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Inside 4 6 8 9 13 14 16 17 23

| Introduction | Early Bellevue | Strawberries | Neighborhoods | Computer science | Bellevue College | Botanical Garden | City parks Photo courtesy of Arijit Basu

| Bellevue arts

William Shaw, Publisher Carrie Rodriguez, Editor

An aerial view of Downtown Bellevue. ADVERTISING Jim Gatens, Regional Sales Manager Advertising Sales, Jen Gralish, Brad Murray

STAFF WRITERS Allison DeAngelis, Ryan Murray Sonny Ebalo, Creative Designer

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SET-UP/ INCREASE SERVICE • Recycling dumpsters or carts • Picked up weekly or more FREE RESOURCES • Recycling posters • Recycling containers for businesses • Recycling tote bags for apartment and condo residents to use to collect materials and carry them outside to dump into the recycling carts or dumpsters

SET-UP/ INCREASE SERVICE • Organics carts for collecting food scraps and yard debris • Picked up weekly FREE RESOURCES • Organics posters • Kitchen caddies for collecting food scraps to carry outside and empty into the organics cart • Two sizes available: small with compostable bags for residents and large Slim Jims® for businesses

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Welcome to Bellevue Bellevue: Journey from selfcontained suburb to Eastside’s urban center


hen Bellevue was incorporated in 1953, our founders sought to create a selfsufficient city.

They did so in a visionary and exemplary manner that also set the stage for the transformation of our community into a major regional employment hub, attractive cultural center and the economic powerhouse of the Eastside. Bellevue has in many respects been a model for smart, focused growth, all the while remaining a “city in a park.” Where we came from In the 1940s, Bellevue was a blank slate — strawberry fields, forests and some houses, all a ferry boat ride from Seattle. The founders wanted a city that was successful, strong,


self-reliant and safe. Mayor’s Memo Over the next two decades they set about planning a city with good roads, abundant parks and excellent schools. The community’s leaders saw the Lake Washington JOHN STOKES Floating Bridge as a way to attract people and business from Seattle. In reality, that connection across Lake Washington also led Bellevue to begin its role as a strong regional player and partner with Seattle and our neighboring cities.

Where we are going

As we all know, of course, Bellevue is subject to that basic law of Nature: “things change.” While change in Bellevue has been steady for 63 years, we are now in a period of rapid and often dizzying transformation that calls for even greater vision,



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focus and collective community action. We incorporated in 1953 as a city of 6,000 residents. In 20 years, we were at 62,000, a tenfold increase. Today our population is double again — 135,000. More people live in downtown high-rises (14,000) now than lived in the entire city originally. We are well into a new chapter of growth — in which Bellevue is becoming a global hub of innovation and dynamism. We have recently kicked off exciting projects like the “Grand Connection,” and we are working on a host of new initiatives. Add to that one of the most diverse and vibrant group of citizens in the country, and we can understand why REI and other companies from around the world are choosing to call Bellevue “home.” While the physical scope of the city is essentially set today, we continue to plan SEE MAYOR, 5


business, civic and neighborhood leaders to develop memorable places in the city; expand our educational system; support our diverse population; strengthen our neighborhoods; and foster regional leadership and economic development.


for future growth within those boundaries. The BelRed plan is touted nationwide for its smart investment in transit and high-quality development. The pace of growth in downtown is brisk, the Spring District is starting to rise just across I-405 on 112th Street, and East Link construction is underway. The council is also working on the area between downtown and BelRed, and the Eastgate I-90 corridor. Outside our city limits, other areas on our borders are growing and the changing patterns of living and transportation are having a significant impact on Bellevue.

Bellevue into the future

We have the base of a great city, but change is pressing in on all sides. We have the opportunity to lead the way to smart, responsible and productive growth while honoring our history and the fundamentals of sound governance.

Contributed photo

The Spring District is targeting the tech crowd.

Just as the founders of Bellevue had a vision to make it what it is today, the City Council in 2014 drafted a 20-year vision for this new Bellevue, focused on leveraging our diversity in business, education and other realms; building our economy with world-class companies moving here; celebrating our culture and diversity; promoting excellence in education for all, from preschool to college; and supporting connected neighborhoods that include affordable housing. To realize our vision, we will work with

The Bellevue of tomorrow holds unlimited promise and what we do the next two years will greatly affect how we realize it. I strongly encourage you, individual citizens, neighborhood leaders, business leaders and those who do great work in the nonprofit sector, to learn more about the council’s vision and our 2016-17 priorities at Work with us to realize our dreams for the city of the future, your Bellevue, so that it continues being the “place where you want to be.” This column was adapted and expanded from a presentation given by Mayor Stokes and Deputy Mayor Chelminiak at the Bellevue Downtown Association’s 2016 “state of the city” breakfast in April. View the entire speech at

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Balanticos witnessed Bellevue’s rise, their farm’s demise BY ALLISON DEANGELIS

I title.

f there had ever been a first family of farming in Bellevue, the Balanticos would have earned the

Orphaned at a young age, Filipino emigrant Andrew Balantico came to the Seattle area in 1926 in search of a better life. Everything was different, much better, no comparison to the place he came from, Andrew later recounted to historians with the Eastside Heritage Center.

