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Monday, July 22, 2002

Call To Order

Mayor Merkle called the meeting to order at 7:34 pm in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.

Roll Call

City Councilmembers Susan Blake (arrived 7:36 pm), Bryan Cairns, Sven Goldmanis, Dan Grausz, El Jahncke, Jim Pearman and Mayor Merkle were present.

Appearances

Jerry Holladay, 8441 SE 33rd Place, does not see a need for affordable housing and supports leaving Upper Luther Burbank Park undeveloped.

Adair Dingle, 6821 93rd Ave SE, has been a pool patron for seven years. She asked Council to help keep Mary Wayte Pool open. She suggested raising rates for daily swim times and rentals.

Janet Lynch, 8420 Benotho Place, urged the Council to keep Mary Wayte Pool open.

Peggy Pomeroy, 8098 West Mercer Way, stated that there are many people who use Mary Wayte Pool and the City should help to keep it open.

Darcy Johnson, 8612 SE 78th Street, urged the Council not to eliminate the consideration of upper Luther Burbank Park as a site for affordable housing. She stated that low-cost housing can be done in the right way and be very effective.

David Myerson, 4260 Shoreclub Drive, believes that affordable housing is a good idea, but Luther Burbank Park is parkland and should not be converted to housing.

Will Knedlik, Kirkland, asked the Council not to take ownership of Luther Burbank Park in order to preserve the Regional Parks and Pool Plan.

Minutes

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

Approve the Regular Meeting Minutes of July 8, 2002 as amended:
Page 3, Item (5), AB 3673, Appropriation for High School Ballfield Project, Motion:
3. District will eEndorse principles stated above for the ultimate interlocal agreement.


The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 7-0.

Consent Calendar
Payables: $ 484,510.37  
Payrolls: $ 450,493.19

It was moved by Councilmember Blake seconded by Councilmember Cairns to:

Approve the Consent Calendar and the recommendations contained therein.

The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 7-0.

Regular Business

AB 3684 Public Hearing: Spending of Previously Allocated ARCH Trust Funds to Plum Court & Avondale Park Affordable Housing Projects.
AB 3677 Public Hearing: CDBG Pass-Through Funds

Development Services Group Director Richard Hart and Art Sullivan from ARCH explained the history of the City of Mercer Island’s involvement with ARCH (A Regional Coalition for Housing) and answered questions from the Council about the process of the CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) pass-through funds.

The Mayor opened the Public Hearing for previously allocated ARCH Trust Funds to Plum Court & Avondale Park affordable housing projects and for the CDBG Pass-Through Funds.

There was no public comment.

The Mayor closed the Public Hearing.

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

Approve the use of $116,767 of ARCH Housing Trust Fund, 2002 CDBG fund monies, previously allocated to ARCH, toward the Avondale Park project located in Redmond, WA, and $20,000 of ARCH Housing Trust Fund general fund monies, previously allocated to ARCH, toward Plum Court Apartments in Kirkland, as conditioned by the ARCH Executive Board.

The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 7-0.

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

Accept the 2003 CDBG pass-through estimates, authorize the City Manager to sign the authorization form attached to AB 3676 as Exhibit 2, and adopt Resolution No. 1297 approving the year 2003 Community Development Block Grant “Pass-Through” funding allocation of $54,247 to ARCH.

The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 7-0.

AB 3691 Luther Burbank Park Transfer Agreement
City Manager Rich Conrad introduced the proposed agreement for the transfer of Luther Burbank Park to the City of Mercer Island. He explained the history of the proposal from King County, and the City’s analysis and extended negotiations over the past year.

City Manager Conrad also detailed the results of the survey poll on the City’s website, which asked citizens, “King County has informed the City that it can no longer afford to operate and maintain Luther Burbank Park. Would you be willing to raise local property taxes by up to $37.00 per year (average home value) for the City to take over the Park?” The results were that 68% of the respondents answered, “YES, it would be a valuable addition to the Park system”, 12% of the respondents answered, “MAYBE, only under certain conditions”, 11% responded, “NO, under no circumstances”, and 9% answered, “I would need more information to decide”.

City Attorney Londi Lindell described how the proposed Interlocal Agreement successfully addressed all of the Council’s requirements as expressed at its annual retreat. She further explained that there were still a few details to be resolved with King County regarding indemnification language and hazardous materials (oil tanks) mitigation, and that these issues are likely to be resolved in the near future.

