Published November 30 2022
King County Elections certified Tuesday that over 55% of Bellevue residents have approved a new parks levy, which will enable the city to preserve open space, add parks and plan for a new aquatic center.
The levy will provide $85 million to address community needs and park system gaps identified in the Parks and Open Space System Plan and provide critical funding for operations and maintenance.
“I am thrilled that our residents voted to continue Bellevue’s long-standing commitment to enhance our parks system and to preserve open spaces,” said Bellevue Mayor Lynne Robinson. “Our green spaces foster community and pay dividends in well-being.”
“A big thank you to Bellevue voters!” said Parks & Community Services Director Michael Shiosaki. “We’re so excited to be able to continue our efforts to improve our parks and open space system to ensure Bellevue stays a ‘City in a Park.’”
The levy investment will accomplish the following:
- Preserve open space, greenways and wildlife corridors
- Develop trails, community parks and neighborhood parks
- Invest in emerging sports opportunities, off-leash areas and recreation
- Plan major community facilities like aquatics and cross-cultural centers
- Restore and develop waterfront parks and protect water quality in Bellevue’s lakes and streams
- Acquire and develop parks and open space in the BelRed and Wilburton areas
- Protect open space and park facilities investments with funding for annual operations and maintenance
Voter measures have repeatedly funded expansions of Bellevue’s parks and open space system, with 10 separate measures passed since the city’s incorporation in 1953.
The $85 million levy, structured as a nine-year regular levy lid lift funding mechanism, will equal an annual taxpayer cost of 15 cents per $1,000 of assessed value plus 5 cents per $1,000 of assessed value for maintenance and operating costs. The resulting cost of the levy for a $1 million home will be about $17 a month, or $200 annually.