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Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Call To Order:

Chairman Fred Glick called the regularly scheduled Design Commission meeting to order at 7:33 PM in the Council Chambers, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington. 


Roll Call:

Commissioners Brian Caditz, Marcia Dawson, Lucia Pirzio-Biroli, and Callie Ridolfi and George Wittman were present.  Vice-Chair Norman Sandler was absent.  Commissioner George Wittman arrived at 7:35pm. 


Staff Present:                                                        

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



Commissioner Dawson moved, Commissioner Caditz seconded, to approve the minutes of January 12th, 2004.  The minutes were approved by a vote of 5-0. (Commissioner Wittman arrived after the minutes were approved)


Council Liaison Comments:

Richard Hart, Development Services Director, conveyed the comments of Councilmember Jim Pearman, Council Liaison.  Councilmember Pearman sent apologies for not being able to deliver the comments in person.


The Council appreciates the work the Design Commission performs and is in agreement with the presentation offered by Mark Hinshaw at the Joint Study Session between the City Council and the Design Commission on January 18, 2005.  The main points of this presentation were reiterated.  Finally, the Council has made an effort to remove subjective portions of the design standards in order to provide the Design Commission with more efficient tools. 


Chairman Comments:

Chairman Glick noted Councilmember Pearman’s statement, and intends to work together with the Commission to make their work more efficient, based on the design guidelines, and will frame each application in a way to guide the discussion.  He also explained that there will be some procedural changes to the discussion format, focus on the big picture away from minutia, and they will observe stricter time constraints for each project reviewed. 


Regular Business:


Action Item #1: The applicant, Lee Suk-Bong for Corry’s Dry Cleaning, requested design approval for the addition of a 1,013 square foot porte-cochere on the north side of the building at 3006 78th Ave SE. 


The applicant had come before the Design Commission seeking design review on September 8, 2004 and November 11, 2004. 


Shelley Bolser, Associate Planner, gave the staff presentation.  Mrs. Bolser stated that staff felt the applicant’s revised design still did not meet the requirements of MICC 19.11 and the Design Commission comments of November 11, 2004.  Specifically, staff felt the applicant had not met the requirements of the following sections:

·         MICC 19.11.010(B)(2), Scale

·         MICC 19.11.010(B)(3), Form

·         MICC 19.11.060(B)(10), Roofs

·         MICC 19.11.060(B)(12), Corner Lots

·         MICC 19.11.060(B)(14), Consistency


Lee Suk-Bong of 3006 78th Ave SE in Mercer Island and Young Kim of NW Architecture at 2012 Dexter Avenue North in Seattle, WA, gave the applicant presentation.  They explained the changes as a result of previous Design Commission comments. 


Commissioners had questions and were provided with the following answers:

·         Signage is not proposed at this time.

·         The proposed canopy is parallel with the face of the existing building on 78th Ave SE.

·         The height is necessary because the delivery trucks are 10 feet high.

·         The applicant provided a colors and materials board.

·         This is the third meeting and should be the last design review session the applicant has with the Design Commission for this project.


There was no public comment offered.


Commissioners discussed the following items:

·         The proposed design has responded to previous Commission concerns regarding height, column width, and consistent use of materials.

·         The structure doesn’t emphasize the corner, but this could be achieved with more substantial structures on the north side of the addition.

·         The structure should be pushed farther east so the face of the addition is farther from 78th Ave SE than the face of the existing building, in order to achieve the requirements for scale.

·         The options for the placement of columns on the south side of the addition

·         Consensus was reached that the proposed structure probably did meet the requirements for:

·         MICC 19.11.010(B)(3), Form

·         MICC 19.11.060(B)(10), Roofs

·         MICC 19.11.060(B)(14), Consistency

·         Consensus was reached that the proposed structure did not meet the requirements for:

·         MICC 19.11.010(B)(2), Scale

·         MICC 19.11.060(B)(12), Corner Lots



Commissioner Dawson moved to deny the design modifications for the construction of a porte-cochere addition to the north side of Corry’s Dry Cleaners at 3006 78th Ave SE.  This motion incorporates the findings of the Staff Report and is in accordance with MICC Section 19.11 Town Center Development and Design Standards.


The motion died for lack of a second.


The Commission discussed some options, including conditioning the proposal to meet the requirements of MICC 19.11.  With small changes and modifications, the issues of scale and corner lots could be brought into conformance with Town Center design standards.



