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Wednesday, October 10, 2001

Call To Order

Chairman McDonald called the meeting to order at 7:37 PM in the Council Chambers, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.

Roll Call

Attila Laszlo, Norman Sandler, Carl Bryant, Marcia Dawson, George Wittman, Vice Chairman Glick and Chairman McDonald were present. None absent.

Staff Present

Richard Hart, DSG Director



Regular Business

Action Item #1.
Continued public meeting for the final design review and approval for the enclosure of the outside loading dock and new storage addition of the QFC Grocery Store, the PBZ zoning district, in the Mercer Village Shopping Center at 8421 SE 68th St.

Richard Hart, DSG Director, summarized the staff report for the storage building addition, enclosure of the outside loading dock and additional screening wall and landscaping. This item was postponed from the Design Commission meeting of August 22, 2001 for submission of further information from an acoustical engineer about the noise reduction features and benefits of improvements requested by the surrounding neighbors. The report submitted by the applicant indicated the various levels of decibel reduction in noise to be gained by using door gaskets, sound absorption blocks and a partially enclosed roof for the outside truck ramp. The Design Commission then asked staff about the benefits of each improvement.

Lach Foss, representative of QFC, made a short presentation for the applicant summarizing the work of the acoustical engineer they hired in response to the request by the Design Commission at their last meeting. The applicant answered several questions from the Commissioners about the benefits of each noise reduction measure.

Kevin Peck, spokesperson for the neighbors, requested that additional information be provided and that, as a minimum, every one of the suggested noise reduction measures be required for this QFC remodel of the loading dock area. The Commissioners eventually reached a consensus on the issue and agreed to require two of the additional noise reduction measures involving the addition of door gaskets and sound absorption block. The Commissioners also indicated a desire to add additional landscaping on the southwest portion of the site to shield truck lights from the adjacent residential homes being constructed along 69th Place.


Commissioner Bryant moved, 2nd by Commissioner Wittman, to approve the request for enclosing the outside loading dock and constructing an additional storage area of 2140 sq. ft. for the QFC Grocery Store in the Mercer Village Shopping Center in the PBZ Zone at 8421 SE 68th Street. This approval incorporates the findings of the Staff Report and is made in accordance with the PBZ Design and Development Standards of the Mercer Island Code and Section 19.04.010 and 19.15.040, and subject to the following conditions:

  1. Noise reduction door gaskets shall be required on the truck loading bays.
  2. Noise reduction CMU sound blocks shall be used on the interior facing walls for the new truck loading areas.
  3. The Landscape Plan shall include five (5) new coniferous trees at least ten (10) feet in height within the new landscape bed along the 58-foot screening wall, with such wall at least eight (8) feet in height.
  4. Additional landscaping shall be added to the southwest corner of the site adjacent to the wood fence to provide screening for vehicle lights. Such landscaping shall include at least 4-6 coniferous trees 12-15 feet in height, maturing to at least 30 feet in height. Further, such landscaping shall include evergreen understory, 3 feet in height, maturing at least 6-8 feet in height.

The motion passed by a vote of 7-0.

Action Item #2.
Preliminary Design Review and Approval of Island Market Square, new construction for a mixed-use development project consisting of 210 residential dwellings, 46,000 sq. ft. of office space, 27,000 sq.ft. of ground floor retail space, and 504 underground parking spaces at 2760 78th Avenue SE between 27th and 28th Streets.

DSG Director Richard Hart summarized the staff report and how the proposed development fits into the Town Center Plan, the Comprehensive Plan and how the projects meets the specific Town Center Guidelines. The Design Commissioners asked several questions about the guidelines and the process of the SEPA MDNS relating to traffic. Nancy Fairchild, DSG Transportation Planner responded.

Paul Armitstead, Project Manager for SECO Development, Jim Bodoia, Project Architect for Mithun Architects, and Larry Smart, Project Landscape Architect of Atelier Architects, all representing the applicants presented a summary of the proposed project design.

The following individuals presented testimony supporting the project: Hunter Simpson, Linda Jackman, Carol Hanson, Warren Johnson and Diane Stern. The following individuals presented brief testimony and comments concerned about the size, scale, design and available parking for the project: Abby Stern and Maurice Lewis. The following individual presented testimony in support of the project but asked questions about construction parking, the roof design, additional sidewalk improvements and adequate parking: Dave Moffett.

The Commission asked the applicants questions concerning pedestrian circulation, access to the parking garages, the private courtyard spaces and desirability of public access, public plazas, provision or art and kiosks, signage, canopies, plant material, and the design of the upper stories at the northeast corner of 78th Ave. & 28th St.

One concern of several Commissioners was the issue of the private residential courtyard space and whether this area should have any public access as a mid-block connection or means of pedestrian circulation north-south through the project from 28th to 27th Street. The applicant was asked to discuss this issue at the final design meeting.


Commissioner Laszlo moved, 2nd by Commissioner Sandler, to grant Preliminary Design Approval to the Island Market Square Mixed-Use Project (DSR0010-004) subject to 12 conditions as follows:

  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 September 11, 2001 for this project.
  3. Further clarification of the resident’s access to the residential courtyard from the interior of buildings with the potential of improving access points and shortening the distance.
  4. Further study of the potential of incorporating additional public art as part of the public plazas.
  5. Further refinement of the type, style, design and location of the two kiosks and coordination with the Mercer Island Arts Council.
  6. Consideration of slightly shifting the location of the bus stop along 78th Ave to not conflict with the potential outdoor dinning locations in the public plazas and common street areas.
  7. Further analysis and discussion of compliance with the design guidelines relating to pedestrian circulation, pedestrian links to parking, concepts of possible need for mid-block connections and alleys, and the need to maintain useable private and defensible space in raised courtyards for residents and tenants of the mixed-use project.
  8. Further clarification and presentation of a design program and standards for canopies for the retail shops.
  9. Further clarification and presentation of a design program and standards for all signs to be used by retail and office space. Included shall be provisions for adequate sign locations on each retail and office tenant space.
  10. Further presentation and discussion of the Building “B” corner façade at 78th Ave and 28th St with attention to how the building wraps around the corner.
  11. Further clarification of the Flower Court with particular attention to the building at the east end and the overhangs.
  12. Discussion and presentation of details for the plant material in the private residential courtyard spaces.

The vote on the motion was 7-0.

Other Business

Director’s Comments:
Director Hart had no comments.

Commissioners’ Absences:
All members except Mr. Glick indicated they could make the next meeting on October 24, 2001.

Council Liaison Report:
Councilmember Cairns made a few comments on Council issues.

Next Regular Meeting:
OCTOBER 24, 2001, with the Newell Court Mixed Use project and Remodel of the Walgreens Entrance Doorway.


[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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