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Monday, May 19, 2008

Call To Order:


Mayor Jim Pearman 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:


Councilmembers Bruce Bassett, Mike Cero, Dan Grausz, Steve Litzow, Deputy Mayor El Jahncke and Mayor Jim Pearman were present. Councilmember Mike Grady was absent.





(1)        AB 4307            Parks Ballot Measure Survey Results


Assistant City Manager/Parks and Recreation Director Pete Mayer introduced representatives of EMC Research.  Mr. Alex Evans along with other EMC Research representatives conducted a presentation summarizing the Mercer Island Parks Measure survey results.  Representatives thoroughly reviewed the survey instrument, survey methodology, and survey results.  Survey results suggested that a Parks Ballot Measure would be generally supported by Mercer Island voters.





Mayor Pearman read a Proclamation declaring August 15, 2008 “Play Day” on Mercer Island and he encouraged citizens to support efforts to bring awareness of play and the outdoor environment through playspaces and playgrounds in their communities and neighborhoods for the well-being of this and future generations.





Leslie Scott, 7406 92th Place SE, Secretary of the Senior Foundation of Mercer Island addressed the Council about a crossing light at the intersection of Island Crest Way and SE 34th.  She feels that the crosswalk at SE 34th Street and 78th Avenue SE is dangerous for the high volumes of pedestrians and for the seniors in neighboring condo units. She would like to see reflective tape added to the current red crossing flags. She stated that if the Council would approve the Island Crest Way crossing at this intersection, the Senior Foundation of Mercer Island would like to launch a community-wide drive to fund the project to help defray the costs from the City’s transportation budget.


Bart Dawson, 8812 SE 77th Place, spoke about the Island Crest Way Trail Project. He believes that SE 40th Street and the 2-lane portion of Island Crest Way, from SE 53rd to SE 68th are good examples to follow.   He thinks that commuter and sports bicycles, and pedestrians conflict with each other and he feels that ideal paths for pedestrians are separated from bicycles and cars.  He would like to the designing of trees, plants and bushes in wide areas adjacent to roads and paths and sidewalks where roads are narrow.  He would like to see 78th Ave SE an extension of the neighborhood to the south and continuation of the city center today. 


Marcia Dawson, 8812 SE 77th Place, stated that she didn’t answer the survey after getting three calls, because her family is really reluctant to answer questions from cold callers.  Had she known ahead of time of some phone number to call to confirm that it was a legitimate survey, she would have been more apt to participate.


Mark Berejka, 8125 SE 79th Street, presented a letter to Council on behalf of citizens who support exploring option 3-C for Island Crest Way. He has found a lot of community support for expanding Island Crest Way to 3-lanes up to Island Park Elementary and the letter he presented asks the Council to continue to support this option.  He believes that people do feel like creating a parkway appealing and drives his interest in this issue, but some neighbors also are concerned about safety.   He asked the Council to look at Option 3C for both safety and beautification reasons.


Matt Leibsohm, 3206 74th Place, praised Council for their willingness to come up with additional options for the First Hill property hill than what was originally discussed.  He is in favor of a park for the First Hill land parcel, one that meets the needs of those that walk the trails of the Mercerdale greenbelt or perhaps a senior’s park or memorial park.  He would like to see a better system of informing people on First Hill of meetings and cancellations of such for those who are 300 feet from property.  He feels that the July 2nd meeting probably won’t be well attended due to the holiday weekend.


Holly Rider, 3620 74th Ave SE, was not notified of the cancellation of the First Hill meeting and she wants a more direct and efficient communications system.  She is grateful council is considering several options for First Hill property and she feels that it be nice to have a park with a bench where people can sit.


Tom Hildebrandt, 6880 West Mercer Way, addressed the Council two years ago asking for a bicycle corridor by the park-and-ride to accommodate both bicyclists and pedestrians. He would like a review of the stop signs on 24th and 84th as they hinder cyclists who are trying to use that route to bypass the park-and-ride congestion.



Consent Calendar:


Councilmember Cero moved AB 4305 (First Hill Water Utility Property Future Use – Revised Public Involvement Process) to the first item of Regular Business.


(3)        Payables:    $909,547.76            Payroll:    $569,711.09


(4)        AB 4298            Hearing Examiner Interlocal Agreement
Motion: Approve interlocal agreement with the City of Seattle in order to establish a contract for Hearing Examiner services.        


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

Approve the Consent Calendar and the recommendations contained therein.

Motion passed 6-0.



Regular Business:


(5)        AB 4305            First Hill Water Utility Property Future Use – Revised Public Involvement Process


It was moved by Councilmember Cero; seconded by Councilmember Jahncke to:

Split Option 3 into two distinct options:

·         Option 3a: The property could be sold “as is” in which case the new owner would be able to develop the site for any use allowed by the city’s development codes.  The property is zoned R-8.4 Single Family. 

·         Option 3b: The property could be divided into three separate lots and sold “as is” in accordance with zone R-8.4 Single Family.

Motion passed 6-0.


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

Change the community meeting date from the July 4th weekend.  Change title for Option 5 as follows:  Consider making the property available for an alternativeinnovative housing demonstration project.

Motion passed 6-0.


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

Authorize staff to proceed with the proposed public input and evaluation process as amended for the First Hill property and report the results back to the City Council.

Motion passed 6-0.




 (6)       AB 4308            Parks Levy Stakeholder Committee Report


Assistant City Manager/Parks and Recreation Director Pete Mayer thanked the members of the Stakeholder Committee and recognized their efforts.  Director Mayer and Communications Coordinator Joy Johnston outlined the process steps taken by the Stakeholder Committee. Director Mayer highlighted the projects reviewed by the sub-committee as well as the estimated costs associated with each project.


