Bellevue Completes Shoreline Master Program Update with Important Protections for Homeowners

The Bellevue City Council has completed its work on the shoreline master program.   During the Council review of the plan, Seattle King County REALTORS® raised concerns about flexibility and the ability of residential property owners to engage in peaceful enjoyment of their property, arguing against aggressive setbacks and vegetation requirements that would severely limit views and access to the shoreline.

Seattle King County REALTORS® noted that Bellevue has long been a leader in environmental protection and that sophisticated environmental safeguards and programmatic elements are already incorporated into Bellevue’s development codes.

Having seen some jurisdictions use waterfront properties as a water filter for all upland runoff, Seattle King County REALTORS® urged that Bellevue not place undue responsibilities and burdens on one segment of property owners.  Water quality is a community responsibility, not just the responsibility of those living on the water.

The council was responsive and made some important improvements to city staff recommendations in terms of setbacks and vegetation that would have severely constrained the rights of waterfront property owners.  The plan now goes to the Washington State Department of Ecology for review and approval.