Livable City Year

Proposed projects needing faculty partner

The proposed list of projects for the 2018-2019 Livable City Year partnership with the City of Bellevue is now available as a PDF file.


The projects are also provided below under the following headings:

Faculty members who are interested in learning more about a particular project(s) are invited to fill out the faculty interest form. We will then connect you with the City Project Lead and their team for further discussion.

Economic Development

EC-1: Trail Oriented Development

Division | Department: Planning | Community Development
City Project Lead: Emil King

With the Eastside Rail Corridor providing a regional, north-south, non-motorized connection through the city; the Mountains to Sound Greenway running east-west; the completion of the 520 Trail; and the I-90 Trail, along with other trail connections throughout the city, there is great opportunity to better define the role of adjacent development in activating these trails and making them true regional assets. The city is looking for best practices for trail-oriented development and preparation of placemaking guidelines.

This project would ideally be undertaken in the Autumn or Winter quarter.

EC-2: Public and Private Small Business Incubator Analysis for Startup 425

Division | Department: Cultural and Economic Vitality | Community Development
City Project Lead: Jesse Canedo

Purpose: Over the last two years, Bellevue and its neighbors have supported small businesses and entrepreneurs via Startup 425, a program that strives to provide timely, value-adding services to local startups. The program currently functions as an informal partnership between five distinct municipal entities. These cities have expressed a desire to evolve the program into an independent, self-sustaining program. To do that, staff requires extensive research on best practices, operating models, and service gaps currently in the local market.

Proposed Solution: A Livable City Year project can support Startup 425’s evolution by providing the research capacity for a larger strategic planning effort. LCY would undertake a ten-week project to analyze both public and private small business incubator models across the US. The research will be shared with a separate business advisory committee to provide the cities with a 360-degree view of the field. The committee will be made up of investors, entrepreneurs, mentors, and community groups that can pair the UW’s findings with their understanding of the local ecosystem to recommend a way forward for Startup 425.

Scope and Deliverables: The project will deliver a written report that summarizes best practices on topics such as funding, management structure, service offerings, and engagement with private investors. Those findings will identify options that best fit into the context of Washington State broadly, and the Eastside specifically. The body of work will be shared with, and integrated into, the committee’s recommendations. The exact items to be researched will be developed jointly by the committee and the LCY leads.

Transportation and Mobility

TR-1: Bike Share Pilot Evaluation

Division | Department: Planning | Transportation
City Project Lead: Andreas Piller

The City of Bellevue will begin permitting private companies to operate bike share services in Spring 2018. The pilot will last for up to one year. Data will be collected during that time to help inform the future of bike share in the city. The city will collect GPS-derived data from operators related to bicycle identification, location, availability and maintenance, trip records, collisions, complaints and compliance. However, there are some characteristics that can only be measured through field observation.

The city is looking for support to complete field assessments of bike share user behavior and an audit of bicycle parking. Intercept surveys will help gauge user and broader community perspectives. Following issue identification, research into best practices for bicycle and electric pedal-assist bicycle (e-bike) use on sidewalks should inform the development of recommended strategies (e.g., signage, education, regulation) to ensure safety, comfort and accessibility for all people using sidewalks without unduly restricting use.

This project must be undertaken in the Autumn and/or Spring quarter.

TR-2: Vision Zero Action Campaign

Division | Department: Planning | Transportation
City Project Lead: Franz Loewenherz

A partnership with faculty and students at the University of Washington on this proposal would enable Transportation Planning and Neighborhood Traffic Services staff to:

1. Survey successful state and local level programs to guide campaign development;

2. Analyze pedestrian/bicycle collision reports through 2012 to identify the themes, content and target audiences for the campaign;

3. Create tools that incorporate multiple forms of media and compelling stories to communicate “share the road” messages;

4. Work closely in the design of the program with Transportation Commissioners who have been strong advocates for this initiative;

5. Design specific outreach activities to promote bicycle safety for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians;

6. Encourage other regional and local agencies, pedestrian and bicycle advocacy groups, and neighborhood associations to partner in the campaign; and,

7. Evaluate the effectiveness of the campaign to determine changes in awareness and behavior.

This proposal will enable the City of Bellevue to join other nationally-recognized jurisdictions implementing quickly evolving best practices and innovative solutions in support of active transportation. While these tools hold great potential to increase awareness of pedestrians and cyclist on city streets, many of these treatments are not readily understood without complementary education programs. If the city means for all users to share its streets safely and courteously, it will need to communicate that message not only with paint and concrete but also with education efforts, such as additional signage and public service announcements (PSA) in English and other languages.

This project must be undertaken in the Winter and/or Spring quarter.