Andrew started off small working for a farmer in Auburn and on the railroad in the Cascade Tunnel, saving every penny to be able to afford his own land. In the midst of the Depression, Andrew managed to save enough money to buy three acres of land at 2820 Bellevue Way that he had to clear himself. Over the coming decades, Andrew and his brother Marc (who joined him after World War II) worked hard on what grew to be 23 acres of land located in what is now the Mercer Slough. The brothers farmed peas, corn, beans, car-

Photo courtesy of the Eastside Heritage Center

The Balantico family’s 23-acre farm in the Mercer Slough. rots, zucchini and blueberries, which patrons would stop and buy on their way home from work at Balantico’s roadside farm stand on Bellevue Way.

pumpkins at the farm during the fall. “What would Halloween be like without Andrew?”, one Seattle Times article asked.

Local children would earn money during the summer by helping the Balantico’s pick blueberries, and busloads of people would go and pick

“He was so humble and such a hard worker, and just very, very kind,” Andrew’s daughter SEE FARM, 7



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Joy Page told the Reporter. “You always hear more about people in the city who were are more prominent and influential. There were a lot of people here who weren’t as prominent and influential who helped contribute to what Bellevue is today.” With the growth of Bellevue came a myriad of problems for Andrews’ farm. People began sneaking through the newly constructed Park-and-Ride next door to steal produce from the aging farmer, one group stealing an entire truckload of pumpkins. Then, developers moved in. The number of truck farms in King County quickly dropped from more than 300 to fewer

than 50 steadfast farmers. The field of tomatoes — which Balantico said Bellevue was renowned for — was replaced by Bellevue Square.

the value of Andrew’s land skyrocketed — as did his taxes. In 1977, a city official threatened to have Andrew’s land condemned if he refused to sell it for the city’s planned Mercer Slough Park.

“There’s just so many memories of the kids growing up [at Andrew’s farm]. The Threatening the gentle school bus, people farmer was a disasbuying vegetables trous political mistake, and beautiful days Walt Greenwood wrote and seeing these for the Daily JournalBALANTICO people and how hard ANDREW American (The ......................... they worked,”former Bellevue Reporter’s neighbor Stanley predecessor). His cusSmith said. “At that time, they tomers rallied behind him, weren’t really into saving all of complaining to the city govthese farms and stuff like that. ernment as well as the state People were into development.” Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation, leading Developers and the city of to the first park bond defeat Bellevue nearly forced the famin Bellevue’s history. ily’s hand several times. “I broke my plow here many Many of Andrew’s neighbors times on the stumps. We did ended up selling their farms a lot of hard work on this to developers. With new conland. Those politicians don’t struction surrounding him, know it,” Andrew later said.

The Balantico’s continued to farm until the mid-80s, when they eventually sold the land. By that time, Andrew had become the oldest surviving agriculturalist in the area. When Andrew died in 1998, hoards of people with memories of the farm reached out, Page said. “That whole generation is turning and we have so many transplants, you feel a little bit of loss,” said Page, who lives about a mile from her family’s old farm. Though she still wanders out into what is now a park to pick blueberries on occasion, it feels strange to be there now, she said. “We’ve always called this home. It is strange, I know that drive up Bellevue Way … I look at Bellevue and I just think how different it is,” Page said. “But, I feel fortunate.”







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Strawberry Festival celebrates city’s history BY RYAN MURRAY

Before the skyscrapers, before the technology companies and light rail and I-405 toll lanes, Bellevue was farm country. A rich agricultural spot not far from Seattle, the city (more like a town or hamlet — even by 1960 only 12,000 people called Bellevue home) was famous for its berries. None more so than the strawberry, a hardy little fruit that still pops up in gardens around the area from time to time. This agrarian past is celebrated every June by one of the city’s largest events, the Bellevue Strawberry Festival.

The town first hosted the “Lake Washington Strawberry Festival” in 1925, but was cancelled in 1942, when 55 Bellevue farmers of Japanese descent were forced into internment camps during World War II and didn’t return to the area after their ordeal. That sordid history in mind, the Eastside Heritage Center (then the Bellevue Historical Society) brought back the festival as a one-day event in 1987 and then as a large community event in 2003 in Old Town to celebrate and learn about (and from) the history of Bellevue. Since 2007, the event has been held at Crossroads Park. This year’s event attracted more than 50,000 people to the park.





While history plays a major part of the festival, sweet berries and family fun are the reason for the weekend. A strawberry shortcake eating contest is always a fun draw, and sponsored family activities, a car show and live music keep people entertained throughout the event. Heather Trescases, director of the Eastside Heritage Center,

spoke to the Reporter last year about the importance. “It provides us a tremendous public opportunity to tell Bellevue’s agricultural story, and the agricultural history of this community was such a huge part of Bellevue’s history,” she said, “… and you don’t see that at all anymore, except in the blueberry farms that the city maintains for that purpose and then Kelsey Creek Farm.”

