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Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Call To Order

Chairman Glick called the meeting to order at 7:36 PM in the Council Chambers, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.

Roll Call

Carl Bryant, Bryan Caditz, Marcia Dawson, Chairman Fred Glick, Julie Parsons, Vice Chairman Norman Sandler, and George Wittman were present.

Staff Present

Richard Hart, Development Services Director; John Scandola, Associate Planner


Commissioner Wittman wants staff to check the audiotapes from the March 13, 2003 Design Commission meeting. He believes that Condition #14 of the approval for Agenda Item #1 should include a provision for seating opportunities. Commissioner Dawson moved, Commissioner Caditz seconded, to approve the minutes for the meeting of March 13, 2003 with the condition that staff checks the audiotape from that meeting to confirm the exact wording of Condition #14. The minutes were approved by a vote of 7-0. Commissioner Bryant moved, Commissioner Dawson seconded, to approve the minutes for the meeting of April 9, 2003. The minutes were approved by a vote of 7-0.

Regular Business

Study Session (No action to be taken): The applicant, Food Markets Northwest, proposes to convert an existing 25,633 square foot building into a new Metropolitan Market grocery store in the Town Center. This renovation will occur on an 85,069 square foot (1.95 acre) site and 118 parking stalls will be provided.

John Scandola, Associate Planner, summarized the staff report for the proposed grocery store. Mr. Scandola indicated that the City supports the preliminary design but feels that the canopies attached to the elevator shaft are randomly placed, offer little utility, and should be further studied or removed.

Keir Vondruska and Chris Quandt, Mulvanny G2 Architects, 1110 112th Avenue NE, Bellevue, WA, represented the applicant.

The Design Commission asked the applicant questions regarding the following issues:

  • The possibility of putting a crosswalk across 76th Avenue SE that would connect this project to the soon-to-be constructed Gateway Commons, mixed use project,
  • Adding an outdoor eating area,
  • Providing modulation and landscaping to the north, west, and south elevations,
  • Adding additional parking to the west side of the building,
  • Eliminating the single parking stall next to the bus shelter in favor of more landscaping or pedestrian space,
  • Creating an area for bike parking,
  • Considering the appearance of the roof from the west, particularly from the Mercer Island Care and Rehabilitation Facility,
  • Adding more pedestrian connections from the parking lot to 76th Avenue SE,
  • Re-examining the wall and its modulation north of the vertical glass entrance.

Chairman Glick opened the public testimony portion of the meeting, and there were no comments. The public testimony portion was closed.

The Design Commission offered the following suggestions to the applicant for this proposal:

  • Consider placing a crosswalk across 76th Avenue SE connecting the future location of the Gateway Commons mixed-use project. Due to safety concerns and warrants for crosswalks, the City’s Transportation Planner and the City Engineer must approve the placement of the crosswalk provided it meets traffic warrants.
  • Examine adding architectural elements and additional landscaping to the north, west, and south elevations to add visual interest and break up the blank facades.
  • The single parking stall, located next to the existing bus shelter, could be eliminated in an effort to increase the pedestrian space or provide more landscaping around the shelter. However, the minimum zoning parking standards must be maintained.
  • Examine adding parking spaces west of the building, adjacent to the Mercer Island Care and Rehabilitation facility.
  • Create a pedestrian master plan in order to connect the pedestrian walkways and proposed plazas into a cohesive network. This plan could include extending the proposed walkways between the parking stalls to 76th Avenue SE, similar to the walkway that connects the bus shelter, and adding pedestrian access west of the building. Minimum parking standards must be maintained when implementing this pedestrian network.
  • The parking lot should include an area for bicycle parking.
  • Consider replacing the angular canopies attached to the upper portion of the elevator shaft with some other design elements to provide relief and visual interest to the facades.
  • Consider adding an outdoor plaza to the deli eating area so customers can enjoy mountain views and contribute to the outdoor activity of the Town Center. If the deli is located inside on the mezzanine, perhaps the upper façade adjacent to the mezzanine could be recessed to accommodate an outdoor balcony.
  • The walls to the north of the glass entrance element should be reexamined and provided with a return wall to the rear of the building. When viewed from the northeast, the wall segment to the north of the glass element and to the south of the loading dock, appear to be too thin and out of character from the rest of the building.
  • Consider adding landscaping and plantings along 76th Avenue SE to help obscure views of the parking lot and parked cars from pedestrian and vehicular activity.
  • Submit a site plan that includes surrounding uses to help determine the proposed building’s relationship to these uses and how this project is viewed from adjacent properties.

Other Business

Director’s Comments:
Richard Hart, Development Services Director, indicated that there will be a meeting regarding future Town Center developments at Mercer View Community Center on Friday, May 16th at 11:30. The public is invited.

Council Liaison Report:

Next Regular Meeting:
The next meeting is scheduled for May 28, 2003 at 7:30 PM. The agenda item will be a sign review for a new business in the Planned Business Zone (PBZ).

Commissioner Absences:
All Commissioners indicated they would be able to attend.

Meeting Adjourned:
9:15 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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