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Design Commission - Minutes     
Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Chair Bryan Caditz, called the meeting to order at 7:33 PM in the Council Chambers, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington. 



Chair Bryan Caditz, Susanne Foster, Scott Kuznicki, Bert Loosmore, Ann Nielson, and Lucia Pirzio-Biroli were present. Commissioner Emmet Maloof was excused.



George Steirer, Principal Planner, and Travis Saunders, Planner, were present.  



The minutes of December 10, 2008 were approved as written by consent.




AGENDA ITEM #1 – PUBLIC MEETING – St. Monica’s School Preliminary Design Review.


Travis Saunders, Planner, presented the preliminary staff report and recommended preliminary design approval with conditions.  Mr. Saunders responded to questions from the Commission.


Aubry Davidson of PTS, representative for the applicant, gave a brief presentation. Commissioners requested information of Ms. Davidson regarding the proposed color and material palette, landscaping, tree removal, fencing, and access (drop-off/pick-up).


The Chair opened the meeting to public comment.  No public comments were given. Therefore, Chair Caditz closed the public comment portion of the hearing.


Commissioner Pirzio - Biroli commended the applicant for pursuing LEED certification for the project and provided further comments.


Commissioner Nielson expressed concern over the proposed materials and colors and suggested that they are inconsistent with those used for the existing structures on site.


Commissioner Kuznicki requested information from staff regarding parking and also commented on the sidewalk and proposed landscaping.


Commissioner Loosmore echoed Commissioner Pirzio - Biroli’s praise pertaining to LEED certification. He also assessed how the applicant’s landscaping materials and color palette are inconsistent with the code.  


Commissioner Foster expressed concern over the proposed colonnades and suggested that planter boxes be used as an educational tool for the children at the preschool.



Chair Caditz suggested that the applicant reevaluate the colonnades and the color palette as well as make a greater effort to use native plants.


Chair Caditz moved that the Design Commission grant preliminary design approval subject to the conditions in the staff report and with the following additional conditions of approval:


  1. The applicant is to provide a fence that matches the existing fence on the southeast corner of the site;
  2. The color and material palettes be more muted and integrated with the existing structures;
  3. The landscaping is to be native, as consistent with the code; and 
  4. Per MICC 19.12.040(B)(3)(b), Architectural Features, the columns take a closer look at the existing buildings and not be comprised of wood where there is no reflection of wood.


Commissioner Nielson seconded the motion. The motion to grant Preliminary Design Review Approval as conditioned passed with 6 yahs and 0 nays.



George Steirer discussed the potential for the Planning Commission to be reviewing Low Impact Development (LID) and Green Building techniques. The options for Design Commission input will be considered by the Planning Commission. A joint meeting between the Planning Commission and the Design Commission is being arranged to discuss elements of the Planning Commission’s 2009 work plan including Green Building and Low Impact Development (LID) techniques.


ADJOURNMENT:          8:33 PM


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