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Monday, April 18, 2005

Call To Order

Mayor Alan Merkle called the meeting to order at 6:05 pm in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.

Roll Call

Deputy Mayor Bryan Cairns, City Councilmembers El Jahncke, Jim Pearman, and Mayor Alan Merkle were present. City Councilmembers Sven Goldmanis, Dan Grausz, and Steve Litzow were absent.

Study Session

AB 3970 Sewer Lake Line Mitigation Plan
Assistant City Engineer Anne Tonella-Howe and engineers from Tetra Tech and Jones & Stokes presented the mitigation concepts for the Sewer Lake Line Project to the Council for endorsement, allowing staff to proceed with the completion and submittal of permit applications.


Clint Chapin, 7523 92nd Avenue SE, is a cyclist on Mercer Island and is puzzled by the rhetoric between cyclists and vehicles. Applauds staff for a cool down period and suggests more informational meetings for cyclists.

Jessica Mosher, 2929 76th Avenue SE, moved to Mercer Island because it was a “bicycling friendly” community.

Dennis Madsen, 8429 85th Avenue SE, is an avid cyclist and thinks its time for motorists, motorcyclists and cyclists learn to get along on the roads. Mercer Island should focus on making out community more pedestrian and bicycles friendly.

Toni Okada, 2909 84th Avenue SE, urged the council to view bicycling as a beneficial activity for the community. She asked Council and staff to use safe measures for bike lanes to enable the sharing of the roads.

John Ewald, 4103 Boulevard Place, thanked staff for their work on Boulevard Place.

Jim Lindsey, 8405 West Mercer Way, stated that bicycling is his and his wife’s sole source of recreation and that a lot of the cyclists on the Island are residents of the Island. He would like to know of future meetings regarding cycling on the Island.

Dean Brooks, 2743 68th Avenue SE, commends the Council for the initiative to make East Mercer Way friendly to cyclists and pedestrians. He would support an effort to loop the island in a particular direction. He is angry that police officers on Mercer Island hide in areas where motorists may have a tendency to pick up speed to give out tickets. He suggested that speed signs be put out to help slow traffic down. He feels that now the police are turning to cyclists to give out more tickets.

Alan Ruesch, 7203 West Mercer Way, the conflict between cyclists and vehicles will only worsen. He suggests sweeping shoulders more often on the Mercer Ways. He encouraged the Council to extend the shoulder on the uphill side wherever possible on the Mercer Ways and enforce clockwise cycling around the Island.

Sue Stewart, 3205 84th Avenue SE, spoke regarding the letter the Friends of Luther Burbank and Citizens to Preserve Upper Luther Burbank wrote to Council and Staff requesting additions to Comp Plan that include the design guidelines from visioning process for Luther Burbank Park. She inquired as to whether or not those changes would be made.


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

Approve the Revised Regular Meeting Minutes of February 22, 2005, the Study Session and Regular Meeting Minutes of March 7, 2005, and the Regular Meeting Minutes of March 21, 2005 as written.

The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 4-0.

Consent Calendar
Payables: $ 2,507,100.00  
Payrolls: $ 494,605.04 (04/01/05) $ 485,928.88 (04/15/05)

Councilmember Jahncke requested that AB 3965 be moved to the first item of Regular Business

AB 3975: SE 28th Street Witz Quiet Action Title

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

Approve the Consent Calendar and the recommendations contained therein.

The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 4-0.

Regular Business

AB 3965: 2004 Roadway Improvements Project Closeout
Councilmember Jahncke asked Street Engineer Clint Morris questions regarding a specific part of the project.

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

Accept the completed 2004 Roadway Improvements project and authorize staff to close out the contract.

The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 4-0.

AB 3974 Transportation Review Follow-Up: Vehicles, Bicycles, and Pedestrians
Following the direction from the City Council at the February 7, 2005 meeting, Public Safety Director Ron Elsoe, Operations Commander Ed Holmes, City Engineer Patrick Yamashita, and Maintenance Director Glenn Boettcher presented their findings and recommendations from studying the impacts of the following issues:

  • Restrict vehicular parking on East and West Mercer Ways
  • Enact a “single file” ordinance for bicyclists
  • Require permit for large groups of bicyclists
  • Post and enforce rules of the road for the I-90 trail, and consider a ban on bicycles on the I-90 trail.
Staff examined what other cities have done, discussed the issues with bicycle community/clubs and Mercer Island residents and studied the efficacy of each issue. Subsequent to this research staff recommends the following measures:
  1. Increase awareness and educational efforts
  2. Increase enforcement of existing laws
  3. Make changes to roadways/shoulders
Councilmember Jahncke stated that he supports the single file ordinance.

Council accepted the report and directed staff to come back in 6 months (in the fall) with specifics in regard to implementation of the recommendations and give a progress report. No budget will exceed their allowance in order to implement the recommendations.

