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Wednesday, January 17, 2001

Call To Order

Chairman McDonald called the meeting to order at 7:35 PM in Caucus Room of City Hall, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.

Roll Call

Design Commissioners: Carl Bryant, Marcia Dawson, George Wittman, Chairman McDonald were present.

Staff Present

Kathy Harbert, Assoc Planner, Richard Hart, DSG Director,


There were no minutes to review and approve.

Regular Business

Action Item #1:
Preliminary Design Commission review of preliminary plans for Covenant Shores expansion of 37 assisted living and independent living units. Chairman McDonald opened the public meeting.

STAFF REPORT: Kathy Harbert, Associate Planner, summarized the memorandum that reviewed the conceptual plans for the building expansion.

APPLICATION PRESENTATION: Shekher Bhushan, Lantz Boggio Architects, 5650 DTC Parkway, Suite 200, Englewood, CO, presented the Covenant Shores design proposal. The net increase to the retirement community is 14 independent living units and 23 assisted living units. The project stays within the 36-foot height limit; however, a parking variance most likely will be requested. Discussion continued amongst the project team and Design Commissioners regarding parking and access locations, pedestrian routes, views from the easterly neighborhood and landscaping.

QUESTIONS FOR THE APPLICANT: Chairman McDonald asked if a master plan has been considered for the entire complex and suggested one is needed. Building #7 is boxed in. Bhushan stated the planning has focused in the southeast area of the complex, but he will ask if the administration will consider a master plan. Commissioner Dawson asked if any existing landscaping would be saved. She recommended saving the landscaping proposed to be removed in order to construct the new building. Bhushan stated they are planning on it.


COMMISSIONER DISCUSSION: Richard Hart, DSG Director, asked the Commissioners to give direction to the project team, including desired modifications.

The following directions were given to the applicant:

  1. Clarification is needed on the main entrance including choice of materials; a building section is requested;
  2. Building sections and elevation cuts are needed in order to view the tight fit of the building;
  3. Spot elevations of the walls are needed to illustrate how the base elevation was determined;
  4. The north tower is the tallest tower and appears massive, especially from the neighbors to the east. Stepping down the building with the topography or setting the building back further were suggested. Options to address this concern of bulk and building height are expected at the next public hearing; and,
  5. Master planning remains a concern. Covenant Shores needs to respond to the request for overall site master planning, specifically for Building #7, as it appears boxed in amongst other buildings.

CLOSING: Kathy Harbert stated the applicant is required to submit the following as part of their complete application: 1) SEPA Checklist (including a traffic analysis); 2) Design Review Application, including suggested building sections; and 3) a Variance Application for parking. Final design review of this project will occur after receiving these complete applications.

Other Business

Director’s Comments:
Richard Hart briefed the Design Commission on the Town Center District Development and Design regulations and the Design Commissioners’ role. The City is considering hiring Mark Hinshaw as a consultant to review our regulations for minor changes, within the next 30-45 days. The request for changes to the regulations needs to come from the Commissioners. He requested Chairman McDonald draft a letter to Bryan Cairns, Council Liaison, for the study.

Council Liaison Report:
Councilmember Cairns was absent.

Next Regular Meeting:
January 24, 2001 Scheduled Items: PBZ Village Cleaners Signage Approval and Study Session for Island Market Square :

8:30pm 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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