Council Roundup: Work continues on proposed shelter site

Council Roundup: Work continues on proposed shelter site
Posted on 06/07/2017
Shelter Discussion Crowd

Plus, Affordable Housing Strategy adopted and Downtown pedestrian, bike improvements contract awarded

During a long discussion Monday evening, extending through both the study and regular sessions, the City Council approved moving forward on the development of revisions to the Eastgate Land Use Code Amendment (LUCA) to potentially allow shelter use in this area. Included in the motion was the request to draft several other code provisions related to the shelter discussion. Councilmembers also requested the city explore the Sound Transit Operations & Maintenance Facility: East property in BelRed as a potential site for the project. 

In a third and final motion, the council unanimously requested a later update on improvements to the current Eastside Winter Shelter located at Lincoln Center, 515 116th Ave. NE, in the Wilburton neighborhood. 

None of the council actions during Monday night’s meeting amounted to a formal approval of the shelter project at the Eastgate location. Councilmembers could discuss the proposed Eastgate LUCA revisions as early as the June 26 meeting.

Up-to-date details about the project are available on the Permanent Men's Shelter page, as well as an earlier news release.

Affordable Housing Strategy adopted
As part of the consent agenda, the council unanimously adopted Bellevue’s Affordable Housing Strategy. The vote represents the culmination of more than a year of research, analysis, review and input from a variety of stakeholders including an appointed panel of experts. The strategy consists of five interrelated components, including:

  • Helping people stay in their affordable housing;
  • Creating a variety of housing choices;
  • Creating more affordable housing;
  • Unlocking housing supply by making it easier to build; and
  • Prioritizing state, county and local funding.

The city will begin development of a work program for councilmembers to review later this summer. Additional details on the project can be found in an earlier news release.

Pedestrian, bicycle improvements for downtown intersection
In other business on Monday, the council awarded a construction contract for bicycle and pedestrian improvements at the busy downtown intersection of Bellevue Way and Main Street. When measured in 2015, average weekday traffic volume hovered around 26,000 vehicles.

Enhancements will include a wider crosswalk on the east side of the intersection, upgrading curb ramps and pedestrian signals to meet ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) guidelines, installing bike lanes on a segment of Main Street that’s west of 106th Avenue Northeast and new LED street lighting to improve pedestrian visibility.

The low bid for the work was for $413,143, and money for the project already is set aside in the city’s 2017-2023 capital budget. It includes funding to implement the Downtown Transportation Plan, as well as funding to extend the existing landscaped median east of Bellevue Way, part of a Planning and Community Development program. The city’s Transportation Commission has identified the need for improvements to several downtown intersections to improve safety and access to jobs, services and transit.

Photo caption: A large crowd watches Monday’s council briefing on the proposed Eastside men’s shelter and supportive housing project. The discussion capped a 45-day study period of two exploratory locations. 

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