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Wednesday, May 24, 2000

Call To Order

Chairman McDonald called the meeting to order at 7:38 PM.

Roll Call

Present Commissioners: Bryant, Dawson, Laszlo, Chairman McDonald Absent Commissioners: Glick, Sandler, and Wittman

Staff Present

Staff: Kathy Harbert, Richard Hart


Commissioner Bryant motioned to approve May 10, 2000 Meeting Minutes; Dawson seconded; Motion Passed Vote 4-0

Regular Business

ACTION ITEM: (1) DSR0004-004

APPLICANT: Whalen & Company, Inc.

SUBJECT: Wireless Communication Facility (WCF) Attached to the Existing Roof Structure of the John Hancock Building

LOCATION: 7900 SE 28th Street

STAFF REPORT: Kathy Harbert, Associate Planner, summarized the staff report into the record. Attached WCFs are considered “minor exterior modification” and are reviewed administratively with the discretion of the Code Official to send applications to the Design Commission. The Code Official has found significant issues relating to the visual character of the already existing WCFs on the rooftop; therefore, he has decided to send this application to the Design Commission for review. The Staff Recommended Motion was stated into the record. Staff recommendation included two conditions on approval, involving the color chosen for the antennas and racks and for this application to be the last one accepted for antennas located on the rooftop of the John Hancock building.

APPLICANT PRESENTATION: Stuart Monson, Whalen & Company, Inc., 17515 NE 67th Court, Redmond, WA, offered to answer any questions. Commissioner Laszlo asked if other sites had been researched for siting the antennas. Mr. Monson answered, the I-90 corridor had been studied; but the coverage from the Hancock building was more adequate and leasing was available. Commissioner Dawson asked if they had considered pulling back the racks, further away from the edge of the roof; and, if the antennas could be placed closer together. Mr. Monson answered, stepping back would create obstruction, creating a shadow line, and interference would occur if they were placed close together. Chairman McDonald asked, would the antennas interfere with other existing antennas. Mr. Monson answered, no they will not but it is rapidly reaching that potential. Commissioner Laszlo asked would screening benefit the situation. Mr. Monson answered, screening would most likely cause interference as

PUBLIC TESTIMONY: No public testimony was given.

COMMISSIONER DISCUSSION: Commissioner Bryant: Have not noticed antennas on the rooftop until this proposal; no objection. Commissioner Dawson: Checked out the site; prefer the antennas to be pulled back or screened; these antennas will definitely be visible; wondering if the color choices have been experimented with in the past. Mr. Monson replied, there has been a lot of discussion regarding color; rather to match the building colors or be sky-like color. Chairman McDonald: would rather see them shorter and closer to the edge of the building than taller and pushed back from the building. Mr. Monson proceeded to hand out a two-page color copy (Attachment A). The first page illustrated the current coverage that exists today; the second page illustrated the coverage that would be if the antennas were permitted to be installed. The coverage clearly covers Mercer Island. Richard Hart suggested the applicant to create a mock-up, consisting of approximately three poles, each a different color, to be presented on the rooftop for Staff to view the colors in the field. Mr. Monson agreed to the suggestion and commented on the importance of the timeframe to complete this review.

MOTION: Commissioner Dawson motioned to approve the proposal, stated Staff’s Recommendation adding that Staff review and approve the one color for the racks and antennas after performing field-review of at least three mock-up poles (painted different colors), positioned on the rooftop like the proposal dictates.

Commissioner Laszlo seconded the Motion; Motion Passed 4-0.

ACTION ITEM: (2) DSR0004-001, 002

APPLICANT: Bank of America/Jones Lang Lasalle

SUBJECT: Continued Hearing for a Small Expansion for Drive-up ATM, Removal of One ATM and Replacing a Second ATM with a new One, Three new Signs and Three new Lights Proposed

LOCATION: 2830 80th Avenue SE

STAFF REPORT: Kathy Harbert, Associate Planner, summarized the supplemental staff report into the record. The report included history of past reviews and approvals for the site. It also included the review of the applicant’s submittal for the dumpster enclosure. Staff recommendation is to approve the proposal with the condition to locate the dumpster enclosure at the north end of the parking spaces, located along 80th Avenue SE, because of truck access to the dumpster. The Staff Recommended Motion was stated into the record.

