021-22;
  • Pursue regional funding partners for treatments benefitting transit operations;
  • Postponing future project phases indefinitely.

The Chamber believes under this scenario, we’re missing a grand opportunity to move forward with this important project, while Bellevue Way SE is already under construction for East Link Light Rail.

See the Council packet from the May 14 Study Session, Agenda Item 4 (e) 18-294 CIP Update and listen to the discussion online.

Stay tuned as our Budget Task Force takes on this topic and other transportation projects vital to our economic development and continued prosperity.




Tags:  Permanent Men's Homeless Shelter LUCA; City of Bel 

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Bel-Red Open House; Memorial Day Weekend Recycling Event; Construction Alerts Continue

Posted By Chris Johnson, Friday, May 18, 2018

Bel-Red Open House

Are you curious about all the changes underway in the Bel-Red Corridor? Traditionally the home of light manufacturing, Bel-Red is being transformed by the Spring District development, the Global Innovation Exchange (GIX) and multi-modal transportation investments.

Get a taste of the future at an upcoming community open house.

  • Tuesday, May 22nd, 5:30 – 7:30 PM
  • Global Innovation Exchange Bldg., Room 231, 12280 NE District Way, Bellevue, WA 98005 (enter off 124th NE via NE 12th/Bel-Red Rd.)

Learn more at the event web page.

Kelsey Creek Culvert Replacement

In other Bel-Red news, the City has announced it will begin replacement of the Kelsey Creek Culvert, underneath NE 8th Street at 132nd NE, beginning in June. This project will help improve fish passage, protect utilities and improve road safety. Learn more here.


Memorial Day Weekend Recycling Event

Mark your calendar for the City’s annual spring recycling event on Saturday, May 26th, 9 AM – 3 PM at Bellevue Presbyterian Church, 1717 Bellevue Way NE.

Now is the time to empty out the garage and utility closet and dispose of unwanted household recyclables. And don’t forget, each vehicle can drop-off up to five boxes of documents for shredding.

Learn more here and be sure to drop off a load, on your way your of town for the weekend.


Construction Alerts Continue

Watch for ongoing construction across the City, as we approach Memorial Day Weekend.

Lake Hills Connector and Richards Road

Be prepared for ongoing slowdowns on Richards Road and the Lake Hills Connector, as grinding and paving continue.

  • May 21 - May 25, Mon-Fri, 7 am to 5 pm southbound, 9 am - 3 pm northbound Richards Rd and 7 PM - 5 AM, Richards Rd from south of Lake Hills Connector to SE 36th St.

I-90 Update

  • All ramps from I-90 to Bellevue Way SE will remain closed overnight, Monday – Friday morning, May 21st – May 25th.  Vehicles proceeding southbound on Bellevue  Way SE, will still have access to both east and westbound onramps to I-90.
  • However, All I-90 ramps to northbound Bellevue Way SE will close at night, through June, Mon - Thurs, 8 pm to 5:30 am.  During this time, motorists will detour via    I- 405 and SE 8th.

Bellevue Way SE

  • Work will continue in the Bellevue Way SE east side curb lane, between the former South Bellevue Park and Ride Lot, and the “Y” at 112th and 108th SE, 6 AM – 6 PM through Friday, May 25.  Expect two lanes to flow in the peak direction, with crews operating the southbound center lane as a reversible traffic lane during peak periods.

For updates, track the City’s traffic advisory web page.

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Bellevue Blitz Roundup: Bellevue Hires New Fire Chief; Annual Spring Recycling Event; More Road Construction Alerts

Posted By Chris Johnson, Monday, May 7, 2018

Bellevue Hires New Fire Chief

In 2016, the Chamber strongly backed Bellevue Proposition One in support of fire services and facilities, including a new station in the Downtown Bellevue neighborhood.

Voters adopted the measure with 58% of the vote and late last year, with mission accomplished, Bellevue Fire Chief Mark Rizen announced his retirement.

Now Bellevue has a new chief, Jay Hagen, who comes to us from the Seattle Fire Department. Chief Hagen has thirty-three years of experience, including his most recent assignment as chief in the SFD Operations Division.

