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Wednesday, October 11, 2000

Call To Order

Chairman McDonald called the meeting to order at 7:35 PM.

Roll Call

Present Commissioners: Bryant, Glick, Laszlo, Dawson, Sandler and Chairman McDonald (Dawson and Bryant recused themselves from Item #3) Absent Commissioners: Sandler

Staff Present

Staff: Kathy Harbert, Nancy Fairchild for Item #2


Dawson motioned to approve September 13, 2000 Meeting Minutes; Bryant seconded; Motion Passed Vote 6-0

Regular Business

ACTION ITEM: (1) File DSR0006-002

APPLICANT: Storage Court, LLC (C.S. Sign Corporation)

SUBJECT: Continued review from August 23, 2000 meeting for approval of one identification wall sign at the Storage Courts in the PBZ zone

LOCATION: 8501 SE 68th Street

STAFF REPORT: Kathy Harbert, Associate Planner, explained that the applicant is unable to make it tonight and requests the review be tabled to the November 8, 2000 meeting. Commissioner Bryant motioned to table the review of the Storage Court new sign to the November 8, 2000 meeting; Commissioner Dawson seconded the motion.

ACTION ITEM: (2) File #DSR0008-007

APPLICANT: Shorewood LLC (Jeff Kuhns, Indigo Real Estate Services, Inc.)

SUBJECT: Revisions to a Previously Approved Site Plan, Adjusting the Location of the North Refuse/Recycling Center for Shorewood Heights

LOCATION: 3209 Shorewood Drive (near the north entrance to the complex)

STAFF REPORT: Kathy Harbert, Associate Planner, summarized the amended staff report into the record. The Commission’s recommended motion at the September 13, 2000 meeting focussed the review on landscaping, both for the mitigation of the two lost fir trees and for the modifications necessary to adjust to the contractor’s error. A revised landscape plan and building elevations illustrated the landscape material proposed and a site plan illustrating the stop bar at the driveway exit and the length of the load/unload area to be the length of 44 feet. Harbert summarized the staff findings, which support the approval of the project. Harbert then read the recommended motion. Commissioner Glick asked Nancy Fairchild, City Transportation Planner, if site distance, regarding to the tree proposed within the traffic calming bulb, will be a problem, when exiting from the parking lot driveway. Fairchild responded it is not clear whether or not the tree would be a safety hazard; the building does meet the site distance triangle criteria. She continued, all the driveways are private drives; the owners are to accept liability and maintenance of the streets and driveways.

APPLICANT PRESENTATION: Mr. Kris Snider, Hewitt Architects, 119 Pine Street, Suite 400, Seattle, WA presented the revised landscape plan: Safety and what residents would view were taken in consideration when he laid out the plan; sumacs and firs transition well into the hillside, not dwarfing the building to much, yet screening it. The Chinese Elm (within the traffic calming bulb) is an upright and arching tree. It is good for maintaining visibility and would create a gateway affect over time. In other jurisdictions, trees are exempt from the site distance triangle criteria. The goal is to reduce the scale of the building because of it now being just located behind the sidewalk.

QUESTIONS FOR THE APPLICANT: Glick asked, if thought had been given to adding other Chinese Elms up by the parking lot; Snider replied, no, because residential units look onto the building and he wants to keep plants lower up on the hillside. If trees were suggested there, a smaller flowering tree would be preferred. Glick asked, will the Kinnikinnick be brought out to the curb, or blend in with the grass, and would it be appropriate to add a larger tree up by the existing tree on the hillside; Snider answered, yes, the Kinnikinnick will be brought out to the curb, and the existing tree may need to be removed/replaced depending on its health. He added, adding a tree up on the hillside is inappropriate, but maybe instead, move the proposed fir tree upward some. Commissioner Bryant agreed with Snider. Glick commended Snider’s work. Commissioner Dawson asked for clarification on proposed plant material and added that the presented sketch is illustrating different plants and sizes then the landscape plan; Snider responded, we can size the two gallon size plants up, but the Elm tree is hard to find in a large diameter; the sumacs could be purchased larger though. Commissioner Wittman asked if the building is brick veneer; Snider answered, yes. Dawson asked for clarity on the rock walls, as the architectural plans show one wall and the landscape plan shows two walls. Snider responded, he proposes two walls in order for the landscaping to work well. Dawson requests the Choisya shrubs be moved around the corner more on the south side. Glick added, the south corner needs to be filled out as much as possible without causing site distance problems and wondered if Snider will be in the field when the plants are planted. Snider responded, most likely it would be a staff member of his office, or he will. Glick requested Snider’s presence at the time of planting. Dawson asked if there is irrigation on site; Snider answered, yes and it will be adjusted to fit the plan. Chairman McDonald asked about staff’s suggestion to broaden out the landscaping on the north side; Harbert stated it was a request at the last meeting; Dawson added, it has been addressed with the new landscape plan. Glick asked, what plant material is proposed between the styrax and the sidewalk on the north side; Snider replied, the groundcover will blend in with the existing ivy.


