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Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Call To Order

Chairman Glick called the meeting to order at 6:07 PM in the Council Chambers, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.

Roll Call

Carl Bryant, Marcia Dawson, Bryan Caditz, George Wittman, and Chairman Glick, were present. (Sandler & Parsons Absent) Caditz left at 7:30 PM.

Staff Present

Richard Hart, Development Services Director


Commissioner Dawson moved, Commissioner Bryant seconded, to approve the minutes for the regular meeting of October 23 and November 13, 2002. The minutes were approved by a vote of 5-0.

Study Session

The applicant, Starbucks Coffee, requested a study session for a proposed 1-story, retail coffee shop and drive-through service window at 7620 SE 27th Street. The site in the Town Center Zone is currently occupied by Simba’s Auto Service, which will be demolished for the new building.

Richard Hart, Development Services Director, summarized the staff report for the proposed facility and explained the facility will have indoor customer seating, outdoor seating, a 14 car queue for the drive-in window, and 18 parking spaces for customers (5 located off-site). Mr. Hart indicated that the proposed project offers positive attributes to the Town Center. No decisions or formal approvals are scheduled at the meeting, as this is a study session for the Design Commission to provide comments and feedback to the applicant on the concept of the proposal. The applicant intends to submit the completed design for Preliminary Approval in January 2003. The Commission asked questions about pedestrian circulation and connections to the Gateway Commons project on the east, the building placement on the site and the relationship to the balconies of the residential living units of the mixed-use project to the north. (2)

Steve Spiedel, Robert Thorpe and Associates, representing Starbucks presented the concept design for the applicant.

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

  • The reasons for the placement of the building and the location of the drive-through window and vehicle queuing lanes.
  • Relocating the drive-through lanes so they would be further from the residential apartments on the north.
  • Increasing landscaping between the drive-through stacking lanes and the pedestrian “Paseo” of Gateway Commons to the east.
  • Narrowing the entrance drive from 26 ft. to 23 ft.
  • Using compact spaces for some of the parking to provide additional space for additional landscape width on the east.
  • Consider use of fragrant landscaping to reduce the smell of auto emissions of vehicles.
  • Considering expanding the use of slate tiles around the east side of the building as viewed from the parking lot.
  • Incorporating some texture and color treatment to the north façade of the building adjacent to the drive-through lanes and when viewed from the adjacent project.
  • Expanding the landscape area and treatment at the SE corner of the project next to the pedestrian “Paseo” of Gateway Commons, including a rounding of the corner design.
  • Incorporating a trellis element with landscaping as a buffer between the drive-through lanes and the eastern edge of the site.
  • Incorporating some bollards of other design elements with lighting along the pedestrian street frontage of 27th as you approach the front entrance, possibly picking up the same design of the light poles next to the building.

The Design Commission discussed each of the above items in detail and asked the applicant to explore some design modifications for incorporation into their preliminary design submittal. Since this was a study session, no action was taken other than general comments, suggestions and feedback to the applicant for their preliminary design submittal.

Other Business

Director’s Comments:

Council Liaison Report:

Next Regular Meeting:

Commissioner Absences:

7:50 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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