Station Area Planning

Station area planning is a city program that aims to better incorporate light rail into neighboring areas once Sound Transit's East Link extension is operational. It is an opportunity for the people who live, work, do business or own property in the vicinity of light rail stations to consider what light rail could mean to their community and to make a plan for the future. Station area planning does not address the design, operation or construction of the light rail station, alignment or ancillary structures. 

Citizen Advisory Committees

Public involvement has been a vital component of Station Area Planning which has included Citizen Advisory Committees (CACs), workshops, focus groups, and open houses.


Bellevue's station area planning is completely separate from Sound Transit's East Link station design work. Each neighborhood area has different issues. For example, while transit-oriented development (TOD) is viable in the areas around four of the stations, there is no TOD potential west of the East Main station or anywhere around the South Bellevue station, due to well-established city policy preserving existing single-family neighborhoods.

While each station is unique, issues common to all include:

  • Pedestrian/bicycle access from the surrounding area;
  • Local bus service to the station; and
  • Improvements such as sidewalks, utilities, landscaping and way-finding that could enhance the area.

Planning Goals

Station area planning seeks to:

  • Seek input from nearby residents, business and property owners to identify what issues should be addressed in the plan.
  • Analyze issues that can be addressed through the planning process, and develop different concepts and strategies.
  • Recommend which concept and strategies should be in the final plan.
  • Present the recommendation to the City Council for approval or further direction.
  • Make the plan a reality by implementing the strategies included in the recommendation.

Note: Station area planning does not include the design of the station itself, construction, mitigation, operation or maintenance of light rail; those are the responsibility of Sound Transit.

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