AB 3972: Six Year Transportation Improvement Plan Public Hearing
City Engineer Patrick Yamashita introduced the 2006-2001 Transportation Improvement Plan to the Council. He described newly proposed projects and revised projects included in the plan.

The Mayor opened the Public Hearing.

Hillary Benson, 7344 Island Crest Way, asked to have a shoulder added to Island Crest Way south of SE 68th Street for children waiting at the bus stops.

Ira Appelman, 6213 83rd Place SE, thanked staff for including the installation of guardrails along East Mercer Way.

The Mayor closed the Public Hearing.

Councilmember Pearman would like a shoulder created on Island Crest Way south of SE 68th Street. City Engineer Yamashita responded that there is project scheduled in 2007 to pave along the roadside there and make a pedestrian path. Councilmember Pearman would like traffic calming to be done in the meantime.

Councilmember Jahncke would like the North Mercer Way project to be moved to 2007. Mayor Merkle agreed as long as it is post Sound Transit’s paving at the Park-and-Ride lot.

Staff will incorporate the comments received from Public Hearing and bring the 2006-2011 Six-Year Transportation Improvement Plan for adoption at the May 16th, 2005 Council meeting.

AB 3973: Comprehensive Plan Update (3rd Reading)
Principal Planner Gabe Snedeker presented all of the proposed changes to the Comprehensive Plan for a third reading.

It was the consensus of the Council to incorporate the following changes in to the Comp Plan:

  • Introduction
    • Amend the first bullet under Community Leadership (page 7) to read:
      Mercer Island is committed to representing its citizens through its elected and appointed officials. A longtime producer of resourceful and professional leaders, Mercer Islanders will continue to exert strong and active leadership in government, social, educational and religious local and regional affairs.
    • Delete the entire “Public Participation Strategy: Comprehensive Plan & CBD Revitalization” section (pages 12-13)
  • Land Use Element
    • Amend the third sentence of the third paragraph of the Introduction (page 3) to read:
      The community strongly values eEnvironmental protection balanced with private property rights. As a result, local development regulations have sought to safeguard land, water and the natural environment balanced with private property rights. To reflect community priorities, development regulations attempt to balance views and tree conservation.values are strongly held in the community. Many of these values are reflected in the protection of land, water, and the natural environment through local development regulations. Both views and tree preservation are important community values and are reflected in local development guidelines
    • Amend the third sentence of the last paragraph of the Introduction (page 5) to read:
      The non-Town Center design standards outside the Town Center were adopted in December are scheduled for adoption in fall 2004.
    • Amend the first sentence of the second paragraph under “Housing and Population Forecast” (page 12) to read:
      The City anticipates an increase in housing units at an average annual growth rate of approximately 1.01% between 2000 and 2020, for a total housing unit increase of approximately 21% over this 20-year period.
    • Amend Policy 1.1 (page 19) to read:
      The Town CenterA mixed-use commercial core should be located adjacent to a regional transit facility and be of sufficient size and intensity to create a focus for Mercer Island.
    • Amend Policy 11.8 (page 25) to read:
      Preserve natural and developed open space environments and trails for the benefit of all existing and future generations.
  • Housing Element
    • Amend the first sentence of the fifth paragraph under “Housing Options” (page 16) to read:
      According to the Housing Market Analysis completed by Real Visions Inc. in November, 1992, tThe Island has a need for more diverse housing types.
    • Amend Policy 3.11 (page 19) to read:
      Consider adoption of an interim ordinance enabling a demonstration or pilot project that would allow the development of at least one innovative housing project, e.g. compact courtyard housing, in a single family neighborhood…
  • Transportation Element
    • Amend the first sentence of the second paragraph on page 4 to read:
      At the federal level, the 1998 Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21 as it is commonly called) and subsequent updates to this law haves focused attention and funding n a multi-modal approach to transportation planning
    • Amend Policy 12.1 (page 13) to read:
      Maximize the safety and functionality of the bicycle system by enhancing road shoulders. to ensure an appropriate buffer between motorized and non-motorized vehicles
Council directed staff to bring the Amendments to the Comprehensive Plan back at the May 2nd Council Meeting for adoption.

Other Business

Councilmember Absences:
Councilmember’s Goldmanis, Grausz and Litzow absences were excused.

Planning Schedule:
There were no changes.

Board Appointments:
There were none.

Councilmember Reports:
Councilmember Jahncke: Parks and Recreation Sub-Committee: MI P&R won awards at the WRPA conference. LBP Master Planning, veteran’s memorial project, ballfield issues, financial report from Mary Wayte pool.
Deputy Mayor Cairns: B&G Club: parking and permeable surface on school property
Mayor Merkle: ST long-range plan draft testimony of amendments

Adjournment: 10:30 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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