High Quality Built and Natural Environment

BNE-1: Eco-District Concept

Division | Department: Planning | Community Development
City Project Lead: Jennifer Ewing

There is opportunity to design innovative, scalable solutions to some of the challenges facing the city in sustainable, meaningful performance outcomes — in particular, the BelRed district, which is facing significant change with the construction of light rail. Focusing on the BelRed District, but with potential application toward other neighborhoods as well, review and develop recommendations for promoting future sustainable development. Evaluate neighborhood sustainability approaches such as Eco-districts and LEED for Neighborhood Development, develop concepts, best practices and implementation strategies which could support implementation of the environmental goals of the BelRed plan through public-private partnerships.

This project could occur over two quarters.

BNE-2: Historical and Cultural Resources Survey

Division | Department: Planning | Community Development
City Project Lead: Janet Lewine

Last updated in 1997, the Historical and Cultural Resources Survey could greatly benefit from an upgrade. Over the past few decades the scope of historical and cultural preservation practices has broadened to include a wide variety of resources (districts, buildings, public works, archeological sites, heritage areas, cultural landscapes, and related built environments). Many projects perform National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), and Environmental Impact Statements (EIS). This work would update the city’s resources, and would include coordination with the Eastside Heritage Foundation and the Washington State Department of Archeological and Historical Preservation.

This project could occur over two quarters and would ideally be undertaken in the Winter and Spring quarters.

BNE-3: Residential Architectural Pattern Book

Division | Department: Planning | Community Development
City Project Lead: Deborah Munkberg

The city’s neighborhoods have a wide variety of architectural styles that form patterns and visual identity for their residents. There has been a lot of residential infill and redevelopment in the city’s neighborhoods often characterized by existing residents as too intense or out of place. Identifying and documenting the architectural patterns and identity for the city’s neighborhoods is a very helpful data base that could inform many different purposes such as: potential infill design guidelines or redevelopment, historic preservation, affordable housing design and neighborhood planning. An architectural pattern book would identify the prominent architectural patterns whose continuation allows change to be accommodated while preserving valued aspects of neighborhood character. An understanding and focus on the patterns of development, such as orientation and rhythm of development, street frontages, scale and form, allows for diversity in specific architectural style while preserving the underlying sense of place and character of neighborhoods.

This project would ideally be undertaken in the Winter quarter.

BNE-4: Architectural and Site Planning Pattern Library

Division | Department: Land Use | Development Services
City Project Lead: Sally Nichols

Bellevue City Council recently approved a new Land Use Code section for the Downtown (Downtown Livability) with the overarching vision to encourage creation of a more livable environment for Downtown workers, visitors and residents. Other more urban areas of the city (Bel Red District, Wilburton District, Eastgate and Factoria) are beginning to see substantive changes in the urban built environment – particularly in areas surrounding the new East Link Light Rail Line. The Urban Design Team in the Land Use Division has for many years desired to create a catalogue/library of images (photographs) depicting the kinds of open spaces, streetscape, building design, etc. that we are looking for and could share with Design Review applicants (developers and designers) to showcase examples of successful built spaces and forms that have applicability to vibrant, livable urban development. This effort would include an assessment of the attributes of successful open spaces, streetscape, building form, and overall site development (as influenced by recent Land Use Code updates) and the creation of an image library that could be used by planners and applicants to visually support the livability components of the written Land Use Code. The project would entail:

  • Physically take photos and provide associated documentation of existing, successful public open spaces, public streetscapes, and urban architecture beginning with Bellevue and Seattle, and expanding to the Puget Sound region and beyond. Emphasis will be on positive examples and why they are successful, versus a critique of spaces that were not successful.
  • Set up a ‘visual’ library of these photos that responds to and/or is organized around the Design Guidelines in the Bellevue Land Use Code for the Downtown and Bel Red (LUC 20.25A and 25D). Library format to be determined and shall be user-friendly with the ultimate goal of placing on the city website as well as on internal intranet.
  • Along with each photo or series of photos, provide an assessment that discusses how the example successfully complies with intent of the Design Guidelines and highlights why the design is particularly successful. Provide a short narrative with each photo/example. Format and criteria to be used to be determined as part of the initial scoping.
  • Meet with local landscape architects, architects, urban planners to discuss and learn from their thoughts regarding successful urban design and garner photographic examples from these professionals to be included in the library. Specific professionals to be interviewed will be determined as part of the initial scoping.
  • Periodicals/social media/personal experience/etc.: Research successful open spaces/public streetscapes throughout the world and describe applicability to the urban Bellevue context. Devise a system to catalogue these examples within the larger library.

    Partners/Stakeholders would include City of Bellevue’s Land Use Division, particularly the Urban Design Team; Developments Services PIO/Senior Business Analyst for website interface; and Planning and Community Development Planner. Will also include local Architects/Landscape Architects/Urban Planners.


  • Photo library for the Land Use Sharepoint Site and procedures for adding photos and assessments by Land Use staff. Format to be placed on city website.
  • Article library for the Land Use Sharepoint Site and procedures for adding photos and assessments by Land Use staff. Format to be placed on city website.

