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Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Call To Order

Chairman Glick called the regularly scheduled Design Commission meeting to order at 8:00 PM in the Council Chambers, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.

Roll Call

Marcia Dawson, Chairman Fred Glick, Julie Parsons, Vice Chairman Norman Sandler, and George Wittman were present. Carl Bryant and Bryan Caditz were absent. Chairman Glick indicated that he had to leave early.

Staff Present

Londi Lindell, City Attorney; Richard Hart, Development Services Director; Gabe Snedeker, Principal Planner; John Scandola, Associate Planner


Commissioner Dawson moved, Commissioner Parsons seconded, to approve the minutes for the meeting of February 26, 2003. The minutes were approved by a vote of 4-0. Minutes were approved at the end of the meeting.

Regular Business

(1) Action Item #1:
The applicant, Starbucks Coffee, is requesting Preliminary 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. The Preliminary Design Review has been continued from the January 22, 2003 Design Commission meeting.

John Scandola, Associate Planner, summarized the staff report and provided an overview of the Design Commission’s recommendations from the previous meeting and the applicant’s response. Staff recommended preliminary design approval of the project subject to several conditions as outlined in the staff report.

Chairman Glick offered his comments regarding the project due to his early departure. He indicated that the landscaping and design of the building has improved since the previous meeting. He stated that the site needs more consistent tree placement along SE 27th Street and that this could be a condition for Preliminary Design Approval.

Chairman Glick left at 8:20 PM.

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 reviewed the proposed modifications to the project in response to the recommendations of the Design Commission from the previous meeting. The applicant also discussed how this project addresses the concerns of the developers of the adjacent Gateway Commons site. The applicant submitted a new signage plan to the Commission. The applicant stated that they concurred with the Staff’s recommendations.

The Design Commission asked the applicant questions regarding the following issues:

  • Street trees and the height of the planters along SE 27th Street,
  • The proposed lighting plan and street furniture,
  • Details of the outdoor patio,
  • Information regarding the “roof kickers” and the trash enclosure.

Vice Chairman Sandler opened the public testimony portion of the meeting, and there were no comments. The public testimony portion was closed.

The Commission discussed and debated the following issues:

  • The need for a more detailed landscape plan,
  • The need for more trees along SE 27th Street,
  • The possibility of extending the roof overhand along SE 27th Street,
  • Tapering the beams and kickers so they better integrate with the building’s design,
  • Providing more modulation and architectural features along the north and east facades,
  • Changing the exterior of the garbage enclosure to complement the external materials of the building.

Commissioner Dawson moved, seconded by Commissioner Parsons, to recommend Preliminary 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 December 20, 2002 and March 3, 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:

  1. The applicant shall submit a narrative description and graphics drawn to scale for a detailed signage plan for this retail use.
  2. The project shall adhere to the conditions listed on the Mitigated Determination of Non-Significance (MDNS) issued on January 15, 2003.
  3. Additional modulation and architectural features shall be added to the north and east facades.
  4. A comprehensive and detailed schematic lighting plan shall be submitted.
  5. A landscape plan that includes individual plant and tree species shall be submitted.
  6. A detailed comprehensive layout of the patio furniture shall be submitted. This layout shall include cutsheets and samples of the colors and materials to be used and the proposed location of the furniture on the patio.
  7. The applicant should examine extending the roof overhang along SE 27th Street to provide additional weather protection to the outdoor patio.
  8. The applicant should also consider tapering the beams and kickers on the exterior of the building so they are better integrated into the design of the proposed structure and trellises. Weather protection features, that complement the building design, should be added to the exposed wood of the beams and kickers.
  9. The location of the entrance along the east façade should be reconsidered. The location of the beams and kickers adjacent to the entrances should also be reexamined to avoid impediments to pedestrian movement.
  10. Consider increasing the height of the proposed windows to provide more interior light and to limit the amount of blank wall space above the widnows.
  11. Examine the possibility of increasing the height of the ledge stone that lines the bottom of the building.
  12. Increasing the width of the sidewalk adjacent to the east façade and parking lot should be studied.
  13. Consider changing the material of the garbage enclosure to natural cedar or stone instead of the proposed concrete. These materials should complement the materials of the main structure in both color and texture.
  14. Examine raising the planting areas along SE 27th Street in order to increase their prominence and the level of screening, within limits of safety and the preservation of vehicular sight lines.
  15. The applicant shall explore placing additional trees in the landscaped areas adjacent to the sidewalk along SE 27th Street. A thorough analysis by a certified traffic engineer shall be submitted to the City Engineer to evaluate the impact of additional landscaping with respect to sight lines and vehicular and pedestrian sight distances.

The motion passed by a vote of 3-1.

Other Business

Director’s Comments: Director Hart discussed the previous City Council meeting which was a joint meeting with the Planning Commission. The topics included the City’s priorities regarding code amendments. One of these amendments included new design standard outside of the Town Center.

Council Liaison Report: None.

Next Regular Meeting: The next Design Commission meeting is scheduled for March 26, 2003 at 7:30 PM.

Commissioner Absences: All Commissioners indicated they could make the next meeting.

Adjournment: 10:55 PM

[Important Note: The proceedings of the Design Commission meeting were recorded on tape and are on file with the Development Services Group. The complete agenda and official minutes of this meeting are also available from the Development Services Group.]


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