COMMISSIONER DISCUSSION: Dawson complimented on the improvement from the last plan; Snider added, the project will include a Landscape Architect to approve the planting locations prior to planting. Dawson responded, she expects to see the minor changes and shifting of plant material reflected on the landscape plan; Snider agreed. Glick agreed with Dawson and added, the revised plan should be viewed by city staff for review and approval. McDonald also agreed with Dawson, that the additional landscaping mitigates the relocation of the building.

MOTION: Commissioner Glick stated the following motion: The Design Commission grants approval for the modifications necessary to adjust to a contractor’s error made in the placement of foundation walls of the Shorewood Heights North Refuse and Recycling Center, as presented on formal site plans submitted on October 5, 2000, incorporating the findings of the amended Staff Report and in accordance with the Mercer Island Town Center District Development and Design Requirements and Section 19.15.040 of the Mercer Island Code with the following conditions:

  1. A landscape security agreement for the approved landscape installation and materials costs, in the amount decided by DSG, shall be submitted to the City for the duration of two years from the date of certification of occupancy.
  2. Submit a revised landscape plan, including an irrigation plan, to DSG staff for review and approval. Prior to certification of occupancy, DSG staff shall verify field conformance to the revised landscape plan. required.

Commissioner Wittman seconded the Motion; Motion Passed 6-0.

ACTION ITEM: (3) File #DSR0008-002

APPLICANT: Presbyterian Church (Broweleit Peterson Hammer Architects, Dennis Chivers)

SUBJECT: Major new construction of a pyramid shaped roof to enclose an outside atrium area

LOCATION: 3605 84th Avenue SE

STAFF REPORT: Kathy Harbert, Associate Planner, summarized the staff report. Broweleit Peterson Hammer Architects (BPH) propose to enclose an approximate 2,800 sq. ft. outside atrium for the purpose of having a gathering space for before and after church. The atrium is currently paved with concrete with approximately 900 sq. ft. of planting beds. The atrium is placed between two taller structures on site and would become the main entry to the complex. The pyramid shaped roof is 26’-6” in height and is made of primarily gray-tinted glazing with a medium bronze anodized framing. There will be three established trees removed from the atrium area. One letter was received asking about if parking is effected by the proposal and if the original Conditional Use Permit included the proposal. The resident also was concerned if the CUP 16 conditions were going to be amended. The answer was, no, to all inquiries. Harbert pointed out that the Design Commission is to make a recommendation to the Planning Commission, which will hear the CUP application on October 18, 2000. Harbert then summarized the findings made in the staff report, and read the recommended motion, but withdrew the condition listed pertaining to the requested landscape plan for the atrium space.

APPLICANT PRESENTATION: Mr. Jack vanHartesvelt, 9110 SE 78th Place, Mercer Island, WA, and member of the church, presented the proposal. He began by giving the background of the church proposal; the church spent four to five years putting together the recently approved expansion; the one thing they did not have the funds for is the enclosure of the atrium area. The church now has raised most of the funds needed. He clarified that the space will not be used for weddings, classes or other organized events.