BNE-5: Urban Forestry Best Practices

Division | Department: Planning | Community Development
City Project Lead: Jennifer Ewing

Bellevue’s motto “City in a Park” has helped guide park development, tree preservation, and development standards. Bellevue’s urban landscape has changed significantly in the past several decades. Development of urban forestry best practices will ensure that not only today’s community but tomorrow’s will enjoy the multitude of aesthetic and environmental benefits that come from a healthy urban forest. This effort could also include outreach and education regarding: tree canopy; the understanding and appreciation of economic, social and environmental benefits; and wildlife and habitat creation and preservation.

This project would ideally be undertaken in the Autumn quarter.

BNE-6: Transient Rentals Analysis

Division | Department: Civil Advice | City Attorney’s Office
City Project Lead: Nick Melissinos

The City of Bellevue seeks legal research and analysis on regulatory options available to the city in relation to transient and/or short term residential rentals and municipal regulation of short-term rentals, short-term providers, and short-term operators. The city would work with the students to conduct the statutory and case law research on these issues and provide analysis and recommendations to the city for moving forward with such regulation. This could be a potential partnership with both the Law School and the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance.

BNE-7: Neighborhood Profiles

Division | Department: Planning | Community Development
City Project Lead: Deborah Munkberg

Bellevue’s 16 neighborhood areas are characterized by diverse demographics and built and natural features. The city is initiating a neighborhood planning program that will rely on current and relevant data to illustrate the unique character of each neighborhood area and answer important questions. What features are important to improve or enhance? What trends indicate growing needs or opportunities? How can information be shared with the public in a way that is transparent, objective, and easy to understand? This project will identify the range of available data sources; conduct interviews of city staff and citizens as needed; consider strategies for communication such as use of infographics and formatting techniques to highlight key information; compile and organize data; and prepare neighborhood profiles. Work products will include neighborhood profiles and documentation of the work process so that it can be replicated in the future.

BNE-8: Best Practices for Neighborhood Planning

Division | Department: Planning | Community Development
City Project Lead: Terry Cullen

Residents in Bellevue have identified a variety of issues as important to their neighborhood. Throughout the city, commonly mentioned priority issues include traffic congestion, affordable housing, education, public safety, tree canopy, community character and others. Perspectives on these issues may vary depending on the neighborhood location, length of residency in Bellevue, growth and development experienced in the neighborhood, and other factors. For example, an interest in tree canopy may be expressed as a broad interest in environmental sustainability; localized interest in inventory, preservation, and planting programs; concern over view preservation and other perspectives. This project will consider information that has already been gathered about neighborhood priority issues, conduct interviews with city staff and citizens to better understand these issues, research best practices and develop a handbook of recommended strategies for addressing priority issues to be used in the city’s neighborhood planning program.

This project would ideally be undertaken in the Autumn quarter.

BNE-9: Civic Center Vision Development

Division | Department: Planning | Community Development
City Project Lead: Emil King

The Bellevue Comprehensive Plan identifies a Civic Center District surrounding Bellevue City Hall. This Civic Center vision would integrate City Hall, the “Metro property” adjacent to City Hall, Meydenbauer Convention Center (and its expansion), the existing Transit Center, and the future light rail station. It would interface with the Grand Connection (Meydenbauer Bay to Eastside Rail Corridor). Develop the vision and early master plan development, including research, outreach, community and stakeholder engagement, options, and extents.

This project would ideally be undertaken in the Winter and/or Spring quarters.

BNE-10: Smart Buildings

Division | Department: Facility Services | Civic Services
City Project Lead: Emma Johnson

Does data make a Smart Building? Understanding your energy and water performance through a benchmarked “score” (e.g., a rating that compares against your peers such as the Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey or EPA Portfolio Manager) is often touted as the first step to energy management. However, every building operator says that their building is unique. This project would assess the value of presenting building managers with a localized energy score — such as one that compares them specifically to other buildings in Bellevue, Seattle or the eastside — vs. a nationwide comparison that is normalized. In addition, the project would make recommendations how to leverage the new Automated Meter Infrastructure for water consumption to create metrics about water consumption.

This project must be undertaken in either the Autumn or Winter quarters.

BNE-11: Tinkerers’ Laboratory Space

Division | Department: Planning | Community Development
City Project Lead: Nicholas Matz

With Bellevue’s growth, the city’s Light Industrial (LI) zoning category is a district in search of a purpose. There are startups out there that need a laboratory for physical tinkering, a playroom to make things from applied technology—but can’t afford BelRed lease rates. 3D printing firms are an example. They need to have a messy place, something not offered with the city’s current menu of shared work concepts. This project would flesh out a tinkerer’s lab space for venture startup groups that need to get messy, that need open work space in the LI previously known for indoor manufacturing. It would organize startups that can’t be in neat BelRed, identify a purpose for template LI buildings, and bring together these groups into a unique workplace niche. The project would organize these anarchic firms and individuals into a shared collective space, and the city could leverage their work and community towards its own growing needs (3D printing, for example).

