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Monday, April 29, 2002

Call To Order

Deputy Mayor Cairns called the special meeting to order at 7:00 pm in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.

Roll Call

City Councilmembers Susan Blake, Sven Goldmanis, Dan Grausz, El Jahncke, Jim Pearman, and Deputy Mayor Bryan Cairns were present. Mayor Alan Merkle was absent.

Regular Business

AB 3653 Affordable Housing Workshop
Development Services Director Richard Hart presented background information on the potential of developing affordable housing on Mercer Island. He also explained that staff has been working with ARCH, A Regional Coalition for Housing, the multi-jurisdictional agency in King County that serves as the housing staff for Mercer Island, to explore possibilities of supporting more affordable housing on Mercer Island.

Art Sullivan, Program Manager for ARCH presented the following information:
  • demographic and housing data for Mercer Island residents;
  • general income ranges for both city and school district employees that might qualify for affordable housing under King Country guidelines;
  • strategies, tools and techniques for implementing affordable housing;
  • examples of current affordable housing sites in East King County;
  • alternative housing parameters and possible design alternatives for the Luther Burbank site.

Mercer Island School District Superintendent Bill Keim and Suzanne Britch, an economic consultant with Real Vision Research, were present to answer specific questions from the Council.

Deputy Mayor Cairns opened the floor to public comment:
Steve Bryan, 2426 70th Ave SE, has concerns with the zoning and conditional use hearings. He feels that Council needs to address the residents who bought property next to open space for a reason.

Jarrod Lewis, 2929 76th Ave SE, is very impressed with the diversity of the design concepts. He thinks “cookie-cutter” houses don’t fit on Mercer Island.

Becky Field, 7241 West Mercer Way, suggested that some of the units be held as rentals for city and school district employees so as not to lock in ownership possibilities.
Deputy Mayor Cairns closed the public comment period.

Following Council discussion regarding Affordable Housing, staff was directed to:

  • Develop a clear vision of the steps in this process.
  • Collect data from city and school district employees regarding the interest in demand for renting or owning affordable housing on Mercer Island.
  • Work with ARCH to develop 3 concepts of affordable housing with attached and detached units to bring back to Council.
 

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