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Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Call To Order:

Chairman Fred Glick called the regularly scheduled Design Commission meeting to order at 7:43 PM in the Council Chambers, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington. 


Roll Call:

Commissioners Marcia Dawson, Lucia Pirzio-Biroli, and Callie Ridolfi were present.  Vice-Chair Norman Sandler and Commissioners Bryan Caditz and George Wittman were absent.  Commissioner George Wittman arrived at 8:02pm. 


Staff Present:

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



Commissioner Dawson moved, Commissioner Caditz seconded, to approve the minutes of January 26th, 2004.  The minutes were approved by a vote of 4-0. (Commissioner Wittman arrived after the minutes were approved)


Regular Business:


Study Session (No action to be taken):

The applicant, Stalzer and Associates for Agree Associates, presented preliminary plans for a new five-story mixed use residential and retail building at 2650 77th Ave SE.    


Richard Hart, Development Services Director, gave the staff presentation.  Mr. Hart described the staff report and explained that the applicant has been working with staff to reach a site circulation plan that works best with existing right of way conditions.  The result is a parking garage and building lobby pedestrian entrance on 77th Ave SE.


Bill Stalzer of Stalzer and Associates at 603 Stewart Street in Seattle, WA gave the applicant presentation.  Mr. Stalzer noted the staff report was based on an inaccurate submittal, and noted the following corrections and comments:

·         There are no proposed live-work units on 78th Ave SE.

·         The proposed sidewalk on 78th Ave SE would be at least 15 feet wide, up to 21 feet wide in some areas.

·         The travel width of 78th Ave SE would be 18’ and two-way circulation, with on-street parking.

·         The applicant has worked closely with the design team for 7800 Plaza to coordinate 78th Ave SE public right of way improvements. 


Mr. Stalzer went on to describe the proposed major and minor site features.  The applicant proposes the use of right of way improvements to 78th Ave SE and a public plaza on SE 27th St as a the major site features. 


Jim Padoia, of Mithun at 1201 Alaskan Way in Seattle WA, continued the applicant presentation.  Mr. Padoia described the design response to existing site conditions, the podium nature of the development, and presented elevation and perspective boards to demonstrate the design. 


Larry Smart of Atelier landscape architecture at 120 Belmont Ave E in Seattle, WA continued the applicant presentation.  Mr. Smart described the street edges and public spaces and connection to the Mercer Island sculpture garden. 


Commissioners had questions and were provided with the following answers:

·         The 77th Ave SE sidewalk includes a lobby entrance, on-street parallel parking, a 12’ sidewalk, and street trees

·         The colors presented on the 11x17 plans are the most accurate representation at this time.

·         The interior courtyard would be private and accessed by pedestrians from Sunset Highway.

·         Double-height retail is proposed for SE 27th St to respond to the existing grade.

·         Some of the residences front on 78th Ave SE above the sidewalk, with no retail below.  It is unclear if this constitutes a residential use at the street level on 78th Ave SE.

·         Live-work is no longer proposed because of accessibility issues.

·         13,000 square feet of retail are proposed to replace the current amount of approximately 8,000 square feet of retail and office currently on the site.


Commissioners had the following comments and suggestions for the applicant:

·         77th Ave SE and Sunset Highway is an important gateway corner and the applicant should consider the option of retail for that area.

·         The applicant could explore the option for green roof technology

·         Bicycle facilities should be accessible and prominent

·         The applicant should consider pedestrian use of 77th Ave SE, including emphasizing the lobby entrance.

·         A long façade is proposed for 77th Ave SE, and the applicant could consider additional modulation for this area.

·         Overall commissioner comments were very positive.


Action Item #1:

The applicant, David Hoy for 7800 LLC, requested preliminary design approval for a new five-story mixed-use residential, retail, and office building at 7800 SE 27th St.   


The applicant had come before the Design Commission for study sessions on November 13, 2002 and January 22, 2003   


Shelley Bolser, Associate Planner, gave the staff presentation.  Mrs. Bolser stated that staff felt the applicant had made changes to reflect Commissioner comments from the earlier study sessions and to meet the code.  Changes included:

·         Recessed window bays at the street level

·         Landscape plan and preliminary model submitted

·         Minor façade changes

Staff recommended preliminary design approval based on several items listed in the staff report. 


Steve Thomas of TSA Architects at 50 116th Ave SE, Ste 201 in Bellevue, WA, gave the presentation for the applicant.  Mr. Thomas described the public right of way improvements to 78th Avenue SE, which include special paving, no curb, staggered landscape and lighting, and coordinated development with the proposed Agree Associates development to the west.  The applicant would like to examine the option of moving the sculpture proposed for the northwest corner of the site across the street to the Agree Associates project to make room for pedestrians.  This option is preferred by both parties. 


Mr. Thomas went on to describe the proposed architectural details of the building and the decrease in density of living units.  The proposed development would be condominiums with office and retail at the street level.


