Council Roundup: Progress on draft Land Use Code Amendment for shelters

Council Roundup: Progress on draft Land Use Code Amendment for shelters

In front of another large crowd Monday night, the City Council discussed a number of proposed amendments to a draft Land Use Code Amendment (LUCA) for shelters and homelessness-related services. The conversation focused on about half of the 25 amendments initially proposed by councilmembers. The LUCA agenda item is set to return for next week’s meeting for further consideration, with adoption anticipated on July 16.

The council began the amendment consideration process by reviewing and voting on a batch of 11 proposals. The LUCA amendments, nine of them approved unanimously, focused on minor clarifications. These ranged from a ban on mobile safe injection sites to a requirement for a communications and coordination plan between potential operators and the Bellevue Police Department. One amendment in the group was withdrawn and councilmembers agreed to delay discussing another one until July 16.

On the issue of buffer requirements for shelters, an amendment to require a separation of 1,000 feet between large shelters (26 up to 100 beds) and residential areas and schools was rejected. The proposed amendment failed with a final vote of 3-4, with Councilmembers Jennifer Robertson, Jared Nieuwenhuis and Conrad Lee voting in favor of buffers, and Mayor John Chelminiak, Deputy Mayor Lynne Robinson and Councilmembers John Stokes and Janice Zahn voting against buffers.

Later after a staff briefing of the development agreement and conditional use permit processes, the council agreed to postpone any discussion on the proposed related amendments to next week’s study session. Amendments concerning the makeup of a “Good Neighbor Advisory Committee” may also be considered on July 2.

The Land Use Code is a permitting tool that governs the location, design and approval process for development in the city. A LUCA will add regulations to the code to determine how and where a homeless shelter can be sited in Bellevue.

Additional background, including the deliberated amendments to the LUCA, can be found in the agenda packet materials.

Published on 06/27/2018
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