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Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Call To Order

Vice Chairman Sandler called the regularly scheduled Design Commission meeting to order at 7:47 PM in the Council Chambers, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.

Roll Call

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

Staff Present

Gabe Snedeker, Principal Planner; John Scandola, Associate Planner

Minutes

Commissioner Dawson requested a change to the minutes for the meeting of May 28, 2003. She stated that in item #1 under Regular Business, Jimmi Maulding, the City’s Right-of-Way Manager, did not present a comprehensive list of existing trees in the Town Center. Ms. Maulding presented a Mercer Island tree list dated fall 2002. This list documented various planting options for the Town Center, not an inventory of existing trees. Commission Dawson moved, Commissioner Parsons seconded, to approve the minutes of May 28, 2003 with the change mentioned above. The minutes were approved by a vote of 4-0.

Regular Business

Action Item #1: The applicant, Neon Sign Systems, is requesting design review for the installation of an internally lit identification sign for Sahara Pizza located at 8425 SE 68th Street, #104 in the Planned Business Zone (PBZ). This review has been continued from the May 28, 2003 Design Commission meeting.

John Scandola, Associate Planner, summarized the staff report. Mr. Scandola indicated that the applicant has returned to the Design Commission with a proposal that incorporated the majority of the Commission’s recommendations from the May 28, 2003 meeting. However, the size of the sign was not reduced as recommended by the Commission. Staff recommended approval of this proposal with a condition that the size of the sign is to be reduced to better fit the retail space.

Nick Clay, 6606 Ursula Place, Seattle, WA, represented the applicant. Mr. Clay indicated that it was not technically possible to fabricate channel wrapped letters less than 8” in height.

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

  • The possibility of removing one of the sets of palm trees from the proposal,
  • The size and scale of the sign, its lettering, and which portions are internally lit,
  • How the sign will be illuminated,
  • The possibility of reducing the size of the lettering,
  • How much the sign will hang over the window of the entranceway, and
  • Whether the white portion of the lettering will be opaque or translucent.

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

The Commission discussed and debated the following issues:

  • The possibility of reducing the size of the sign,
  • Replacing the aqua green color from the sides of the letters with opaque black,
  • Removing a set of palm trees,
  • Changing the colors of the sign,

The Design Commission decided to postpone making a motion for this proposal in order to review the other action item on the agenda. The Vice-Chairman asked the applicant if he would be willing to wait for the Commission to make a decision on the other proposal and then return to the Sahara Pizza sign proposal. The applicant indicated that he was willing to wait for a decision on his proposal.

Action Item #2: The applicant, National Sign Corporation, is requesting design review for the installation of an internally lit identification sign for Distinctive Dance Studio located at 8425 SE 68th Street, #100 in the Planned Business Zone (PBZ).

John Scandola, Associate Planner, summarized the staff report. Mr. Scandola indicated that the identification portion of this sign appeared to constitute a prohibited “internally lit box sign”. He also indicated that the proposed 16.8 square foot size was too large for a retail space with 25 feet of frontage.

Ursula Panagiotou, owner of Distinctive Dance Studio, 8425 SE 68th Street, #100, Mercer Island, represented the applicant.

The Commission asked the applicant if the sides of the letters for the “Distinctive Dance Studio” were clear and would emit light. After some initial confusion, Ms. Panagiotou stated that the face of the letter will be opaque and the sides of the letters will be translucent and will emit light.

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

The Commission indicated that since the cabinet of the sign blends into the façade of the building, the sign is not perceived to be 16.8 square feet in size and is proportional to the retail space. They also indicated that the style of the sign, specifically the unique shape and style of the icon element and the push through lettering, is distinctive and creative and does not fall into the category of an “internally lit box sign”.

Motion: Commission Parsons moved, seconded by Commissioner Dawson, to approve the Distinctive Dance Studio sign (DSR03-10) as presented on the plans and elevations date stamped May 22, 2003. This decision incorporates the findings on the Staff Report and testimony from the June 11, 2003 Design Commission meeting. This decision is in accordance with MICC Section 19.040.010(D)(4) and Section 19.11.120. This approval is subject to the following condition:

  • The statement that says “Face to be white acrylic” regarding the logo portion of the sign located on the plans date stamped May 22, 2003, shall be changed to read “Face to be black acrylic”.

The motion passed by a vote of 4-0.

Action Item #1 (revisited): The Design Commission agreed to revisit the review of the proposed Sahara Pizza sign. Commission Parsons made a motion.

Motion: Commission Parsons moved, seconded by Commissioner Wittman, to approve the Sahara Pizza sign (DSR03-06) as presented on the plans and elevations date stamped June 4, 2003. This decision incorporates the findings on the Staff Report and testimony from the May 28, 2003 and June 11, 2003 Design Commission meetings. This decision is in accordance with MICC Section 19.040.010(D)(4) and Section 19.11.120. This approval is subject to the following conditions:

  1. One of the two sets of palm trees, as shown on the plans date stamped June 4, 2003, shall be removed to reduce the size of the sign and make it more proportional to the size of the retail frontage.
  2. The side returns of the lettering and palm trees shall be black.
  3. The length of the sign shall not exceed 6’6”.
  4. The illuminated portion of the sign, which includes the lettering and palm trees, shall not exceed 16” in height.
  5. The applicant shall submit a letter to the City Staff that states that it is not possible to fabricate channel wrapped letters less than 8” in height.
  6. The sign shall be mounted to the façade and roof canopy over the entranceway of the retail space.
  7. The colors used shall be as depicted on the color samples provided, with the exception of the originally proposed aqua blue which has been replaced by black.

Motion passed by a vote of 3-1.

Other Business

Director’s Comments:
None.

Council Liaison Report:
Councilman Cairns stated that Sound Transit has decided not to dedicate parking for residents at the park & ride and they will not build underground spaces due to the cost. City Council and Sound Transit are considering a two-story parking garage with the first level slightly below grade so it appears to be 1.5 stories tall. Councilman Cairns also indicated that City Council is making progress on deciding on a design for the Mercer View Community Center and the City will contribute $100,000 towards the Mary Waite Pool.

Next Regular Meeting:
The next Design Commission meeting is scheduled for June 25, 2003 at 7:30 PM. The agenda items will be Preliminary Design Review for a new residential building for Covenant Shores and Design Review for a WCF in Clise Park.

Commissioner Absences:
Vice Chairman Sandler will recuse himself from the Covenant Shores review due to conflict of interest. He will try to attend the WCF review.

Meeting Adjourned:
9:22 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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