Bellevue: Great Places Where You Want to Be

GP-1: Marketing of Parks and Community Services Programs

Division | Department: Administration | Parks and Community Services
City Project Lead: Colin Walker

In March 2018, Parks and Community Services implemented a new recreation program registration system which allows customers to view and register for programs and is accessible on all mobile devices. With this new system, along with other systems in place, the city is looking to develop customizable program brochures to better serve our online customers.

GP-2: Special Events

Division | Department: Enterprise | Parks and Community Services
City Project Lead: Jon Wilson

The demand for special events, both public and private, and including demonstrations and public rallies, is growing throughout the city. This demand will continue to grow in the future. The Parks and Community Services Department is interested in an evaluation of the current model of management of special events, including:

  • Management of Special Event Code (SEC) from processing applications, fees, and permitting;
  • Economic impact of special events which would include SEC and OED;
  • Urban planning for special events to help assist in transportation and mobility to and from events (parking, mass transit, ridesharing, etc.).

Following the evaluation and assessment of the current management model, asses and develop best practices including modifications to the Special Event Code and specific event requirements to maximize the ability of these kinds of events to add to the unique character of Bellevue.

GP-3: Customized Walk/Mobility Score

Division | Department: Planning | Community Development
City Project Lead: Nicholas Matz

Applications such as Walk Score assess a community’s existing connectivity and mobility. An iterative, customized score for each neighborhood would enable the city’s neighborhood planning group to base a connectivity score on more fine-grained data. This would be gathered into a database and then uniquely applied to the city’s GIS application through this effort, so that the score could be used in a predictive fashion. For example, how would adding sidewalks in a certain area, or supporting connectivity to shopping and education through infrastructure increase the score?

This project would ideally be undertaken in the Winter quarter.

GP-4: Food Truck Program

Division | Department: ROW/Permit Inspection | Transportation
City Project Lead: Ben Wright

Food trucks have become increasingly popular in recent years and can be complicated from a regulatory standpoint (vehicles and food services establishments). The city is interested in evaluating and developing citywide food truck best practices. This program would include any nuanced differences between centers (Downtown, Crossroads, Factoria) as well as special events. Development of best practices for how to frame the regulatory aspects, such as temporary merchants, permanent mobile locations or semi-frequent locations. Best practices would include practices for obtaining business licenses, permitting, health department requirements, and evaluation of potential costs to both vendors and the city.

Achieving Human Potential

HP-1: Safe Parking Lots

Division | Department: Land Use | Development Services
City Project Lead: Toni Pratt

Safe parking programs help address the unique needs of vehicle residents, one prominent segment of the unhoused population using their vehicle as a place of personal refuge and shelter. Vehicle residents make up a significant portion of King County’s total unsheltered population — 42% in 2017. These programs use existing public or privately-owned parking infrastructure to provide vehicle residents with a safe, reliable, and legal place to park.

Safe parking programs exist in several locations on the Eastside, however there appear to be gaps in providing services to men, families and people with pets. The benefits of community and relationships can be life-changing and critical in the path to stable housing. The city is interested in evaluation of current resources and providers, research of best practices for “safe-parking lots,” outreach to faith communities, and outreach to the community to determine whether a safe-parking lot approach could address needs for both shelter and safe and livable community.

This project would ideally be undertaken in the Autumn quarter.

HP-2: Implicit Bias in Criminal Prosecution

Division | Department: Prosecution | City Attorney’s Office
City Project Lead: Steve Penner

The goal of criminal prosecution is to seek justice, but that goal is undermined if decisions regarding charging, plea offers, and sentencing are impacted by implicit bias against a defendant’s race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation or other demographic markers.

This project would seek to:

  • Gather data from the City Attorney’s Office and its criminal justice partners (e.g., Bellevue Police Department, King County District Court) to identify potential implicit bias in the prosecution of criminal cases in Bellevue;
  • Formulate recommendations for addressing currently identified evidence of implicit bias and for avoiding further implicit bias in the future including but not limited to guidelines and training for prosecution attorneys and staff;
  • As a regional leader, share findings and solutions with other criminal justice agencies in the area to increase the impact of our efforts to combat implicit bias in criminal prosecution.

High Performance Government

HPG-1: Multi-Family Outreach

Division | Department: Neighborhood Services | Community Development
City Project Lead: Mike McCormick-Huentelman

Bellevue’s multi-family neighborhoods have grown in recent years with development in the Downtown and BelRed. Multi-family residential environments are typically harder to reach through traditional city communication programs. The city is interested in research that will evaluate and assess best practices in outreach to those multi-family communities. Work includes developing new strategies, implementing pilot programs, and providing recommendations to better inform and engage Bellevue’s multi-family communities. Consideration of equity, inclusion and access are expected to play a significant part in the practices developed.

HPG-2: Chinese Outreach

Division | Department: Neighborhood Services | Community Development
City Project Lead: Mike McCormick-Huentelman

Bellevue’s cultural diversity has seen significant changes in the past 10 years. Bellevue would like to increase community and civic engagement to better connect with the Chinese community. This program would research, evaluate, and assess best practices to develop new strategies, tools, and programs to better engage and connect with Bellevue’s Chinese community. This work would include implementing pilot programs and providing recommendations based on information developed through piloting different techniques and strategies.