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Participants enjoy strawberry shortcake during the festival in June.

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Bellevue neighborhoods Bellevue is a community of diverse and vibrant neighborhoods.

Here is a look at each:

The city of Bellevue has 16 distinct neighborhood areas, each with their own unique neighborhood character and identity. Bellevue’s neighborhoods are home to a diverse and well-connected community of neighbors with local connections to schools, stores, parks, trails and the natural beauty that defines the character of the Pacific Northwest. The city’s role is to ensure that neighborhoods enjoy a high-quality environment that facilitates a safe and welcoming community, are able to adapt to changing needs, and preserve what is cherished most.

Population: 1,244 Percentage of City: 1 percent Under 18: 245 (19.7 percent of the area) Housing Units: 493 BelRed is being transformed from a light industrial area into one of Bellevue’s newest mixed use, transit oriented neighborhoods. The transformation will include the addition of three Sound Transit light rail stations, new investments in arterial street improvements, pedestrian and bike facilities, an arts district, parks and open spaces, and the daylighting of the Kelsey Creek salmon-bearing headwaters and Golf creek.


Courtesy of Jim Erckmann/Bridle Trails Park Foundation

The Bridle Trails Park Foundation hosted its 14th annual Party in the Park at Bridle Trails State Park in June. Located between Downtown Bellevue and Microsoft headquarters, this neighborhood provides an ideal location for convenient access to anywhere you want to go. BelRed is already known for

Overlake Hospital, Group Health and its many medical facilities, as well as a large number of small businesses that provide essential home SEE NEIGHBOR, 10

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supplies and specialty services. Within BelRed is the hidden treasure of Highline Community Center, with its “log cabin” building and rustic charm, also home to Bellevue’s indoor and outdoor Skate Park. The Spring District is already under construction, adding new residential and office space, as well as a new brewpub. BelRed will also be welcoming the campus of the new Global Innovation Exchange, a partnership between two leading research universities, the University of Washington and Tsinghua University, with foundational support from Microsoft.

Bridle Trails

Population: 10,469 Percentage of City: 8 percent

Under 18: 1,847 (17.6 percent of the area) Housing Units: 4,943 Bridle Trails is Bellevue’s equestrian neighborhood area, with acres of residential property devoted to pastures and trails for horses. While not every family is part of the equestrian culture, all residents enjoy the vast green spaces and peaceful ambience found here.

Bridle Trails is heavily wooded, with an extensive trail system and a predominance of large single-family lots. Nearly twothirds of the area is covered with second-growth timber, and residents have accepted extra regulation to protect trees on public and private property. Local residents also have taken the initiative to preserve Bridle Trails State Park, a 482acre preserve with 28 miles of equestrian and pedestrian trails.  While most of Bridle Trails

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has a quiet, semi-rural appearance with horses grazing in lush green meadows, the area includes a strip of apartments and condominiums along 148th Avenue NE, across from Microsoft’s main campus. Bridle Trails has an active neighborhood association and includes several smaller neighborhoods for families to connect in community, including Trails End, Pikes Peak, Cherry Crest, Bellemead, North Creek, Compton Green, Compton Trails and many more. The school attendance area includes Cherry Crest Elementary School, Odle Middle School and Sammamish High School.

Cougar Mountain / Lakemont

Population: 11,416 Percentage of City: 8 percent Under 18: 2,680 (23.5 percent of the area)

Housing Units: 4,134 Predominately single-family residential neighborhoods rise up the slopes of Cougar Mountain in this scenic neighborhood area adjacent to natural, untamed stretches of countryside. While cougars are rare, it isn’t unusual for residents to spot raccoons, opossums, deer – or even an occasional bear – taking an early morning stroll through the neighborhood.  A pedestrian trail network provides an oasis of natural beauty for all to enjoy, linking homes to neighborhood parks, neighborhoods to each other and the regional Cougar Mountain Park (in Newcastle) and the neighborhood shopping center at Lakemont.

Steep grades, upscale developments with large newer homes and spectacular views are characteristic of Cougar Mountain/ SEE NEIGHBOR, 11

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Lakemont. The area is home to a large number of recently built planned neighborhood communities, including the Summit, Forest Ridge, Vuemont, and Cougar Mountain/Lakemont developments. Cougar Mountain also provides a great place for biking enthusiasts to practice their skill at uphill climbs. About half of this area is in the Bellevue School District; students in the other half attend schools in the Issaquah and Renton districts.


Population: 14,404 Percentage of City: 10 percent Under 18: 2,897 (20.1 percent of the area) Housing Units: 6,137

In many ways, Crossroads is the heart of East Bellevue. It’s the focal point for entertainment, cultural exchange, shopping and community services for area residents. Bustling, densely populated and richly diverse, Crossroads is characterized by an abundance of large apartment complexes, established single-family neighborhoods and restaurant and retail establishments. Crossroads Shopping Center, located at Northeast Eighth Street and 156th Avenue Northeast, is a hub of activity, featuring regular stage entertainment and special events, a seasonal Farmer’s Market, a popular ethnic food court and an activity area where local residents gather to play chess and other games. The city operates three major facilities to address the needs and interests of East Bellevue residents: Mini City Hall, offer-

ing information and referral services in many languages; the Crossroads Community Center and the Crossroads Police substation. Bellevue’s Youth Theater now graces the Crossroads community with its year-round youth productions, including theater in-the-round and outdoor amphitheater shows. Crossroads Park features a nine-hole golf course, a water park for children, and a popular multipurpose park for everyday users and hosts Bellevue’s annual Strawberry Festival. Many of the community’s nonprofit human service providers are located nearby.


