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Monday, May 19, 2003

Call To Order

Deputy Mayor Bryan Cairns called the meeting to order at 6:05 pm in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.

Roll Call

City Councilmembers Susan Blake, Sven Goldmanis, Dan Grausz, El Jahncke, Jim Pearman, and Deputy Mayor Bryan Cairns. Mayor Alan Merkle was absent.

Study Session

AB 3769 Siting of Group Homes Code Amendments
Development Services Director Richard Hart introduced this item by recapping the history. The City Council requested these code amendments after enacting a Moratorium on May 19, 2002, and extending the Moratorium on November 4, 2002 until May 19, 2003, to allow additional time for staff to research and draft necessary code changes.

Director Hart explained the proposed code amendments clearly address relevant federal and state fair housing statutes governing group housing or other important planning issues and community impacts arising from the need to site such group housing facilities. Director Hart, Youth and Family Services Director Cindy Goodwin, Attorney Janet Reis Principal Planner Gabe Snedeker, and Planning Commission Chair Steve Bryan answered questions from the Council.

Special Business

Deputy Mayor Bryan Cairns presented the 2002 Citizen of the Year to Jan Deveny in recognition of his dedicated and outstanding service to the City of Mercer Island. Deputy Mayor Cairns summarized Mr. Deveny’s career and life highlights.


Phil Flash, 3005 69th Avenue SE, sated that he would like to see the Historical Ordinance (Ord. No. 02-13) before the Council soon to make changes suggested by the MI Historical Society to have it fit Mercer Island’s needs better.

Myra Lupton, 3443 72nd Place SE, requested that the City Council work towards creating a library board to monitor the decisions made by the King County Library System and how they will affect the Mercer Island Library.

Mary Jo Bruckner, 4909 East Mercer Way, expressed concern that the projects on East Mercer Way are under funded for the next six years.


It was moved by Councilmember Jahncke; seconded by Councilmember Goldmanis to:

Approve the Regular Meeting Minutes of May 5, 2003 as written.

The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 6-0.

Consent Calendar
Payables: $ 514,982.65  
Payrolls: $ 449,462.40

It was moved by Councilmember Blake; seconded by Councilmember Pearman to:

Approve the Consent Calendar and the recommendations contained therein.

The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 6-0.

Regular Business

Deputy Mayor Cairns moved Item 8 (AB 3767) to the first item of Regular Business.

AB 3767 Acceptance of Bid for Sale of the City’s Bonds for the Purchase of the Mercerview Property
Finance Director Joanne Sylvis announced the lowest bidder, Seattle Northwest Securities Corporation, for Council’s approval for the sale of the City’s bonds for the purchase of the Mercerview property. She explained the process of collecting the bids; four out of the five bidders participated in online bidding.

Jean Baker from Seattle Northwest explained the City’s high bond rating. Moody’a investor services upgraded Mercer Island’s limited and unlimited general obligation bonds to Aa2 and Aa1 respectively. The City’s bond counsel Nancy Neraas from Preston, Gates, & Ellis was on hand to answer any questions.

It was moved by Councilmember Goldmanis; seconded by Councilmember Blake to:

Pass Resolution No. 1313, accepting a bid from Seattle Northwest Securities Corporation for the sale of the City’s Limited Tax General Obligation Bonds, 2003 and authorizing the terms of such bonds, all as provided by Ordinance No. 03-07.

The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 6-0.

AB 3765 Boards and Commissions Code Update
City Clerk Tina Eggers presented the revised ordinance to change the terms of the Boards and Commissions members.

It was moved by Councilmember Pearman; seconded by Councilmember Blake to:

Adopt Ordinance No. 03C-06 amending Mercer Island City Code, Title 3, Personnel.

The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 6-0.

AB 3768 Public Hearing: 2004-2009 Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP)
City Engineer Patrick Yamashita introduced the proposed six-year transportation improvement plan for 2004-2009. Staff members Street Engineer Clint Morris, Transportation Planner Nancy Fairchild, Financial Operations Manager Francie Lake, and Maintenance Director Glen Boettcher were in attendance to answer questions from the Council. City Engineer Yamashita explained the public comment process and highlighted newly proposed projects in the TIP.

The Deputy Mayor opened the Public Hearing.

Alex Alben, 7040 North Mercer Way, is thankful for the inclusion of the proposed pathway/sidewalk on North Mercer Way from 70th to 72nd Ave SE, but feels it should extend to 74th Ave SE.

Judy King, 7025 North Mercer Way, wanted the Council to recognize that children in attendance feel that the North Mercer Way path is important.