Commissioner Caditz moved, and Commissioner Ridolfi seconded, to grant design approval for the proposed porte-cochere at 3006 78th Ave SE, as presented on the formal site plans, drawings and elevations date stamped December 28, 2004.  This decision incorporates the findings of the staff report and is in accordance with MICC Section 19.11, with the following conditions:


1.       The porte-cochere shall be moved two (2) feet east from the location shown on the plans date stamped December 28, 2004, which is two feet east of the current building footprint location facing 78th Ave SE.

2.       The support posts on the north side of the porte-cochere shall be 16” wide as seen from 78th Ave SE and 36” wide as seen from SE 30th St.

3.       The brick of the addition shall be identical to the brick of the existing building. 

4.       All other aspects of the proposed addition shall be built according to the plans, elevation drawings, and photographs date stamped December 28, 2004 and color and material samples shown at the January 26, 2005 Design Commission meeting. 


The motion passed by a vote of 4-2 (Dawson and Glick dissenting). 



Study Session (No action to be taken): The applicant, the South Mercer LLC, is proposing to build a new two story office and retail mixed-use building in the South Mercer Village Shopping Center at 8451 SE 68th St.  The development would include re-striping of existing parking and some additional landscaping. 


Richard Hart, Development Services Director, summarized the staff report.  This study session is optional, but was requested by the applicant so that the Commission may provide direction in the early stages of design.  There is no opportunity for public comment at a Study Session and no action will be taken. 


Staff felt the design is thorough and responds well to the specific attributes of the site, and had the following comments and suggestions for the applicant to consider:

·         Consider repeating materials found in the façade in the garbage enclosure.

·         The trees shown on the elevations serve to create a good transition between the existing Long’s Drugs building and the new proposed development.  The proposed building will necessitate the removal of two existing trees.  Provide a landscape plan (including placement, species, and sizes) for this site. 

·         Consider using a natural cedar finish for the portions of the trellis, similar to other trellises at this site. 


John O’Shea of South Mercer LLC at 10900 NE 4th St in Bellevue, WA, began the applicant presentation.  Mr. O’Shea explained the following:

·         background of the project as part of a previously approved PBZ site plan

·         neighborhood outreach efforts and resulting concerns with privacy and maintenance

·         potential uses of the proposed building, including medical offices on the second floor

·         proposed development height, in relation to existing structures

·         colors and materials


Paul Franks of Paul Franks Architecture at 3805 108th Ave SE in Bellevue, WA, continued the applicant presentation.  Mr. Franks described the context of the building with other buildings in the Shopping Center. 


Commissioners had questions and were provided with the following answers:

·         effect of proposed development on the potential for future changes to the adjacent Long’s Drugs building

·         The design of the proposed stairs

·         The proposal is in keeping with the approved pedestrian circulation plan of the PBZ site plan. 

·         Parking on the south side of the building would primarily be for employees.

·         The building code doesn’t allow for creating openings in the fire wall proposed for the west side of the new building. 


Commissioners discussed and had the following comments and suggestions for the applicant:

·         The covered pedestrian areas are a positive aspect of the site and in keeping with the design standards of the code.

·         The design as proposed reflects thoughtful consideration of pedestrian spaces, façade articulation, consistency, site features, landscaping, and architectural detail. 

·         The applicant could examine other options for roof modulation and columns at the street level.

·         The landscape plan should be developed in more detail (especially providing the sizes of the proposed vegetation).  The City recognizes that your landscape plan must conform to the site plan approved by the City for the entire PBZ. 

·         The applicant could consider planters and/or decks on the upper story areas of the building.

·         Pedestrian areas shouldn’t conflict with the proposed outdoor seating.

·         The applicant could consider providing weather shelters for outdoor seating areas. 

·         The applicant could consider using similar materials on the south side for the trash enclosure as found in the wall/fence adjacent to the residential area.



Other Business:


Next Regular Meeting:                                                                                                    

The next Design Commission meeting is scheduled for February 9th at 7:30 PM.  Preliminary design review for a new 5-story mixed use building in the Town Center (7800 SE 27th St) and a study session for a new 5-story complex at the old Consolidated Restaurants site in the Town Center (2650 77th Ave SE) are on the agenda at this time. 


Commissioner Absences:

Commissioners Ridolfi and Caditz indicated they may be absent from the February 9, 2005 meeting.  All other Commissioners indicated that they could attend the next meeting. 


Adjournment:  10:38 PM


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