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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Call to Order:

Vice Chair Marcia Dawson called the meeting to order at 7:31 pm in the Council Chambers, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.

Roll Call:

Vice Chair Marcia Dawson, Commissioners Emmett Maloof, Lucia Pirzio-Biroli, Carla Weinheimer, were present. Chairman Bryan Caditz, Commissioners Callie Ridolfi, and George Wittman and Liaison Grauz were not present.

Staff Present:

Richard Hart, Development Services Director, Louis Webster, Associate Planner, Rick Beeler, Senior Planner and George Steirer, Senior Planner were present.

Minutes:

The minutes of May 10, 2006 were approved without correction.

REGULAR BUSINESS:

Action Item #1: Wireless Communications Facility (WCF) approval for Clearwire Wireless. George Steirer gave the staff presentation. The applicant proposes a GPS antenna, three panel antennas, two microwave dish antennas, and BTS amplifiers, all of which would be mounted on an existing WCF pole support structure. The applicant also proposes an associated electronics equipment cabinet to be placed underground.

The applicant, Craig Wilson explained how the Clearwire wireless is different from typical wireless providers and that they are attempting to provide broadband wireless service on the island this fall.

Discussion by the Commission.

Concerns were expressed about the adequacy of landscaping.

Motion by Maloof, 2nd by Weinheimer: Move to approve per staff recommendation.

Amendment by Pirzio-Biroli, 2nd by Dawson: To require a landscape plan along with erosion and sediment control plan to be reviewed and approved by staff prior to building permit issuance.

Vote on the Amendment: Unanimous approval.

Vote on the Main Motion: Unanimous approval.

Action Item #2: Wireless Communications Facility (WCF) approval for Clearwire Wireless. George Steirer gave the staff presentation. The applicant proposes a GPS antenna, three panel antennas, two microwave dish antennas, and BTS amplifiers, all of which would be mounted on an existing WCF pole support structure, which contains stadium lights, used for baseball field lights, and an existing antenna array. The applicant also proposes an associated electronics equipment cabinet and public lavatory.

Discussion by the Commission.

Concerns were expressed about the design of the building.

Richard Hart, Director, explained that per the Mercer Island City Code, (MICC) the Design Commissionís purview is limited to "Regulated Improvements" and that does not extend to property owned or controlled by the City, as in the current matter before the Commission. He continued to say that the City values Commission input into the design of the lavatory and that the Parks Department Director has the final authority as to any design of the lavatory.

Acting Parks Director, Curt Brees spoke about the need for additional facilities in the park and that the proposal was a significant benefit to the City. He stated that specific, detailed landscaping would be required of the applicant and that negotiations on the lease had not been concluded.

Motion by Weinheimer, 2nd by Maloof: Move to approve, per staff recommendation.

Amendment by Pirzio-Biroli, 2nd by Weinheimer: To improve the park entry aspect of the building with the use of other materials including earth berms and mature landscape screening.

Vote on the Amendment: Unanimous approval.

Amendment by Dawson, 2nd by Maloof: To add urinal

Vote on the Amendment: failed.

Vote on the Main Motion: Unanimous approval.

Action Item #3: Study Session for new 5 story mixed use project at old Safeway Property. Rick Beeler gave the staff presentation. The applicant proposed a mixed use development project of five stories with underground parking for 390 cars, 19,500 square feet of retail and 145,000 square feet of residential.

Presentation by the Applicant representative, Jim Bedoya and Tami McNamara of Mithun Architects.

Discussion by the Commission. The Commission was pleased to see the proposal and had several comments about how the proposal would relate to adjacent properties as they exist or as they may redevelop in the future. Concern was expressed about the proposed plaza and its orientation to the northeast. It was asked that the entrances be strengthened. A strong tie was requested to the southeasterly Starbucks and "heart" of the Town Center. Consensus was not reached regarding building style and massing.

OTHER BUSINESS:

Council Liaison: No comments.

Directors Comments: No Comments.

Commissioner Comments: No comments.

Next Regular Meeting: The next regularly scheduled Design Commission meeting will be August 23, 2006 but nothing is yet scheduled on the agenda.

Commissioner Absences: None noted.

Adjournment: 9:41 PM

 

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