This project could occur over two quarters and would ideally be undertaken in the Winter and Spring quarters.

HPG-3: Mobile Mini City Hall

Division | Department: Neighborhood Services | Community Development
City Project Lead: Mike McCormick-Huentelman

To ensure residents have access to services and information, Bellevue has operated “Mini City Hall” at the Crossroads Shopping Center. This location is a fully-equipped satellite office, specializing in personalized customer services and outreach to Bellevue’s diverse population. Services are provided in eight languages and staff are available to provide information and assistance to visitors Monday through Saturday. Services include information and referral, connection to city and community services, quick responses to concerns, information about jobs, city bill payment location, multi-language materials and services, and community events. The city is interested in extending this type of service to communities beyond the Crossroads Shopping Center with evaluation of options, resource needs, potential costs and development of a pilot project to implement a mobile mini city hall.

This project could occur over two quarters and would ideally be undertaken in the Winter and Spring quarters.

HPG-4: Language Access Policy Implementation

Division | Department: Diversity Advantage Team | City Manager’s Office
City Project Lead: Elaine Acacio

The City of Bellevue is in the process of developing a language access policy to address Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and ADA. Title VI requires agencies that receive federal funding to ensure all people have access to government services, regardless of national origin, which includes persons of limited English proficiency. The plans for implementing the policy, once adopted, will require further exploration including:

  • The funding mechanism for translation, interpretation and staff training;
  • The development of potential incentives and/or compensation for employees who are bilingual, determining whether only employees who are bilingual in certain languages will receive incentive pay (i.e., top five languages spoken in Bellevue) and the process for certifying an employee’s bilingual competency;
  • The development of training for staff on city and department language access policies and procedures that may include identifying the language needs of customers with limited English proficiency, requesting documents for translation, working with an interpreter in person or on the telephone, etc.

HPG-5: Drone Policy Development

Division | Department: City Manager’s Office
City Project Lead: Nancy LaCombe

New technology related to unmanned aerial systems (UAS or drones), has significant implications across many platforms (privacy, federal laws, state laws, property laws, safety, etc.), coupled with licensing and registration requirements. This project would help develop, identify, and analyze the implications of using drones to support city services, in order to determine whether the city should proceed to engage the public and policymakers about potential public use. The city would benefit from evaluation and assessment of current trends, and recommendations for public engagement strategies and policy language for the use of drones within the city, including lessons learned from other local government entities that have already employed this technology.

HPG-6: Increasing Equity and Access for Open Meetings

Division | Department: City Clerk’s Office
City Project Lead: Kyle Stannert

A baseline of requirements for meetings of governing bodies is established by the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) (RCW 42.30). While many aspects of the law are focused on actions taken by members of the body, there are community-facing requirements that must be met for a meeting to be valid. These elements, and historic best practices for public participation, include:

  • Public notice of meetings, special meetings, and public hearings;
  • Agendas and published meeting materials;
  • Creation of meeting minutes;
  • Rules governing public comment during meetings.

City Clerk’s Office staff are interested in pursuing methods to enhance traditional approaches of meeting compliance that reflect the community we serve. Areas of exploration may include methods of communicating with governing bodies (online and in person) and using technology to assist with the translation of meeting materials and presentations.

Deliverables may include strategy guidance such as the development of a maturity model, identification of tools and processes, or research into emerging best practices supporting public participation.

HPG-7: Innovation Lab at Bellevue Service Center

Division | Department: City Manager’s Office
City Project Lead: Kyle Stannert

Several innovation laboratories have been established within Bellevue (GIX and Bellevue Downtown Library). The city’s Bellevue Service Center (located in north Bellevue) is home to Utilities, Streets and Fleet Management personnel. Evaluate, assess and determine if an innovation lab with a focus on skilled labor, such as city infrastructure maintenance, could be implemented at the Bellevue Service Center.

HPG-8: Budget Book Evaluation

Division | Department: Budget | Finance
City Project Lead: Jordan More

The City of Bellevue currently produces a budget book that spans 730 pages every biennium. While it must contain certain elements per the RCW, the book also needs the ability to tell the story of the city to help policymakers, staff, and citizens understand the work the city performs. As part of this project, we would be looking for an analysis on how well the current budget book performs this task and seeking suggestions on how to make it better.

Deliverables would include concrete feedback on how various sections of the book tell the story, examples from other cities on how their budget products might do a better job, and potentially rework of either discrete portions, or even the entire Bellevue budget book into a new, superior product. This project would be great for Finance, Accounting, Public Administration, or Public Policy students to learn the workings of the Bellevue budget and budget process.

