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Published on May 27, 2024
Bellevue City Council Amplifies Tree Preservation Laws, Supports Homeless with Safe Parking ProgramSource: City of Bellevue

In a bid to embrace its leafy ambitions, Bellevue City Council is beefing up tree protection laws. A Tuesday confab looked at amending city land use code for better tree preservation and a 40% canopy goal. New rules would establish minimum tree density for new developments, with "tree credits" keeping score. According to the City of Bellevue, stemming from the city's Environmental Stewardship Plan, have been brewing since last year, with the Planning Commission chewing over them across three sit-downs.

Meanwhile, council heard good news about their Safe Parking Pilot Program, an initiative for folks calling their cars home. Opening its doors in Wilburton earlier this spring, the program now shelters six families, with five more in the pipeline, as detailed by Bellevue Television's replay of the meeting. A nearby building with day-use facilities and power supplies, plus assistance from the Blue City's own human services agency 4 Tomorrow, aims to shift these residents to more permanent digs. And it's working – one family's already on the move to a stable housing option this May.

The Eastgate housing campus also snagged some spotlight. A trifecta of housing solutions, this partnership's stocking the city with affordable digs. The Polaris at Eastgate is throwing open doors on 300-plus units for lower-income folks, while Porchlight men's shelter and Plymouth Crossing sock it home with much-needed beds and services for those up against it on the streets. With more than 450 men helped since last summer, Porchlight's beds are hot property, while Plymouth couples housing with mental and medical care, the council's briefing revealed.

On the economic front, Bellevue is buzzing with low unemployment and a steady beat of office leasing. The City of Bellevue gearing up for a home goal with the 2026 FIFA World Cup, as council peeps learned in their latest pow-wow on cultural and economic updates. Business districts are the play, with a push for district development in Crossroads, Factoria, and Wilburton, all aimed at bolstering the customer experience and businesses' staying power. Already, Downtown, BelRed, Spring District, and Old Bellevue are catching boosts from city-led support and tech hand-holding. And Eastgate? It’s in the cards for more love in the business life department, the meeting materials indicate.