We look forward to working with Chief Hagen, as our community addressed a growing demand for both fire and police services.


Annual Spring Recycling Event

Have you been storing up items over the winter months, in anticipation of Bellevue’s annual spring residential recycling event? The time has arrived, so mark your calendars for Saturday, May 26th, 9 AM – 3 PM at Bellevue Presbyterian Church, 1717 Bellevue Way NE.

This is your chance to unload everything from unused exercise equipment, to mattress and household appliances. BTW – You can also bring up to five file-sized boxes of documents for shredding.

Learn more here, but regardless of what you bring, load up the vehicle and arrive early!


More Road Construction Alerts

As Memorial Day approaches, get ready for an increase in transportation-related construction projects across Bellevue.

Lake Hills Connector and Richards Road

For the next several weeks, plan alternate routes in and out of Factoria, as paving occurs on the Lake Hills Connector and Richards Road.

·         Week of May 7 - grinding, Lake Hills Connector from SE 8th through 140th, 7 PM - 5 AM. 

·         Week of May 14 - paving Lake Hills Connector from SE 8th through 140th, 7 PM - 5 AM.

·         Week of May 14 - grinding, Richards Road from Lake Hills Connector to Factoria, 7 AM - 5 PM SB and 9 AM - 3 PM NB.

·         Week of May 21 - paving, Richards Road from Lake Hills Connector to Factoria, 7 AM - 5 PM SB and 9 AM - 3 PM NB.

Track progress at the Bellevue Traffic Advisories webpage.

Bellevue Way SE

Work continues Bellevue Way SE, between the former South Bellevue Park and Ride Lot, and the “Y” at 112th and 108th SE. Expect the southbound center lane to operate as a reversable traffic lane during peak periods, as crews continue to build pilings in support of eventual elevated light rail tracking. Follow East Link construction closures here.


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More on I-405; Demonstration Bikeway Metrics; Help Decide What Transportation Projects Get Built – Part II

Posted By Chris Johnson, Monday, April 23, 2018

More on I-405

Back in 2002, the federal government issued a Record of Decision, for the I-405 Corridor Program Master Plan. Now, after all these years, we’re about to see additional capacity added between Downtown Bellevue and Renton.

In early April, WSDOT issued the Environmental Assessment for what is known as the Downtown Bellevue and Vicinity Project, a 2.7 mile-segment of roadway, stretching from I-90 to NE 6th. Key components include the following:

  • More capacity at the I-405 northbound ramp to SR 520;
  • An additional express toll lane in each direction, overpass improvements at Main Street; and,
  • A new bike-pedestrian bridge, near the site of the former Wilburton Tunnel.

Later this year, we’ll get a closer look at the main event, the Tukwila to I-90 Project. In the meantime, learn more about the DT Bellevue & Vicinity improvements at the project website and provide your comments to


Downtown Bikeway Metrics

At its January meeting, the Bellevue Transportation Commission approved moving forward with a Downtown Bikeway Demonstration Project on 108th Avenue NE, from Main to NE 12th. The Chamber, along with the Commission Chair and Vice Chair, strongly supported adoption of performance metrics, prior to proceeding with the project.

We’re pleased to announce that earlier this month, the Commission endorsed a firm set of project evaluation criteria. The Demonstration Bikeway Assessment Framework, as it is known, will collect and analyze data under the broad categories of Safety, Efficiency and Livability.

At present, the Downtown Bikeway Demonstration Project is expected to be implemented in late June or early July, with evaluation and follow-up reports due back in the first quarter of 2019.

For additional details, please see the attached letter from the Chamber and staff presentation on the Assessment Framework.


Help Decide What Transportation Projects Get Built – Part II

Last month, we invited you to take a survey, recommending projects for inclusion in Bellevue’s Transportation Facilities Plan. The TFP, as it is known, is the City’s mid-range blueprint for transportation capital improvements and right now, the 2019-2030, is being prepared for Council adoption.

The Chamber has already weighed-in, urging additional funding for the Bellevue Way SE Project, known as TFP-242. We’ll also support additional funds for this key facility, when Council takes up the 2019-25 Transportation CIP.

