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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, July 5, 2012

Council Roundup: Medical marijuana zoning, park master plan

Following a public hearing on interim zoning regulations that govern medical marijuana "collective gardens," the council on Monday voted to maintain the interim controls and directed staff to prepare a permanent ordinance.

The council adopted the six-month, interim regulations in May to ensure the gardens, currently allowed by state law, don't harm residential neighborhoods.

Councilmembers also directed city legal staff to develop permanent regulations for medical marijuana, regardless of the outcome of I-502, a measure that will come before voters on the Nov. 6 general election ballot. If passed, it would decriminalize marijuana in Washington state for people over the age of 21.  

Bellevue's interim ordinance allows the gardens only in areas zoned light industrial, general commercial and medical institution and prohibits them within 1,000 feet of schools and churches.

Monday's public hearing to extend the ordinance until November was required under the state's Growth Management Act because it involves the city's land use code. The hearing was lightly attended; two speakers advocated for access to medical marijuana.

Feedback: Catherine A. Drews, Legal Planner, 425-452-6134 or cdrews@bellevuewa.gov

For more information, see the council study session material at http://www.bellevuewa.gov/pdf/City%20Council/PacketRegularSession7-2-129a.pdf

Council OKs name, plan for new Eastgate park
Councilmembers officially approved Bellevue Airfield Park as the name for three parcels in the Eastgate area, just north of Interstate 90, formerly owned by Boeing, the school district and the Utilities Department. They also adopted a master plan that will guide development of the new park in phases over many years.

At 27.5 acres, Airfield Park will be one of the larger of the nearly 80 city-owned parks and recreational facilities in Bellevue. The master plan is the result of extensive community outreach, environmental review and reviews by the park board and city council over the past four years. As the name implies, part of the property at one time housed an airfield; some of it was also used as a landfill.

Once fully developed, the master plan calls for: lighted, synthetic turf, sports fields; wooded picnic areas and trail connections; a playground; restrooms and parking; stormwater ponds; and buffers between the park and nearby residences. Also approved by the council is an expansion of the off-leash dog area at Robinswood Park, which will grow from 1.75 to 5.75 acres.

The total cost to implement the master plan is estimated at $23 million, but currently only $1.6 million is available to complete the design and permitting work for Phase 1 of the project.

For more information, see the council study session material at http://www.bellevuewa.gov/pdf/City%20Council/PacketRegularSession7-2-128f.pdf

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