QUESTIONS FOR THE APPLICANT: QUESTIONS FOR THE APPLICANT: Chairman McDonald asked if Mr. VanHartesvelt was the only applicant to speak; no architect representation. The architect, Dennis Chivers, replied yes, but he is here to answer questions. Wittman asked, are all the windows rendered with a bronze anodized framing. Chivers replied, yes. Wittman asked for clarification on the door openings; Chivers answered, there are other doors available to enter the church elsewhere. Wittman asked about the corridor rating of one hour, now that the atrium opens up into the corridor; Chivers replied, the area in front of the atrium would no longer be rated one hour, the one hour rating begins where the classrooms begin. Laszlo asked, is the pyramid made up of glazing window panels; Chivers replied, the final design details have not been worked out. Glick asked, what is happening in front of the south elevation; Chivers responded, the proposal tonight does not change what was previously approved. Wittman asked, is the butterfly roof element made of concrete material; Chivers replied, good question – most likely stucco would be the wall finish, backed by a painted soffit board. McDonald asked, are the beams steel; Chivers answered, yes, with gypsum board and stucco applied to appear like the expansion. McDonald asked, will the space be heated and cooled; Chivers replied, yes, there will be mechanical equipment associated with the proposal. McDonald asked, where is the equipment going to be located; Chivers answered, most likely on the roof near the other equipment located just to the north. Laszlo asked, will lighting occur to the outside from the inside of the atrium; Chivers answered, it is a possibility; McDonald added, it has been a past concern; vanHaresvelt added, the multipurpose room and the sanctuary will block the light, if any. McDonald agreed, it was not as crucial. VanHaresvelt added, the space will most likely be air conditioned and they will have to address echo from within the space. McDonald stated, there are no operable windows – it is a tricky design for the interior; he then asked, why is the pyramid glass a tinted gray; Chivers answered, it will assist in the heat issue. Glick asked where would the HVAC go and would it be visible through the glass; Chivers answered, currently there is one to the north and studies show that it would not be visible through the glass. Glick added, will the front doors be open most of the time; vanHaresvelt replied, as much as possible – it is the only part of the building that will be air conditioned. Glick inquired, the funds allocated for the landscaping was a condition for approval of the expansion; vanHaresvelt answered, the funds are half raised to complete the entire landscaping approved.

PUBLIC TESTIMONY: PUBLIC TESTIMONY: Madeline Morrison, 8416 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, WA, spoke as an easterly neighbor of the church. She supports the atrium area being used as the main entrance. She has concerns involving the mechanical equipment on the roof above the kitchen, which is part of the expansion being built. She hears a high humming now, that was not there before. She approves of the proposal as long as there is no increase in noise and the equipment is not visible by any residential properties.

COMMISSIONER DISCUSSION: McDonald asked if the screening of the equipment was complete; Chivers responded, no it is not. Laszlo asked is the noise from the construction; Chivers answered, not sure, but fans have been running to prep a work area. McDonald asked, will the mechanical equipment get painted; Chivers said, yes. McDonald pointed out the location of the equipment for the proposal needs to be addressed – the Commission is sensitive to where the equipment will be placed. VanHaresvelt stated, the new equipment will not go over the kitchen and will be screened. Wittman stated he likes the roof proposal, but asked why just two doors at the main entry – the entry could have more doors; the atrium works well for a meeting space. Laszlo agreed with Wittman; likes the light created into the space. Glick also agreed with Wittman; the roof is a nice blend of the two east and west roofs, and also agreed with the door comment Wittman made. McDonald agreed with door comment, but does not think the Commission should condition the project; he also agreed with Glick's comments and added the roof works well with the parking lot axis. He added, the location of the mechanical equipment is the biggest concern. Wittman asked, is the location of the equipment under our context of review. McDonald replied, yes, the north side is the least visible, but it still needs to be screened. Harbert added, review of screening is part of her review for granting building permits.

MOTION: The Design Commission recommends the Planning Commission to grant approval of the proposed roof design shown on the final set of plans, dated September 20, 2000, with one condition. Approval also includes the incorporation of findings established in the Staff Report the Mercer Island Town Center District Development and Design Requirements and Section 19.15.040 of the Mercer Island Code. The condition is as follows:

  1. The mechanical equipment, including the ductwork and associated screening, shall be provided in plan view, elevations and sections to be reviewed and approved by DSG staff prior to building certificate of occupancy.

Other Business


Meeting Adjourned:
9:22 PM

Council Liaison Report:
Councilman Cairns was absent, but prior to the meeting he had an informal discussion with the Commissioners.

Next Regular Meeting:
November 8, 2000 Continued Meeting from August 23, 2000 for new Storage Court Signs and possibly the St. Monica’s school expansion project. A special meeting for a study session of the Park Terrace project is scheduled for November 15, 2000.

[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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