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Wednesday, January 12, 2000

Call To Order

Chairman McDonald called the meeting to order at 6:10 PM.

Roll Call

Present: Commissioners: Baska, Dawson, Laszlo, Sandler, Senff Glick arrived at 7:00 PM for action Item # 2 Chairman McDonald

Staff Present

M. Chen, R.Hart

Minutes

NONE.

Regular Business

Action Item #1: APPLICANT: Mercer Island High School SUBJECT: New Signage LOCATION: 9100 SE 42nd Street

STAFF REPORT: Michael Chen, Associate Planner, presented the staff report into the record and responded to questions by the Commissioners.

APPLICANT PRESENTATION: Mrs. Mary Ann Flynn, 8320 84th Ave SE represented the applicant and summarized the need for the new monument sign and the details for the sign.

PUBLIC TESTIMONY: None

COMMISSIONER DISCUSSION: Commissioner Dawson commented the design is appropriate.

Commissioner Baska noted the design looks nice and the sign is needed.

Commissioner Senff noted the nice design and complimented use of the school colors.

Commissioner Sandler wanted to make sure magenta was used in the sign.

Commissioner Laszlo noted the design looks fine.

Chairman McDonald had no additional comments.

MOTION: Sandler moved, Senff seconded to grant approval for the new Mercer Island High School sign incorporating the findings of the Staff Report and in accordance with Section 19.04.120 of the Mercer Island Code.

Motion passed 6-0.

ACTION ITEM: (2) (Commissioner Glick arrived) APPLICANT: Shorewood Heights SUBJECT: Design Review for Major New Construction LOCATION: 3209 Shorewood Drive (Parcel D)

STAFF REPORT: Michael Chen, Associate Planner, read the staff report into the record and noted that this was a continued public hearing from December 8, 1999.

APPLICANT PRESENTATION: Mr. Rich Hill, 2025 1st Ave, Suite 1130, Seattle, WA, council for the applicants provided his remarks about the proposal and summarized the process that has been taken to this point. He agreed with the staff report and recommend that the Commission approve the project. Mr. Chris Libby, GGLO Architects, 1191 2nd Ave, Suite 1650, Seattle, WA architects for the proposal noted that they had come to a comprise with the conditions that the Commission had imposed at the last hearing. He noted that this was a better design that worked for both the owners and the architects involved in the design. He summarized the history of the proposal and addressed the comments the Commissioners had from the last hearing. Mr. Chris Synder, Hewitt Architects, 119 Pine Street, Suite 400, Seattle, WA summarized the landscaping plan for the Commission and emphasized the changes that were made from their last proposal. Mr. Rob Misel, GGLO Architects, 1191 2nd Ave, Suite 1650, Seattle, WA noted the new changes in the parking configurations, the new design for the garage structures and placing the two buildings further on the uphill side. Mr. Misel presented a 3-D slide show presenting different vantage points of the proposal.

PUBLIC TESTIMONY: None

COMMISSIONER DISCUSSION: Commissioner Dawson noted that the revised designs show a great improvement, and the building masses have been reduced to provide more open space through the central area. Reducing the tall terrace wall makes the whole site work better. A detailed landscaping plan is missing, but overall the concept works nicely.

Commissioner Glick complimented the owners, architects, and landscape architects for a job well done and appreciates the effort made to incorporate the Design Commission’s comments into the revised design and especially the 3-D computer show.

Commissioner Baska thanked the applicants for a nice presentation and commented that the applicants have done a nice job with the spatial relationships between the new and existing buildings as well as the terrace area.

Commissioner Senff commented that the revision to the center knuckle area would be a very nice addition.

Commissioner Sandler complimented the architects for a nice job, and the increased pedestrian access throughout the complex is wonderful. The staircases leading to the amenities building should be widened for a more monumental approach.

Commissioner Laszlo complimented the architects for the great work.

Chairman McDonald noted that there were several items that the Commission usually reviews that have not been seen yet, for example, the planting materials, lighting, and the garage doors. In terms of concept and site planning the Commission should approve the design, but he would like to see the applicant bring back the listed details before the full Commission for final review.

MOTION: Senff moved, Glick seconded to grant approval for major new construction of the Shorewood Heights 78-unit apartment complex incorporating the findings of the Staff Report and in accordance with Section 19.04.120 of the Mercer Island Code, the architectural plans submitted and the following condition(s):

  1. A landscape bond in the amount approved by the Development Services Group shall be submitted to the City for the duration of two years from date of final inspection.
  2. The following items shall be brought back to the Design Commission for further review:
  • Lighting plan.
  • Plant list and landscape plan.
  • Materials list along with texture and surfaces.
  • Garage door design.
  • Site amenities.
  • Any new signage.

Motion passed 7-0.

ACTION ITEM: (3) APPLICANT: Mercer Village LLC SUBJECT: Design Review for Major New Construction LOCATION: SE Corner of SE 68th Street & 84th Ave SE

STAFF REPORT: Michael Chen, Associate Planner, presented the staff report into the record and responded to questions by the Commissioners.

APPLICANT PRESENTATION: John O’Shea, 8246 East Mercer Way, developer/owner of the property summarized the history of the PBZ and noted that the proposal for building C, D, & E will complete the PBZ master site plan. Ms. Jola Cholewczynski, Starbucks Coffee, 2401 Utah Ave. S., Seattle, WA represented Starbucks Coffee. She summarized the interior and exterior design elements associated with building E. Mr. Paul Franks, Paul Franks Architects, 3805 108th Ave NE, Suite 222, Bellevue, WA summarized the architectural details that went into the design of the three buildings as well as the pedestrian oriented pathways throughout the site.

