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Wednesday, November 14, 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, and Chairman McDonald were present. Vice Chairman Glick was absent.

Staff Present

Richard Hart, DSG Director

Minutes

SANDLER MOVED, 2ND BY DAWSON TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF OCTOBER 10, 2001 AND OCTOBER 24, 2001 AS SUBMITTED. APPROVED BY A VOTE OF 6-0.

Regular Business

Action Item #1. Final Design Review and Approval for two new internally lit signs for the King County Library located at 4400 88th Avenue SE (DSR01-027)

Richard Hart, DSG Director, summarized the staff report for the proposed two new signs for the Library. Staff recommended denial of the two new signs, with a redesign of the materials and color of the identification sign, removal of the internal lighting to more closely reflect the color of the Library building in a residential neighborhood and deletion of the additional Parking directional sign.

The applicant, Steve Zamberline, National Sign Company, for King county Libraries, presented the proposed design of the two new signs. The Commission had a few questions about the location, size, materials, Library logo and lighting for the two new signs.

There was no public testimony on the proposed signs.

The Commission agreed there was not a need for a second directional “Parking” sign at the parking lot driveway entrance. The Commission discussed the proposed colors and logo. The Commission agreed that, according to the sign criteria in the Design Guidelines for public facilities, internal lighting was not permitted and must be removed. Further the Commission agreed that, according to the Design Criteria for signs, the colors and materials of the new sign must be sensitive to, compatible with and closely match the colors and materials of the Library building itself. The sign should keep with the residential character of the neighborhood, since the Library was not in a commercial or office district or on a collector or arterial roadway. The Commission agreed any new sign should only be single faced and placed at a diagonal similar to the existing wooden sign. The Commission agreed the new King County logo was acceptable and could be incorporated within a new sign design.

The Design Commission concluded the two signs as proposed did not meet the specific sign criteria for public facilities and should be denied. The Library should be encouraged to redesign the sign colors and materials, exclude the internal lighting, change the sign to a single face design, and remove the second, directional “Parking” sign.

Motion Commissioner Wittman moved to approve one new identification sign as submitted. The motion died for lack of a second.

Commissioner Dawson moved, 2nd by Commissioner Sandler to deny the two signs as submitted and encourage the applicant to redesign the materials, color, internal lighting and double sign face to comply with the criteria for signs for public facilities in residential neighborhoods.

The motion passed by a vote of 5-1, with Commissioner Wittman voting No.

Action Item #2: Preliminary Design Review and Approval for Covenant Shores Retirement Facility construction of a new four story multi-purpose independent and assisted living building housing 23 new dwelling units and 37 new underground parking spaces on 2.2 acres of the 12.2 acre site at 9150 North Mercer Way. (DSR01-024 and SEP01-016)

Commissioner Sandler recused himself from the review and discussion on this project since his firm was involved in a portion of the planning and design for Covenant Shores. He left the room and meeting for the evening at 8:15 PM. This left five members present.

DSG Director Richard Hart summarized the staff report and how the proposed new construction matched with the design guidelines for a multi-family facility.

Ann Arakaki-Lock, Facility Administrator, Paul Aigner, Architect, Dave Gebel, Consulting Architect from Lantz-Boggio in Denver made the presentation for the applicant, Covenant Shores Retirement Community. The Design Commission asked a few questions about the building design, roofline, elevation modulation of surfaces, impact on the residential neighborhood to the east, and relationship to the adjacent Health Center (Nursing Facility). Todd Kilburn, Sandler Architects, also responded to some questions.

The public meeting was opened for public comment and testimony. The following individuals offered comments and asked questions:

Jim Newhall, 9204 38th St. MI- was concerned about impact on adjacent residential neighborhood and asked for changes in the design.

Lee Rabel, 9204 SE 33rd Place, MI- was concerned about impact and the size or commercial nature of the facility.

Fran Steding, 9105 Fortuna Drive, Covenant Shores, supports the expansion.

John Davis, Covenant Shores, 9150 N. Mercer Way, supports the expansion.

Vincent Moore, Covenant Shores, 9150 N. Mercer Way, supports the expansion.

Faye Christiansen, Covenant Shores, 9150 N. Mercer Way, supports the expansion.

