Published October 6 2022
Community can now comment on Environmental Impact Statement related to Bellevue’s Comprehensive Plan Update and Wilburton Vision Implementation
Bellevue’s Comprehensive Plan is a 20-year vision for the future of the community, sets policy that directs actions and decisions within a framework for growth and guides capital investments. An update to Bellevue’s plan was launched in February and will be completed in 2024 for the city’s 2044 vision. As the Comprehensive Plan Periodic Update is developed, the city is also required to work with federal regulators and the public to develop an environmental impact statement (EIS) to identify and analyze potential adverse environmental impacts of the anticipated growth.
Community members and organizations with an interest in the future growth of Bellevue can now comment on the scope of the EIS analysis until 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 31. Comments will be accepted through an online portal, by email, by mail or verbally at either of two public meetings, the first of which takes place next week.
The State Environment Policy Act sets environmental requirements in Washington state, including requirements for an EIS in relation to comprehensive planning. The SEPA process identifies and analyzes environmental impacts to help city decision-makers and the public understand how the Comprehensive Plan update and growth being proposed might affect the environment. The EIS also must inform decision-makers and the public of reasonable alternatives, including mitigation measures that would avoid or minimize adverse impacts or enhance environmental quality.
Scoping is the first step in the EIS process. Scoping helps focus the EIS by identifying specific elements like carbon emissions, wildlife habitat or resident displacement that are most likely to be affected by the proposed growth alternatives. During scoping, members of the public have the opportunity to raise any environmental concerns, learn more about the draft growth alternatives, the Comprehensive Plan Update and the Wilburton Vision implementation initiative, which is also included in the EIS analysis.
The public can engage with the process in the following ways:
- Online comments can be submitted through a comment portal. More detailed project information, as well as mailing address and email comment methods, can be found on the EIS project website and the Wilburton Vision Implementation page.
- A virtual public meeting, Thursday, Oct. 13, 6-8 p.m. will include information about the proposed Comprehensive Plan Update, the SEPA process, and provide community members a verbal comment opportunity on the scope of the proposed EIS. To participate in the virtual scoping meeting, attendees are requested to register in advance at bit.ly/bellevuecomp. Attendees may sign up in advance or at the meeting to provide verbal scoping comments during the meeting. A court reporter will be in attendance to transcribe the comments.
- An in-person meeting for EIS scoping – Tuesday, Oct. 18, 6-8 p.m. is scheduled at City Hall, in the council chamber. There will be an opportunity to provide public comment and a court reporter will be in attendance to transcribe comments.
Following the two scoping meetings and public comment period, comments received will be reviewed to determine which topics should be included in the EIS. In addition to environmental topics, displacement analysis, housing affordability impacts, equity analysis and an economic analysis will be incorporated into the EIS and each of the alternatives will be assessed with an equity framework. Following scoping, the growth alternatives will be finalized and analyzed against the EIS.
The Comprehensive Plan update is guided by state, regional and county requirements, as well as city goals and vision for Bellevue. The current work to update the city’s Comprehensive Plan will plan for growth of at least an additional 35,000 housing units and 70,000 jobs by the year 2044, reflecting the City Council's updated vision to increase housing options and affordability, maintain the city’s economic innovation and protect the environment.
For alternate formats, interpreters or reasonable accommodations, please phone at least 48 hours in advance 425-452-6930 (voice) or email email@example.com. For complaints regarding accommodations, contact the city ADA/Title VI administrator at 425-452-6168 (voice). If you are deaf or hard of hearing, dial 711. All meetings are wheelchair-accessible.