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Sunday, June 05, 2005

Call To Order

Mayor Alan Merkle called the meeting to order at 6:04 pm in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.

Roll Call

Deputy Mayor Bryan Cairns (arrived 6:06 pm), City Councilmembers Sven Goldmanis, Dan Grausz, El Jahncke, Steve Litzow and Jim Pearman and Mayor Merkle were present.

Study Session

AB 3986: Planning Commission Work Program
Development Services Director Richard Hart introduced Planning Commissioners Steve Schnoor, Dave Chappelle, Douglas Rigby, Jarrod Lewis, Anne Fox, Melinda Huff, and Chairman Bill Chapman and presented the 2005 Planning Commission Work Program for the Councilís approval as follows:
2005 Planning Commission Work Program
  1. Revisions to Critical Areas Ordinance to Meet GMA Requirements Under Remand from City Council (Summer 2005)
  2. Study and Proposal of Code Amendments for Size/Scale of Homes Relative to Lot Size (Fall 2005)
  3. Study of Sustainability Issues to define their applicability to possible future amendments to the Cityís Comprehensive Plan, development regulations and other applicable standards (Summer and Fall 2005)
  4. Revisions to Development Standards for Day Care and Preschool Facilities
Future Planning Commission Work Program Priorities
  1. Revisions to Noise Standards and Thresholds for all Zones
  2. Revisions/Modifications to Sign Regulations (Permanent and Temporary Signs)

The Study Session was adjourned at 7:04 pm. The Regular Meeting reconvened at 7:36 pm.


Virginia Hale, 2425 62nd Avenue SE, supports the continued acceptance of safe and sane fireworks on Mercer Island. She spoke about the problems surrounding fireworks in the City of Auburn.

Myra Lupton, 3443 72nd Place SE, encouraged the Council to not continue to permit fireworks so Mercer Island can become a safe and sensible community.

Art Pozner, 8539 SE 79th Street, Past President of Kiwanis Club, spoke about the effects the Kiwanis sales of fireworks on Mercer Island and how if benefits the community.

Liz Lisicich, 1006 North Laurel Lane, Tacoma, WA, TNT Fireworks Sales Associate, encouraged the Council not to ban fireworks on Mercer Island. She explained the safety program that the City of Kent uses.

Scott Milburn, 7480 81st Place SE, spoke about his concerns with the enforcement of the Cityís existing fireworks regulations.

Bob Brown, 2120 Milwaukee Way, Tacoma, WA, TNT Fireworks, doesnít believe that bans on fireworks are effective.


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

Approve the Regular Meeting Minutes of May 16, 2005.

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

Consent Calendar
Payables: $ 1,346,463.64  
Payrolls: $ 470,463.64

AB 3984: Cable TV Rates: Adopt Resolution No. 1345, establishing maximum permitted rates for basic cable service, installation and equipment charges by Comcast effective July 1, 2005.

It was moved by Councilmember Pearman; seconded by Councilmember Litzow 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 3985: Renew Egov Interlocal Agreement
City Attorney Londi Lindell spoke about the withdrawal provision in the interlocal agreement.

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

Authorize City Manager to sign updated ECityGov Alliance interlocal agreement.

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

AB 3988: Regional Dispatch Study: Joint Powers Agreement (No Presentation)
Public Safety Director Ron Elsoe answered questions from the Council regarding the agreement.

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

Authorize the City Manager to sign the Regional Dispatch Joint Powers Agreement.

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

Sergeant Leslie Burns detailed the challenges of the transition of Police and Fire dispatch to the Eastside Communications Center and the City of Kirkland.

AB 3991: Fireworks Sales and Discharge
Fire Commander Walt Mauldin presented a recommendation from Public Safety to ban the sale and discharge of all fireworks on Mercer Island. This recommendation is an effort to protect citizens from the potential of fires, both structure and wildfire, and injuries to citizens and their property. He also presented other options besides a ban, such as increased enforcement or enhanced public education. The goal of these initiatives would be to reduce the use of illegal fireworks and limit their use to private property. He also suggested that a survey be conducted to get a consensus of what the citizens in our community desire.

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

Retain the current ordinance and direct staff to increase public education and enforcement of regulations prohibiting fireworks discharge on public properties and conduct a public survey.

The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 6-1 (Mayor Merkle dissented).

AB 3990: Design Alternatives for SE 24th Street Improvements
City Manager Rich Conrad described the SEPA/NEPA evaluation and decision process for the Mercer Island Park-and-Ride project features and the mitigations for each of the issues.

