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Monday, May 20, 2002

Call To Order

Mayor Merkle 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, Sven Goldmanis, Dan Grausz, El Jahncke, Jim Pearman, and Mayor Alan Merkle were present. Councilmember Bryan Cairns was absent.

Study Session

AB 3664 Town Center Design Guideline Amendments
The City Council, Planning Commission and the Ad Hoc Committee for the Downtown Design Regulations met to discuss the amendments to the Town Center Design Guidelines. Development Services Director Richard Hart, Ad Hoc Committee Chair Peter Orser, and Planning Commission Chair Steve Bryan gave a brief overview of the history of the specific issues that had been defined as problem areas and the proposed amendments to the Town Center Design format.

After discussion and debate, Council asked the Ad-Hoc Committee to meet once more to discuss and finalize the amendments regarding underground parking in the guidelines.

Because of time restraints, Council scheduled another Study Session for the next Regular Meeting of June 3, 2002.

The Study Session was adjourned at 7:20 pm. The Regular Meeting reconvened at 7:40 pm.

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

Add Agenda Bill 3665, Group Home Moratorium Ordinance, as the first item of Regular Business.

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

Appearances

Scott McMurray, 3623 74th Ave SE, stated to the Council that 72nd Ave SE will continue to have safety issues with or without stop signs.

Paul Barlin, 5702 80th Ave SE, Striver’s Organization President, urged the Council to consider the programs for seniors on Mercer Island when planning and constructing a facility for community use. His organization cannot function to its full capacity because of the high rates for renting rooms at the Community Center at Mercerview.

John Rose, 3066 67th Ave SE, expressed his concerns regarding the reallocation of funds for Parks and Recreation programs. Sue Stewart, 3205 84th Ave SE, Co-Chair of ‘Citizen’s to Preserve Upper Luther Burbank Park’, brought a petition to the Council stating that Luther Burbank should be left as a park and that no housing be developed.

John Kauffman, 2436 74th Ave SE, asked the Council to review the petition from the neighbors around the intersection of SE 24th Street and 74th Ave SE regarding a blind corner with two steep downgrades.

Jim Trombold, 4851 88th Ave SE, voiced concern that open space is precious for future generations and asked Council to reconsider keeping Luther Burbank as it is.

Myra Lupton, 3443 72nd Place SE, asked Council to install a traffic camera on SE 24th Street. She complimented the City on listening to residents regarding the intersection of 72nd Ave SE & SE 32nd Ave SE. She asked that the Council discuss keeping Mercerview in the public domain during the joint meeting with the school district.

John Italiane, 4332 86th Ave SE, presented a petition from residents on 86th Ave SE to keep the traffic configuration the same.

Craig Walker, 8236 SE 30th Street, showed the Council a poster made by children in the neighborhood around upper Luther Burbank Park asking for the park to stay the same. Mr. Walker is very concerned about the land and preserving open space.

Tammy Luce, 3211 84th Place SE, urged the council to keep Luther Burbank as open space

Al Gurevich, 2752 70th Ave SE, is concerned with speeding bicyclists on the Lid Park.

Mike Gallatin, 8412 33rd Place SE, has questions regarding the legal ramifications of the purchase of Luther Burbank Park and Forward Thrust funds.

Minutes

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

Approve the Study Session & Regular Meeting Minutes of May 6, 2002.

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

Consent Calendar
Payables: $ 87,324.73  
Payrolls: $ 438,164.61

It was moved by Councilmember Goldmanis; seconded by Councilmember Jahncke 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 3665 Group Home Moratorium Ordinance
City Attorney Londi Lindell stated that the City has been contacted in the past about siting group homes in Mercer Island. It has been determined that the Mercer Island City Code may not adequately address public health, safety and general welfare issues that group homes present. The moratorium on group homes is to provide an opportunity for staff to research reasonable group home regulations and report back to the City Council at a public hearing on June 17th.

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

Adopt Ordinance No. 02-03, Group Home Moratorium.

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

AB 3662 6-Year TIP Public Hearing and Adoption
City Engineer Patrick Yamashita, Transportation Planner Nancy Fairchild, and Street Engineer Clint Morris presented the Six-Year (2003-2008) Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). They explained the purpose and requirements of the TIP, the current work being done, and the work plan for the next six years.

The Mayor opened the Public Hearing.

John Italiane, 4332 86th Ave SE, urged the Council to keep the speed humps on 86th Ave SE.

E.W. Kruger, 6939 SE Allen Road, stated that the downhill section of 72nd Ave SE from SE 29th to SE 24th Street is very dangerous. He believes that a stop sign at SE 32nd Street will not be effective.