Betsy Withington, Covenant Shores, 9103 Fortuna Drive, #9307, supports the expansion.

Paul Bjorklund, Covenant Shores, 9105 Fortuna Drive, indicated support for the expansion and urged cooperation of various interests with a “philosophy of adjustment”.

Barry Pea, 9203 SE 33rd St, expressed concern about the project not meeting Criteria 2 (d), consistency with the neighborhood. He asked for no parking on Fortuna Drive, terracing of the east façade and moving the development footprint back to the west.

Ann Stubbs, Covenant Shores, 9150 N. Mercer Way, supports the expansion.

Roger McGee, Covenant Shores, 9150 N. Mercer Way, supports the expansion.

Stan Rottrup, Covenant Shores, 9104 Fortuna Drive, #3101, supports the expansion.

Frank Ferris, Covenant Shores, 9150 N. Mercer Way, supports the expansion.

Rebecca Readle, 9201 SE 33rd, was concerned about parking along Fortuna Drive and wanted more emphasis on moving the development north rather than to the east because of impact on the neighborhood.

The Design Commission had considerable discussion about the following elements of the design:

Change of the tower elements and roof line, Landscaping, Blank walls, Pedestrian seating, Parking on Fortuna Drive, Redesign of the northeast corner, Breaking up the length of the façade with concrete facing at the corners, Moving the entranceway for drop-offs from Fortuna Drive to North Mercer Way, Continuity of the “Craftsman Style”, Reducing the mass of the corners, Modulation of the facades, Changing the glass railings, Exterior lighting fixtures, Building entrance location and Building security.

Finally the Design Commission concluded several elements needed a redesign to meet the design criteria of the City regulations. The Commission asked the applicant to address the above points and return to the Commission on December 12th for a continuation of the Preliminary Design Review of the Covenant Shores Expansion.

Motion: Commissioner Wittman moved, 2nd by Commissioner Laszlo, to continue the preliminary design review to the regular meeting of December 12, 2001 subject to the applicants further redesign, discussion and clarification of the following eleven points:

  1. Reconsider the original relationship of the higher towers to the lower roofline of the east façade submitted in January 2001. This would again provide more modulation of the vertical elevation as it appears to the east to assist in mitigating impacts on adjacent residential dwellings.
  2. At the various entrances, revise selected plants that contain more seasonal colors to enhance appearance of the important entryways.
  3. On all seating proposed in the project, provide backs to seats to enhance usability by seniors.
  4. Reconsider the use of a peaked and higher roof tower at both ends of the project. Rethink how this can be incorporated into the new design.
  5. Consider a stronger change of material and color on the corners by using concrete, bring or similar material. This will provide more articulation of the materials and color elements of the very long east facing elevation that has an extreme length of wood siding.
  6. Consider and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of moving all or a portion of the entrance drop-off traffic to a location along North Mercer Way. If not selected as an option, clarify why the alternative of separating these elements of traffic would not be possible.
  7. Clarify and address the actual continuity of the “Craftsman Style” architecture and eliminate the use of glass railings and carriage lamps that do not follow this style.
  8. Restudy and redesign the north elevation, especially the northeast corner with attention to modifying the blank wall. Prepare a section of this north elevation to show the building relationship to the Critical Care Nursing Unit and any outdoor open space to the north.
  9. Break up the uniform mass, eave and soffit lines of the east and north elevations by instituting some modulation, variation or change of surface planes. This might also involve reducing a few units to provide some recessed areas on the northeast corner and providing a “stepped back” appearance to the adjacent residential dwellings.
  10. Provide a new Section View through the east Elevation to show the entire multi-purpose building, Fortuna Drive and the adjacent residential dwellings. Clarify how the new east façade will relate to the adjacent residential dwellings.
  11. Provide clarification of all exteriors lighting fixtures with some “cut-sheets”.

The vote on the motion was 5-0.

Other Business

Director’sComments:
Director Hart had no comments.

Commissioners’ Absences:
None anticipated at the next meeting.

Council Liaison Report:
Councilmember Cairns was not present.

Next Regular Meeting:
NOVEMBER 28, 2001, with the Newell Court Preliminary Design Review of a new Mixed-Use project in the Town Center.

Adjournment: 10:49 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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