HPG-9: Public Private Partnerships

Division | Department: Cultural and Economic Vitality | Community Development
City Project Lead: Jesse Canedo

This project consists of conducting research and making recommendations on how to use a Public-Private Partnership model to redevelop city-owned property for public benefit. Examples include building affordable commercial space above a public parking garage, building artist housing in BelRed, and building a campus for a creative arts college. Deliverables may include recommendations on how to execute complex property transactions, risk management and risk sharing best practices, possible changes in city policy, and lists of potential venture partners, among other things. The final project will be developed in partnership with COB’s new P3 Manager.

Project participants are encouraged to explore successful P3 models and lessons learned in other communities. The city needs particular help to understand opportunities in Bellevue based on the interaction of Washington state regulations, property conditions, and capital markets.

This project would ideally be undertaken in either the Autumn or Winter quarters.

HPG-10: Development Services Customer Outreach Survey Development

Division | Department: Business Services | Development Services
City Project Lead: Steph Collier

The Development Services function at the City of Bellevue is managed as a multi-department single line-of-business that provides services to both the private and public sector. Our staff primarily provide information, assist customers, and review and inspect a diverse range of development projects or proposals from street right-of-way use applications and landscaping to water service, fire sprinkler systems, mass transit light-rail and mixed-use high-rise construction. We are committed to providing excellent service to our customers and therefore it is essential that we obtain accurate and meaningful feedback on what our customers experienced in interacting with us and that we obtain it soon after those interactions to ensure that it is still relevant and that we can respond faster.

To meet that goal, DS has selected the software product Qualtrics which we believe has outstanding capabilities to provide real-time, relevant feedback. The next step is to design an actual survey tool, potentially with customer input. In addition, the City of Bellevue Information Technology Department (ITD) has created a digital strategy/roadmap, with engagement and data analytics as two pillars of that strategy. ITD sees the Qualtrics-DS partnership is as a promising pilot project, which could result in a scalable, enterprise-wide solution for all departments to engage their customers, both external and internal. This project will:

  1. Create and implement short, touchpoint surveys to solicit real-time feedback from our customers about their experiences:
    • In the permit center
    • With customer service (anytime, anybody),
    • After application of permit is made
    • After review is completed, at permit issuance
    • During or at end of inspection process

    Survey questions could cover topics including, but not limited to: overall customer satisfaction, consistency, understandable process, how we can improve.

  2. Analyze survey results, track longitudinal data/trends with new and historic data and establish an ongoing process for implementing process improvements based on customer feedback.

HPG-11: Accounts Receivable Evaluation

Division | Department: Business Systems | Finance
City Project Lead: Peter Jensen

Currently the city has decentralized receivable operations across several departments. Citizens must go to different web pages to pay their various city bills. For example, the city’s website has links to pay utilities, taxes, licenses, and permits. However, each link takes the customer to a different location and does not allow them to pay all the bills in one spot. There is also no link to other fees such as probation and marina fees.

There are three goals for this project:

  1. Inventory the billing systems currently in place around the city and how customers currently pay for those services.
  2. Research into best practices and tools of how other public entities address disparate customer billing systems in a customer friendly manner.
  3. Research what it would take to create a one-stop shop for all customer-facing billing systems.

The deliverables would be an inventory and description of the billing systems currently in place.  Deliverables may also include strategy guidance such as the identification of tools and processes or research into emerging best practices supporting public payment portals. The analysis should include costs and feasibility of creating a one-stop shop while maintaining the disparate systems.

HPG-12: Recreation Assistant Pay Plans

Division | Department: Labor Relations and Compensation | Human Resources
City Project Lead: Jules Shepherd

The City of Bellevue currently has a supplemental pay schedule known as the “R Pay Plan” which classifies and determines pay for positions that perform part-time, variable or seasonal work in our Parks and Community Services Department. The R Pay Plan has three broadly defined classifications: Recreation Assistant 1, Recreation Assistant 2 and Recreation Assistant 3. Within these classifications are a variety of positions including but not limited to lifeguard, tennis instructor, cashier, beach manager, camp counselor, etc. Recent changes in the minimum wage laws and the fact that this pay plan has not been updated recently has caused the current structure and pay ranges to become outdated and ineffective. The city would like an analysis of the current work being performed by incumbents in the R pay plan classifications as well as a review similar work being performed in neighboring jurisdictions to provide a recommendation for potential changes to the structure and/or pay ranges.

HPG-13: Automatic Vehicle Locator for Transportation: Streets/Signals

Division | Department: Traffic Engineering | Transportation
City Project Lead: Daniel Lai

The ability to automatically and quickly locate the geographic location of a city-owned vehicle could provide benefit to resource management and more rapid deployment in emergency vehicles and/or more timely issue resolution. It could also facilitate more efficiency of fleet operations, reduces vehicle downtime and enhances worker safety. Assess existing challenges, evaluate best practices/available options, identify potential costs and develop recommendations for implementation.

