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Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Call To Order

Deputy Mayor Bryan Cairns called the meeting to order at 6:10 pm in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.

Roll Call

Deputy Mayor Bryan Cairns, City Councilmembers Sven Goldmanis, Dan Grausz, El Jahncke, Steve Litzow, Jim Pearman, and Mayor Alan Merkle (arrived 6:12 pm) were present.

Study Session

AB 3948 Joint Session – City Council and Design Commission
Councilmember Jim Pearman and Development Services Director Richard Hart introduced the item and gave the background information regarding the Design Commission roles and the design review process and procedures.

Mark Hinshaw suggested and discussed with the City Council and the Design Commission three possibilities for more effective design review:
  1. Focusing on the “Big Picture”
    • Design review as expression of legislative intent (not personal opinion)
    • Identifying major issues for review (rather than details)
  2. Improving the process
    • The important role of the chair (to keep everyone on point)
    • Design is the subject of review (not density, height, traffic, parking, SEPA)
    • Direction by consensus (rather than individual commentary)
  3. Fine tuning the rules of operation
    • Making the most of presentations and public comment (framing the issues)
    • Targets for overall meeting length and segments within

Executive Session & Break

The City Council adjourned to Executive Session at 7:19 pm for a half of an hour to discuss personnel matters (RCW 42.30.110). The Study Session and Regular Meeting reconvened at 7:41 pm.


There were none.


It was moved by Deputy Mayor Cairns; seconded by Councilmember Litzow to:

Approve the Regular Meeting Minutes of January 3, 2005 as written.

The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 7-0.

Consent Calendar
Payables: $ 943,176.80  
Payrolls: $ 434,873.51

It was moved by Councilmember Litzow; seconded by Councilmember Pearman to:

Approve the Consent Calendar and the recommendations contained therein.

The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 7-0.

Regular Business

AB 3945 Water Utility House Appropriation
Maintenance Director Glenn Boettcher explained the need for an appropriation to repair the Water Utility house at 2976 74th Ave SE, using money for the unappropriated balance in the Water Fund.

Director Boettcher detailed the Utility Board’s discussions of possibilities for the house and the property, including having a City employee live in the house at reduced rent in return for performing caretaker duties, turning the property in to a park, demolishing the house and minimally maintaining the property, or renting the property on the open market.

It was moved by Councilmember Jahncke; seconded by Councilmember Litzow to:

Appropriate $50,000 from the Water Fund for repairs and improvements to the Water Utility House, and move forward with the drafting of a lease agreement and caretaker selection process.

The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 4-3 (Deputy Mayor Cairns and Councilmembers Goldmanis and Grausz dissented).

AB 3949 East Mercer Way Shoulder Improvements
Councilmember Dan Grausz showed photos of various shoulders along East Mercer Way. Staff answered questions regarding improvement projects over the last few years and projects that are scheduled in the future.

The Council directed Staff to bring the upcoming North Mercer Way and East Mercer Way projects to the Council as part of the 2005 Transportation Improvement Plan process. Staff and Council will clarify the scope of each project prior to TIP adoption.

AB 3946 Comprehensive Plan Amendments Introduction
Development Services Director Richard Hart and Principal Planner Gabe Snedeker introduced the 2004 Planning Commission Recommended Draft Comprehensive Plan. They explained the focused set of amendments to address the requirements of the Growth Management Act while including input from citizens, the Planning Commission, and others which is comprised of (1) technical edits, (2) new policies, and (3) revised critical areas policies. The following are policy areas where the Planning Commission and staff recommend revised or new language:

  • Economic Development
  • Parks and Open Space
  • Housing Choice and Affordability
  • Environment
  • Transportation Currency
  • Essential Public Facilities
Bill Chapman, 7703 Ridgecrest Lane, Chair of Planning Commission, spoke about various aspects of the recommended amendments to the Comprehensive Plan.

The first reading of the ordinance will be at the Regular Council Meeting of February 22, 2005.

Other Business

Councilmember Absences:
There were none.

Planning Schedule:
The 2005 City Council Retreat was tentatively scheduled for February 25-27.

Board Appointments:
There were none.

Councilmember Reports:
Mayor Merkle announced that Councilmember Grausz will be Acting Mayor from January 23 to January 26 as he and the Deputy Mayor will both be out of town.

Adjournment: 10:06 pm

[Important Note: The proceedings of the City Council meeting were recorded on tape and are filed in the City Clerk's Office. The complete agenda and official minutes of this meeting are also filed in the City Clerk's office.]


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