The applicant, Starbucks Coffee, is requesting Final Design Approval for the proposed 1-story coffee shop and drive-through service window at 7620 SE 27th Street (DSR02-041 & SEP02-040). This site in the Town Center Zone (TC) is currently occupied by Simba’s Auto Service, which will be demolished for the new project. This project received Preliminary Design Approval at the March 12, 2003 Design Commission meeting.
John Scandola, Associate Planner, summarized the staff report and provided an overview of the 15 conditions of Preliminary Design Approval, as designated at the March 12, 2003 Design Commission meeting, and how the current submittal addresses these conditions. Staff recommended Final Design Approval of the project subject to several conditions as outlined in the staff report.
Stephen Speidel, RW Thorpe and Associates, 705 2nd Avenue, Suite 710, Seattle, WA and Paul Scanlon, Mulvanny G2 Architecture, 110 112th Avenue, Bellevue, WA represented the applicant. The applicant presented a thorough history of the project and reviewed the proposed modifications to the project in response to the conditions of Preliminary Design Approval from the March 12, 2003 meeting. The applicant stated that they concurred with the Staff’s recommendations.
The Design Commission asked the applicant questions regarding the following issues:
- The modified design of the proposed roof beams and kickers,
- Clarification of building access due to the depressed patio,
- Design details of the height clearance bar located at the entrance of the drive-through queue,
Information regarding the proposed exterior material of the trash enclosure.
Londi Lindell, City Attorney, addressed the Commission regarding the role and authority of the Design Commission in reviewing applications for conformance to existing design standards and criteria.
Acting Chairman Caditz opened the public testimony portion of the meeting, and there were comments from the following citizens:
John Houlihan, Short, Cressman, and Burgess, 999 3rd Avenue, Seattle, WA: Mr. Houlihan indicated that the adjacent Gateway Commons will be negatively impacted by this project and this project does not adhere to the Town Center Development and Design Standards in regards to parking behind the building. He proposed placing a glass roof over the drive-through queue to cover the queue from the proposed Gateway Common residences to the north. He stated that this design proposal should either be reconfigured or denied.
Marco de Sa e Silva, Davis, Wright, Tremaine, 1501 4th Avenue, Seattle, WA: Mr. de Sa e Silva stated that the perceived environmental impacts of this project will be addressed at the appeal hearing for the MDNS, which will be heard by the Planning Commission on April 30, 2003. This current proposal adheres to the conditions of the Preliminary Design Approval.
Stephen Speidel, RW Thorpe and Associates, 705 2nd Avenue, Suite 710, Seattle, WA: Mr. Speidel stated that this proposal has experienced numerous reconfigurations and it was determined at the March 12, 2003 Design Commission meeting that this proposal met the criteria of the Town Center Development and Design Standards.
Robert Thorpe, 5800 West Mercer Way, Mercer Island, WA: Mr. Thorpe indicated that the Design Commission should not address the perceived environmental issues that are part of the SEPA process. Many uses in the Town Center have parking in the front of the building and the current configuration of the proposed Starbucks Coffee shop would not negatively impact adjacent uses.
Stephen Speidel, RW Thorpe and Associates, 705 2nd Avenue, Suite 710, Seattle, WA: Mr. Speidel stated that due to the irregular shape of the lot and the fact that SE 27th Street fronts on three sides, the proposed configuration is the only feasible option.
John Houlihan, Short, Cressman, and Burgess, 999 3rd Avenue, Seattle, WA: Mr. Houlihan questioned the applicant’s assertion that the front of the building faces east and that the parking lot is behind the building. He stated that this issue warrants denial of this project.
Londi Lindell, City Attorney, stated that the City Attorney and the Code Official have the discretion to interpret the code. She also stated that City Staff examined Section 19.11.010 (the subsection of MICC that addresses parking behind structures) and determined that due to the irregular shape of the lot, the current configuration was interpreted as having the parking behind the primary structure.
Commissioner Caditz closed the public testimony portion of the meeting.
The Commission discussed and debated the following issues:
- The landscaping proposed for the patio,
- The proposed artwork on the north façade,
- The design of the roof beams and kickers,
- The proposed screening for the trash enclosure,
- The location of the parking lot in relation to the building,
- The proposed window sign on the east façade and the size of the wall sign proposed for the tower element,
- The possibility of adding stamped and patterned concrete to the parking lot.
After discussion of these objectives, the majority of the Commissioners concurred with the final proposed design.
Commissioner Bryant moved, seconded by Commissioner Dawson, to recommend Final Design Approval for the construction of the Starbucks Coffee shop with drive-through window (DSR02-041 & SEP02-040), as presented in the site plans and elevations dated March 19, 2003 and supplementary materials. This decision incorporates the findings of the Staff Report and is in accordance with Chapter 19.11 – Town Center Development and Design Standards, and Section 19.15.040(H) of the Mercer Island City Code. The approval is subject to the following conditions:
The design of the height clearance bar located at the entrance of the drive-through queue shall be of a type, material, and color that complements other site features such as the trash enclosure or decorative trellis. Staff will review and approve the final design of the clearance bar.
- Submission of a landscape security agreement in the amount approved by the Development Services Department for the duration of two years from the date of final certificate of occupancy inspection.
Compliance with the conditions listed on the MDNS on January 15, 2003.
- Providing the City with an updated, scaled model, complete with revisions and modifications; prior to the issuance of the building permit.
- Adherence to all recommendations in the letter from Herman Traffic Engineering, prepared for the April 9, 2003 Design Commission meeting.
- The garbage enclosure shall be composed of ledge stone up to the concrete cap of the enclosure. This ledge stone shall be applied on three sides of the enclosure with the gated side composed of cement.
- The areas of the parking lot that are visible to pedestrians shall be composed of stamped concrete. This decorative concrete shall complement the materials of the building and will be reviewed by Staff to ensure compliance with the criteria of Chapter 19.11.
- The diameter of the Starbucks wall sign located on the tower element shall be reduced from 5 feet to 3.5 feet and the proposed window sign on the east façade shall be removed.
- Plant material known to be susceptible to disease shall not be used.
- The proposed art work option (Option A) shall be installed on the north façade of the building for color relief.
The motion passed by a vote of 4-1.
Director Hart indicated that there may not be a Design Commission meeting on April 23, 2003.
Council Liaison Report:
Councilman Cairns stated that the City Council is making progress regarding the development of the new Community Center. The developers are attempting to reduce the costs of its design but plans are on schedule.
Next Regular Meeting:
The next Design Commission meeting is scheduled for April 23, 2003 at 7:30 PM.
All Commissioners indicated they could make the next meeting.
[Important Note: The proceedings of the Design Commission meeting
were recorded on tape and are on file with the Development Services Group.
agenda and official minutes of this meeting are also available from the
Development Services Group.]