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Bellevue Allows Helicopter Landing in Downtown

After more than two years of study, hundreds of pages of hearing examiner decisions and appeals, and multiple public hearings, the Bellevue City Council on Monday, May 16, approved a permit allowing helicopters to land on a downtown Bellevue office building.

The conditional-use permit allows up to five landings-takeoffs per week on top of the 21-story Bank of America Building at Bellevue Place. A maximum of four landings will be allowed from 9am to 6pm on weekdays, and one on Saturday from 10am to 5pm.

Approval came after the council tightened several permit conditions out of concern about potential impacts on downtown residents. Changes mean that helicopters must adhere to a strict flight path on freeways and NE 8th Street only; Kemper Development, which owns the building, must document deviations in hours or frequency of operation; and the city has a right to modify or revoke the permit.

Council members voted 6-0 (Councilman Grant Degginger was absent) in favor of granting the permit to Kemper Development Company. The company of downtown property owner Kemper Freeman Jr. applied for the permit in 2009. The helistop was constructed in 1988, and temporary permits have allowed for limited landings since that time.

Published: May 19, 2011


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