Washington is famous for its gorgeous and abundant waterways, from the Salish Sea to the Nisqually River, but many communities lack open public beaches and waterfronts where everyone can enjoy picnicking, swimming, paddling, boating, and angling. Water Access projects fund public shoreline access, boat launches, and fishing docks to create more opportunities for water recreation.
The scope of this project acquired the two remaining privately-owned waterfront parcels between Meydenbauer Beach Park and the City-owned marina. Bellevue is bounded on the west by Lake Washington and on the east by Lake Sammamish. However, because of urban development, topography and the almost continuous private ownership of the shoreline, the public has limited visual and physical access to these lakes. Of the fourteen miles of shoreline along the two lakes, less than twelve percent is in public ownership. Bellevue has made a substantial commitment over the past decade to increase its public presence along the waterfront, especially on Lake Washington. Several parcels have been acquired between Meydenbauer Beach Park and the marina. This linear connection is now complete with the purchase of the waterfront parcels that are the subject of this grant proposal. Acquisition of these two parcels (our Project Site) added .5 acres and 146 linear feet of waterfront to the City’s holdings and substantially completes the Lake Washington acquisition plan envisioned in the mid-1970’s and implemented beginning in 1993. These two properties are critical to the City’s long-range vision for this area – a waterfront park that extends from Meydenbauer Beach Park to the marina, and a connection from that park to downtown Bellevue’s commercial and residential areas and the Downtown Park. Acquisition of these parcels furthers the vision to provide a regionally significant waterfront destination.