HPG-14: Community Outreach Using CRR

Division | Department: Community Liaison | Fire Department
City Project Lead: Heather Wong

Building on work done to prepare for Fire Department re-accreditation, prepare outreach strategies using Community Risk Reduction (CRR) for our most at-risk populations. This effort would identify the risk factors, most effective engagement strategies, and resources. Additional information regarding CRR best practices can be found here. The Bellevue Fire Department’s CRR visualization tool can be found here.

HPG-15: Knox Keyway Replacement Study

Division | Department: Fire Prevention | Fire Department
City Project Lead: Ken Carlson

Knox boxes are small, wall-mounted safes that hold building keys for fire departments to retrieve in emergency situations through the use of a single master key. The Bellevue Fire Department is currently beta testing an electronic key to replace the existing mechanical key. There are approximately 1,800 knox boxes throughout the fire department’s service area but the city does not have an accurate inventory of the boxes. In addition, the cost of keyway replacement is significant at approximately $400,000 – $500,000. Deliverables would include creating an up-to-date, accurate inventory of existing knox boxes in the service area and developing options for the department to consider to cover the cost of replacement, including cost sharing with building owners.

HPG-16: Preventable Response Program Evaluation

Division | Department: Fire Prevention | Fire Department
City Project Lead: Erin Clarke

The Fire Department has had a preventable response ordinance since 1994 that has remained unchanged with the exception of the monetary penalty. The intent of the ordinance is to encourage maintenance and needed modifications of alarm systems and discourage careless acts that result in alarm activation.

The Fire Department is seeking an evaluation of its Preventable Response Report program, working with program staff and firefighters to create a more efficient and effective process for responding firefighters to record instances of false alarm, report creation from the city’s electronic records system, and measure success of the program.

HPG-17: Smoke Detector Awareness

Division | Department: Community Liaison | Fire Department
City Project Lead: Heather Wong

Dwellings that lack working smoke detectors pose the biggest risk to our residents. This project would create an awareness strategy highlighting the need for working smoke detectors in all bedrooms and in all levels of dwellings and hallways providing access to bedrooms. It would also spotlight the need to replace smoke detectors every 10 years.

HPG-18: Product Recall Messaging

Division | Department: Community Liaison | Fire Department
City Project Lead: Heather Wong

Manufacturers regularly recall products because the products fail to operate as intended. Fire safety products such as smoke detectors, fire sprinklers, and fire extinguishers are all examples of recently recalled products that are relied on in the direst of circumstances and yet there is currently no effective way to message this to the community.

HPG-19: Smoke Control Inventory

Division | Department: Fire Prevention | Fire Department 
City Project Lead: Travis Ripley

Many buildings in our service area have smoke control systems. An inventory of buildings that have these systems and information on system design would greatly benefit reviewers in Development Services and the pre-fire program. This project involves creating a database of these systems that would include capturing images of the smoke control panels.

HPG-20: Property Contacts

Division | Department: Fire Prevention | Fire Department 
City Project Lead: Erin Clarke

Contacting building owners can be a daunting task, whether it is a fire crew attempting to deliver a notice of inspection to the responsible party at a condominium complex, or a member of the Fire Prevention Division following up on a past due inspection, or our Community Risk Reduction Specialist attempting to push out an awareness message. There are a variety of databases used in the city along with a county database. This project would identify a single, easy-to-use database that the Fire Department could use for its many purposes.

HPG-21: Development of Fast Teams

Division | Department: Office of Emergency Management | Fire Department
City Project Lead: Curry Mayer

Sheltering residents following an emergency or disaster is a vital responsibility for the City of Bellevue. It is vital that shelters are inclusive and that all residents are welcome, including those with access and functional needs. To make this a reality, the City of Bellevue is working with regional partners to form a Functional Assessment Service Team (FAST). FAST teams are groups of trained individuals who deploy to shelters to assess how best to accommodate individuals with functional and access needs. FAST members assess what their individual needs are and coordinate the procurement of resources that are necessary to ensure those individuals can remain at the shelters when no longer needed. The city would benefit from research on which local organizations who work with Access and Functional Needs populations would be willing to work with the Office of Emergency Management to develop FAST Teams.

HPG-22: Translating Emergency Communications

Division | Department: Office of Emergency Management | Fire Department
City Project Lead: Ellen Montanana

Effective and efficient communications with the public are critical following an emergency or disaster. However, sharing this life safety information is not helpful for individuals with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) who cannot understand everything being said. To address this issue, the Washington State Legislature approved RCW 38.52.070, which requires that all emergency communications be shared in languages spoken by significant portions of the jurisdiction’s population. This law seeks to ensure all residents can receive life safety information following a disaster and are able to take necessary actions to protect themselves and their families. The city would benefit from research regarding which languages are most frequently used and should be translated for Bellevue, strategies for communicating effectively with non-English speaking populations during emergencies, and the development of stronger relationships with local non-English speaking communities.

