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Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Call To Order

Vice Chairman Sandler called the meeting to order at 6:05 PM in the Council Chambers, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.

Roll Call

Carl Bryant, Marcia Dawson, Julie Parsons, Vice Chairman Norman Sandler, and George Wittman were present. Bryan Caditz was present at 6:30 PM. Chairman Fred Glick was present at 6:55 PM.

Staff Present

Richard Hart, Development Services Director; John Scandola, Associate Planner


Commissioner Bryant moved, Commissioner Dawson seconded, to approve the minutes for the regular meeting of September 25, 2002. The minutes were approved by a vote of 5-0.

Study Session

The applicant, HMI Real Estate, requested a study session for a proposed 5-story mixed-use project that features 28 condominium units, 6,100 square feet of retail space, 3,620 square feet of office space, and two levels of below grade parking with approximately 85 stalls. Four Seasons Cleaners currently occupy this .367 acre site, which is located on the corner of 78th Avenue SE and SE 27th Street in the Town Center (TC) Zone.

Richard Hart, Development Services Director, summarized the staff report for the proposed mixed-use development. Mr. Hart indicated that the proposed project offers positive attributes to the Town Center. The City’s major concerns with this project relate to the proper location of vehicular access into the underground garage, designating adequate major and minor amenities through public plazas and courtyards, and achieving the proper façade modulation along SE 27th Street and 78th Avenue SE.

Steve Thomas and Rick Maxon, TSA Architects, 50 116th Ave. SE, Suite 201, Bellevue, WA 98004, represented the applicant and presented the proposal. Mr. Thomas indicated that vehicular access off of SE 27th Street would be difficult since Tully’s and Island Market Square also take access off of this street. Access off of Sunset Highway is not feasible due to the elevation difference between the Sunset Highway and SE 27th Street.

Commissioner Caditz arrived at 6:30 PM.

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

  • Securing the adjacent Tully’s parcel for future development,
  • Establishing access off of SE 27th Street or Sunset Highway due to the pedestrian designation of 78th Avenue SE, or through the existing alley between the proposed site and Tully’s,
  • Integrating the City Sculpture Garden into the project’s public spaces along Sunset Highway.
  • Implementing additional fenestration and modulation of ground floor retail facades,
  • Modifying the blank wall that faces Tully’s to the east,
  • Using quality masonry materials for the facades, and
  • Incorporating the rooftop gardens into the facades of the building through design and landscaping.

Chairman Glick arrived at 6:55 PM.

In accordance with MICC Section 19.11.130(1)(B)(2)(b), the Design Commission offered the following suggestions for this proposal:

  • The applicant should examine placing the entranceway to the garage on Sunset Highway or SE 27th Street instead of 78th Avenue SE. If the entrance remains on 78th Avenue SE, the vehicular access should be more aesthetically significant than a metal door.
  • The applicant should consider increasing the modulation of the ground floor retail facades. The design should also focus on reducing the mass of the building and increasing wall fenestration.
  • The blank wall adjacent to the Tully’s site to the east needs to be provided with elements of texture, modulation, and landscaping.
  • Tully’s and the Public Sculpture Garden should be included in the site plan to provide context of adjacent land uses. Topographical lines should also be included to assess differences in elevation.
  • A variety of rooflines should be implemented to help reduce mass and provide added visual interest.
  • Roof top gardens should be integrated into the façade instead of being focused solely on the roof through the consideration of both design elements and landscaping.
  • Special attention should be given to the quality and type of building materials to be used.
  • Glass handrails and siding should be considered on exterior balconies.
  • Appropriate landscaping and public amenities, such as plazas and courtyards, should be implemented on all streets, especially Sunset Highway. These amenities should complement the Sculpture Garden located north of Sunset Highway.
  • Special attention should be given to the proposed water features, and other major and minor amenities required for mixed-use projects in the Town Center.

Other Business

Director’s Comments:

Council Liaison Report:

Next Regular Meeting:

Commissioner Absences:

7:25 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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