Population: 11,931 Percentage of City: 9 percent Under 18: 1,079 (9 percent of the area) Housing Units: 8,805 Downtown Bellevue is the primary economic and employment center for the city and

the region — and over the past two decades, has become Bellevue’s fastest growing residential neighborhood. Downtown Bellevue sets a high bar for urban living. With a great mix of senior housing, young professionals and families, downtown Bellevue has become home to an intergenerational community — all enjoying the walkability, safety, and energy of living in the heart of Bellevue’s city life. With the convenience of casual and fine dining, world class shopping and cultural attractions, as well as the Downtown Park and Meydenbauer Bay, all within walking distance — something fabulous is always close by. It could be a new exhibit at the Bellevue Arts Museum, a show during the Jazz Festival or some family-fun at Snowflake Lane. SEE NEIGHBOR, 12




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Old Bellevue on Main, the Bellevue Collection, the Bravern, or any of the specialty stores and restaurants located Downtown provide opportunities to discover something new year-round. Downtown Bellevue is also home to Bellevue’s Meydenbauer Convention Center and Bellevue’s City Hall.

Eastgate, Factoria Population: 9,633 Percentage of City: 7 percent Under 18: 2,321 Housing Units: 4,003 The Eastgate and Factoria neighborhoods are located along the east-west spine of I-90 and its intersection with I-405, providing a mix of commercial office space and retail, multi-family apartments and established single family neighborhoods, including Bellevue’s most recently annexed neighborhood, Eastgate. Marketplace at Factoria provides an assortment of retail services, a movie theater, and a number of local restaurants for families to enjoy. The Eastgate

Park and Ride provides commuters with easy access to both the Eastside and Seattle. The neighborhoods are rich with diversity and culture from all over the world and desired by young families and adults seeking to access Bellevue’s top rated schools. Neighborhood schools include Eastgate Elementary School, Puesta Del Sol Elementary School (offering Spanish immersion), Tyee Middle School and the award winning Newport High School. In addition, Bellevue College is located nearby, offering a range of opportunities for associate and bachelor degrees and continuing education. For recreational opportunities, the South Bellevue Community Center provides a climbing wall, basketball courts, a fitness center and an assortment of camps and classes for children and adults. It also is the location of

Bellevue’s Zip Line. Nearby, the Mountain to Sound Greenway provides bicyclists with a trail system connecting to Seattle and the Cascades.

Lake Hills

Population: 16,692 Percentage of City: 12 percent Under 18: 3,436 (20.6 percent of the area) Housing Units: 6,909 Originally developed in the late 1950s as a planned community with the Lake Hills Shopping Center at its core, the area still retains much of its original single-family rambler charm. Lake Hills is Bellevue’s most populous residential neighborhood area, including a number of smaller neighborhoods and multi-family communities. Lake Hills has two local commercial shopping centers, SEE NEIGHBOR, 18


The future for downtown Bellevue is bright. The city’s plan is to make Downtown more viable, livable, and memorable. The Grand Connection will create pedestrian connections between Meydenbauer Bay Park, Downtown Park, along the Pedestrian Corridor and across I-405 into Wilburton. The KidsQuest Museum is locating next to the Downtown Library.

Downtown Park is completing the circle, adding Inspiration Playground and Meydenbauer Bay Park will provide public access to the waterfront on Lake Washington.


Computer science initiative a success BY ALLISON DEANGELIS

Students of all backgrounds are now learning 21st century skills through a pilot program that launched in the Bellevue School District this past school year. Through a three-year initiative funded by the Bellevue Schools Foundation, elementary and middle school students are developing computer science skills and utilizing them in all subject matters. The first phase of the program — launched during the 2015-2016 school

year — was a success among students and teachers alike, leading to an expansion this coming academic year. The pilot program started off with kindergartners through fifth graders and will eventually expand to middle-schoolers, setting them up for the existing computer science electives in high school. The district sought 40 teachers to participate in the pilot year. However, the demand was so great that they ended up employing the pilot program with more than 80 teachers at the elementary school level. Administrators are expecting to add an additional 60-70 elementary school teachers this year, as well as middle school teachers. “The teachers have been extremely excited to learn and apply the new concepts and skills that they acquire.

