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Thursday, January 06, 2005

Call To Order:

Chairman Jim Owens called the meeting to order at 7:45 pm in the City Council Chambers of City Hall.


Roll Call:

Jim Owens, Chairman, Rita Moore, Vice Chairman, Don Cohen, Marguerite Sutherland, and Sven Goldmanis were present.



Pete Mayer, Director, Paul West, Arborist, Stephanie Cangie, Admin Assistant were present.



There were no public appearances.



Motion by Trustee Sutherland seconded by Trustee Moore to approve the minutes of November 4, 2004.  Unanimously approved.






Letters and brochures were sent to Pioneer Park’s adjacent neighbors in early November 2004.  Paul stated that it will only be reasonable to work on one encroachment situation at a time because this is very time consuming. 


From the November mailing, Paul has received one response from Tom Conway who lives on the SE corner of the northeast quadrant.  Paul showed the Trust Board pictures of Mr. Conway’s encroachment which encompasses two parking spaces and some driveway area next to his house, approximately 20’x30’.  He built his house in 1961 at the time the park property was owned by the University of Washington.  He actually had difficulty getting his home built because he needed a 25’ set back due to a street right of way.  He changed the location of where to build his house to get around a ravine.  He is aware that he is using park property for parking and part of his driveway.  Gary Feroglia, former Director of Parks and Recreation, also informed Mr. Conway that he was on park property.  It has been known and left that way since 1961. 


Some options for solving this encroachment are a deed restriction, an encroachment agreement, property exchange, or correction when the home sells.  The Trust Board decided to table any decision regarding this encroachment and to concentrate first on encroachments that involve structures. 


Staff was instructed to write another letter to known encroachers.  The letter should give them 30 days to respond and encourage them to get their own property survey. The letter should be copied to the City Attorney.  Once the individuals have responded, the Board will prioritize the list to determine which one should be handled first.  Staff needs to also write to Tom Conway advising him that the Trust Board will address his encroachment at a later date.  Paul will also call him personally and relay the Board’s discussion.


Fall Planting Day, November 6, 2004

Fall Planting Day was successful with the planting of approximately 100 tree starts. In addition to Trust Board members, Earthcorps and cub scouts helped.  Earthcorps finished planting the remainder of the trees.  We need to do more outreach to recruit more volunteers for this type of project. Sundays will also be considered for a volunteer day.  Paul will pursue having a regular after-school volunteer project with Earthcorps to capture the middle school students who need to fulfill volunteer service hours.  The high school’s day of service (May 2005) will also be used to recruit volunteers to work in the parks.



Trustee Moore distributed a draft copy to the Board of the next Trillium.  The Board will review the publication and give changes to Rita.  Paul will provide Rita with a CD of photos.


Director Mayer explained that the Northwest Parks Foundation is an opportunity for donations to be given and directed to a specific park.  This is explained in the new Parks and Recreation Gift Catalogue. 

Trustee Moore eventually would like the Trust Board to have a discussion about fundraising for Pioneer Park. 


Dogs in Pioneer Park

Director Mayer provided a hand out showing the wording for signs to be posted in Pioneer Park explaining the Mercer Island Code regarding dogs off leash.  Discussion was held about changing the wording. 


Currently the wording says:

                        Attention Dog Owners!  While visiting Pioneer Park please observe

                        that all dogs must be under voice or signal control and restrained

                        from approaching any bystander, other animal or causing

                        physical/property damage.

                        City of Mercer Island Code 7.04.110

                        Unlawful Conduct-Owner responsible for violations.


The language cannot be substantially changed because citation to the code is needed for enforcement purposes.


Staff proposed the signs be posted at the following locations.  Some of these locations already have Mutt Mitts available:

  • NW Quadrant: northwest corner, southwest corner, northeast corner, and southeast corner
  • NE Quadrant:  northwest corner, northeast corner, southeast corner, and one more on SE 68th Street 
  • SE Quadrant:  northwest corner, western side on 88th Avenue SE
  • Total: 10 signs with Mutt Mitts


Director Mayer informed that the City of Mercer Island is under contract with King County Animal Control to provide animal control in this community and they are very short staffed.  They respond to the most serious calls.


The Board directed staff to change the word, bystander, to person.  The Board requested a news release be submitted to the Mercer Island Reporter when the signs are posted. 


SE 68th Powerline Project

Paul distributed a draft document that will be sent to residents living within 300 feet of Pioneer Park as well as those who have attended past public meetings concerning Pioneer Park (258 mailings).  Also, there will be an article in the Inside News, a voice mail to City Council, a press release to the Mercer Island Reporter, project signs will be posted, and a public walk through will be held on February 6, 2005, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.


Trust Board Brochure

Chairman Owens passed out a draft of the Open Space Trust Board brochure and asked the board members to read it over and send comments to Stephanie.  The purpose of the brochure is to explain what the Trust Board does and to convey the need for volunteers to work in the park.  This brochure could be distributed through the Library, at Summer Celebration, and at our various events.  Trustee Moore would like to move the “Become a Friend of Pioneer Park” paragraph towards the front of the brochure.  Trustee Sutherland would like a small map included showing the location of the park and the primary streets around it.  Trustee Cohen would like fundraising information added. 





The Trust Board will distribute more maps to the Library, the trailhead signs, and the south end Starbucks.


An article, “Volunteer Labor for Environmental Projects”, was sent to the Trust Board from Paul.  Paul stated that the restriction on volunteer labor discussed in the article does not immediately impact anything the City is doing; however, this is an issue the Trust Board needs to be aware of as it would radically change the way we do restoration on Mercer Island. In California, restrictions were placed on volunteer labor and California is trying to work through it, but the current situation is that they cannot use volunteers on prevailing wage projects.  Pete stated that the Washington State Parks and Recreation Association is going to track this and encourage Washington legislative representatives to review its applicability in our state and whether it is an issue. 


Adjournment:  9:18 p.m.


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