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BDA Board Endorses Parks Levy Lift on November Ballot

September 29, 2022 - by Matt Jack, Director of Public Policy

Category What's Happening

BDA Board Endorses Parks Levy Lift on November Ballot

The BDA Board of Directors last week unanimously voted to endorse the November 8 Ballot Proposition No. 1: Levy Lift Lid Lift for Parks and Open Spaces. If approved, the lift would extend the life of the existing levy and generate additional revenue to support park improvements and maintenance needs identified in the 2022-updated Parks and Open Space Plan.

Levy rates applied are $0.15 per $1000 assessed value (AV) for park capital improvements and $0.05 per $1000 AV for annual maintenance and operations (M&O). An estimated annual revenue of $12 million and $4 million would be respectively generated each year. Combined with the existing levy, the total revenue would be $144 million over 9 years. The approximate cost impact to a household with a $1 million AV is e $200 per year or $17.00 per month. Unlike the voter-approved 2008 Parks & Natural Areas Levy that included a project list, this levy lift is tied to a set categories that support the City's growth plans. The flexible funding approach was supported by the BDA Board.

BDA Board acknowledged the need to expand and improve Bellevue's portfolio of well-kept, accessible public open spaces in order to keep up with growth demands. Two key Downtown projects that can benefit for the levy lift were identified in the BDA Board's review:

  • Meydenbauer Bay Park Phase 2 - it provides seed funding to advance design work and permitting, making it more competitive for outside grant programs necessary to completing the project. The BDA Land Use & Livability Committee earlier this year identified Phase 2 as a missing link in the Grand Connection as the primary access way to Meydenbauer Bay Park. 
  • Ashwood Park - the 2021 BDA Placemaking Report identified Ashwood Park as underutilized public space, noting that it does fully complement the adjacent neighborhood character defined by Kid's Quest Museum, Bellevue Library, and residential community. This sentiment was reinforced in the Parks and Open Space Plan which notes Ashwood Park that would benefit from capital improvements.

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