PLUSH Committee speaks up on Wilburton

Advocacy, PLUSH, Community,

The Chamber's Government Affairs Specialist, Gavin Haines, spoke during the City of Bellevue's Planning Commission meeting this week, using his time during Public Hearing to discuss current plans for the Wilburton region and the PLUSH Committee's take. 

Read his testimony below:

Good evening Chair Bhargava and Commissioners, 

My name is Gavin Haines, Government Affairs Specialist at the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce. Thank you for the opportunity to give public comment on the Wilburton CPA on behalf of the Bellevue Chamber’s PLUSH Committee, which represents hundreds of developers and other industry stakeholders both in Wilburton and across the Eastside. Our group appreciates being able to work in tandem with the city on achieving the goals and visions set forth in part by this commission. We are excited to continue this partnership as we work to physically build this collective vision in the years ahead.  

With that in mind, the PLUSH Committee would like to give full support for the overall Comp Plan Amendment proposals, including the future land use maps. These policies have been in the works for over 8 years with input from neighborhoods and the business community and the result of this effort is before you today. Given this, we ask that the Commission recommend this package to City Council for their review and approval.  

To ensure development occurs and affordable housing is created, the PLUSH Committee fully supports an incentive-based approach to public benefits. Through this approach, Bellevue will attract the type of development that our community, and in particular Wilburton, requires. As a result, the code must ensure that incentives and public benefits are prioritized and calibrated so that development can take place.  

Additionally, while we support the transportation policies that are proposed, we do ask that the City learn from previous instances and avoid rigid street grids, through-block connection, or other arduous requirements. It’s critical that transportation and infrastructure be tailored to a specific project’s needs so that we can support travel around the places that we build.  

Thank you again for the opportunity to speak on this important work. We look forward to working with the city on implementation in the coming months.  

Learn more about the PLUSH Committee here, and the Wilburton project here.