Published February 11 2022
Plus, council vote on opting out of water meter upgrades
On Monday, the City Council voted to ratify at a future meeting the 2021 King County Countywide Planning Policies (CPPs) and the 2021 Urban Growth Capacity Report. The vote is a formal way for the city to voice support for the county’s adopted 2021 updates to these long-range planning policies last revised significantly in 2012. In addition, 30% of jurisdictions in the county representing at least 70% of the population must ratify the amendments for them to go into effect.
The CPPs serve as the framework for each local jurisdiction’s comprehensive plan, which ensures countywide consistency with respect to land use planning efforts. Bellevue will be updating its Comprehensive Plan by June 2024. The guiding principles for the 2021 CPP update include centering social equity and health outcomes, integrating regional policy and legislative changes, implementing the Regional Growth Strategy, and providing clear, actionable direction for comprehensive plan updates. An additional consideration of housing was recommended by the King County Council to be addressed under a separate workplan.
The Urban Growth Capacity Report adopts growth targets for jobs and housing in cities across the county. During the 2019-2044 planning period, targets for Bellevue include the addition of 70,000 jobs and 35,000 housing units.
The council unanimously voted to bring back ratification of the updated CPPs and Urban Growth Capacity Report for council action on consent at a later meeting. Further detail about the growth planning policies and processes is in the meeting materials.
Council vote on opting out of water meter upgrades
In other business, the council received reports from the Environmental Services Commission and city staff with recommendations regarding an option to “opt-out” of the city’s Advanced Metering Infrastructure, or Smart Water Meter, system. The project is replacing all manual-read residential and commercial water meters with meters that digitally transmit water use data. These meters, along with the forthcoming customer portal feature, will allow customers to access their water use information on a daily basis, track usage and identify potential leaks quickly. They also save costs by eliminating manual meter reading processes.
The Commission recommended to not allow an “opt-out” option for the program, citing in part the low number of customers requesting such an option, the widely accepted technology and the relative rarity for other water utilities to offer similar programs. The city presented an option to provide an “opt-out” program for a limited period of five years and an associated fee structure that customers in the “opt-out” program would be charged to offset the increased costs of providing the program.
The council voted unanimously not to allow an “opt-out” option for the Smart Water Meter system, which has already replaced over half of Bellevue’s water meters with the new digital meters.
The full presentation and discussion is available on Bellevue Television.