Photo courtesy Patricksmercy

With big plans in the works for its downtown, Bellevue is recruiting intensely into the public realm for those interested in having a say on the City’s Downtown Livability Initiative.  First, a few words about the project.  With the exception of the downtown subarea plan, Bellevue has never really had a concerted downtown planning effort on this scale.  That’s why this project is significant– it would run the gamut of all downtown planning issues, from rezoning to street food.

Here’s where people like you come in.  To solicit input, the City is hosting seven different focus groups (see .pdf), each one targeted at a specific stakeholder group (see below).  Don’t panic if you don’t fit into any of the categories– if you’re truly passionate about the future of downtown Bellevue, then you probably belong in the “visionaries” category:

The meetings will include a brief presentation on the Downtown Livability Initiative, followed by small group, facilitated discussion. Discussion topics will include design, amenities and transportation issues. Feedback from these focus groups will help shape potential changes to the Land Use Code for downtown Bellevue.

Participants are encouraged to attend the meeting that best fits their stakeholder group, but are welcome to attend any meeting that is convenient. Meetings will be in room 1E-108.

·  Architects and planners, Tuesday, March 5, 2-4 p.m.
·  Property owners and developers, Wednesday, March 6, 8:30-10:30 a.m.
·  Brokers, Wednesday, March 6, 4-6 p.m.
·  Large companies and retailers, Thursday, March 7, 2-4 p.m.
·  Former Downtown Plan Advisory Body members, Friday, March 8, 8:30-10:30 a.m.
·  Institutions and visionaries, Monday, March 11, 8:30-10:30 a.m.
·  Residents, Tuesday, March 12, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

To make an RSVP, shoot an email to  If you’re unable to attend but still want to pitch in two cents, thoughts can still be emailed in.  The City will also report on its progress at an open house later this year.  More on the project, including existing plans, maps, and data, can be found here.

8 Replies to “Bellevue: What Makes for a Livable Downtown?”

    1. Thirding — If they include employees, that is, people who would benefit from living in downtown Bellevue (shorter commute) but have deliberately chosen not to, they will get a more useful range of responses.

    2. Thanks for the feedback. Our stakeholder groups were originally defined by City Council, and employees were encouraged to attend the large companies and retailers group. However, we value your feedback and are pleased to add a focus group especially for downtown employees scheduled for Tuesday, March 19, 4-6pm, room 1E-108 at City Hall.
      Please RSVP if you can attend to
      If this time is not convenient, please feel free to attend any of the other seven focus groups.

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