Many teachers recognize the significance of the equity piece of this,” said STEM curriculum developer Greg Bianchi. “I’d say success of the first year convinced us we’re on the right course and has helped us continue to push to reach all Bellevue students.” The computer science program will help students prepare for the workforce — computer occupations are projected to be responsible for 57 percent of all jobs in the next decade — and also create a more diverse group of interested students. Currently, only 4 percent of Bellevue’s students in AP Computer Science are black or Hispanic, despite the fact that those students make up 14 percent of enrolled students. Females only make up 28 percent of computer science enrollment, but make up 50 percent of the student body as well as the students enrolled in

science or math courses. Part of the program is that some students have not been introduced to computer science much and the existing high school courses are electives. But the pilot program will acclimate more students to computer science than ever before — 2,000 this year alone. “This is about unlocking opportunity for all students. While we’ve long had computer science offerings at high schools, this program eliminates an opportunity gap that prevents some students from participating,” Bianchi said.

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Bellevue College celebrates 50 years Have you visited Bellevue College? For a half century, Bellevue College has served the Puget Sound, helping our community achieve its educational goals, dreams and aspirations.



We changed our name to Bellevue College in April 2009 to usher in our baccalaureate degrees — we currently offer 10 and expect to add more in the coming years. BC offers more baccalaureates than any of the other 34 Washington schools in the community and technical college system. This is not surprising, as we are also the third-largest higher education institution in Washington state (after the University of Washington and Washington State University). More BC students continue on to four-year schools than any other community college in

the state. And while the name may have changed and the breadth of offerings has grown, we still honor and serve the original mission of open-access and rigorous, quality associates degrees, certificates and trainings. In addition to bachelors, and associates degrees, students come to BC for focused education and training to prepare them for careers in fields such as healthcare or technology. Others are mid-career professionals who use our many Continuing Education opportunities to update their skills, boost their careers, delve into a new field or get creative! We partner with over 1,800 Puget Sound businesses to prepare students to consider the next thing, not just do the current thing; to think critically, and to adapt to changing environments and emerging technologies. BC also assists specialized learners with a variety of programs, including Running Start for advanced high school students, Adult Basic Education, Worker Retraining, English as a second language, and our innovative Occupational Life Skills pro-


Courtesy of Bellevue College

Students walk across campus at Bellevue College.

gram that supports cognitively challenged students in achieving an associates degree. We are a tremendously diverse population committed to maintaining an environment in which every member of the campus community feels welcome to participate in the life of the college. In celebrating our 50th year, we can’t help but look forward to the next 50. I encourage you to visit and see for yourself what makes Bellevue College a leader on the Eastside and beyond.

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Bellevue Schools, a place for all learners

The district's dual-language curriculum was established in 1986, beginning with the Spanish Immersion program, guided by the philosophy that an early dual-language education fosters greater neurological development, intellectual growth and superior performance on standardized testing. Puesta del Sol ("Sunset") is



the first stop for families interested in enrolling their elementary students in Spanish Immersion. Students are taught the standard K-5 curriculum in Spanish by instructors with native or near-native fluency. English-language education is introduced in third grade; By this time, English ability will have fallen behind that of peers in other schools, but performance reaches equivalency or better by fourth grade, the district reports. Students who stick with Spanish Immersion move on to intensive Spanish electives in middle school and high school, including two Advanced Placement immersion classes

Photo courtesy of the Bellevue School District

A student learns at Cherry Crest Elementary School. during high school. Jing Mei ("Beautiful View") Elementary was opened in fall 2013, expanding the district's dual-language Mandarin Chinese program to its own campus in order to meet community demand. Jing Mei is located at the site of the for-

mer Bellewood Elementary. Students are accepted by lottery. The district's two choice schools, covering grades 6-12, are the International School schools, covering grades 6-12, are the International School and Bellevue Big Picture.



Market MA K E RS





he Bellevue School District is home to 28 school campuses, including 15 regular elementary, two dual-language elementary, five middle schools, four high schools and two choice schools admitting students in grades 6-12.

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Bellevue’s urban oasis


very year, 250,000 visitors take in the beauty of the city’s 53-acre Bellevue Botanical Garden, located in Wilburton Hills Community Park. The garden includes woodlands, meadows, wetlands and display gardens and is endowed with wildlife, including ducks, rabbits and herons. With over 100 parks, Bellevue offers much in the way of green space. But nothing quite says it all like the garden. Bellevue Botanical Garden Society members have referred to the garden — a beautiful setting in the middle of an ever-expanding city — as an “oasis.” In 1984, the former Cal and Harriet Shorts deeded their

home and 7.5 acres of property to the city to support the community’s park system. Five years later, the city set aside 17 acres for the Botanical Garden, including the Shorts’ property. An additional 19 acres south of the garden was set aside as a botanical reserve. By 1992, the Shorts’ home was converted to a visitor center and the garden was opened to the public. The city acquired another 17-acre parcel adjacent to the garden over 10 years ago, bringing the garden to its current expanse of 53 acres. Visitors have enjoyed several of the garden’s long-time features over the years, including a clerodendrum tree in the Shorts Ground Cover Garden that leaves hands smelling like

File photo

The Bellevue Botanical Garden offers 53 acres of displayed gardens, woodlands, meadows, wetlands and more. peanut butter when people rub the leaves. The garden is free and open daily from dawn to dusk. The

Bellevue Botanical Garden is located at 12001 Main St., Bellevue. For information, call 425-452-2750.

