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Wednesday, April 24, 2002

Call To Order

Chairman McDonald called the meeting to order at 6:40 PM in the Council Chambers, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.

Roll Call

Design Commission: Marcia Dawson, Chairman Don McDonald, Norman Sandler, Attilla Laszlo, and Vice Chairman Fred Glick were present. Commissioners Carl Bryant, and George Wittman were absent.

Planning Commission: Orm Sherwood, Bill Chapman, Melinda Huff, Ann Fox, Vice Chairman Glenn Ledbetter, Jarrod Lewis, and Chairman Steve Bryan were present.

City Council

Susan Blake, Bryan Cairns, and Dan Grausz were present.

Staff Present

Richard Hart, DSG Director; John Scandola, Associate Planner



Study Session

Joint Study Session to Discuss Proposed Changes in Town Center Design Standards for Division II of the Unified Land Development Code (ULDC):
Peter Orser, the Chairman of the Town Center Ad Hoc Committee, discussed the process involved in updating the Town Center Design Standards. After a number of meetings, this committee developed a “consensus report” that repackaged and revised many of the elements of the current design standards. He stated that for this meeting, it would be most productive to discuss the major highlights of this draft instead of analyzing each line item.

Richard Hart, Development Services Director, summarized the major changes that have occurred between the current document and the revised report. Many of these changes involved revising the grammar and the manner the text was written to make this document more formal and user friendly. He then listed the revisions that have occurred to the policies and regulations of the current Town Center Design Standards.

Chairman McDonald opened the meeting up for discussion. Many of the topics that were discussed by the Design and Planning Commissions were as follows:

  • What will be used for the definition of building story,
  • The minimums or specific standards for commercial drive-through features,
  • Clarification on the change of sidewalk setback standards,
  • Making parking more pedestrian friendly,
  • The possibility of mixed-use project charging for parking,
  • Stricter standards for Town Center sign regulations and their applicability to the PBZ,
  • Clarification of “affordable housing” for the Town Center,
  • Clearer standards for rebuilding nonconforming structures after catastrophic loss,
  • Possible political ramifications of these changes,
  • Landscaping standards along streets and alleys,
  • Clarification of mid-block connection requirements.

The staff will incorporate these comments into a revised report for the May 15, 2002 combined Planning Commission/Design Commission public meeting.

Other Business
Director’s Comments:
No comments

Council Liaison Report:
Councilmember Cairns indicated that he felt a study session with the City Council regarding the proposed changes in the Town Center Design Requirements would be helpful.

Next Regular Meeting:
May 15, 2002. A combined Planning Commission/Design Commission public meeting regarding the Town Center Design Requirements.

Commissioner Absences:
All members indicated they could make the next meeting.

9:10 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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