City sharing progress on council priorities

Plus, landmark tree legislation, parks funding, and board and commission appointments

On Monday, the City Council received the first annual report on the city’s progress toward completing the 2021-2023 Council Priorities. The 22 priorities are divided into seven strategic target areas and the city has started 96% of the three-year work plan tasks, with 15% completed so far.

The Council Vision and Priorities are part of the 20-year vision for Bellevue developed in 2014, which includes long-term strategic target areas and short-term priorities updated every two to three years. In 2021, the council updated priorities for the 2021-2023 timeframe. 

The 2021-2023 priorities include 105 actions city staff are working on to implement the priorities. One action – the development of a data dashboard that will track overall priority activity, performance indicators and progress – is expected to be available on the city’s website this summer.  

Annual progress reports to council on the priorities will continue, with quarterly status updates delivered to the council and posted to the web dashboard. Further details on the information presented to council this week can be found in the meeting materials

Legislation for “landmark trees”

In other business, the council considered a proposal from Mayor Lynne Robinson for an interim “landmark tree” regulation. The proposal would define a landmark tree as any tree greater than 24 inches in diameter. 

Amendments to the city’s clearing and grading code would require a clearing and grading permit before any landmark trees could be removed. This requirement would allow for better tracking of the impacts of tree removal across the city, which would support future work to amend tree retention requirements in the land use code. 

Councilmembers voted unanimously to direct staff to bring an ordinance to amend the code at the June 21 meeting. The full discussion is available through Bellevue Television.

Long-range parks funding

Councilmembers voted unanimously on project categories for long-range parks funding – following recommendations from the city’s Parks & Community Services Board, which had gathered input from the community. The categories will guide the direction for investments in Bellevue parks capital projects over the next 20 years as part of the city’s Parks and Open Space System Plan. 

Proposed project categories included: open space, greenways, wildlife corridors and trails; community parks; neighborhood parks; recreation and community facilities; restoration and development of waterfront access areas; urban parks, including parks acquisition and development in BelRed and Wilburton; and facilities for emerging sports and off-leash areas.

To adequately fund the plan, the council is considering placing a new parks ballot measure on the November ballot, and consider retiring the 2008 Parks and Natural Areas Levy.

The council will review and confirm the project categories and review funding mechanisms and a funding rate during study sessions likely in July. Details are in the meeting materials.

Board and commission appointments

Councilmember Jennifer Robertson, as council liaison to the Planning Commission, recommended Luisa Cuellar-Calad to serve a full term expiring on May 31, 2026. The appointment was unanimously approved.

Councilmember John Stokes put forth two recommendations for the Parks & Community Services Board, both of which were also unanimously approved. Pradeep Singh will serve a partial term expiring on May 31, 2024, and Rowena Clima will serve a full term expiring on May 31, 2026.

The council appoints residents to boards, commissions and committees that provide detailed study and recommendations on important policy matters. More information on the city’s boards and commissions is available on the city website.

NOTE: The next council meeting will be Tuesday, June 21, due to a council retreat the week of June 13 and Juneteenth being observed on June 20.

Source: City News