Bel-Red outreach and arts funding discussed
A plan that would transform the Bel-Red area of Bellevue over time from an area of light industrial and commercial uses to one with new office and residential neighborhoods with more transportation options and open space was again front and center before the City Council Monday.
Council members learned more about a draft planning document called the Bel-Red Subarea Plan, including proposed zoning and land-use changes. Staff also briefed them on efforts to engage people about the proposals.
The Council study session Monday was the fourth in recent weeks concerning the Bel-Red area. It was also one of three public meetings this week on the topic.
On Tuesday city staff engaged business and property owners in the Bel-Red area in a series of panel discussions; and on Thursday Bel-Red will be the featured topic of a public open house, called Spring Forward Expo, at City Hall. Following the open house, a presentation on the Subarea Plan will be made to six City boards and commissions that have been involved in reviewing the draft document.
Still to come is a public hearing on the draft Subarea Plan and related amendments by the Bellevue Planning Commission. It will take place at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 28, at City Hall.
A Bel-Red Steering Committee worked for two years, from 2005 to 2007, to come up with a vision for the 900-acre area, located northeast of downtown Bellevue. The vision recommended by the Steering Committee is the basis for the draft Subarea Plan.
To learn more about proposals for the Bel-Red area, including a draft of the Subarea Plan, a draft zoning map, a draft of proposed land-use code amendments, a staff report and proposed design guidelines, visit the Bellevue website at http://www.bellevuewa.gov/bel-red_intro.htm.
2008 arts funding recommended
Bellevue's robust community arts scene continues to grow, with the number of events and people attending those events increasing every year, Betina Finley, chairwoman of the Bellevue Arts Commission, told the Council.
The Arts Commission, a panel of volunteers that guides the city's arts program, recommended arts organizations and artists working in Bellevue for funding in 2008.
Each year, the city and Standing Ovation, a nonprofit arts funding group, offer support to local arts organizations through the Eastside Arts Partnership program. Through its Special Projects program, the city supports artists and groups whose work benefits Bellevue.
This year, 32 arts organizations and artists working in Bellevue applied for funding. The Arts Commission recommends that 17 organizations receive a total of $121,600 in EAP funding. Eleven artists and groups were chosen to receive $33,600 in Special Projects funding.
Finley told the council that:
- The number of Bellevue residents attending EAP and Special Projects arts events in Bellevue is expected to increase by 5 percent in 2008, to 402,657 people;
- Eleven groups recommended for EAP funding plan to add events in 2008; and
- Of the groups recommended for EAP funding, 14 offer one or more free events to the public each year.
Council directed staff to ensure that activities supported by EAP funds allocated in 2008 do not overlap with those funded by special allocations Council made in 2007. The Council is expected to formally approve the recommendations within the next several weeks. The complete list of successful applicants will be accessible on the arts program pages.
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