Glenn Tukagi of 18550 Furlans Way North in Shoreline, WA, described the proposed landscaping.  A deciduous vine is proposed for the trellis on the east side of the building.  Roof areas will not be landscaped.  Residents will be allowed to plant patio areas with a range of choices from a homeowner’s covenant.


Commissioners had questions and were provided with the following answers:

·         The decks of the living units have been extended.

·         The courtyard on the northeast corner is the only private ground floor space at this site.

·         There will be bike racks for 8-10 bicycles on the 78th Ave SE side and subgrade parking storage areas for residents’ bicycles.

·         Tully’s building is approximately 5 feet from the property line

·         The applicant presented a colors and materials board.


No public comment was offered.


Commissioners discussed the following items:

·         The previous design of the southwest corner of the building was preferable to the current design.  The currently proposed balconies are not consistent with the rest of the building and do not address the corner of the lot as well as the previous design.  The building should approach the corner, both through upper architectural elements and through a building entry. 

·         The use of material and color and roof forms work well together.

·         The applicant should work with SECO development to decide on the location of the sculptural art piece currently proposed for the northwest corner of the 7800 Plaza lot. 

·         Landscaping, seating areas, and additional streetscaping are needed on the northwest corner at the street level.

·         The courtyard location is acceptable.



Commissioner Wittman moved to grant preliminary design approval for the proposed development for located at 7800 SE 27th St, as presented on the submittal packet date stamped January 12, 2005 and January 21, 2005.  This decision incorporates the findings of the Staff Report and is in accordance with MICC Section 19.11, with the following conditions:

1.       Coordinate public amenities adjacent to 78th Ave SE with SECO Development, who will be building a five story mixed-use building to the west and making improvements to 78th Ave SE in order to meet the requirements of MICC 19.11.010(B)(1)(d).

2.       Provide bicycle facilities on the 78th Avenue street frontage per MICC 19.11.020(C)(4).

3.       Change the color scheme to accurately match the colors and materials board date stamped January 21, 2005, per MICC 19.11.060(B)(14).

4.       The applicant shall provide the following with a packet for final design review:

a.       A detailed model at a scale sufficient to show such detail

b.      Detailed plans:

                                             i.            Paving on northwest and southwest corners

                                           ii.            Proposed artwork

                                          iii.            Proposed fountain:  construction costs, visual details, water usage

c.       Rooftop plan, showing roof forms and rooftop appurtenances

d.      Pedestrian canopy details – construction, materials, colors

e.       Loading/garbage/recycling/mechanical area detailed plan, including screening

f.        Lighting details regarding wattage and size of fixtures

g.      Lighting plan to emphasize the building entrances, per MICC 19.11.100(B)(5)

h.       A landscape plan indicating:

                                             i.            Square feet of all landscaping, including rooftop gardens and landscaping on the wall adjacent to Tully’s

                                           ii.            Landscape plan of the rooftop garden areas

                                          iii.            Landscape plan of the wall adjacent to Tully’s, including species, size, location, and access

                                         iv.            All landscape plans should include irrigation details

i.         Signage plan

5.       Address the design of the southwest corner as seen on sheet A0.2 to reflect the earlier version of the design to address corner issues per MICC 19.11.070(B)(12) and building consistency per MICC 19.11.070(B)(14).

6.       Continue to work with SECO Development, particularly regarding the placement of the sculpture currently proposed for the northwest corner of the 7800 Plaza site to achieve the requirements for an Opportunity Site, per MICC 19.11.010(B)(1)(d).

7.       Incorporate additional detail at the northwest corner of the site, such as seating and details similar to those found on the southwest corner, to address corner lots per MICC 19.11.070(B)(12).      

The motion passed by a vote of 5-0. 



Other Business:


Council Liaison Report:

Jim Pearman, Council Liaison, described the results of the Luther Burbank Park public outreach sessions.  The consensus is a minimalist approach to park development, with little expansion of facilities or services. 


The issue of conflicts between bicycles and cars was also discussed by the Council.  There was little outcome, but the need to warn motorists and cyclists of each other’s presence was a prominent theme.  Signage is being considered for more challenging areas of the City.  Chairman Glick added that he strongly supports additional safety measures between bicyclists and pedestrians. 


Councilmember Pearman also noted that Emmanuel Episcopal church recently sent a letter to the Council expressing appreciation for the recent design review and building process and clarified earlier comments on the matter. 


Next Regular Meeting:                                                                                                      

The next Design Commission meeting is scheduled for February 23th at 7:30 PM.  Preliminary design review for a new 2-story mixed use building in the Planned Business Zone at the South Mercer Village Center and requested design approval for an additional wall sign at Albertson’s at 2755 77th Ave SE in the Town Center are on the agenda at this time. 


Commissioner Absences:

Chairman Glick and Commissioner Wittman indicated they may be absent from the February 23, 2005 meeting.  All other Commissioners indicated that they could attend the next meeting. 


Adjournment:   10:39 PM


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