PUBLIC TESTIMONY: Chairman McDonald indicated the public testimony should be focused on the specific design and parking related to building C, D and E. All other buildings and uses have already been reviewed and approved at the public hearing and can not be changed.

Mr. Kevin Peck, 6825 84th Ave SE, read his comment letter into the record. He noted his concerns with the parking, vehicular flow, pedestrian flow, and the placement of the dumpster next to building E.

Mr. James Latting, 7901 Northbrook Lane, asked the Design Commission to schedule a field trip to the PBZ around 5:30 PM to see what the traffic conditions are like during the afternoon rush hour.

Mr. Ronald Kaufman, 8200 SE 65th Street, addressed the impact on parking and traffic flow in and around the Mercer Village Shopping Center as a result of the construction in the PBZ. He would also like to see more screening of the new buildings. The lights associated with the buildings should be directed inward towards the shopping center.

Mr. Ben Urman, 7025 82nd Ave SE and Mr. Eric Goetschoel, 6920 94th Ave SE both read a comment letter opposing the development of the new shopping center and read a quote from a history book on Mercer Island.

Mr. Tim Stical, 9540 SE 71st Street, expressed his concerns with the limited amount of parking spaces and asked the Design Commission to review the access and numbers of handicapped parking spaces.

Mr. Dean Pollock, 6580 81st Ave SE, is concerned with pedestrian access and safety between QFC and Starbucks.

Mr. Ira Appleman, 6213 83rd Pl. SE, requested that the Commission look at the parking in the PBZ more carefully. The poplars on the north side of the new buildings along SE 68th are protected by a 35’ buffer and not a 25’ buffer as noted in the staff report. The trees along the buffer zone are also protected by the SEPA conditions associated with the PBZ master site plan.

Ms. Connie Craig, 7460 West Mercer Way, discussed the safety issues associated with the parking lot and requested that safety be considered in detail.

Ms. Ruth Jacobson, 8542 SE 79th Pl., is concerned about the amount of space that the gas station will have once the Starbucks is put in place. She would like to see bike racks placed in appropriate areas and angled parking instead of 90 degree straight-in parking.

COMMISSIONER DISCUSSION: Commissioner Baska commented architecturally he liked the design of the buildings and appreciated the applicants detail to the trash enclosure in front of building C. The courtyard area and the pedestrian center spine through the parking lot is a nice pedestrian feature. He does recognize that there is a safety issue with the parking and pedestrian access that may need further study.

Commissioner Glick complimented the architect for a nice job and appreciated the improvements with the two trees at the north entrance median to the shopping center. He questioned whether the parking and safety concerns associated with the parking lot is a design issue. He asked if traffic safety is part of the review for the Commission. He felt that the parking and safety issue should be reviewed more carefully by the Commission and City Staff.

Commissioner Dawson commented that the landscaping was done nicely and the vegetation selected will do very well. She asked the applicants if they would consider placing some of the teak benches under a roof and place a few bike racks throughout the shopping center. She would like to see vehicular access improvements done to the site, especially the southwest corner of the site behind QFC.

Commissioner Senff concurred with Commissioner Baska on the design of the buildings. They will be a nice addition to what is currently there. She is concerned about the traffic safety and requested that a review of what was called for in the traffic study be compared to what is shown on the plans.

Commissioner Sandler stated that there was no reason to not approve the three buildings, but added he also saw no reason why the Commission should not review the pedestrian and parking safety issues at a future time after further staff review.

Commissioner Laszlo commented that the buildings look fine, but his main concerns are with vehicular flow through the parking lot and the parking strip on the south side in front of buildings C & D. He would like to see the middle planter strip enlarged and a cart storage area in the QFC parking lot.

Chairman McDonald complimented the architect for a nice job. He agrees with the rest of the Commission that the approval should be subject to further review of the pedestrian and parking safety issues. Plans should be revised and review by staff and then the whole Commission. He would like the applicant to review the following items: placement of a bike rake, storage area for grocery carts, lighting plan, investigation of the T – crosswalk configuration, and investigation of an alternative location for the trash enclosure in front of building C.

MOTION: Sandler moved, Senff seconded to grant approval for major new construction of the Mercer Village Shopping Center buildings C, D and E incorporating the findings of the Staff Report and in accordance with Section 19.15.040 of the Mercer Island Code, the architectural plans submitted and the following condition(s):

  1. A landscape bond in the amount approved by the Development Services Group shall be submitted to the City for the duration of two years from date of final inspection.
  2. The applicant shall further revise and review the site parking, vehicle circulation, pedestrian pathways, lighting and landscaping include site amenities such as bike racks, trash receptacles for review and approval by the Design Commission.
  3. City Transportation Planner and City Engineer shall review any changes and provide comments and recommendations during the next presentation regarding parking lot design and pedestrian safety.
  4. City Arborist shall review the landscaped plan and provide recommendations regarding preservation and protection of the poplars.
  5. Staff and the applicant shall review the discrepancy between 331 vs. 321 parking spaces.
  6. The public hearing is continued until all items listed above are addressed at a future public hearing.

Motion passed 7-0.

Other Business

Director’s Comments: None.

Council Liaison Report: None.

Next Regular Meeting: January 26, 2000

Meeting Adjourned: 11:05 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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