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Planning Commission - Agenda     
Wednesday, January 17, 2018

CALL TO ORDER:
The Planning Commission was called to order by Chair Dan Hubbell at 6:05 PM in the Council Chambers at 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.
 
ROLL CALL:
Chair Dan Hubbell, Vice Chair Tiffin Goodman, Commissioner Ted Weinberg, Lucia Pirzio-Biroli, Jennifer Mechem, Bryan Cairns and Carolyn Boatsman were present.
 
City staff was represented by Scott Greenberg, DSG Director, Evan Maxim, Planning Manager, Robin Proebsting, Senior Planner, Nicole Gaudette, Senior Planner, Bio Park, Assistant City Attorney, and Andrea Larson, Administrative Assistant.
 
Commissioner Weinberg moved to approve the October 18, 2017 minutes. Commissioner Boatsman seconded move to approve minutes. Commissioner Pirzio-Biroli identified several typographical corrections to the minutes.  7-0 minutes passed as amended.
 
APPEARANCES:
No public appearances.
 
REGULAR BUSINESS:
Agenda Item #1: Directorís Report
Scott Greenberg, DSG Director, gave a short presentation to the Commission about the 2017 year in review and a look at what is coming for 2018.
 
Agenda Item #2: 2018 Work Plan
Evan Maxim, Planning Manager, gave a short presentation on the 2018 Planning Commission work plan and schedule, including overall schedule and approach.
 
The commission discussed the schedule and plan to keep meetings on task and efficient.
 
Bio Park, Assistant City Attorney reminded the commission to not violate the OPMA with group emails/ replies to staff.
 
Agenda Item #3: Procedural Code Amendments
Nicole Gaudette, Senior Planner, gave a presentation introducing a proposed code amendment (ZTR18-001) related to procedural requirements for land use actions.  Staff is seeking confirmation of the proposed approach to the proposed amendments.
 
Commissioner Pirizo-Biroli requested that the staff investigate whether the building code and the engineering code may be matched more and be consolidated.
 
Commissioner Cairns questioned if this is a good time to look at other cityís processes to see if they have processes that would work better for MI.
 
The commission reviewed the proposal and agreed that this proposal should proceed.
 
The commission recessed at 7:21. The commission reconvened at 7:30.
 
Agenda Item#4: Critical Area Code Amendments
Robin Proebsting, Senior Planner, gave a presentation introducing the Critical Area code amendment (ZTR18-002) including a recommendation to City Council of the scope of work and schedule for review of the Cityís environmentally critical areas regulations. 
 
Questions posed to the Planning Commission
  1. Any suggested changes to scope of work?
  2. Any suggested changes to community engagement plan?
 
The commission discussed the recommended scope of work and asked clarifying questions related to the scope of work and Best Available Science (BAS).  Staff provided clarification on the process of the critical areas update and the legal basis for using BAS.
 
The Commission indicated that the scope should include review of seismic risks and critical aquifer recharge areas, and that the critical areas code should be consolidated into a single chapter if possible.  The Commission also requested that staff focus on those critical areas that exist on Mercer Island and need to be addressed.
 
The Commission discussed the public engagement process.  Commissioner Boatsman suggested more education of the public before asking for comment. Chair Hubbell suggested to creating productive dialog with people talking to each other rather than at each other. Commissioner Boatsman suggested that the Planning Commission host a panel with Commissioners responding to public comment.  Chair Hubbell suggested a panel with residents or builders on the island who have had to address critical areas on their sites. 
 
The Commission discussed the use of a community survey with targeted questions.  Chair Hubbell indicated that the City should be specific on the feedback that is wanted.  The Commission discussed community education vs. community feedback.
 
Other Business:
 
Chair Hubbell requests the commission share with Evan the dates that they will not be at meetings on the proposed schedule. The Commission indicated that Commissioners are generally available on Wednesdays.
 
Vice-Chair Goodman will be absent on February 7, 2018.
 
Chair Hubbell indicated that the Commission was interested in a monthly standing agenda item on City Councilís agenda to improve communication.
 
NEXT MEETING: 
The next regularly scheduled Planning Commission meeting will be February 7, 2018 at 6:00PM at Mercer Island City Hall. 
 
Adjournment:  Chair Dan Hubbell adjourned the meeting at 8:30pm.
 

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