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Wednesday, July 25, 2001

Call To Order

Chairman McDonald called the meeting to order at 7:35 PM in the Council Chambers, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.

Roll Call

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

Staff Present

Richard Hart, DSG Director; Pete Mayer, Parks and Recreation Director; Greg Brown, Parks Maintenance Manager, Connie Record, Consulting Architect for Mercerdale Park


Commissioner Dawson moved to approve the June 27, 2001 regular meeting minutes. Approved. Vote: 5-0.

Regular Business

Action Item #1.
Design review and approval of a minor exterior modification of Mercerdale park Master Plan Phase I Improvements for a children’s play area, improvements to the south-end drainage, and development of a Wetland Gardens, located on the west side of 78th Ave, between SE 32nd and SE 34th Streets.

Richard Hart, DSG Director, summarized the staff report for the proposed modifications and improvements to Mercerdale Park Phase I in conformance with the Revised Park Master Plan approved by the City Council in February 2000. Modifications and improvements include development of a Children’s Play Area, improved drainage at the south end of the park adjacent to the Thrift Shop, and development of a Wetland Garden. Staff outlined details of the three specific parts of the modifications to the Park. Staff recommended approval of the modifications and revisions subject to 2 conditions listed as part of the recommended motion.

The Design Commission asked several questions relating to the intent of the Wetland Garden and the Children’s Play Area and Plaza.

Pete Mayer, Parks and Recreation Director, made a presentation of the details of the proposed Mercerdale Park improvements. The Design Commission asked several questions about the intent of the total park development, the scale of these improvements in relation to the rest of the open space areas, and the landscaping.

Liz Calahan, President of Mercer Island Preschool Association, a participant in the outreach program and fundraising for a portion of the Children’s Play area indicates there has been extensive public involvement from parents of children in these proposed improvements and desires to see the project to move forward.

Connie Record, Consulting Architect for the project presented information and answered questions from the Design Commission about landscaping, drainage and the children’s play area equipment. The Commission deliberated about various aspects of the play area, drainage, landscaping and the wetland garden.

Commissioner Dawson moved to grant approval of the Mercerdale Park Improvements including a Children’s Play area, south-end drainage improvements and the Wetland Gardens as presented on site plans, elevations, narratives and color samples, submitted on June 13, 2001. This approval incorporates the findings of the Staff Report and is made in accordance with the Town Center District Development and Design Requirements of the Mercer Island Code, subject to the following conditions.

  1. Compliance with the two mitigated measures listed in the MDNS issued on July 9, 2001,
  2. Submission and approval by DSG of a construction staging and parking mitigation plan prior to initiation of improvements,
  3. Redesign of the berm to be in scale with the grass berm to the north, and review of the extent of plant material,
  4. Addition of planting including trees and shrubs to the south,
  5. Review by staff of the Thrift Center screening of the dumpsters, and
  6. Review of the plant material for the project to be sure the material used is suitable around a play area and will not be damaged by children’s activities.

Motion approved. Passed 5-0.

Other Business

Director Hart asked the Commission if they objected to the staff reviewing and approving a color change to the QFC signs in the PBZ Zone on 68th St and 84th Ave. The Commission indicated concurrence. Commissioner Sandler asked a question about traffic concerns for the proposed Island Market Square project. Director Hart indicated the City, as part of the SEPA review process for the project would study the traffic issue in depth. Findings would be presented and discussed with the Commission at their review.

Commissioners’ Absences:
Marcia Dawson indicated an absence on 9-12-01.

Council Liaison Report:
Councilmember Cairns informed the Commission about the proposed Island Market Square mixed-use project, the Council action of the new Tree Ordinance, the Veterans Memorial, and possible acquisition of Luther Burbank park and Mary Waite Pool from King County.

Next Regular Meeting:
SEPTEMBER 12, 2001, Island Market Square Mixed-Use Project on 78th Avenue between SE 27th and 28th St.


[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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