Scott McMurray, 3623 74th Ave SE, traffic problems on 72nd Ave SE are not being solved, they are being diverted to 74th Ave SE. He encourages installing raised crosswalks to the First Hill Park and filling in the culverts on the east side of 72nd Ave SE.

Tove Lund, 6939 SE Allen Road, would like the stop signs down at the intersection of 72nd Ave SE & SE 32nd Street and raised crosswalks installed.

Jocelyn Lippert, 4052 94th Ave SE, asked if the TIP includes the bus system.

Julia Fiset, 4235 86th Ave SE, thanked the Council for keeping 86th Ave SE safe with the speed humps.

The Mayor closed the Public Hearing.

After Council discussion regarding the 2003-2008 TIP, the following motions were made.

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

Adopt the proposed 2003-2008 Six Year Transportation Improvement Program.


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

Add the pedestrian trail connecting East Mercer Way with 94th Ave SE to the proposed 2003-2008 Six Year Transportation Improvement Program.

The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 5-1 (Councilmember Pearman dissenting).

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

Develop a roadside shoulder improvement project on East Mercer Way.

The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Failed 2-4 (Proponents of Motion Councilmembers Grausz and Jahncke).

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

AB 3661 AT&T Cable Rates
Deputy City Manager Deb Symmonds presented AT&T Broadband and Internet Services’, the provider of cable television and communications services on Mercer Island, annual rate proposal. The $.44 per month basic cable rate increase proposed will be effective for one year starting on or about Jul 1, 2002 through June 30, 2003.

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

Adopt Resolution No. 1294, establishing rates for basic cable service, installation, and equipment charges by AT&T effective July 1, 2002.

The Chair put the question on the main motion; Motion Passed 5-1 (Councilmember Goldmanis dissenting).

AB 3658 Management and Budget Issues: Streets and Storm Water Utility
Deputy City Manager Deb Symmonds and Maintenance Director Glenn Boettcher gave an overview of the streets and storm water utility management and budget policies and detailed the changes that have been made over the last year and the proposed changes for the next biennium.

The Council clarified the roadside shoulders category of the Street Maintenance & Construction Policy to “look for opportunities in long-term planning to improve conditions on the Mercer Ways.”

The City Council generally concurred with the Street Maintenance and Construction Management and Budget Policy. They affirmed that the 20- and 30-year repair and paving cycles for arterial and residential streets are an appropriate level of service. Given that street maintenance is one of the City’s basic services, Councilmember Jahncke advocated adding a new parameter by which funding targets are measured. He proposed a policy that street funding be maintained on an inflation-adjusted basis, suggesting a benchmark of inflation plus 1% over time. Since there seemed to be no disagreement amongst the Council, Staff understood this as budget policy direction. Staff will prepare a Real Estate Excise Tax revenue forecast showing the effect of this parameter for the upcoming capital budget discussion.

The council confirmed the proposed changes to the Storm Water Utility Policy of:
  • The Stormwater Utility will continue ramping up toward paying its full share of the administrative costs allocated to the City’s three utilities. Staff will determine how much the Stormwater percentage can be raised without having an unanticipated rate impact.
  • Stormwater’s capital improvement strategy will begin relying more heavily on bioengineering and other erosion control measures that meet Best Management Practices (BMP) requirements stemming from the Endangered Species Act listing of the Chinook salmon and the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System.
  • The Stormwater Utility will play an even greater role in continuing the City’s compliance with ESA through its investment in regional watershed planning and eventually a salmon conservation plan.
  • Engineering staff support of the Utility will be formalized by using Stormwater capital funds to provide 50% of the Assistant City Engineer position created earlier this year.

Open Council Discussion
(See Councilmember Reports)

Other Business

Councilmember Absences:
Mayor Merkle will be absent from the June 3rd Meeting.
Councilmember Pearman to be absent from the June 17th Meeting.
Councilmember Grausz to be absent from the July 1st Meeting

Planning Schedule:
Continue the Study Session of the Town Center Design Standards at the June 3rd meeting.
There will be a joint meeting on May 30th of the City Council and the Mercer Island School Board to discuss joint facilities planning and workforce housing.
Public Hearing on the Group Home Moratorium at the June 17th meeting.

Councilmember Reports:
Councilmember Jahncke asked if it would be possible to put up signs on East Mercer Way asking bikers to stay in a single file line so cars can pass.
Councilmember Jahncke asked to have the Study Session on the Town Center Design Standards Amendments continued to the next meeting.
Councilmember Goldmanis talked about his work with the Eastside Transportation Program and congestion relief.

Adjournment: 11:50 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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