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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

CALL TO ORDER:

Chairman Bryan Caditz called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm in the Council Chambers, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington. 

 

ROLL CALL:

Chairman Bryan Caditz, Commissioners Carla Weinheimer, Lucia Pirzio-Biroli, Scott Kuznicki, Emmett Maloof and George Wittman (arrived 7.40 PM) were present.  Council Liaison Dan Grausz was present.  There was a quorum.

 

STAFF PRESENT:

Deputy City Manager Londi Lindell, City Attorney Bob Sterbank, Development Services Director Steve Lancaster and Planners Jeff Thomas and Matt Torpey as well as Design Consultant Mark Hinshaw were present.

 

MEETING MINUTES APPROVAL:

The minutes of January 24, 2007 were approved as prepared by consent.  

 

INTRODUCTION OF NEW DESIGN COMMISSIONER:

New Commissioner Scott Kuznicki was introduced.

 

ELECTION OF NEW VICE CHAIR:

Commissioner Carla Weinheimer was appointed as the new Vice Chair.

 

INTRODUCTION OF NEW STAFF:

City Attorney Bob Sterbank, Development Services Director Steve Lancaster and Planner Matt Torpey were all introduced.

 

REGULAR BUSINESS:

 

Agenda Item #1: Town Center Code Amendments Study Session

Deputy City Manager Londi Lindell briefed the Design Commission on amendments to the Town Center Design and Development Standards, MICC Chapter 19.11 and Definitions, MICC Chapter 19.16 adopted by the City Council on May 21, 2007.  Ms. Lindell answered questions of the Design Commission regarding pedestrian connections, the effective date of the ordinance and how it impacts the next agenda item as well as affordable housing requirements.

 

Agenda Item #2: BRE Properties Inc. Public Meeting

Planner Matt Torpey briefed the Design Commission on the proposed development located at 2441 76th Avenue SE, as presented on the submittal packet date stamped March 15, 2007 and addendum date stamped May 30, 2007.  Staff answered questions of the Design Commission regarding the relationship between required public plaza size and the access easement for the adjacent property to the south, building height and mass, the issued SEPA Threshold Determination, shared parking stalls, roof forms and signage.

 

 

John Stevens of BRE Properties Inc. clarified prior to the applicant’s briefing of the Design Commission that the subject access easement went away when Safeway closed.  City Attorney Bob Sterbank stated that the City will examine the appropriate documentation and rule on this matter prior to final design approval. 

 

Jim Bedoia of Mithun Architects briefed the Design Commission on behalf of the applicant.  Mr. Bedoia answered questions of the Design Commission regarding the existing retaining wall, the proposed stairwells exceeding height limits, building entry articulation, bike racks, pedestrian interaction with vehicles, sunshades, existing bus stop in front of the property, lighting, application of the no net loss in retail code provision and future outdoor seating for a restaurant in the public plaza area.

 

Motion #1: Commissioner Lucia Pirzio-Biroli moved and Vice Chair Carla Weinheimer seconded to grant preliminary design approval for the proposed development located at 2441 76th Avenue SE, as presented on the submittal packet date stamped March 15, 2007 and addendum date stamped May 30, 2007 subject to staff recommended conditions #3, #4, #6 and #7 being met as stated, #5 being limited to consider changes to the upper story stairway and the following new conditions all being met prior to final design approval:

 

New Condition – Staff shall ensure the proposal is in compliance with MICC 19.11.050.

New Condition – There shall be further articulation of the building entry to comply with MICC 19.11.060.

 

Discussion: The Design Commission discussion generally focused on whether to limit staff recommended condition #5 and whether to retain staff recommended condition #4 as moved.

 

Motion #2: Commissioner George Whittman moved and Commissioner Lucia Pirizo-Biroli seconded to not limit staff recommended condition #5 as moved, but instead require loft areas and upper story stairways along 76th Avenue SE to be reversed to interior edge of roof.

 

Vote #2:  The motion failed 5 to 1 with Commissioner George Whittman as the only vote to approve.

 

Motion #3: Commissioner George Whittman moved and Commissioner Emmett Maloof seconded to remove staff recommended condition #4 from the original motion.

 

Vote #3: The motion passed 6 to 0.

 

Vote #1: The motion passed as amended 6 to 0.

 

OTHER BUSINESS:

 

Council Liaison Report: Council Liaison Dan Grausz briefed the Design Commission on the recent City Council mini-retreat. 

 

Staff Comments:  Planner Jeff Thomas briefed the Design Commission on the agenda for the next regular Design Commission meeting on June 27, 2007.

 

Scheduled Absence of Commissioners:  Commissioner Scott Kuznicki will be absent for the upcoming June 27th meeting and Commissioner Emmett Maloof will be absent for the upcoming July 11th, July 25th and August 8th meetings.

 

Next Regular Meeting: The next regularly scheduled Design Commission meeting is June 27, 2007.  There are two agenda items scheduled for this meeting. 

                                                                                                                                        

ADJOURNMENT:

Chair Bryan Caditz adjourned the meeting at 10:10 PM.

 

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