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Planning Commission - Agenda     
Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Call to Order:
Chair Adam Cooper called the meeting to order at 7:34 PM in the Council Chambers, at 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington. 
Roll Call:
Chair Adam Cooper and Commissioners Bryan Cairns, Eric Laschever, and Craig Olson were present.  Vice-Chair Jon Friedman and Commissioners Steve Marshall and Kristen Orndorff were excused.  Council Liaison El Jahncke was present.  City staff was represented by Shane Moloney, Assistant City Attorney; Tim Stewart, Development Services Director; George Steirer, Principal Planner; and Travis Saunders, Planner.  .
Emmett Maloof of 4835 Forest Avenue SE provided comment regarding the Shoreline Master Program (SMP), requesting an exception for allowance of boat lifts within 30 feet from the shoreline, when the water depth is exceptionally deep.
Dave Douglas 818 Mill Avenue, Snohomish, WA 98290 provided comment regarding the SMP, thanking the Commission for their work, and commenting that the Department of Ecology pointing at the Army Corps of Engineers RGP-3 standards as a way to achieve ¡°no net loss¡± is poor due diligence.
Dwight Schaefer of 6958 96th Avenue SE provided comment regarding the SMP, noting that there is no science that argues that overwater shading has effect on predation.
Emmett Maloof of 4835 Forest Avenue SE provided additional comment, requesting that there should be an exception for moorage piles within 30 feet of the shoreline, where water depth is exceptionally deep.
Dwight Schaefer of 6958 96th Avenue SE provided additional comment, requesting that the two moorage pile limitation be removed.
Commissioner Olson motioned to approve the minutes from March 16, 2011. Commissioner Laschever seconded the motion. The Commission unanimously approved the minutes as written.
Regular Business:
Agenda Item #1: Shoreline Master Program update ¨C Review of Planning Commission Requested Revisions; Final Review of Draft Shoreline Master Program; and Planning Commission Attendance at City Council.
George Steirer, Principal Planner, provided a presentation to the Commission regarding the Commission requested information from the March 16, 2011 SMP hearing.
The Commission asked questions of staff, requesting that staff provide the City Council with SMP expenditure totals incurred by peer jurisdictions.
The Commission made the following edits to the Planning Commission Findings, Conclusions, and Recommendation to the City Council for the Shoreline Master Program Adoption:

  • Conclusions edited to read: The Planning Commission¡¯s work in the development of this proposed SMP for the City of Mercer Island has been complex and contentious. The State of Washington¡¯s Guidelines for the SMP ¡°allow local governments substantial discretion to adopt master program reflecting local circumstances and other local regulatory and non©\regulatory program related to the policy goals of Shoreline Management¡­¡± The Commission believes that this proposal meets the needs of our community and the mandate of the State of Washington including the standard for no net loss, by balancing the protection of the environment with the protection of private property rights.


  • Finding 14 edited to read: In reaching its final recommendation, and after careful and diligent review of all relevant information, the Planning Commission believes the proposed SMP has achieved a balance between the public interest and private property rights, satisfying the state SMP mandate of no net loss.


  • Finding 18 edited to read: Structures Waterward of the Ordinary High Water Mark, especially in the first 30¡¯. The State DOE has stated that ¡°Ecology will require maximum moorage width to be 4 feet within the first 30 waterward of the OHWM with a 6¡¯ width beyond that point¡±. The existing SMP allows docks up to 8¡¯ wide with no distinction for the first 30¡¯.  The Planning Commission recommends a maximum width of 8¡¯ which ¡°must be fully grated with materials that allow a minimum of 40% light transmittance¡±. The Planning Commission received and evaluated a huge amount of information related to the impact of light and shade on salmon and bass populations. After careful consideration of all the facts, the Planning Commission is unconvinced there would be a net loss of shoreline ecological function in comparing an 8¡¯ grated dock with a 4¡¯ or 6¡¯ grated dock and has concluded that no scientific or quantitative relationship between residential dock coverage and significant smolt survival has been conclusively demonstrated.  For example, juvenile salmonids are most abundant at stream mouths which are not generally present on Mercer Island.  In addition, the studies most specific to South Lake Washington and bass predation concluded that residential dock shading was not a significant factor.  The Commission received and evaluated a number of comments from waterfront property owners supporting an 8¡¯ maximum width.

The Commission revised the Draft SMP to decrease the maximum height standard for covered moorages from 20 feet to 16 feet.
The City Council is to receive the Shoreline Master Program on April 25, 2011.  A joint City/School Board meeting is to be held on April 14, 2011.
Staff Comments:
A Planning Commission training session will occur in June.  Review of the 2011Planning Commission Work Program and a hearing regarding a Long Plat Alteration is scheduled for April 20, 2011.  Two Planning Commission position terms are expiring and one is being vacated.   
Planned Absences for Future Meetings:
Announcements and Communications:
Next Regular Meeting: 
The next Planning Commission meeting is scheduled for April 20, 2011.
The Planning Commission meeting was adjourned at 8:33 PM.


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