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Monday, May 15, 2006

Call To Order

Mayor Bryan Cairns called the meeting to order at 5:41 pm in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.

Roll Call

City Councilmembers Mike Grady, Dan Grausz, El Jahncke, Steve Litzow, Deputy Mayor Jim Pearman and Mayor Bryan Cairns were present. Councilmember Sven Goldmanis was absent.

Study Session

AB 4089: Public Opinion Tracking Survey
City Manager Rich Conrad introduced the topic and discussed Council direction to conduct a survey as part of the 2007-08 Budget planning covering City services and commented that this report is the first step of the budget process. Ian Stewart of Evans/McDonough presented the results of the survey resulting from 402 phone interviews (margin of error is +-4.9). The key findings were:
  • Voters trust City to spend tax dollars
  • Voters have few concerns about finances;
  • Traffic, transportation and overdevelopment concerns have grown since 2004;
  • Voters are more likely than in 2004 to think taxes are “about right”;
  • Majority of voters favor city enforcing its rules to regulate property owners;
  • Majority of voters that have experience with City permitting were satisfied; and
  • Voters are now divided on whether taxes should be cut.
  • Mercer Island City Council continues to receive strong favorable ratings (in excess of 2-1 favorable ratings).
Following Mr. Stewart’s presentation, Council discussed the survey results and concluded that the major change between the 2004 and 2006 results may be a result of the Town Center development but that overall the survey findings are favorable. Mr. Stewart indicated that in his opinion, the most significant positive rating was the unusually high rating the City received for using tax money responsibility and the most troubling rating was the new concern regarding too much development. Council discussed that these numbers regarding new development may change after the Town Center developments are completed and citizens experience the benefits of the new amenities and retail and business facilities. Council suggested that Communication Coordinator Joy Bueling prepare a press release regarding these survey results.


The Study Session was adjourned at 6:50 pm. The Regular Meeting reconvened at 7:35 pm.

Appearances

King County Councilmember Jane Hague. She testified as to her role as the King County 6th District Representative and advised the Council that she is making the rounds of her new cities in order to share with the Council what’s happening in King County. Since King County went from 13 to 9 districts, her district has expanded to include most of eastside cities. She is now sitting with the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Councilmember Litzow on Eastside Transportation Commission to discuss transportation improvements to eastside. She understands that Mercer Island’s issue is access to Mercer Island and commits to insuring that this island is not landlocked and that she will be an active voice to insure that we have access for citizens and businesses.

Tom Hildebrand, 6880 West Mercer Way, thanked staff for considering his comments on bicycles for the TIP. He requested that Council direct staff to consider enhancing bicycle traffic along the north end of the Island including removing stop signs on SE 24th Street and 86th Ave. SE. He also suggested consideration of a 2 way bike lane on resurfacing in front of the park-and-ride.

Phil Flash, 3005 69th Ave SE, testified regarding his diagram showing reduced size parking spaces in order to reduce impervious surfaces. He testified to the Editorial in Mercer Island Reporter and highlighted the provisions describing changes in code to increase impervious surfaces.

Stewart Vass, Bishop of the LDS church at Island Crest Way and SE 40th, He testified regarding the proposed impervious surface ordinance allowing impervious surfaces up to 50% with a 5% deviation. He would like to include churches along with schools and related projects to benefit from increased impervious surfaces because churches are a very important part of community and all churches are already above the allowable 40% maximum impervious surface.

John McPherson, 4503 90th Ave SE, complaint against staff that failed to enforce code relating to skateboard park on adjacent residential property. He provided photographs of half pipe skateboard park being installed at his neighbor’s property. Code enforcement officer red tagged the property and he requested a copy of the Code Enforcement Officer’s report. He did not receive copy of the report. He called planning department and code enforcement officer and didn’t receive return calls. Finally, the code enforcement officer spoke to him and advised him that the structure was allowed on the property as “play equipment”. City also issued permit to allow this skateboard park. He believes that the skateboard park is beyond “play equipment”.

Bob Thorpe, 5800 West Mercer Way, testified in support of the impervious surface code ordinance increasing the maximum impervious surfaces. He believes one of the problems is the City including all parking areas within the calculation of impervious surfaces. He also noted that the comprehensive plan amendment recognizes these clubs, churches and schools have a public benefit.

Dan Shannon 4607 Forest Ave SE, is a developer and is perplexed at reason we have some of these ordinances including the impervious surface ordinance. If you live on the Lake, you aren’t impacting anyone downstream. If church or any resident can prove to planning staff that they can mitigate their stormwater, they shouldn’t be limited on percentage of impervious surface.

Minutes

It was moved by Councilmember Litzow; seconded by Councilmember Pearman to:
Approve the Study Session & Regular Meeting Minutes of May 1, 2006 as written.
Motion Passed 6-0.

Consent Calendar

Payables: $ 119,998.04  
Payrolls: $ 556,331.13

AB 4090: Comcast Cable TV Basic Tier Rates for 2005

It was moved by Councilmember Litzow; seconded Councilmember Grady to:
Approve the Consent Calendar and the recommendations contained therein.
Motion Passed 6-0.


