Poised for a New Era of Parks Planning in Bellevue, Washington

The last round of capital investment made possible by a 2008 parks levy offers a chance to look further into the future in Bellevue, Washington.

May 3, 2021, 9:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Grand Connection

Bellevue, Washington / Grand Connection

Shaun Kuo reports on Bellevue, Washington's ongoing efforts to improve and expand its park system to "provide adequate green space for new and existing residents and visitors."

The city has been pulling from a pair primary funding sources—the Bellevue Parks and Natural Areas Levy and the Bellevue Parks Capital Investment Program (CIP). The latter relies on a mix of tax revenue, including 60 percent from the city's Real Estate Excise Tax.

Since the city updated its parks levy in 2008, at the height of the Great Recession, the city has added numerous park and trail improvements, as listed by Kuo in the source article. The city has plans for more, too, including improvements to the Northeast Gateway of the city's Downtown Park, which is expected to be ready for public use by the end of May 2021.

With only a few other projects left on the list of levy-funded projects, Kuo also notes that Bellevue is working on a "Parks and Community Services 2021-2027 Capital Investment Program Plan" to plot longer-term projects. The nest chance for Bellevue to renew its park levy will come in 2028. One particularly ambitious long-term proposal on the table, the Grand Connection project to create a freeway cap park over Interstate 405 between Wilburton and Downtown Bellevue, would benefit greatly from a renewed park levy, according to Kuo.

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