Did you miss the TFP public meetings and online survey? No worries – learn more about projects in the draft plan online and attend a TFP Workshop at the Transportation Commission on Thursday, April 26, 6:30 PM at City Hall.


 Attached Files:

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East King Chambers Coalition Legislative Wrap-Up; More on Bellevue Way SE; Sound Transit Construction Alert.

Posted By Chris Johnson, Monday, April 9, 2018

East King Chambers Coalition Legislative Wrap-Up

The 2018 Legislative Session came and went – here’s your chance to find out what happened during a fast and furious spring to the finish line. Join with delegates to the East King Chambers Coalition, fellow business leaders and our Eastside legislators, for a full report on legislation of importance to business.

Here are the event details:

  • Thursday, April 26th, 4 – 7 PM;
  • UW Bothell North Creek Events Center, 18225 NE Campus Way, Bothell, WA 98011

Once again, Randy Bannecker of the Seattle King County Realtors will serve as our emcee, challenging elected officials of both parties to develop a bipartisan agenda for our suburban crescent.

Don’t miss this one: register today!


More on Bellevue Way SE

Last Spring, the Bellevue Council approved up to thirty percent design work on the Bellevue Way SE project, including a possible extension of the project north to Bellevue Way SE and SE 16th. In addition to stretching out the merge approaching the S. Bellevue Park and Ride lot, this option could also improve turn pockets in and out of neighborhoods such as Enatai and Bellecrest.

To learn more about issues explored at last week’s project open house at Enatai School, read the following coverage from the Bellevue Reporter.

For a deeper dive in advance of our Public Affairs meeting this week and to take an online project survey through April 19th, visit the project webpage.


Sound Transit Construction Alert

Weekend closures of 112th SE between Bellevue Way SE and SE 8th, will continue during the weekend of Saturday, April 21st from 7 AM until 7 PM on Sunday, April 22nd.

This closure will accommodate utilities work, as Sound Transit contractors prepare to construct an aerial crossing over 112th SE near SE 6th, as part of the East Link Light Rail extension. Sign up for additional updates here.

Also, this just in: Be prepared for another round of nighttime closures on I-405, midnight through 4 AM, April 16th - 19th. Work crews will install horizontal supports for a future light rail crossing above the freeway. To read the full Sound Transit bulletin click here.

Tags:  2018 East King Chambers Legislative Wrap Up; Belle 

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Bellevue Blitz Roundup: Proposed Metro parking permit program; Bellevue Utilities Projects; and Sound Transit Construction Update

Posted By Chris Johnson, Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Updated: Monday, March 19, 2018

Proposed Metro parking permit program

Would you be willing to pay for a guaranteed space at your local park and ride lot? Metro already allows for permitted parking for carpools at certain facilities. Now that program could be expanded to include single occupant vehicles and additional locations. Drivers without permits could still access park and ride lots on a first come, first serve basis.

Learn more about this proposal at a drop-in session and provide direct feedback to Metro here.

Bellevue Utilities Projects

Did you know that Bellevue Utilities is a self-supporting enterprise agency, with a 75-year long-range capitol Renewal and Replacement Program? In addition to ensuring the delivery of safe drinking water, the Utilities Department also is responsible for storm water management and sewer services.

Bellevue Utilities customers can learn about projects proposed for inclusion in the 2019-25 Utilities CIP and provide feedback at the Utilities Capital Investment Program webpage. Public input will be considered by the  Environmental Services Commission at its April 5th meeting and ultimately, adopted by Council in November.

Sound Transit Construction Update

Night closures on I-405 between NE 8th and Main in Bellevue, will continue March 26th – 30th. While tunneling under 110th NE in downtown continues, Sound Transit is already preparing to build an aerial crossing over I-405, to connect Link Light Rail from the Bellevue Transit Center to the proposed Wilburton Station. Motorists should be prepared for the following closures:

  • One HOV lane southbound from 8 PM – 5 AM;
  • Three lanes northbound from Midnight to 4:30 AM
  • Northbound offramp and southbound onramps at NE 6th, 9PM – 5 AM.


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