Regular Business

AB 4085: Adoption of Six Year Transportation Improvement Plan

City Traffic Engineer Patrick Yamashita presented the proposed Six Year Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) that was previously presented to Council on April 3, 2006.

Council discussion ensued and Council asked questions regarding projects listed in Exhibit 3 to Agenda Bill 4085 containing a detail of expenditures for the six-year TIP. Council discussed the round-about contained in Item C14 of Exhibit 3 and a majority was now opposed to the round-about. Council then discussed including a traffic light as part of the SE 40th Street and 86th Ave SE intersection and a majority was in favor of including the traffic light. Council discussed Item C13 of Exhibit 3, a traffic signal at ICW and SE 44th/Merrimount and a majority supported changing the timing of the Merrimount study by moving $50,000 expenditure from 2008 to 2009 and $450,000 expenditure from 2009 to 2010. Council then discussed Item B2, Town Center Traffic Signal (SE 27th Street) and a majority of Council supported leaving this item in the TIP subject to staff providing a full report to Council prior to adoption of the next biennial budget.

It was moved by Councilmember Jahncke; seconded Deputy Mayor Pearman to:
Adopt the Six-Year Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) for 2007-2012, amended to eliminate the round-about and to add a traffic light in Item C14 of Exhibit 3 reducing $100,000 from TIP (SE 40th Street Corridor Improvement); amended to change the timing in Item C13 of Exhibit 3 (ICW and SE 44th/Merrimount) to delay the expenditure of $50,000 to 2009 and the expenditure of $450,000 to 2010, and directing staff to return to the City Council with a complete traffic engineering report that answers Council’s questions regarding the impacts of the traffic light described Item B2 on other intersections prior to Council’s adoption of the 2007-2008 biennial budget.
Motion Passed 5-1 (Councilmember Grausz dissented).


AB 4088: Public Hearing: Schools and Joint Use Impervious Surface Code Amendments (2nd Reading)

Mayor Cairns opened the public hearing for public comment. There was no public comment. Development Services Director Richard Hart presented the staff report and described three alternatives for the Council’s consideration in connection with increasing the maximum impervious surface for non-residential uses (schools, churches and clubs) located in residential properties from the existing 40% to a maximum of 55% impervious surface, with a possible 5% deviation: (1) adopt a code text amendment covering only school sites larger than 42 acres; (2) adopt a code text amendment covering all school sites; or (3) direct City Attorney to return with a development agreement.

It was moved by Councilmember Jahncke, seconded by Mayor Cairns to Adopt Ordinance No. 06C-05 as shown in Exhibit 1 resulting in increasing the maximum allowable impervious surfaces on public schools and joint use facilities on public school properties from 40% to 50%, plus a possible 5% deviation.
Motion was withdrawn.

It was moved by Councilmember Litzow; seconded Deputy Mayor Pearman to:
Amend Ordinance No. 06C-05 to incorporate Councilmember Litzow’s proposed amendment grandfathering schools, churches and clubs at the impervious surface percentages existing as of May 1, 2006; providing for a variance process to allow schools, churches and clubs to increase impervious surfaces up to 60% and directing staff to return with the amended ordinance on June 5, 2006 for third reading and possible adoption.

It was moved by Councilmember Grady, seconded by Councilmember Grausz to
Amend Litzow’s amendment MICC 19.02.020(D)(4)(ii) and (iii) and as follows: (ii) …In addition, mitigation designs shall endeavor to utilize flow control best management practices (BMP) and/or low impact development (LUD) techniques to infiltrate, disperse and/or retain stormwater on site to mitigate the increased volume, flow and pollutant loading or runoff to the maximum extent feasible; (iii) The Director must approve a storm drainage report submitted by the applicant and prepared by a licensed civil engineer assuring the City that City infrastructure, in concert with the project design, is adequate to accommodate storm drainage from the project site, or identifying appropriate improvements to public and/or private infrastructure to assure this condition is met, at the applicant’s expense;
Motion passed 6-0.

Main motion passed 6-0.

It was moved by Councilmember Grausz, seconded by Councilmember Litzow to:
Direct the City Attorney to return to the June 5, 2006 City Council meeting with a development agreement and enabling resolution, in substantially the form contained in the document presented to the City Council at its May 15, 2006 meeting but incorporating Councilmember Grady’s amendments approved to the MICC 19.02.020 code text amendment.
Motion Passed 6-0


AB 4080: Town Center Parking Analysis

Director Hart presented the Agenda Bill for information purposes. Council delayed discussions until June 19, 2005 when Ad Hoc Task Force Committee returns with proposed code amendments to the Town Center.


Other Business

Councilmember Absences:
Councilmember Goldmanis absence was excused.

Planning Schedule:
Add Developer Agreement and third reading of Ordinance No. 06C-05 to June 5, 2006 Regular Council meeting

Board Appointments:
There were none.

Councilmember Reports:
Councilmember Grausz reported on Design Commission
Mayor Cairns reported on ETP

Adjournment: 9:55 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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