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Wednesday, December 12, 2001

Call To Order

Chairman McDonald called the meeting to order at 6:15 PM in the Council Chambers, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.

Roll Call

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

Staff Present

Richard Hart, DSG Director; John Scandola, Associate Planner; Ann Marie Rennick, Senior Planner; and Janet Reis, Attorney with Legal Department



Regular Business

Discussion Item #1: Discussion of Proposed Changes to the Town Center Design Guidelines

Richard Hart, DSG Director, summarized the process staff is proposing over the next few months to revised the Town Center Guidelines. The intent is to make administrative changes, format changes, minor word changes removing some subjective terms, and clarification of conflicting terms. The Commission then gave staff some direction and suggestions on major areas they felt needed to be addressed to clarify the specific criteria used to review and judge projects. The intent is to make the document more user friendly and understandable to the developers/applicants, architects, city staff, the Design Commission and the public.

The Commissioners discussed general areas such as the overall design and character of the Town Center, the intent of the Town Center Plan document referenced in the regulations, the general format and organization of the document, and the confusing structure of the regulations and criteria. The Commission then discussed some specific design criteria which needed clarification such as: sidewalk width, required building façade height of one story structures, parking garages, landscaping, signs for offices, criteria for public plazas, the relationship of buildings to streets and plazas, vehicular and pedestrian alleyways, inappropriate materials and colors, creating visual interest in building facades, pedestrian linkages, and open space. The Commission indicated the revisions presented by staff, which had been proposed by consultant Mark Hinshaw, were sometimes difficult to follow because of the method they were presented within the existing document. They asked for an easier way to see and understand the proposed wording changes. Staff agreed to present another document explaining the changes for the Commission review. The Design Commission took no action.

Other Business

Director Hart had no comments.

Commissioners’ Absences:
None indicated

Council Liaison Report:
Councilmember Cairns had no comment.

Next Regular Meeting:
DECEMBER 17, 2001: Town Center Guidelines.

Adjournment: 7:30 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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