HPG-23: Onboarding

Division | Department: Talent Management | Human Resources
City Project Lead: Kristin Headlee

The Human Resources Department currently has on its workplan a project to revamp the city’s onboarding process which involves researching best practices and proposing tools, checklists and ideas that HR could provide to city departments and/or HR would offer. This would also include revamping the Human Resources website to include an online onboarding tool where new hires can receive and complete necessary forms, host videos, find information from Bellevue Beginnings training (required for all fully benefited employees) and information on a baseline onboarding plan for all departments to follow and customize according to departmental needs.

This project must be undertaken in the Autumn quarter.

HPG-24: Data Opportunities for Budget Process

Division | Department: Budget | Finance
City Project Lead: Victoria Michailova

This project involves an evaluation of the processes behind the consolidation of the data for the city’s budget process with an eye toward recommendations for Microsoft-based automation opportunities. Includes documentation of processes for risk management purposes.

HPG-25: Recognition

Division | Department: Training and Development | Human Resources
City Project Lead: Liz Glick

Employee recognition is an important component in maintaining an engaged workforce. While internal programs provide personalized recognition, and are specific to departmental goals, it is also important to recognize efforts at an organizational level which emphasizes our core values and organizational goals. We would ask the team to research best practices and provide a recommendation on options for organization-wide recognition programs. The programs should demonstrate alignment with our identity as a city, our core values and our priorities and goals. It should foster a work culture that encourages collaboration, innovation and future focus.

This project must be undertaken in either the Autumn or Winter quarters.

HPG-26: Open Data Portal Engagement

Division | Department: Information Technology
City Project Lead: Jeremiah Griswold

The City of Bellevue launched our Open Data portal ( in February 2016. Bellevue believes that public data should be available to the public, and the Open Data portal provides this service proactively, updating data on a regular basis to be viewed, explored and downloaded as needed.

The Open Data portal is a great tool but city staff do not have the time or all of the necessary skills to reach out into the community and showcase the portal, or to gather feedback regarding desired datasets.

The project would involve students creating and implementing a strategy that would increase awareness and participation in the program by actively engaging the community. This engagement could include going out into the community and gather feedback about the program, identify requests for datasets of community interest (especially those relating to livability and/or sustainability) and help with creating stories around data the community would be interested in.

This project could be matched with students from multiple disciplines (marketing, community relations, MPA/political science, environmental science, etc.).

HPG-27: Engineering Design Services Business Case Development

Division | Department: Engineering | Utilities
City Project Lead: Connie Bartels

In 2006, the City of Bellevue’s Utilities Department decided to outsource all engineering design work to external consultants. For the past 12 years, the city has contracted with consultants for its design work on projects to repair, rehabilitate and/or replace aged water, sewer and stormwater infrastructure.

The proposed project is to develop a business case that examines different options for performing engineering design work on capital improvement projects (CIP) to help the Utilities Departments deliver its CIP Program.

Several options (e.g., in-house design, out-sourced design, blended models) will be identified and analyzed to determine the best possible re-structure recommendation. A cost-benefit analysis, risk assessment and overall viability evaluation will be performed on each option. The comprehensive business case will be presented to the Bellevue Utilities Directors for approval.

HPG-28: Utilities Emergency Planning and Response Program Development

Division | Department: Operations & Maintenance | Utilities
City Project Lead: Don McQuilliams

The Utilities Department is expanding our existing emergency management program and hiring a Program Administrator to develop and implement a revised Emergency Planning and Response Program. This is an opportunity to participate in the development of a program that will set the foundation for how Bellevue Utilities operates emergency management response activities for years to come. The student role in this work would be to assist the Program Administrator in the development of the Emergency Planning and Response Program. Examples of work that students would participate on are:

• Development of contractual agreements with other government entities and outside vendors.

• Research and development of industry standard training plans focused on Emergency Management.

• Research and development of emergency planning tabletop exercises, templates and areas of focus.

This project must be undertaken in either the Autumn or Winter quarters.

HPG-29: Chart of Accounts

Division | Department: Accounting | Finance
City Project Lead: James Alcantar 

The chart of accounts is the foundation of any financial reporting system. The city is currently beginning to research various opportunities to upgrade the financial reporting system it uses. The current chart of accounts has been in place for several years and will need to be improved to be ready for a new system.  The major areas of opportunity are simplifying the object codes on the expenditure side and the subsidiary accounts on the revenue side.

There are four goals for this project:

  1. Review existing chart of accounts structures
  2. Develop information requirements by components (revenue, expenditures, assets, etc.)
  3. Recommend a streamlined chart of accounts structure
  4. Maintain Budget Accounting and Reporting System (BARS) requirements

The deliverables would include the review of the existing chart of accounts structures. This would include interviewing information stakeholders to determine what information is needed and how it will be used. It would also identify where a single segment is used for multiple purposes. Deliverables may also include identification of tools and processes regarding best practices for the chart of accounts. The analysis should include the requirements for each component and a recommendation of how to streamline the chart of accounts. Any recommendation would have to maintain the BARS standards as set forth by the State of Washington.

This project would ideally be undertaken in the Autumn quarter.