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Wednesday, March 13, 2002

Call To Order

Chairman McDonald called the meeting to order at 7:39 PM in the Council Chambers, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.

Roll Call

Carl Bryant, Marcia Dawson, Chairman McDonald, Attila Laszlo, and George Wittman were present. Carl Bryant left at 9:35. Commissioners Norman Sandler and Vice Chairman Glick were absent.

Staff Present

Ann Marie Rennick, Senior Planner; John Scandola, Associate Planner



Regular Business

Action Item #1:
The applicant, VoiceStream Wireless, is requesting design review and approval for the construction and installation of a proposed wireless communication facility (WCF) located at 2250 60th Avenue NE (DSR01-032). This meeting is a continuation of the February 27, 2002 Design Commission meeting where the commissioners requested that the applicant return on March 13, 2002 to submit a revised proposal for screening of the facility’s equipment cabinet that would match the cement finish of the adjacent I-90 foundation.

John Scandola, Associate Planner, summarized the staff report addressing the applicant’s effort in providing screening for the facility’s equipment cabinet that will lessen visual impacts and match the existing concrete finish. City Staff recommended the approval of this project.

Cydly Smith of Langersmith Consulting represented the applicant. John Benson of Carter Burgess assisted in the presentation. The applicant gave a presentation regarding their revised proposal for screening the equipment cabinet. The equipment cabinet is to be screened with a 6’ high fiberglass covering that mimics the surrounding concrete finish. She concurred with the recommendation of City Staff.

Chairman McDonald opened the public comment portion of the meeting. There were no comments so the public comment portion was closed.

The Design Commission discussed the proposed changes in screening of the equipment cabinet and its impact upon the area along 60th Avenue SE; which also contains equipment cabinets from two other wireless communication providers. They discussed the pros and cons of improving the screening of the VoiceStream equipment cabinet while the screening of the other cabinets are unsightly and insufficient. This improvement blends in with the I-90 foundation but clashes with the chain link screening provided by the other carriers.

The Design Commission concluded that the proposed screening by VoiceStream is a needed improvement and the approved screening of the adjacent equipment cabinets were mistakes that occurred in previous design reviews. These previous approvals are not VoiceStream’s responsibility.


Commissioner Wittman moved, seconded by Commissioner Laszlo, to approve the proposed VoiceStream wireless communication facility (DSR01-032) as presented on the revised formal site plans, and elevations dated March 13, 2002. This decision incorporates the findings of the Staff Report and oral testimony from February 13, 2002 and March 13, 2002 in accordance with the Design Criteria in Sections 19.06.040(B) of the Mercer Island Code, subject to the following conditions:

  1. VoiceStream shall either relocate the City’s 12-inch diameter water main around the proposed equipment cabinets in a manner acceptable to the City Engineer; provide a minimum of five feet of clearance between the outside of the water main and outside of all VoiceStream improvements; or provide an alternative form of mitigation acceptable to the City Engineer.
  2. No part of the equipment cabinet shall protrude above its associated screening material.
  3. The fiberglass screening material must be painted to match the exact color of the I-90 foundation.

The motion passed by a vote of 5-0.

Action Item #2:
The applicant, Berry Neon Sign Company, is requesting design review and approval for the installation of an internally lit sign for Toshi’s Teriyaki located at 8425 SE 68th Street, #118 in the PBZ (DSR02-002).

John Scandola, Associate Planner, summarized the staff report for the proposed new sign. Staff recommended the denial of the proposed sign and suggested that the applicant reevaluates the size and design of the sign and submits a new scheme that provides distinctive design characteristics, as described in the staff report.

Gary Lewis, owner of Mercer Village where the proposed tenant space located, and Scott Parrott, Sales Representative for Berry Neon, represented the applicant and presented the sign proposal.

Chairman McDonald opened the public hearing; there were no comments so the public hearing was closed.

The Design Commission discussed a number of issues regarding the characteristics of the sign. Some of the issues discussed included changing the location of the sign, decreasing the size of the letters of the word “Teriyaki”, and increasing the size of the Toshi’s logo. The Commission also discussed the possibility of just using the Toshi’s logo for signage while using additional signage on the windows along the primary façade, and changing the color of the word “Teriyaki”.

The Commission concluded that the overall size of the size was too large for the space and the proposed size of the lettering, approximately 15”, dwarfed the sign and was not appropriate for the location. The commissioners felt that more emphasis should be placed on the logo and less on the word “Teriyaki”. They also indicated that the sign would better identify the retail space if it was moved from over the recessed entrance to the roof beam along the primary frontage. The Commission asked the applicant to return to the Design Commission on April 10th with a new sign proposal that incorporated their suggestions.


Commissioner Laszlo moved, seconded by Commissioner Wittman, to continue the design review for the proposed Toshi’s Teriyaki sign (DSR02-002) to the April 10th Design Commission Meeting. The Commission requested that the applicant shall return with a new sign proposal that incorporates the following characteristics:

  1. The dimensions of the sign should be a maximum of 1’ in height and 8’ in length.
  2. Placement of the sign should move from the proposed location over the entranceway to the beam under the roof soffit, along the primary storefront. The sign should be attached to the front of the beam and the top of the cabinet box should be no more than 6” below the roof soffit. The Toshi’s insignia should be centered on the center post along the frontage and the east edge of the cabinet box should stop short of the corner post to the east.
  3. The Toshi’s insignia should increase proportionally in size compared to the cabinet box and shall be a maximum of 20” in diameter. The center of the insignia shall be approximately 2’ from the west edge of the cabinet box.
  4. The letters for “Teriyaki” shall be a maximum of 8” in height.
  5. The background color for the sign face should remain gray and the letters for the word “Teriyaki” should be yellow.

The motion passed by a vote of 4-0.

Other Business

Chairman McDonald indicated that this was probably his last Design Commission Meeting. The Commission will have to vote for a new Chairman. Ann Marie Rennick discussed an upcoming training in parliamentary procedures for the City Council and commissions

Council Liaison Report:
No comments.

Next Regular Meeting:
March 27, 2002, to continue design approval of a sign for the Mercer Island Branch of the King County Library and a sign approval for La Belle Spa to be located in the PBZ.

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

10:35 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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