Eric Dillon & son Spencer, 7002 North Mercer Way, would like to see the North Mercer Way shoulder expanded and extended to 74th Ave SE.

Ton Donahue, 2284 78th Ave SE, is concerned that many senior citizens walk in the early morning but they cannot make it up the steep hills to get to the Lid Park. The pathway on North Mercer Way would make it easier to get from 76th Ave SE to the Lid Park.

Steven Friedman, 1633 72nd Ave SE, reminded the Council of the promise they made in 1984 to fix the problems that the North Mercer Way neighborhood is still experiencing.

Sam Hobsen, 8828 SE 77th Place, wanted to thank Nancy Fairchild for getting the pedestrian/bicycle path on Island Crest Way from SE 71st to SE 78th in the TIP and urged the Council to approve it.

Ira Appelman, 6213 82nd Place SE, urged the Council to address the safety issues on East Mercer Way in regards to cars going off the road into the ravine.

Pat Hackett, 7014 North Mercer Way, stated that the Roanoke Inn creates difficult traffic problems and expressed concern that there needs to be a way for pedestrians to cross North Mercer Way to get to the bus stop on the west side.

The Deputy Mayor closed the Public Hearing.

Following discussion, staff was directed to bring back TIP alternatives that reflected the following possible changes:
  • Additional Revenue to the street fund from REET sources.
  • Reducing or reallocating the dollars currently allocated to the downtown streets to other projects.
  • Consider: possible extension of the sidewalk/pathway on North Mercer Way from the 7000 block to the 7400 block.
  • Consider expanded roadway shoulder improvements along various sections of East Mercer Way.
  • Reconsider projects E-13 and E-15 of the TIP.

AB 3770 Public Hearing: Comcast Cable 2003 Rates
Deputy City Manager Deb Symmonds explained the process for the review of Comcast cable rates for 2003. Comcast has not shown operator-selected rates for services and equipment this year. Council was asked to pass a resolution establishing maximum permitted rates for basic cable service.

It was moved by Councilmember Jahncke; seconded by Councilmember Grausz to:

Adopt Resolution No. 1315, establishing maximum permitted rates for basic cable service, installation and equipment charges by Comcast effective July 1, 2003.

The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 6-0.

AB 3766 Amendments to Mercer Island City Code (MICC), Title 19, Unified Land Development Code (ULDC) Relating to the Siting of Group Homes
Development Services Director Richard Hart reiterated the major focus of this item is a new section in the Mercer Island City Code that would create specific criteria for all forms of group housing. Group housing has been divided into three types:
  1. Special Needs Group Housing: facilities for the handicapped or those that are classified with familial status (there are no restrictions on this group and they may be located in any neighborhood).
  2. Social Service Transitional Housing: other kinds of social service housing (there is an extensive conditional use permit process for this housing with a variety of special criteria that need to be met).
  3. Rooming Housing: (housing other than the above two types that provide room and/or board in multi-family or town center zones.)
The Deputy Mayor Opened the Public Hearing.

There were no comments.

The Deputy Mayor continued Public Hearing to the next scheduled Council Meeting for when the Council conducts its second reading of the proposed ordinance.

Council directed staff to:
  • Look at major trails that have a concentration of children. Changes will be made to the GIS map to see what happens to the area where group homes would be permitted.
  • See what a modification to the ordinance would be if domestic violence centers were taken out of the Social Service Transitional Housing group and moved to the Special Needs Housing group with less restrictive CUP criteria.
  • Look at how adding churches would affect the permitted area for group homes.

Other Business

Councilmember Absences:
Councilmember Grausz July 7, 2003
Deputy Mayor Cairns: June 2, 2003
Mayor Merkle: July 21, August 15 – September 30, 2003

Planning Schedule:
June 16th: Recognition for Senator Jim Horn
July 7th: MI High School Stadium Interlocal Agreement

Board Appointments:
There were none.

Councilmember Reports:
City Manager Conrad re: Council recognition for Senator Jim Horn.
Councilmember Jahncke re: Parks & Recreation Sub-Committee Update, Utility Board & Seattle Water Supply Contract, Public Safety Committee, and Town Center Open House.
Deputy Mayor Cairns re: Meeting on 1-90 preferences at the CCMV on May 20, 2003.
Councilmember Jim Pearman re: Open Space Conservancy Trust

Adjournment: 10:15 pm

[Important Note: The proceedings of the City Council meeting were recorded on tape and are filed in the City Clerk's Office. The complete agenda and official minutes of this meeting are also filed in the City Clerk's office.]


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