Pantless crazies that would invade Bellevue on East Link. Photo by Atomic Taco.

On Monday night, Bellevue hosted a hearing on its process for adopting a rail overlay district, a package of land use code amendments that would effectively streamline permitting and design standards for East Link. Timely adoption of the amendments is important, as it would provide certainty for Sound Transit to baseline the project at 60% design. If Bellevue were to gridlock the process now, the delay could be significant, in terms of both cost and the city’s political capital.

Unfortunately, East Link opponents haven’t let up. They turned out in droves on Monday night to bash the code amendments, some throwing in jabs at ST and councilmember Claudia Balducci, an East Link supporter. Ron Lewis, Deputy Executive Director of Link, braved the trip to Bellevue City Hall to speak in favor of the amendments, which helped add to what seemed at times like a tenuous chorus of support in the sea of negativity. You can watch a video of the hearing here.

Although relations between ST and Bellevue have improved since the East Link MOU was adopted in 2011, newly recharged opposition could easily distort public opinion to the detriment of the process. If you’re interested in adding support for the code amendments, the public hearing’s virtual comment period will end today at 10 AM. Comments can be emailed to the City’s legal planner, Catherine Drews or the Council itself.

9 Replies to “Bellevue Mulls Over Land Use Code Amendments for East Link”

  1. I’d be curious of what percentage of the opponents at the meeting are on the payroll of Kemper Freeman in one way or another.

    1. Yeah, and just think, he’ll be the largest financial beneficiary of East Link. Kemper Development Company’s properties are just a couple of blocks from the Bellevue Transit Center, so thousands of people a day would be delivered on the public’s dime to his restaurants, shops, hotels, etc. What could he be thinking? What an idiot! It’s like he just doesn’t get basic economics!

      1. Social status trumps economics for him. His “logic” holds that the people East Link would deliver are the wrong people, partly because they are too poor to spend money (only poor people ever ride transit, right?) and partly because they will influence the good, God-fearing, car-driving folk to go somewhere else.

  2. Out of curiosity, what are SoundTransit’s options if Bellevue keeps playing obstructionist, to the extent that East Link’s opening becomes endangered? Given that ST is a state-chartered agency (and thus, I assume, higher up in authority than a city), and ST2 is a voter-approved project, at what point can/do they say enough is enough, and what, then, are their options to move forward? Lawsuit against the city?

    I’d like to think that won’t happen, but it’s getting to the point where one man and a few of his cronies are able to halt the will of hundreds of thousands of voters by gumming up the process though politics.

    1. I know this will never happen but still… if Bellevue continues to be obstructionist, run the the thing to Issaquah. Or, run it to Eastgate and the then North to Overlake.

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