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Part 20.25M Light Rail Overlay District

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A. Applicability. This part applies to all areas where the use, construction, or installation of a regional light rail transit facility (RLRT facility) or regional light rail transit system (RLRT system) is proposed, including areas disturbed temporarily during construction and identified for mitigation of permanent and temporary impacts related thereto. Refer to LUC 20.25M.020 for the definitions of “RLRT facility” and “RLRT system.”

B. Purpose. The purpose of this part is to:

1. Provide certainty and predictability for the City, the regional light rail transit authority, and the public with respect to Land Use Code requirements and processes;

2. Establish a comprehensive and consolidated permit process for RLRT systems and RLRT facilities;

3. Provide a mechanism for addressing any applicable Land Use Code requirements that are impractical or infeasible for a RLRT system or RLRT facility;

4. Acknowledge the unique characteristics of a regional essential public facility that is linear in nature and passes through the City of Bellevue touching numerous land use districts and overlay areas;

5. Provide appropriate regulatory oversight for RLRT systems and RLRT facilities located in public rights-of-way, which would otherwise not be regulated by the Land Use Code;

6. Facilitate transparent and efficient decision making and interagency cooperation between the City of Bellevue and the regional light rail transit authority;

7. Ensure that the design, development, construction and operation of the RLRT system and RLRT facility are consistent with applicable Comprehensive Plan and Subarea Plan Policies, including, without limitation, the adopted Light Rail Best Practices report; Comprehensive Plan Policies LU-9, LU-22, LU-24, ED-3, TR-75.1, TR-75.2, TR-75.5, TR-75.7, TR-75.8, TR-75.9, TR-75.12, TR-75.15, TR-75.17, TR-75.18, TR-75.20, TR-75.22, TR-75.23, TR-75.27, TR-75.28, TR-75.32, TR-75.33, TR-75.34, TR-75.35, TR-118 and UT-39; Downtown Subarea Policy S-DT-125; Southwest Subarea Policies S-SW-19, S-SW-25 and S-SW-26;

8. Ensure that the development, construction and operation of the RLRT system and facility complies with applicable Bellevue City Codes, including without limitation the noise control code, Chapter 9.18 BCC, and the environmental procedures code, Chapter 22.02 BCC.

C. Who May Apply.

1. A Regional Transit Authority authorized under Chapter 81.112 RCW, as may be hereinafter amended, may apply for permits to develop an RLRT facility or any portion of an RLRT system; provided, that one of the following conditions has been satisfied for each of the properties affected by the permit applied for:

a. The Regional Transit Authority is the owner of a property interest sufficient to allow it to construct the proposed RLRT facility or system on the affected property; or

b. The Regional Transit Authority has the written consent to apply for the permit(s) from the owner of the property affected by the proposed RLRT facility or system; or

c. The Regional Transit Authority’s Board has authorized acquisition of the property, or property interest, affected by the proposed RLRT facility or system and the Regional Transit Authority demonstrates that:

i. It has provided advance notice to the property owner of the board action pursuant to applicable state and federal law; and

ii. It has initiated the appraisal process for each of the property or property interests sufficient to allow construction of the proposed RLRT facility or system on the affected property pursuant to applicable state and federal law.

2. Nothing in this subsection C shall prohibit the Regional Transit Authority and City from entering into a development agreement as allowed pursuant to LUC 20.25M.030.B.1 at any time.

3. Irrespective of when a Regional Transit Authority applies for a permit, no work shall commence in accordance with issued permits or approvals until all of the necessary property interests are secured for each of the properties affected by the permit.

D. Applicable Land Use Code Provisions.

1. Applicable Land Use District and Overlay Sections Incorporated by Reference. Predictability and certainty with respect to substantive Land Use Code requirements ensures that an RLRT system or facility design is sensitive to the context of the underlying land use districts and overlays within which it is located, and that temporary and permanent impacts are appropriately mitigated. The following overlay sections of the Land Use Code are expressly incorporated into the provisions of this Part 20.25M and made applicable to an RLRT system or facility within those overlays:

a. Chapter 20.10 LUC – Land Use Districts;

b. Part 20.25A LUC – Downtown sections shall apply to any above-grade RLRT system or facility as follows:

