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Wednesday, January 09, 2002

Call To Order

Chairman McDonald called the meeting to order at 7:40 PM in the Council Chambers, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.

Roll Call

Attila Laszlo, Marcia Dawson, Carl Bryant and Chairman McDonald were present. Commissioners George Wittman, Norm Sandler and Vice Chairman Fred Glick were absent.

Staff Present

Richard Hart, DSG Director; John Scandola, Associate Planner



Regular Business

Action Item #1:
Final Design Review of Covenant Shores Expansion of Assisted and Independent Living Units and Underground Parking at 9150 North Mercer Way. (DSR01-024 and SEP01-016)

This item had been continued from the meeting of December 12, 2001. Richard Hart, DSG Director, summarized the staff report addressing the applicant’s submitted revisions based upon Preliminary Approval given at the December 12, 2001 meeting. The applicant was represented by Paul Aigner, Bellevue architect, Dave Gebel, of Lantz-Boggio architects in Denver, Jeff Cox, Landscape Architect with Triad Associates. Each gave a presentation about the revised final design submittal and addressed the points requested by the Design Commission from the Preliminary approval at the last meeting.

Public Comments: None

The Design Commission then asked questions of the applicants and discussed the points to be resolved from preliminary approval. The issues discussed were:

  1. Location of brick on the various elevations,
  2. Incorporation of bay windows into the façade,
  3. The primary building entry design,
  4. Grade changes and landscaping,
  5. Measures taken to mitigate any impacts from parking and vehicular access.

The Design Commission concluded the project architects had addressed all the Design commission’s concerns. They had done the best job possible to mitigate the impacts on the neighborhood by moving the street location, elimination of parking, maximizing the screening and addressed the design elements of the south, east and northeast elevations. The Commission felt the final design as now submitted worked for both Covenant Shores and the surrounding neighborhood.


Commissioner Bryant moved, seconded by Commissioner Dawson, to grant final design approval to the request for expansion of the Covenant Shores Retirement Facility as presented on the revised formal site plans, elevations, sections, color perspective and narrative (received December 31, 2001), incorporating the findings of the Staff Report and in accordance with the Design Criteria in Section 19.15.040 (H) of the Mercer Island Code, subject to the following conditions:

  1. Compliance with all conditions listed in the MDNS issued on October 23, 2001.
  2. Submission of a landscape security agreement in the amount approved by DSG for two years from the date of certificate of occupancy inspection.

The motion passed by a vote of 4-0.

Commissioner Fred Glick arrived late at 8:25 PM before Action Item #2.

Action Item #2:
Final Design Review of Newell Court, new construction for a 40 unit residential mixed-use project with 2000 sq. ft. of ground floor retail/office and 56 underground parking spaces in the Town Center at 3011 78th Avenue SE. (DSR0011-001 and SEP0011-001)

This item had been continued from the meeting of November 28, 2001, when the Design Commission granted preliminary approval subject to minor revisions on eleven points. Richard Hart made the staff presentation and addressed staff’s approval of the revisions to address all eleven points of the Preliminary Approval.

The Design Commission asked questions about the original 5-foot walkway on the north now converted to a landscaped corridor, the signage proposed, and an apparent increased width of the building. Staff and the applicant responded. Roger Newell, project architect and George Ma, project manager made the presentation for M5 Investments. They discussed the eleven points the Design Commission asked to be reviewed and evaluated as part of the preliminary approval. Mr. Ma asked for consideration of removing the trelliswork and building modulation on the east façade required as part of the preliminary approval.

Public Comment: None

The Commission then discussed the following issues:

Building width, the landscaped corridors on the north and south elevations, building modulation on the east façade, trelliswork, street trees, benches, the green color element on the façade, the shade of orange color to be used, and the courtyard design.

The Commission concluded the elevation building modulation should remain, the trelliswork could be deleted, the landscaped corridor could remain as shown, the slight increase in building width could remain as shown, a darker shade of green should be used, the orange color should match the color board sample as shown, the courtyard benches should be 8 feet long, and four trees (matching the typical existing species and size) should be used as landscaping in the public ROW.


Commissioner Glick moved, seconded by Commissioner Dawson to grant final design approval to the new Newell Court Mixed-Use Development as shown on the revised plans and narrative dated December 31, 2001, incorporating the findings of the staff reports and in accordance with Mercer Island Town Center District Development and Design Requirements, Division II, and Section 19.15.040 of the Mercer Island Code, with the following conditions:

  1. Submission of a landscape security agreement in the amount approved by the Development Services Department for the duration of two years from date of final certificate of occupancy inspection.
  2. Compliance with all conditions listed on the MDNS issued on October 2, 2001, and the Amended MDNS issued on December 4, 2001.
  3. Increasing the number of street trees to four (4), of the same species and variety and similar size, along 78th Ave. SE as part of an overall landscape plan to be submitted to DSG staff for review and approval for compliance with accepted standards for site distance, spacing, and public safety.
  4. Deletion of the trellis elements shown on the latest site plan revision.
  5. Extension of the courtyard benches to eight (8) feet in length spaced between columns.
  6. Modification of the building color to a darker hunter green with orange accents.
  7. Development and building plans shall comply with the original and amended/revised site plans, elevations, sections, landscaping and narrative submitted October 24, 2001, November 28, 2001, January 9, 2002.
  8. Final Approval with conditions is granted for 1year from the expiration date of the appeal period, or if an appeal is filed, from the date of a final decision on any appeal with the availability of a one-year extension by the City upon submission by the applicant of reasonable justification for such extension and approval by the City.

Other Business

Director’s Comments:
Director Hart explained about the Ad Hoc Committee appointed by the mayor to assist with review of the proposed amendments to the Town Center Design Regulations. The meetings with staff will start in February. The Chair and Vice Chair of the design Commission were appointed as members.

Council Liaison Report:
Deputy Mayor Cairns discussed several items relating to the new parking restrictions in the Town Center and neighborhood adjacent to the Park and Ride; the recent action by Council to approve the new Tree Ordinance; and Sound Transit’s progress on a new Park and Ride facility on Mercer Island.

Next Regular Meeting:
FEBRUARY 13, 2000, with two items including review of a WCF facility along I-90 and exterior modifications to the approved Montesano Condominiums on 29th St. west of 76th Ave. SE.

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

10:15 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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