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16 | RESIDENTS GUIDE 2016 • BELLEVUE 425.456.4199

Bellevue — a city in a park With more than 100 parks, open spaces, athletic fields and outdoors locations covering more than 2,700 acres throughout the city, it’s hard to disagree. Parks range from the tiny onethird of an acre Bel-Red Mini Park to more than 320 acres at Mercer Slough Nature Park, the city doesn’t lack for green spaces. Families can enjoy more than 85 miles of trails, 46 playgrounds, seven beach parks with 8,760 feet of waterfront, five community centers, 32 athletic fields and two separate blueberry farms throughout the city. Parks include hiking and

cycling trails, docks and boat launches, kayak area, equestrian zones, u-pick blueberry farms, historical and environmental markers to learn more about the city and plenty of athletic fields and play areas for the whole family. Some notable parks include the centerpiece Bellevue Downtown Park, which comprises 21-acres of valuable real estate next to Old Town Bellevue and the skyscrapers of downtown. It will soon play host to the Inspiration Playground, designed for children and adults of all abilities. The Bellevue Botanical Garden treats more than 300,000 visitors every year to cultivated display gardens, wetlands and a woodland trail.

File photo

Downtown Park will soon play host to the Inspiration Playground. The Chism Beach Park on the shores of Lake Washington will soon play host to the historic Burrows Cabin (Bellevue’s oldest building), which is moving from nearby.

Richards Valley has more than 150 acres of forest, meadows and wetlands. It includes an animal farm with barns and guides to teach children about farm animals.

Robinswood Park is a popular destination for athletes, featuring a lighted soccer and softball fields, a pond and children play area.

From Wilburton to Bridle Trails to Somerset to West Bellevue, parks are a popular, safe and free feature for Bellevue’s residents and thousands of visitors every year.

Kelsey Creek Farm Park in the


Bellevue is known by some as a “city in a park.”



both recently redeveloped, including Lake Hills Village and Kelsey Creek Center. It is also home to Bellevue College. The richness of the community lies in its extensive system of open space, trails and wetlands. The Lake Hills greenbelt is a wetland corridor that connects Phantom Lake on the south with Larson Lake and its surrounding blueberry fields on the north. It encompasses more than 172 acres of woods and wetlands, home to coyotes, muskrats and an array of songbirds. Robinswood Community Park is a community gathering space with its indoor tennis center, lighted athletic fields and off-leash areas for dogs. The East Bellevue Community

Council, an elected five-member body, has jurisdiction over land use decisions affecting a part of this neighborhood area.


Population: 9,667 Percentage of City: 7 percent Under 18: 2,138 (22.1 percent of the area) Housing Units: 3,786 The Newport area includes four distinct communities all known for their strong sense of neighborhood identity; the Newport Hills/Lake Heights neighborhoods east of Interstate 405, Greenwich Crest uphill to the west of I-405, Lake Lanes nestled along Lake Washington and the Newport Shores district built around a series of manmade inlets. Newport Shores and Lake Lanes are neighborhoods built with homes oriented toward the waterfront, boating and lake activities. The Lake Heights and Newport

Working Together We Can Create a Better Future

Photo courtesy of Peter Bangayan

Great horned owls in a tree in the Eastgate neighborhood. Hills neighborhoods are cohesive communities with strong neighborhood traditions and activities and loyalty to their local neighborhood shopping district. Greenwich Crest is a hidden gem of a neighborhood with some beautiful views. Once a secluded area of woods and wetlands, Newport provides a home or migratory corridor for an abundance

of wildlife, including deer, coyotes, mountain beavers, raccoons, possums, squirrels, red-tail hawks and eagles. The 146-acre Coal Creek Natural Area provides a natural wilderness buffer for the residential community and a great walking trails to explore. The neighborhood area of SEE NEIGHBOR, 19

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Newport is served by both the Bellevue and Renton school districts.

Northeast Bellevue

Population: 11,024 Percentage of City: 8 percent Under 18: 2,349 (21.3 percent of the area) Housing Units: 4,127 Most of the neighborhoods in the western portion of Northeast Bellevue were built in the late 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, reflecting a woodsy character in subdivision names such as Sherwood Forest, Lakewood Park, Bretton Wood, Tam O’ Shanter and Ardmore. Northeast Bellevue is home to three elementary schools: Ardmore, Sherwood Forest and Bennett, as well as, Interlake High School.

The southeastern portion of the area features two miles of frontage along Lake Sammamish. The future of Northeast Bellevue will be served by easy access to the Redmond lightrail station at the Microsoft campus. It will also provide close proximity to the Overlake Village, a major new urban center on the Bellevue/ Redmond border.