i. LUC 20.25A.110.D – Fences;

ii. LUC 20.25A.090 – Walkways and sidewalks;

iii. LUC 20.25A.160 – Site organization;

iv. LUC 20.25A.150 – Context;

v. LUC 20.25A.140 to 20.25A.180 – Downtown Design Guidelines;

c. Part 20.25B LUC – Transition Area Design District sections as follows:

i. LUC 20.25B.010 – Purpose;

ii. LUC 20.25B.040.A – Building Height;

iii. LUC 20.25B.040.C – Landscaping, Open Space and Buffers;

iv. LUC 20.25B.040.D – Site Design Standards;

v. LUC 20.25B.040.E – Mechanical Equipment;

vi. LUC 20.25B.050.B – Building Design Guidelines;

d. Part 20.25D LUC – BelRed LUC sections as follows:

i. LUC 20.25D.010.B – Land Use Districts;

ii. LUC 20.25D.070 – Land Use Charts;

iii. LUC 20.25D.110.B, C, D, E, F – Various landscape standards;

iv. LUC 20.25D.110.H – Fences;

v. LUC 20.25D.120.D – Parking Structure Performance Standards;

vi. LUC 20.25D.130 – BelRed Development Standards;

vii. LUC 20.25D.150 – Design Guidelines;

e. Part 20.25E LUC – Shoreline Overlay District; and

f. Part 20.25H LUC – Critical Areas Overlay District.

2. Applicable Procedural and Administrative Sections Incorporated by Reference. Predictability and certainty with respect to procedural Land Use Code requirements ensures effectiveness of permit review and that the level of public participation for individual RLRT facility applications occurs consistently across all land use districts and overlay areas of the City. The following procedural and administrative sections of the Land Use Code are expressly incorporated into the provisions of this Part 20.25M and apply to an RLRT facility:

a. LUC 20.25E.100 through 20.25E.200 – Shoreline Overlay District Procedures and Permits.

b. LUC 20.25E.250 through 20.25E.270 – Shoreline Overlay District Administration and Enforcement.

c. Chapter 20.35 LUC – Review and Appeal Procedures.

d. Chapter 20.40 LUC – Administration and Enforcement sections as follows:

i. LUC 20.40.010 through 20.40.480; and

ii. LUC 20.40.500 through 20.40.510.

e. Chapter 20.50 LUC – Definitions.

3. Overlay Standards and Guidelines. The general development requirements of Chapter 20.20 LUC are either currently inapplicable to an RLRT facility because of its location in the right-of-way, or are inconsistent with its effective or intended function. Therefore, the specific standards and guidelines contained in LUC 20.25M.040 through 20.25M.050 supplant and replace the provisions contained in Chapter 20.20 LUC. All words used in this overlay shall carry their customary meanings, except where specifically defined in Chapter 20.50 LUC (Definitions) or this Part 20.30M (Light Rail Overlay).

4. Light Rail Overlay District Applies. This Light Rail Overlay District specifically identifies and regulates RLRT systems and facilities. The specific regulations included by reference and contained in this overlay supplant and replace the general EPF provisions contained in LUC 20.20.350. RLRT facilities, such as an operations and maintenance satellite facility, that are specifically excluded from coverage under the terms of the overlay would continue to be processed pursuant to the general EPF provisions of LUC 20.20.350.

5. RLRT Transition Area – Design District. The Light Rail Overlay District is an “area providing transition” pursuant to LUC 20.25B.020. The Regional Transit Authority shall comply with the provisions of Part 20.25B LUC specifically incorporated by reference in this subsection D, except where standards in this Light Rail Overlay chapter are more restrictive. “Districts receiving transition” are R-1, R-1.8, R-2.5, R-3.5, R-4, R-7, R-7.5, R-10, R-20 and R-30 zoned properties developed in a residential use. The limitation contained in LUC 20.25B.020.B.3 is not applicable to the Light Rail Overlay District, RLRT facility or system. For purposes of applying the RLRT transition area requirements of this part, the Light Rail Overlay District is the area occupied by RLRT system improvements. (Ord. 6425, 10-1-18, § 22; Ord. 6417, 5-21-18, § 50; Ord. 6101, 2-25-13, § 1)