Councilmember Goldmanis stated that he wants to hold Sound Transit accountable for actions at Park-and-Ride and that the City should have an agreement to protect Cityís interest now and in the future to ensure Sound Transitís compliance with various issues (noise, air quality, etc.)

Streets Engineer Clint Morris reviewed the basic project improvements for SE 24th Street and presented three bicycle design alternatives:

  • Bicycle Route Signage
  • Widened Roadway
  • Shared-Use Path
He recommended incorporating the Widened Roadway Option into the project with Sound Transit contributing funds for bicycle improvement.

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

Approve final design of the SE 24th Street improvements to include wide lanes to accommodate bicycle traffic. Authorize staff to proceed with final project design work and advertise project for construction bids.

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

Councilmember Grausz requested that buttons be used instead of painted lines and that the sidewalk on the South side of the road is not widened or enhanced.

AB 3987: Pedestrian Connections in the Town Center
Development Services Director Richard Hart introduced Design Commission Chairman Fred Glick who presented information on mid-block pedestrian connections in the Town Center to the City Council.

Susan Blake, 3206 80th Avenue SE, thanked Commissioner Glick for bringing the issue forward to the Council and urged the Council to study it further as the Town Center develops.

The City Council decided to take no action, as existing design standards address pedestrian circulation adequately, but may look into it in the future.

AB 3992: Evaluation of Recent Town Center Projects Meeting Applicable Design Standards and Determining Need for Future Modifications
Development Services Director Richard Hart gave a historical context of development in the Town center in the last five years. He proposed certain areas of study and recommends creating an ad hoc committee to discuss the following:

  • Improved ways to require increased upper story modulation to reduce the perceived mass and bulk of large or long buildings and increase upper story setbacks.
  • Ways to increase sidewalk width from the current 12 and 15 feet requirements thereby increasing pedestrian usability, encouraging more outdoor retail activity, and reducing the sense of building mass and scale.
  • Improved methods of pedestrian circulation through long blocks via some technique of mid-block pedestrian connections.
  • Ways to encourage more public private partnerships to benefit public use of right-of-way.
  • Methods to focus on the public realm streetscape, which is the 20 foot width and 20 foot height along any building street frontage.
  • Methods to more strongly encourage affordable housing units.
  • Methods to retain or expand commercial/retail space.
It was moved by Councilmember Litzow; seconded by Councilmember Grausz to:

Direct the Mayor (with the Councilís concurrence) to establish an Ad Hoc Committee with membership as outlined in Agenda Bill 3992 for study of existing design standards and any potential modifications limited to the proposed areas of study.

The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 5-2 (Councilmembers Goldmanis & Jahncke dissented).

It was the consensus of the City Council to determine the scope of the areas to be studied once a mission statement is created.

Other Business

Councilmember Absences:
Deputy Mayor Cairns will be absent from the June 20th Meeting.
Councilmember Grausz will be absent from the August 1st Meeting.

Planning Schedule:
City Manager City Conrad stated that the Boys & Girls Club is looking at coming before the Council at the September 6th Meeting to discuss the Peak project.

Board Appointments:
It was moved by Councilmember Grausz; seconded by Councilmember Litzow to:

Confirm the Mayorís 2005 Board & Commission appointments as presented.

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

Arts Council
Cathye Carnes, Position 7, Term 2009
Peter Langmaid, Position 8, Term 2009

Building Board of Appeals
Roxanne Navrides, Position 1, Term 2008
David Chappelle, Position 2, Term 2008

Design Commission
Emmett Maloof, Position 5, Term 2009
Carla Weinheimer, Position 6, Term 2009

Open Space Conservancy Trust
Bruce Bassett, Position 4, Term 2009

Planning Commission
Marlo Issac, Position 4, Term 2008
Anne Fox, Position 5, Term 2009

Utility Board
David Laub, Position 3, Term 2009
John Ewald, Position 4. Term 2009
Robert Sexton, Position 5, Term 2009

Youth & Family Services Advisory Board
Mark Coen, Position 2, Term 2006
Joyce Hedlund, Position 9, Term 2008
Karin Miller, Position 10, Term 2008
Bob Gelb, Position 11, Term 2008
Candy Weber, Position 12, Term 2008
Brianna Burrows, Term 2007
Rory Lubner, Term 2007
Lauren Head, Term 2007
Trishna Velamoor, Term 2007
Jason Tolkin, Term 2007
Ahbra Williams, Term 2007

Councilmember Reports:
Councilmember Goldmanis commended Councilmember Jahnckeís speech that he gave at the Veteranís Memorial dedication.

Adjournment: 11:24 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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