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Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Call To Order:

Chairman Fred Glick called the regularly scheduled Design Commission meeting to order at 7:40 PM in the Council Chambers, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington. 


Roll Call:

Vice-chair Sandler, Commissioners Brian Caditz, Lucia Pirzio-Biroli, and Callie Ridolfi were present.  Commissioners Marcia Dawson and George Wittman were absent. 


Staff Present:

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



Vice-Chair Sandler moved, Commissioner Pirzio-Biroli seconded, to approve the minutes of February 9th, 2005.  The minutes were approved by a vote of 5-0.


Regular Business:


Action Item 1:

The applicant, The Sign Factory for Albertsons, presented a proposal to install a wall sign on the south façade of Albertsons.  The wall sign is nonconforming due to size.     


Shelley Bolser, Associate Planner, gave the staff presentation.  Mrs. Bolser described the staff report and explained that the applicant has proposed a sign that is a net reduction of 30 feet in size compared to the existing 190 square foot sign.  The current sign was approved by the Design Commission in 1999.  The new sign would be composed of two parts, one of which reads “Albertsons” and the other reads “Sav-on Pharmacy.” 


Jim Minor of the Sign Factory at 815 8th St in Kirkland, WA, gave the applicant presentation.  Mr. Minor indicated that Sav-on is a subsidiary of Albertsons, who wishes to indicate the brand name pharmacy located inside the store.  Mr. Minor read a letter from Albertsons administration explaining the reason for the signage. 


Jessica Mosher of 2920 76th Avenue SE commented on the project with concerns regarding the size of the sign.  She lives across the street and felt it will impact her property value. 


Commissioners had the following questions and comments:

·         The proposed sign would be placed on the south elevation, and replace the current signage in that location.  There is one other existing sign (“Pharmacy”) at this site, located on the east elevation

·         There would be a net decrease in the size of the sign of approximately 30 square feet, which would be an improvement over current conditions (current sign is 190 square feet)

·         The proposed sign could be interpreted as either two signs or one sign

·         Some commissioners expressed concerns over the sign appearing as two separate wall signs, both mounted on the same street frontage.



Commissioner Sandler moved, and Commissioner Caditz seconded, to grant design approval for the proposed sign change to install one wall sign with a logo, the word “Albertsons” and the words “Sav-on Pharmacy” on the south façade of the Albertsons building located at 2755 77th Ave SE in accordance with the site plans, photo simulations, and details date stamped January 21, 2005.  These findings are in accordance with the Mercer Island City Code Section 19.11.130(A)(1)(c)(ii) and Section 19.11.120.  This decision is final, unless appealed in writing consistent with adopted appeal procedures of MICC Unified Land Development Code, Section 19.15.020(J). 


The motion passed by a vote of 3-2. 



Action Item #2:

The applicant, Paul Franks Architecture for the South Mercer LLC, requested preliminary design approval for a new two-story mixed-use retail and office building at 8451 SE 68th St.  


The applicant had come before the Design Commission for a study session on January 26, 2005  


Richard Hart, Development Services Director, gave the staff presentation.  Mr. Hart noted that there were two comment letters noting concerns regarding building height and proximity of the proposed second story windows to adjacent single family homes.  A third letter addressed SEPA requirements, which is not a responsibility of the Design Commission.  Mr. Hart also stated that the applicant had addressed items from the Study Session and staff felt that all code requirements had been met.  Staff recommended preliminary design approval based on several items listed in the staff report. 


Paul Franks of Paul Franks Architecture at 3805 108th Ave SE in Bellevue, WA, gave the applicant presentation. Mr. Franks presented a large-scale elevation drawing to the Commission and described existing perimeter landscaping.  


Commissioners had questions and were provided with the following answers:

·         The proposed landscape plan is consistent with the Design Commission-approved PBZ site plan

·         The only proposed new landscaping is within 30 feet of the proposed building and replacement of existing plants that have died

·         The proposed color of the trellises reflects existing color patterns on the remainder of the site. 


No public comment was offered.


Commissioners discussed the following items:

·         The walkway fascia appears too flat which will result in signage that projects from the building, per MICC 19.12.080(B)(2)(e). 

·         The proposed stairwell needs to be made more architecturally consistent with the proposed building, perhaps by extending the roof forms further out per MICC 19.12.030(B)(5)(a).



Commissioner Pirzio-Biroli moved, and Vice-Chair Sandler seconded the motion, to grant preliminary design approval for the proposed development located at 8451 SE 68th St, as presented on the submittal packet date stamped February 11, 2005.  This decision incorporates the findings of the Staff Report and is in accordance with MICC Section 19.04.010, 19.12, and 19.15.040, with the following conditions:

1.       Re-evaluate the stairwell and windows in accordance with MICC 19.12.03(B)(2)(d), (B)(2)(f), (B)(5)(a), and (B)(5)(b). 

The motion passed by a vote of 5-0. 


Other Business


Council Liaison Report:

Jim Pearman, Council Liaison, described the Comprehensive Plan presentation at the City Council meeting the night before, which included a modification to the cottage housing policies.  Council also discussed the Critical Areas Ordinance policies.  There is a copy of the documents at the DSG front desk and there will be further opportunities for public comment. 


Director’s Report:

Director Hart noted that staff will contact the City Attorney’s office to discuss issues of signage eligibility for multiple businesses in a building. 


Next Regular Meeting:

The next Design Commission meeting is scheduled for March 9th at 7:30 PM.  Preliminary design review for Aljoya House at 2430 76th Ave SE in the town center is on the agenda at this time. 


Commissioner Absences:

There are no scheduled absences at this time. 


Adjournment:   9:30 PM


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