Northwest Bellevue

Population: 9,480 Percentage of City: 7 percent Under 18: 2,085 (22 percent of the area) Housing Units: 4,340 Northwest Bellevue includes some of the oldest neighborhoods in Bellevue, including Meydenbauer Bay, Vuecrest, Diamond S Ranch, Bellewood Farms, Apple Valley and Northtowne. Northwest Bellevue maintains a diversity

of neighborhood charm, with distinct neighborhood communities, ranch estates, singlefamily ramblers, extensive remodels and larger newlybuilt residential homes. With the development of Meydenbauer Bay Park, residents will enjoy waterfront activities and beach access to Lake Washington. Hidden Valley Park provides athletic fields, as well as activities with Bellevue’s Boys and Girls Club. A number of students within Northwest Bellevue attend elementary and middle schools with the Bellevue School District within the city limits of Clyde Hill and Medina. High school students attend Bellevue High.


Population: 8,311 Percentage of City: 6 percent Under 18: 2,089 (25.1 percent of the area)

Housing Units: 2,890 Residents say Somerset is what the founders of Bellevue — French for beautiful view — must have had in mind when they named the city. The hill called Somerset, which tops out just under 1,000 feet, turned out to be a favorite spot to gaze out across Lake Washington. And the beautiful view continues today, with Somerset being a favorite vantage point from which to watch the Blue Angels during Seafair.

Somerset is home to one of Bellevue’s most cohesive neighborhood associations. Somerset has many neighborhoods, including Somerset, Forest Hill, Eaglesmere, Westwood Highlands, Forest Park, Forest Park Meadow, Forest Glen and the Woods. Somerset is home to the premier Somerset Elementary SEE NEIGHBOR, 20


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School, with students also enrolling at Tyee Middle and Newport High School.

West Bellevue

Population: 8,382 Percentage of City: 6 percent Under 18: 1,790 (21.4 percent of the area) Housing Units: 3,948 West Bellevue is home to some of Bellevue’s most historic neighborhoods. Neighborhoods of Enatai, Bellecrest, Surrey Downs, Killarney Circle and Meydenbauer Point, all provide strong neighborhood associations.

West Lake Sammamish

Population: 6,252 Percentage of City: 5 percent Under 18: 1,308 (20.9 percent of the area) Housing Units: 2,397 West Lake Sammamish is oriented toward the waterfront of Lake Sammamish and Phantom Lake. Including the neighborhoods of Spiritridge, Phantom Lake, 41.5, Sammamish Heights, Rosemont Beach, Lake Manor and West Lake Sammamish, residents enjoy a variety of shoreline activities and the beauty of the trails within Weowna Park. Home to one of the oldest independent grocery


Residents and visitors can enjoy the waterfront at Chism Beach, Chesterfield Beach and Enatai Beach, as well as Sweylocken boat launch.

The historic Winter’s House provides a glimpse into the city’s past. The future of West Bellevue will be served by the South Bellevue light rail station and Park and Ride.


store, the Little Store, retains much of the small town neighborhood charm.


Population: 3,790 Percentage of City: 3 percent Under 18: 713 (18.8 percent of the area) Housing Units: 1,914 Platted in 1904 as the company town for the Hewitt-Lea Logging Company, Bellevue’s historic Wilburton neighborhood is an enclave of singlefamily and multifamily housing known for its rich history. Wilburton is ideally situated surrounded by major parks, including Bellevue Botanical Garden and the 160-acre Kelsey Creek Park. With the historic Wilburton Trestle on the south, it promises to be a key landmark for the future development of the northsouth BNSF trail corridor. Wilburton’s business district

on the west will provide the destination for the Grand Connection linking to the pedestrian corridor across I-405, through downtown to Meydenbauer Bay.


Population: 5,115 Percentage of City: 4 percent Under 18: 1,058 (20.7 percent of the area) Housing Units: 2,237 Woodridge is one of the most highly desirable neighborhoods in Bellevue. It is characterized by quiet streets and comfortable family homes. Much of the community’s daily life revolves around Woodridge Elementary School, at the top of the hill, located across from the Woodridge Water Tower, which provides a visible landmark from downtown Bellevue. In the center of Woodridge is Norwood Village.


Fire and safety


Fire Department Personnel: 201 (199 suppression/EMS personnel)

he Bellevue Fire Department provides fire and emergency services to residents and to the those living in Beaux Arts, Clyde Hill, Hunts Point, King County Fire District #14, Medina, Newcastle and Yarrow Point. It also is a regional provider of advanced life support services in King County. The Fire Department’s comprehensive emergency medical services program currently operates four Medic One units, which provide a high level of patient care to approximately 250,000 Eastside and Snoqualmie Valley residents spread over a 301-square mile area.

Fire Stations

Station One – 766 Bellevue Way


Station Two – 2802148th Ave. S.E. Station Three – 16100 NE Eighth

Total incidents/responses: 17,739 (2014, suppression, rescue and EMS combined) Cardiac Save Rate: 58 percent (Utstein formula, 2014) Patient transports to area hosp tals: 6,032 (2014, ALS and BLS)

Fires confined: Fires confined to room of origin: 91 percent (2014) St. Station Four – 4216 Factoria Blvd. S.E. Station Five – 9621 NE 24th St. Station Six – 1850 132nd Ave. N.E. Station Seven – 11900 SE Eighth St. Station Eight – 5701 Lakemont Blvd. S.E. Station Nine – 12412 Newcastle Way

Fire and life safety inspections in 2014: 7,113 (4,940 completed by firefighter crews, 2,172 by fire prevention staff ) Operating Budget: $44 million (2014, combined fire suppression, EMS and fire prevention) Firefighter starting salary: $5,715 monthly ($68, 5682 annual), 2014.

