Next Thursday, Bellevue will host an open house and scoping meeting on its newly-launched Downtown Livability initiative (.pdf), which is expected to address a range of topics, from building height limits to street-level pedestrian amenities. While the City is still in the early stages of pre-scoping, there’s a fairly comprehensive list of analysis areas online (including street food, wahoo!). The impetus behind the initiative is largely moving downtown Bellevue away from its current character as a monolithic office-oriented district to a more vibrant mixed-use neighborhood.
Design and planning wonks will appreciate what the open house will have to offer. From the news release:
The open house will engage a wide range of stakeholders including property owners, design professionals, residents and the Downtown workforce. Participants can visit four display stations that will highlight enjoying downtown, downtown design features, mobility and a 3-D modeling of downtown.
Maps and visuals will examine many facets of downtown living which include public spaces, parks, building form and height, design guidelines, sign criteria, maintenance standards, the pedestrian corridor, and more. Staff will be available to take public input on the scope of the Downtown Livability Initiative. The public comment scoping period runs through December 31, 2012 and early public comment is encouraged.
While the initiative is separate from the Downtown Transportation Plan Update, both projects will be advanced in conjunction with one another, borrowing elements and work where appropriate. Building mid-block crossings and through-block pedestrian connections, for example, will go hand in hand with the Livability Initiative’s design and wayfinding elements. The project will also be complementary with ongoing Transit Master Plan work and East Link implementation.
The project reflects one of Bellevue’s most serious downtown planning efforts to-date, so ped/bike/transit and density supporters would do well to have a say in the process. The open house and scoping meeting will be held at Bellevue City Hall Room 1E-108 next Thursday, November 29th, from 5 to 7pm. Comments will also be accepted through email at downtownlivability@bellevuewa.