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Design Commission - Minutes     
Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Call To Order:

Vice Chair Norman Sandler called the regularly scheduled Design Commission meeting to order at 7:36 PM in the Council Chambers, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington. 


Roll Call:

Vice Chair Norman Sandler, Commissioners Brian Caditz, Marcia Dawson, Lucia Pirzio-Biroli Callie Ridolfi and George Wittman were present.  Chairman Fred Glick was absent.


Staff Present:                                                        

Richard Hart, Development Services Director and Shelley Krueger, Associate Planner.



Commissioner Wittman moved, Commissioner Dawson seconded, to approve the minutes of November 10, 2004.  The minutes were approved by a vote of 6-0.


Regular Business:


Action Item #1: The applicant, RW Thorpe and Associates for the Mercerwood Shore Club, requested Preliminary Design Approval for the addition of:

·         a pool “bubble” cover

·         addition of height to the pool mechanical building

·         a new face for the existing sign at the entrance to the site

·         fencing for a dumpster

·         landscaping additions


The applicant had come before the Design Commission for a study session on October 13, 2004. 


Commissioner Dawson stated that she had ex-parte contact with the individuals at the Shore Club, but felt it would have no impact on her review and decision at this meeting. 


Shelley Krueger, Associate Planner, summarized the staff report.  Ms. Krueger described the proposed changes to the original proposal.  These changes included:

·         Additional landscaping as a screen on the north side of the clubhouse and at the entrance to the site

·         Change in pool bubble color to match the façade of the existing building

·         Addition of a solid gate to the proposed trash enclosure and a change to a dark brown color


Bob Thorpe for the Mercerwood Shore Club gave part of the applicant presentation.  Mr. Thorpe had the following comments:

·         SEPA review, the Planning Commission through the CUP process, and staff have all regulatory issues

·         Mr. Thorpe believes the design criteria have been met for this project.


Paul Von Destinon, General Manager of the Mercerwood Shore Club spoke.  Mr. Von Destinon described the following:

·         The reasons for the choice of a pool bubble covering

·         The Design Commission comments at the study session, which resulted in the following applicant responses:

o        Shiny covering is a result of the UV protection and will become matte in a year or two

o        The bubble will only be up 7 months of the year

o        The height and width are the minimum necessary to accommodate the diving board and pool deck.


Jennifer Dischinger of RW Thorpe and Associates completed the applicant presentation, addressing the suggestions and requests raised by the Design Commission during the Study Session:

·         The proposed color of the pool bubble has been changed as requested from white to a beige color that matches the existing building facade

·         A site study of the perceived scale and view studies have been provided in the submittal packet

·         The proposed landscaping is a result of working directly with the neighbors to achieve a satisfactory level of screening

·         The applicant was unable to find example pictures of the bubble lit at night

·         Dimensions of the proposed sign have been provided


The Commissioners had questions and received the following responses from the applicant and staff regarding the proposal:

·         Clarification of the view studies

·         The lower eight feet of the bubble are proposed as translucent; the remainder would be opaque

·         The planting at the entrance will be set back from the road and will not interfere with sight distances

·         The applicable design review criteria can be found in MICC 19.15.040(G)


Commissioners had the following comments:

·         The applicant will need a height variance; this is subject to staff review and will be a required condition of design approval

·         The applicant has proposed three cypress trees to screen the bubble; more trees of  a greater height are necessary to achieve a full screen

·         The white background of the logo on the sign is acceptable

·         The applicant has demonstrated that the pool bubble will be screened


Commissioner Wittman felt the proposed pool bubble did not meet the design standards of the following sections of the code and he did not intend to support a motion for approval:

·         MICC 19.15.040(G)(2)

·         MICC 19.15.040(G)(4)


Mr. Thorpe, speaking for the client noted that the applicant felt up to 12 trees at eight feet high would be an acceptable compromise. 



Vice Chair Sandler moved, seconded by Commissioner Ridolfi, to grant preliminary design approval for the proposed additions to the Mercerwood Shore Club, as presented on the formal site plans, drawings and elevations date stamped November 19, 2004.  This decision incorporates the findings of the staff report and is in accordance with MICC Section 19.15.040, with the following condition:


1.       The Mercerwood Shore Club shall add up to twelve (12) Cypress trees at a minimum of eight (8) feet tall each on the north side of the clubhouse to provide screening of the pool bubble.


The motion passed by a vote of 5-1 at 8:28pm (Commissioner Wittman dissenting).




Director’s Comments:                         

Director Hart noted that there would be no Design Commission meeting on December 22, 2004, but there are three study session items on January’s agendas:

1.       Aljoya House, the new independent and assisted living five story building proposed by Era Care in the Town Center at SE 24th St and 76th Ave SE.

2.       A new retail and office building in the PBZ next to the current Longs Drugs.

3.       HMI is coming before the Design Commission again for preliminary design review of the five-story building on the northeast corner of SE 27th St and 78th Ave SE, west of Tully’s.


Because of so many items on the schedule, the commission may start one of the meetings in January earlier than 7:30pm.  Commissioner Caditz noted that he needs to recuse himself from the HMI meeting, because of a potential conflict of interest.


Council Liaison Report:                      

Jim Pearman, Council Liaison, introduced El Jahncke, a councilmember attending the Design Commission meeting.  Councilmember Pearman stated that the City Council had approved the design regulations outside the Town Center this week.  The Council also passed the budget. 


A new project is under consideration which would involve the Boys and Girls Club moving to the Mercer Island School District North Campus.  This project would involve School District, Club, and City funds.  Director Hart noted that this project will require SEPA review, a Conditional Use Permit, and would then come before the Design Commission under the new Outside the Town Center design standards.  The money from the sale of the current Club property would be used to partially fund the new project.   


Next Regular Meeting:

The next Design Commission meeting is scheduled for January 12th at 7:30 PM.  A study session for Aljoya House is the only item on the agenda at this time. 


Commissioner Absences:

All Commissioners indicated that they could attend the next meeting. 


Adjournment:  8:37 PM


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