Chair of Stakeholder Committee Don Cohen reported that the committee accomplished a great deal in a restricted time period.  The Committee was made up of people with varying interests representing various constituents.  The Committee worked hard and achieved consensus.  Chair Cohen shared specifics of the Committee’s charge.  He stated that the Committee was willing to continue work in a capacity as defined by the Council in the future.


Annette Sommer, NW Securities, presented various capital funding and maintenance and operations funding options for the Parks Levy.


Communications Coordinator Johnston wrapped up the presentation with possible next steps. Director Mayer informed the Council that no action is required, but further direction for the sub-committee would be helpful.


Following discussion there was consensus from the Council to discuss the Parks ballot measure at the Council’s mini-planning session in June.  Items to be discussed are: funding strategy, project list and prioritization, total cost (how much per year – not just per household – aggregate total cost), tax in relation to other future taxes on an annual basis and review school specific projects.



(7)        AB 4267            Public Hearing: Six-Year Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP)


City Engineer Patrick Yamashita introduced Joe Giacobazzi, from KPG and project consultant, who presented four separate options for the Island Crest Way/Merrimount Drive intersection project. Following the presentation and discussion the Council eliminated Option 2.


The Mayor opened the public hearing at 8:58 pm for comments on the Island Crest Way and Merrimount intersection.


Stowe Sprague, 4553 84th Ave SE, stated that the right hand turn off of Merrimount is difficult and didn’t know if that is part of plan.  She likes the road diet. She asked if it includes widening of the turning lane onto Merrimount? How will 3-lane configuration work with emergency vehicles?


Todd Kelsay, Director of Transportation with School District, stated that Option 3C has appeal and looks like the safest and most efficient of the options presented.  He sees more use of roadways by pedestrians and bicyclists to get to and from school. He applauded Council for eliminating Option 2.


Bonnie Wojciehiwski, 7835 63rd Place, believes the goal should be to keep all the roads open to all the traffic.  Supports the road diet because it slows down the traffic, keeps pedestrians safe, and opens up access to Merrimount. 


The Mayor closed the public hearing at 9:03 pm.


Following further Council discussion, staff was directed to come back for a final vote for the Island Crest Way/Merrimount intersection with a scaled back Option 1 and a scaled back Option 3C.


City Engineer Patrick Yamashita presented an overview of the Six-Year Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) which identifies specific projects that work together to maintain, preserve, and maximize use of the existing citywide roadway and trail systems while balancing revenue and expenditures within the Street Fund through programming and phasing construction of projects


The Mayor re-opened the Public Hearing at 10:02pm for all comments related the TIP.


Debbie Bertlin, 2435 72nd Ave SE, expressed appreciation to staff and Council for maintaining the priority on 72nd, the gravel walkway and the overlay. Traffic calming should be a priority on First Hill 22nd to 27th 8 babies in last year have been born in that area – safety a real issue.  Volunteers to work with Patrick to help him build his tool kit.  Thanks for maintaining 72nd.


Maretta Holden, 8221, people are speeding on SE 24th and visibility is bad because it is a hill. Number of other areas where cars are not traveling at safe speeds. Do not assume that pedestrians and bicycles should share the same space – it’s not safe for pedestrians.  On 77th where pedestrians cross the roads in front of the freeway entrance, it is still very dangerous.  Don’t let them close the sidewalks during construction projects.


Charlie Zwick, 7422 SE 32nd, walks with daughter every morning from 32nd street to 24th street on 72nd every morning to catch the bus.  Thanks Council for fixing the sidewalks and echoes previous comments.  Supports traffic calming for safety reasons. Thanks for following through on pedestrian site.


The Mayor closed the Public Hearing at 10:09pm.


Following discussion the Council directed staff to move forward on installing traffic lights at both SE 27th Street at 77th Avenue SE and 78th Avenue SE in the Town Center. This may mean that some other project in the TIP gets pushed out to address cash flow.



(8)        AB 4302            Sewer Lake Line Project Next Steps


Maintenance Director Glenn Boettcher, Deputy Finance Director Francie Lake and consultants presented a recommendation for the direction of the Sewer Lake Line Project.  The discussion covered design changes that could be pursued, how to package the project for bidding, the timing/sequencing of construction, and a financing strategy.


It was moved by Councilmember Cero seconded by Councilmember Bassett to:

Direct staff to proceed with the redesigning and repackaging of the Sewer Lake Line Project with a goal of going to bid in October. Appropriate $484,000 from the Sewer Fund for project reassessment, redesign, and repackaging.  The project will include Reach 3 and Pump Station 4.  Reach 4 will be deleted for future construction.

Motion passed 6-0.



(9)        AB 4304            SE 40th St Improvements Project Bid Authorization (no presentation)


City Manager Conrad explained that the budget scope hasn’t changed, but the estimate is up about $300,000 more than when staff last came to Council. Staff was directed to come back and tell the story as to why the cost of construction has gone up.


Council asked questions regarding right-of-way acquisitions.


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

Authorize staff to advertise for bids for the SE 40th Street Improvements project.

Motion passed 6-0.





Councilmember Absences: 

Councilmember Grady’s absence was excused.

Councilmember Grausz will be absent June 2 and June 16.

Councilmember Jahncke will be absent July 21.


Planning Schedule: 

July 7: Add Council Meeting Cable Broadcasting Operating Procedures


Board Appointments:

There were no appointments.


Councilmember Reports:

Mayor Pearman made a presentation to the Sammamish City Council regarding the Mercer Island Town Center.



Executive SESSION:


The Council adjourned to Executive Session at 11:10 pm to discuss potential litigation per RCW 42.30.110(1)(i) and for approximately 60 minutes.



Adjournment:           11:50 pm


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