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

Direct the City Manager to enter into the intergovernmental Transfer Agreement substantially in the form of the attached Exhibit 1, which upon King County approval, permanently transfers Luther Burbank Park to the City of Mercer Island.

The Chair put the question on the main motion; Motion Passed 7-0.

AB 3692 Workforce Housing at Upper Luther Burbank Park.
City Manager Rich Conrad summarized the status of affordable housing on the Eastside and Mercer Island, and the role of A Regional Housing Coalition (ARCH). After the Special Council Meeting of April 29, 2002 on Affordable Housing, when Council decided to move forward and determine Mercer Island’s options for affordable housing, upper Luther Burbank Park was proposed as a possible location. In response to extensive expression of public concern about development on this park property, Deputy Mayor Bryan Cairns instructed staff to bring this item back for further discussion and reconsideration of the previous direction given.

City Manager Conrad stated that staff was offering a variety of motions, but no recommendation, as this decision would be a matter of Council policy.

Public Comment:
Jim Trombold, 4851 88th Ave SE, supports preserving open space and believes that upper Luther Burbank Park and Affordable Housing should be separate issues.

Ben Werner, 3218 80th Ave SE, urged the Council to look to the future and preserve parklands.

Sue Stewart, 3205 84th Ave SE, Citizens to Preserve Upper Luther Burbank Park, has collected 3,382 petition signatures. The group believes that the City should take ownership of Luther Burbank Park but urges the Council to permanently exclude Upper Luther Burbank Park from any further development.

Maggie Dorsey, 2000 Faben Drive, asked the Council to define affordable housing in terms of how it will be used on Mercer Island. She also stated that affordable housing is important and should be available in the Mercer Island community.

Rich Irwin, 2717 76th Ave SE, supports affordable housing on upper Luther Burbank Park for school district employees. He believes that it is easy to attract teachers but it is hard to retain them and moving forward with affordable housing will help with retention.

Terry Pottmeyer, 6207 Parkside Lane, urged the Council to promote and continue community conversation regarding affordable housing and upper Luther Burbank Park and to not separate the issues yet.

Phil Flash, 3005 69th Ave SE, thanked that Council for their thoughts and considerations during the transfer negotiations as they related to historical entities in the park. He also told the Council that the Mercer Island Historical Society is willing and able to help in any way.

Susan Kaplan, 6504 80th Ave SE, read an email from School Board President Carrie George regarding the workforce housing survey. Ms. Kaplan believes that it is important to separate the issues of workforce housing and where it should be located.

Myra Lupton, 3443 72nd Place SE, would like the issue of potential future uses for upper Luther Burbank Park to be separated from issues regarding future affordable housing opportunities on Mercer Island.

Marge Weissman, 2043 81st Ave SE, remarked that the petition to save and preserve upper Luther Burbank Park said nothing about affordable housing for teachers. She urged Council to keep upper Luther Burbank a park.

Following extensive Council discussion the following motions were made.

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

Separate the issues of potential future uses for upper Luther Burbank Park and issues regarding future affordable housing opportunities on Mercer Island.

The Chair put the question on the main motion; Motion Passed 5-1-1 (Councilmember Goldmanis dissented and Councilmember Grausz abstained).

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

Cease any further investigation, study or analysis of upper Luther Burbank Park as a potential site for affordable housing.

The Chair put the question on the main motion; Motion Failed 3-3-1 (Proponents of motion: Councilmembers Cairns, Goldmanis and Pearman; Councilmember Grausz abstained).

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

Direct the City Manager to return to the Council with recommendations on the timing and content of an affordable housing initiative for Mercer Island.

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

Amend the motion to add the following text to the main motion: Any such recommendation shall consider placement of affordable housing on park and open space property only as a lowest priority.

The Chair put the question on the amended motion; Motion Failed 3-4 (Councilmembers Pearman, Goldmanis, Cairns, and Jahncke dissented).

The Chair put the question on the main motion; Motion Passed 6-1 (Councilmember Goldmanis dissented).

Open Council Discussion
(See Councilmember Reports)

Other Business

Councilmember Reports:
Mayor Merkle commented that the Softball Booster Club will be proposing a scaled down version of possible improvements to Homestead Field to Parks & Recreation Director Pete Mayer.

Adjournment: 11:16 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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