Letters to the Editor, March 8, 2019

At the Leadership Gathering, “Talking about Trees” on Feb. 26, Jennifer Robertson was in attendance. One resident brought up the 300 trees that Puget Sound Energy (PSE) plans to cut down on 148th Avenue this year for the Lake Hills transmission line. This directly contradicts the city’s tree canopy goals to reach 40 percent tree canopy. I missed an opportunity to point out that Robertson was the only one on the council to vote against the project originally back in 2015. One of the best ways to increase the tree canopy in Bellevue is to re-elect Jennifer Roberson this November. She stays true to her principles, and fights for residents — and trees. Her presence on the council is crucial to help Bellevue take real action to increase our tree canopy — and to avoid more PSE projects that negatively affect citizens at our own expense.

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TIMBER! City Approves Easements for Transmission Line

More than 300 trees are planned to be removed from the Lake Hills area of Bellevue to accommodate Puget Sound Energy’s new transmission line, with $856,740 dedicated to an environmental impact and tree replacement plan. Puget Sound Energy’s *(PSE) Lake Hills-Phantom Lake transmission line project has taken another step toward completion as the Bellevue City Council recently approved four easements for construction and operation along the project path.

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City Council pursues lid park over I-405 as part of Grand Connection

A concept rendering of the Lid Park option proposed for the Grand Connection’s I-405 crossing. Courtesy Image

Bellevue will pursue a “Lid Park” for the Grand Connection. At the Nov. 19 Bellevue city council study session, the council directed staff on their preferred location for the Grand Connection project to cross Interstate 405. The Grand Connection is a city project established to create a non-motorized connection from Meydenbauer Bay Park, across I-405, and into the Wilburton Study Area where it will connect to the Eastside Rail Corridor.

Councilmember Jennifer Robertson said, with the current value of land in Bellevue, the ability to create almost four acres of parkland is extremely valuable. The rest of the council agreed, citing benefits like transportation connections, park land, place making and economic development.

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Will cutting Bellevue parking requirement hurt the economy?

In the last few years, Seattle has moved to eliminate parking requirements for new developments, citing the potential impact on affordable housing. Now there are efforts to cut Bellevue parking, too. But Bellevue City Councilmember Jennifer Robertson believes that moving towards this system is not the solution to affordable housing. Rather, it will hurt the economy and traffic. "Parking is what makes a city livable," Robertson told The Jason Rantz Show. "The city has superblocks, so that means we have much larger pieces of property with fewer blocks between, and not as much on-street parking. If a development is going to generate parking, that developer should provide parking on site."

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Bellevue council approves study for interim homeless shelter

At their extended study session on July 23, the Bellevue City Council agreed to study the expansion of an interim year-round men's shelter programming at Lincoln Center on 116th Street Northeast. Council member Jennifer Robertson made the proposal to council to direct the staff to bring back a study on the scope, schedule, budget and outreach that would be necessary to upgrade and support the temporary shelter to run year-round. "The thing I would like to have accomplished, the purpose of this, is that we do not come to May 1, 2019, and have to turn people out again," she said. "That we find a solution on a temporary basis for a shelter to operate while the permanent shelter is being planned, funded, permitted and built."

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Heroin injection sites are not the answer to opioid epidemic

While King County may be considering opening heroin injection sites, the Bellevue City Council has enacted a permanent ban on locating any of these facilities in Bellevue. We stand behind that ban as the data behind such facilities clearly highlight that they are not the answer to helping addicts transition to a clean, productive life. Rather than encouraging heroin use by creating facilities in which to legally inject the drug, people need better access to heroin treatments that work.

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Bellevue Votes to Permanently Ban Safe-Drug Sites

The Bellevue City Council unanimously voted to permanently ban safe injection sites for illegal drugs at a council meeting Monday. Ordinance No. 6376, the permanent measure, amends Bellevue’s land use code to impose a prohibition on the sites, locations or other uses or activities designed to provide a location for people to consume illicit drugs intravenously or by other means, throughout the city.

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Close race to pick opponent for Bellevue incumbent Robertson

In the Bellevue City Council race for Position 7, incumbent Jennifer Robertson was far ahead of her two challengers on election night, but those two challengers were separated by just 28 votes, leaving it still unclear Wednesday who would face Robertson in the general election.

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Robertson Rated "Outstanding" by Local Municipal League

Bellevue City Councilmember Jennifer Robertson is pleased to announce that the Municipal League of King County has rated her "Outstanding" which is its highest candidate rating. "I am honored that the Municipal League recognizes my skills and expertise as the best fit for the Bellevue City Council," said Robertson. "Every year I strive to protect and strengthen our community and earning an 'Outstanding' from such a well-respected organization is a testament to my commitment to our beautiful city."

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Why a Seattle Suburb Legally Defined What a 'Family' Is

A new zoning code in Bellevue will allow "single-housekeeping units" in single-family homes, but no student boarders. In Bellevue, a satellite city outside Seattle, the City Council and Planning Commission have been working on a new housing policy for coming on two years now. It's a resolution that aims to solve a land-use issue facing a number of Bellevue neighborhoods.

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Council approves $1.4 million contract for PSE project | Bellevue to work with affected cities on EIS planning

The Bellevue City Council approved a $1.4 million contract with Environmental Science Associates on Tuesday to prepare draft and final environmental impact statements for Puget Sound Energy's Energize Eastside project. Councilmember Jennifer Robertson addressed concerns about starting the EIS process ahead of the completion of the city's independent study to confirm the future need for increased energy capacity as reported by PSE. City staff reported the study is expected to be completed in February, ahead of the start of the EIS process. The cost of the EIS will be recovered through a third-party contract with PSE, said Carol Helland, assistant director for development services.

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Council renews, extends red light camera contract

The Bellevue City Council on Monday approved expanding the use of red light cameras in the city for the next five years.The five-year contract extension with American Traffic Solutions adds three more red light cameras and an additional school zone camera to the five currently operating in Bellevue. Councilmember Jennifer Robertson opposed continuing the traffic enforcement cameras program, saying the city should have officers out writing citations. She added revenue should go to pedestrian and school safety projects, rather than the general fund.

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Sound Transit Move Surprises City Council

Bellevue councilmembers say Sound Transit has been full of surprises lately, and that's not been a good thing. The latest came during Monday's public comments, with Betsy Blackstock of the Surrey Downs Community Club alerting the council to letters received by residents there that parts of their properties may be condemned to further development of an East Main light rail station. Robertson and several other councilmembers expressed frustrations that they are not receiving the type of communication from Sound Transit they thought they were to receive under a 2011 memorandum of understanding for light rail service, and should consider reaching out to the "higher-ups" within the agency.

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