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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Council Roundup: Response to concerns about room rentals

Also, light rail CAC, health care enrollment, Day of Concern

Responding in a timely manner to concerns from residents in single-family neighborhoods near Bellevue College, the City Council on Monday passed an emergency ordinance to address a growing practice of room rentals in single-family homes.

Residents in the Spiritwood neighborhood first raised concerns during the summer about investors planning to rent individual rooms in single-family houses. The emergency ordinance, approved by a 6-0 vote, gives city staff additional tools to address the emerging trend.

The council will hold a required public hearing on the emergency ordinance during its Nov. 4 meeting. Councilmembers thanked Spiritwood residents for bringing the issue to their attention.

Over the past few months, several councilmembers and the acting city manager toured the neighborhood to learn more about the issue and city staff met with both neighbors and representatives of the investors. In addition to the emergency ordinance, the council stressed the need for a long-term approach to address policy issues surrounding housing affordability and availability.

More information is available as part of the council agenda materials

Light Rail Citizen Advisory Committee finalized
The council appointed nine residents to an East Link Light Rail Citizen Advisory Committee. The action followed reconsideration of the council's Aug. 5 appointments and a staff assessment of the applicants' qualifications and potential conflicts.

All but one of the original appointments was reaffirmed in a 6-0 vote. One of the earlier appointees was found to be ineligible to serve on the CAC because his property abuts the future light rail line.

Formation of the CAC was directed as part of the light rail overlay section of the city's land use code, adopted earlier this year. The section of code called for CAC members to represent a community perspective in design and permit reviews of light rail facilities in Bellevue.

Information about health insurance changes
Also on Monday, the council reviewed plans by Public Health Seattle & King County, as well as the City of Bellevue, to provide information about health care reform.

A representative of Public Health told councilmembers about 14 percent of Bellevue's adult population, more than 11,000 residents, is currently uninsured. The agency is working to ensure that everyone eligible for coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act is enrolled.

Bellevue staff are working with the county to get the word out. Several enrollment events are planned in Bellevue and they will include multilingual staff from the county to assist non-English speakers. One of the biggest enrollment opportunities will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, at Crossroads Shopping Center.

A complete list of upcoming enrollment events in Bellevue is available online.

Day of Concern for the Hungry
Mayor Conrad Lee issued a proclamation designating Saturday, Sept. 28, as a Day of Concern for the Hungry at grocery stores throughout King County. He urged Bellevue residents to support a countywide emergency feeding program and local food banks to help those who are hungry.

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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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