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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Council Roundup: Affordable housing tax break considered

Also, Botanical Garden Society, other news

The City Council had its first look at a property tax exemption proposal designed to spur construction of more affordable housing in mixed-use and commercial districts in Bellevue.

The multifamily tax exemption is a state-authorized mechanism used by several cities in the region. Exemptions are for eight or 12 years and are for the improved value of the residential property only. Taxes would still be paid on the land and on non-residential uses.

To implement the tax exemption program, Bellevue would need to establish eligible target areas where affordable housing is needed, and meet other requirements. In Bellevue, such mixed-use areas include Bel-Red, downtown, Eastgate and Crossroads.

Councilmembers will consider the proposal in more detail at future meetings. Council memo

Botanical Garden Society reaps another donation
Representatives of the Bellevue Botanical Garden Society announced they have received a donation of $500,000 from the PJA Foundation for the Society's "Growing a Living Legacy" capital campaign. Previously, the PJA Foundation donated $506,000 to build The Ravine Experience, a 150-foot suspension bridge in a woodland area of the Bellevue Botanical Garden. 

Much of the money raised by the Society is being used to build a new visitor center. Voters approved the $10 million project as part of the 2008 Parks & Natural Areas Levy, and the Bellevue Botanical Garden Society committed $5 million towards the project through its private fundraising campaign. Members of the Society, which partners with the Parks Department, on Monday presented the council a check for $3 million.

Also on Monday, councilmembers were invited to the grand opening celebration for the center. It starts at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 14.

Other news

  • Winter homeless shelter: The council was briefed on efforts to create a long-term winter shelter on the Eastside. Bellevue is working with other cities, with ARCH (A Regional Coalition for Housing) and with nonprofit agencies to address the need. Previous winter shelters have been in temporary locations. Council memo 
  • City manager contract: The council unanimously approved an employment agreement with Brad Miyake, who was selected as the permanent city manager in April after serving as interim city manager for the previous 12 months. Council memo 
  • Commission appointment: The council approved the appointment of Gil Pauley to a four-year term on the Environmental Services Commission, until May 31, 2018.
  • Proclamation: Mayor Balducci proclaimed June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. People who suspect an older or disabled adult is being abused, neglected or exploited, should immediately call the state protective services hotline at 1-866-363-4276. Police recommend calling 911 to request that an officer perform a welfare check.

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450 110th Ave. NE
P.O. Box 90012
Bellevue, WA 98009
Contact: Lenka Wright, Chief Communications Officer
Phone: 425-452-4090
E-mail: lwright@bellevuewa.gov

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