APPLICANT PRESENTATION: Christine Nagamine, Boxwood Architects, 1218 3rd Avenue Suite 1412, Seattle, and Jim Newton, Jones Lang LaSalle, 1001 4th Avenue, 16th Floor, Seattle, were present for questions. Commissioner Bryant asked how the dumpster is accessed. Mr. Newton answered, the understanding is that the truck is a front-loading, utilizing a forklift mounted on the front of the truck. Chairman McDonald asked, how would the truck leave the site after accessing the dumpster. Mr. Newton answered, the truck would most likely back up and exit, using the existing exit only route. Chairman McDonald asked, are there any problems associated with the removal of Signs #8 and 9. Mr. Newton answered, the bank has asked for them to remain; it is standard signage used in three states; therefore, ask that these signs be approved tonight. Mr. Newton then handed out color copies (Attachment B) illustrating two of the three signs, Signs D and N, seeking approval. He continued, the proposed lighting is required by the State, providing a 50-foot radius from the center of the ATM; down boxes attached to the lights will be installed. Chairman McDonald asked, why the existing lighting is not sufficient for the ground level ATM. Ms. Nagamine answered, a study was completed and results found the existing lighting as insufficient to meet the State standards. Commissioner Dawson asked, what is the specific landscape plan for the dumpster enclosure. Ms. Nagamine answered, the plan will reflect existing landscaping on site; she handed out photos of existing landscaping as an example.

PUBLIC TESTIMONY: Gerald Williams, 3625 W. Mercer Way, Mercer Island, stated he had no objections to the proposal.

COMMISSIONER DISCUSSION: Commissioner Bryant asked Staff why the roof is a requirement of the dumpster enclosure. Kathy Harbert answered, it is a requirement in the Town Center District, mainly because the enclosure is visible from existing and potential buildings up to five-stories in height. Chairman McDonald inquired about the Staff’s recommendation of the mirrored location for the dumpster. Kathy Harbert answered, the assumption made was the truck would back up to the dumpster, instead of being a front-loading truck; she continued, the applicant’s proposed location works the best because of the front-loading procedure. Commissioner Dawson requested consideration be given to taller landscaping in order to screen the dumpster appropriately. Discussions continued regarding Sign N; why two directional signs (Signs N and 7) are needed. The conclusion was to transfer the information from Sign 7 to Sign N, eliminating Sign 7. Mr. Newton agreed to remove Sign 7.

MOTION: Commissioner Dawson motioned to grant approval with the following conditions for the construction of a dumpster enclosure as presented on formal site plans (dated May 24, 2000) and for the construction of a 21.2 square-foot addition, utilized as a drive-up ATM, the removal of one walk-up ATM, replacing a second ATM with a new ATM, and the installation of three new signs and three new lights as presented on formal site plans (May 10, 2000), incorporating the findings of both May 10, 2000 and May 24, 2000 Staff Reports and in accordance with the Mercer Island Town Center District Development and Design Requirements and Section 19.15.040 of the Mercer Island Code. The conditions are as follows:

  1. Information existing on Sign 7 shall be included on the new Sign N. Sign 7 shall be eliminated from the site; Sign N shall be located in its proposed location or be placed where Sign 7 exists today.
  2. Sign D (the drive-up ATM sign mounted on canopy) is approved with the arrow on the sign to be located on the left side, instead of the right. Staff is to approve the final layout and location.
  3. The exact location and size of the third new sign, the template painting on the pavement of the drive-up ATM lane, shall be approved by Staff.
  4. Landscaping used for screening of the dumpster shall include taller plant material and utilize the existing landscaping material.
  5. Signs 8 and 9 shall be removed.
  6. Lighting shall be directed on pavement, away from properties adjacent to the east.

Commissioner Laszlo seconded the Motion; Motion Passed 4-0.


Rolls, duties and responsibilities of the Design Commission will be discussed with City Attorney David Kahn. Possible dates discussed were June 6, 7, or 8, 2000 at 4:00 pm.

Other Business


Meeting Adjourned:
9:37 pm

Council Liaison Report:
Councilman Cairns discussed the Islander Middle School’s future expansion. He spoke and presented the District’s schedule, hoping to have the expansion completed by January 2001. He continued with reporting that discussions are still active regarding to working with Sound Transit to provide parking similar number of spaces for Mercer Island residences. The cost would be 5.5 million for an additional garage level. The City has decided it is too much money, but will continue working on ideas.

Next Regular Meeting:
June 14, 2000, 7:30pm

OTHER BUSINESS: No reported scheduled absences for the next meeting.

[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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