• Council Roundup: City kicks off long-term planning update

    Published March 3 2022

    Plus, sound amplification code update supports economic development

    On Monday, the City Council voted to initiate work on a Periodic Update of the City’s Comprehensive Plan for the city’s long-term planning purposes. 

    Washington state’s Growth Management Act requires cities to periodically update their comprehensive plans. Bellevue and other cities in the region must complete the update process by June of 2024. The city last updated Bellevue’s Comprehensive Plan in 2015.

    The planning includes anticipating newly established growth targets for Bellevue jobs and housing that cover a 20-year time horizon, including the addition of 35,000 housing units and 70,000 jobs by 2044.

    The Comprehensive Plan captures the city’s vision for the future of Bellevue, sets policy that directs city actions and decisions, and guides capital investments. The plan needs to be revised to reflect updates to the Council Vision and Priorities, which include increasing housing options and affordability, maintaining the city’s economic innovation, using an equity lens and protecting the environment.

    The planning timeline outlines efforts in 2022 that include affirming the vision, exploring livability and laying the foundation for future planning through community outreach and stakeholder involvement. In 2023 the process will explore growth alternatives and refine the plan and policies.

    The council will have the opportunity in June or July to review proposed updates to the city’s vision and growth strategies that will drive the remainder of the Comprehensive Plan activities. Community members can find more information, receive updates and give input at https://www.engagingbellevue.com/hub-page/bellevue-2044. In addition, a story map explaining the elements and purpose of the Comprehensive Plan is available on the city’s Comprehensive Plan web page. Further details on the information presented to council this week can be found in the meeting materials

    Sound amplification code update supports economic development 

    In other business, Bellevue’s Cultural and Economic Development team reported that during stakeholder engagement as they advance the city’s five-year Economic Development Plan, the feedback revealed an interest for more opportunities for gatherings and activities throughout the city. An analysis of the noise code as it relates to small events and community activities identified changes that will better support these events consistent with the Economic Development Plan while still limiting negative impacts to neighbors. 

    A permit is required to use sound amplification equipment at these types of events. Amplified sound is only permitted between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., and not permitted at all on Sundays or holidays. Events after a typical workday has ended encourage employees to stay in the city and will help support local businesses, which increases tax revenue and decreases demands on the transportation system at peak hours. 

    The council unanimously approved initiating work through the Development Services department to amend the noise control chapter of the city code to expand the hours and days when amplified sound is allowed at events with fewer than 500 attendees. Event examples include neighborhood, multifamily courtyard, and commercial plaza gatherings and celebrations.

    Staff will bring proposed amendments to council for consideration at a later date. More information, including opportunities for engagement, is available on the Noise Code Update page on the city’s website.