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Monday, March 05, 2001

Call To Order

Deputy Mayor Cairns called the meeting to order at 6:05 pm in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.

Roll Call

City Councilmembers Susan Blake, Bryan Cairns, Sven Goldmanis, Dan Grausz, and Mayor Alan Merkle (arrived at 6:35 pm) were present. Councilmember Judy Clibborn was absent.

Study Session

AB 3564 Central Business District Sub-Committee Report on Park-and-Ride
Council discussed what type of advise to provide Sound Transit regarding whether or not the City is willing to consider naming a different preferred location for the proposed park-and-ride lot. Discussion also took place regarding potential alternative park-and-ride locations. These discussions were intended to allow Sound Transit to proceed with the public involvement, environmental review and preliminary design work pertaining to the park-and-ride project.

It was the consensus of the Council to indicate to Sound Transit to proceed with the public involvement, environmental review and preliminary design phases of the project that would potentially add additional parking spaces to the existing North Mercer Way park-and-ride location. Council, however, reiterated its preferences that the lot be relocated south of the freeway and include dedicated parking stalls for Mercer Island residents.

Ira Appelman, 6213 83rd Place SE, questioned Council’s previous direction asking for no expansion at the current park-and-ride location.

Central Business District Property Owner James Cassan, 5623 80th Ave SE, expressed his willingness to work with the City to provide 50-100 parking spaces for short or long term use.

Tom Donahue, 2284 78th Ave SE, predicted that there will never be enough parking (given that Mercer Island offers the closest free parking to downtown Seattle) and questioned whether the sculpture garden is sacred, relative to the homes of area residents.

The Study Session Adjourned at 7:15 pm; The Regular Meeting Reconvened at 7:35 pm.

Special Business

Mayor Merkle commented on the recent earthquake and applauded the outstanding leadership provided by City Manager Rich Conrad and Assistant City Manager Deb Symmonds.

Anne Fox, 2981 74th Avenue SE, presented the Council with a petition signed by 120 residents of First Hill and East Seattle stating that the scope and density of the development and redevelopment in their area was threatening the character of their neighborhoods. Among other things, the petition asks the Council to reconsider the Island’s present zoning laws regarding maximum lot coverage, gross floor area, and setback allowances.

Related comments were received from First Hill and East Seattle neighbors Bill Northup, 2926 71st Ave, Jim Steinbach, 7844 SE 71st, and Helen MacWhirter, 3450 74th Ave SE. Mayor Merkle responded to the First Hill/East Seattle residents, acknowledging their concerns and stating that the Council would need to consider when it would be feasible and appropriate to add this issue to their planning schedule, as Council discussion about zoning regulations would need to precede any direction given to staff.

A resident at 2245 82nd Avenue expressed concerns about parking (and the related parking overflow onto city streets) surrounding the community center and park-and-ride. Mayor Merkle responded by saying that parking in that area is of serious concern to the city, and by assuring the resident that talks had already begun with Sound Transit in an attempt to ameliorate the problem.


It was moved by Councilmember Blake; seconded by Councilmember Goldmanis to:

Approve the Special Meeting Minutes of February 26, 2001 as written.

The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 6-0.

Consent Calendar
Payables: $ 103,854.14  
Payrolls: $ 376,086.65

AB 3565 Arts Council Annual Report: Accept the 2000 Arts Council Annual Report.

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

Approve the Consent Calendar and the recommendations contained therein.

The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 6-0.

Regular Business

AB 3562 Community Center Sub-Committee Report/Joint Meeting with School Board, Directors of Boys’ and Girls’ Club and JCC
Mayor Merkle opened the agenda item and asked the many participants to keep an open mind regarding the community center project(s). The Mayor also reminded visiting board directors that the Council would be seeking feedback on this issue in the coming weeks. Following his remarks, self-introductions were made and Assistant City Manager Deb Symmonds introduced consultant Lee Springgate, former director of the Bellevue Parks and Recreation Department. Mr. Springgate congratulated the various participants on getting this far into the project process, and opened a discussion about the possibilities for coordinated service delivery by reviewing the missions and activities of the different constituent organizations. Following Mr. Springgate’s remarks fellow consultant Tom Beckwith reported on the results of a brainstorming session that had been dedicated to developing one possible picture of what the results of the community center project could include. Representatives from the School Board, Boys and Girls’ Club, French American School and Jewish Community Center also each spoke briefly about the community center project.

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

Direct the City Manager to negotiate a professional services agreement with Evans/McDonough for research and public involvement services not to exceed $30,000.

The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 6-0.

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

Direct staff to solicit proposals for master planning and return to the Council with a scope of services and budget appropriation request to commence the work as soon as possible.

The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 6-0.

Open Council Discussion
There were none.

Other Business

Councilmember Absences: Councilmembers Clibborn was excused for being absent.

Planning Schedule: There were no changes.

Board Appointments: Council affirmed the appointment of Frank Mandarano to fill a vacant position (No. 2) on the Arts Council, the term was effective immediately and expires on March 31, 2003.

Councilmember Reports: There were none.

Adjournment: 9:35 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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