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he water you use and drink, and the trash you toss – all come under the control of the Bellevue Utilities Department that manages:

Drinking Water


outage or water quality issues call Bellevue Utilities 24-hour Emergency Response at 425452-7840.

Storm and surface Water

Water flowing off a propBellevue’s drinking water erty, whether from rain or a comes from protected waterhose, ends up in the Bellevue sheds of the Cedar and South Utilities storm and surface Fork Tolt rivers in the Cascade water system. The system is a Mountains It meets or exceeds combination of streams, lakes, state and federal water quality wetlands, pipes, catch basins requirements. Residents can and flood control sites – prilearn more about their water vate and public systems. They in the annual drinking water provide the safe movement of quality report at www.bellevue. stormwater to streams, lakes gov/water_quality.htm. To and wetlands, and protect ensure reliable water service natural habitat. Anything on to residents, Bellevue Utilities the surface, such as fertilizer has a water main replacement or soap from a washed car, can program that targets pipes that wash into storm drains which are most susceptible to breakflows without treatment into a ing. If there is sudden water OverlakeObGyn_HlfPg0716_Final.pdf 1 7/13/16 PM It streams and eventually4:48 lakes.

can harm the natural environment. If you notice polluted water running into a storm drain or stream or if your home or business is in danger of flooding, call Utilities 24-hour Emergency Response at 425-452-7840.

Wastewater Wastewater is all the water that leaves the inside of a building hrough sinks, toilets, washing machines, etc. and enters Bellevue's wastewater (sewage) collection system. Wastewater then flows through city pipes into King County's regional sewage system, where it is treated to meet federal and state water quality standards. easements. Residents can help prevent wastewater backups into homes and maintain the health of the city system by

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Visit www.bellevuerepublic. com call 425-452-6932.

Serving Eastside pets since 1955

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Bellevue contracts with Republic Services for garbage and recycling services that include garbage, general household trash, food scraps and yard trimmings. The contract with Republic Services (Allied Waste) lets residents in single-family homes recycle small appliances, computer equipment, small TVs, clothing and linens free at the curb.

Bellevue Animal Hospital

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Recycling and organics

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flushing only toilet paper down the drain and keeping wipes and other products labelled as flushable out. Fats, oil, and grease from cooking should also be disposed of in the trash and not down the drain.

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10415 Main Street • Bellevue

City of art

provides free admission the first Friday of each month. The KidsQuest Children's Museum is a private nonprofit that encourages learning through play, guided by the principles of S.T.E.A.M.: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math.


he city of Bellevue established its public art program in 1976, creating a means to fund artists and commission public art installations. Many commissioned sculptures have been installed to emphasize the city's intended "art walk," a pedestrian pathway from City Hall to the waterfront.


The arts program emphasizes this walkway through its Bellwether program. In 1992, the program established a biennial sculpture exhibition to engage the community with a broadly inclusive presentation of contemporary sculpture. The exhibition, renamed Bellwether in 2010, draws artists from across North America, working with myriad materials, techniques and content.

File photo

A girl draws on the sidewalk with chalk during the Bellevue Arts Museum ARTSfair that is held in July. The Bellevue City Council pledged $20 million in May 2015 towards completing the Tateuchi Center. The longdelayed "studio theatre" would be used for arts education classes, black box performing space for smaller or emerging performance companies, social events and more.

The Bellevue Arts Museum (BAM) is unusual among museums in that it has no permanent collection, instead making itself a temporary home to a revolving series of touring exhibits. Founded in 1975, the museum moved to its own building, designed by Northwest architect Steven Holl, in 2001. The museum

The Bellevue Jazz Festival is an annual concert series, begun in 2008, that takes place in late May and early June. The festival draws local and nationally recognized musicians to venues around the city to perform. Live at Lunch is a summertime event throughout downtown Bellevue that features free performances every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 1:30 p.m. Many community-based performing groups also entertain often at the Theatre at Meydenbauer Center.


Founded in 1952, with one Clubhouse in downtown Bellevue, we currently operate 12 sites in Bellevue! For 64 years, the Club has continued to provide safe, affordable and fun afterschool enrichment, athletic and summer camp programs for boys & girls from 21/2 - 18 years. Adult staff serve as positive role models who respect and listen to our kids and make them feel secure and valued. For more information visit or call us at 425-454-6162.


Practice natural yard care. Avoid using pesticides and fertilizers that can contaminate our streams and lakes.

Scoop the poop, bag it, and place it in the trash.

Wash your car at a commercial car wash

Pet waste contains harmful organisms that can be transferred to humans.

to keep dirty, soapy water out of our storm drains. Even biodegradable soap pollutes water.


Only rain down the storm drain. Your choices make a difference.

Residents Guide - 2016 Bellevue  
Residents Guide - 2016 Bellevue