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Wednesday, November 08, 2000

Call To Order

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

Roll Call

Present Commissioners: Bryant, Laszlo, Sandler, Wittman, Vice Chairman Glick (Laszlo recused himself from Item #2) Absent Commissioners: Chairman McDonald, Dawson

Staff Present

Staff: Richard Hart


Review of the October 11, 2000 Minutes: Hart noted the following correction: Commissioner Wittman was present, instead the minutes say Commissioner Sandler was present when he was not. Commissioner Bryant motioned to approve October 11, 2000 Meeting Minutes with the above change; Commissioner Wittman seconded; Motion Passed Vote 5-0

Regular Business

ACTION ITEM: (1) File DSR0006-002 Signage Proposal

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: Richard Hart, Director of DSG, stated he is filling in for Planner, Kathy Harbert, who is on vacation. Mr. Hart then summarized the project’s history: In August 2000 the project was brought to the Design Commission for review. At that time, the wall sign was lit with neon and approximately 2 feet by feet. The Design Commission requested the applicant to reduce the size and research alternatives in how the sign is lit. Mr. Hart then spoke to the revised sign proposal submitted by the applicant: The sign is reduced in size by 19 percent and the method to light the sign has also changed. The illumination is a halo effect in order to decrease the brightness of the yellow letters, “Storage Court”. Those letters are reduced from 13-inch letters to 12-inch letter, as the Commission suggested. The majority of the Commissioners’ comments from the August meeting had to do with the appropriateness of the keystone cop logo, sign color and overall size. Staff researched other Mr. VanGard signs. Staff found a City of Shoreline sign that used blue letters instead of yellow. Mr. Hart reviewed the findings made and read the staff recommendation motion into the record: Staff recommends the Design Commission deny approval for the proposed signs because criteria subsections (a) and (c) of Section 19.15.040(H)(5) have not been met. Staff’s recommendation has not changed since the August 23, 2000 meeting. Staff suggests the applicant redesign their signage submittal to fully meet the criteria setforth in Section 19.15.040(H)(5). Mr. Hart added, an alternative is suggested which would change the yellow lettering to navy blue in order to meet the criteria in subsection (c).

APPLICANT PRESENTATION: Applicant, Christian Soltendieck of C.S. Sign Corporation, 2103 NW 96th Street, Seattle. He feels the new submittal addresses the concerns and comments made at the August meeting. However, the yellow color still appears to be a concern. The yellow color is a corporate color. The Shoreline sign is old and the corporate color has since changed to yellow. Renton and Tukwilla are recent examples of signs with the yellow letters. He presented color samples of the blue and yellow/gold used on all locations in the last five years. The building is set back away from the street and now there is a new building being built in front. The intent is visibility and maintaining the current corporate identity. He presented samples of halo lighting of signs.

QUESTIONS FOR THE APPLICANT: Vice Chairman Glick asked what color would be used for the background lighting for “Storage Court”, and would it also be behind the logo as well; Mr. Soltendieck answered, white. However, the parking lot lights will also somewhat light up the sign, and it would be behind the logo as well. Mr. Soltendieck clarified the second sign, “office”, has been eliminated. He also stated the yellow color proposed is the same as QFC.

PUBLIC TESTIMONY: Sandy Piha, developer/owner/property manager of the Storage Court, 14100 SE 36th Street, Suite 200, Bellevue, stated that visibility is needed even though it is small. The yellow color is standard for all their 12 facilities. Commissioner Sandler presented the Peterson’s letter concerning the lighting that the storage court has today, apparently more of a gleaming light than the rest of the shopping center has. Mr. Piha stated he was unaware of the light gleaming to the outside of the storage courts; he will look into it. The yard lights are met to shine down not outward. Commissioner Sandler asked Piha to let Mr. Hart know the status of the lights. Commissioner Laszlo asked for clarification of the location of the sign; Mr. Piha stated it would be on the north side. Vice Chairman Glick asked why are they worried about visibility to the street; this is not high competition shopping and everyone knows the storage courts are there. Piha stated that not everyone does know where we are, especially at night. Vice Chairman Glick asked, what color would the background lighting for “Storage Court” be, and would it also be behind the logo as well; Mr. Soltendieck answered, white; however, the parking lot lights will also somewhat light up the sign, and it would be behind the logo as well. Mr. Soltendieck also stated that consistency is very important no matter where the market is. The sign is not being lit brightly, like an internally lit sign, yet it keeps the corporate colors. Vice Chairman Glick pointed out corporate signs exists that are sensitive to the quality of the place and asked if his company ever thought about that. Mr. Soltendieck answered, yes, that is the mandate of the company. He gave Orting and Leavenworth as examples. They used flood lighting, aimed at the building. Vice Chairman Glick confirmed that Mr. Soltendieck works hard to meet what an individual community desires; Mr. Soltendieck stated that he does. John Ryan, resident manager of the storage court, 8501 SE 68th Street, commented on the Peterson’s concern regarding exterior lighting. There are two standard sodium lights on the outside. All other lighting is landscape lighting along the front. Vice Chairman Glick clarified from the letter that there are three-to-four lights that shine downward. Mr. Ryan offered to look into it; Vice Chairman Glick stated their phone number is on the letter for reference. Mr. Ryan also stated, there are people that do not know that it is a storage court.

COMMISSIONER DISCUSSION: Commissioner Bryant commented that the re-submittal does fulfill what we asked them to do. The colors are about the same as QFC; he approves of the changes. He commented that the keystone cop is bothersome. Commissioner Sandler commented the size and elevation was addressed well; however, the criteria was not addressed regarding the architectural compatibility and the harmonious colors. He does not think these criteria have been met. The corporate sign is difficult to accept given the south end neighborhood; it is not a Highway 99 neighborhood. The mechanics of the re-submittal is superior compared to the original proposal; however, philosophically he has difficulty with it. Commissioner Laszlo commented that the location of the building makes the sign less obtrusive; he does not have a problem with it. Mr. Soltendieck asked if he would like the storage court letters better if they were blue. Commissioner Laszlo asked what color is the building. Vice Chairman Glick clarified it is a cocoa tan color. Discussion followed whether blue was better than yellow. Commissioner Wittman asked if Mr. Soltendieck thought about separating the sign from the building into a monument sign. This would allow the use of a material from the building. Other than that, he concurs he has done what the Commission asked for earlier. Commissioner Wittman added maybe they should consider the monument sign idea, and that we should not be regulating corporate trademarks, but we could ask for more of a subtle approach. Vice Chairman Glick added the applicant responded to what the Commission asked for at the last meeting, yet two of the three criteria have not been met. Vice Chairman Glick stated the criteria have not yet been met. He reviewed subsections (a) and (c). He commended Commissioner Wittman’s idea about separating the sign from the building. He agrees with staff’s recommendation. He asked Mr. Hart what alternatives the Commission has; do they have the option to deny, modify or approve the proposal as is. Mr. Hart responded yes, all three options exist. Vice Chairman Glick suggests that the monument sign be looked at. Mr. Soltendieck questions if the code permits it, and, secondly, the landscape area appears to be too small for a sign. Discussion followed on where the sign would be placed. Mr. Soltendieck asked if he could speak; they all agreed. Mr. Soltendieck stated, we have been here before and had been given direction to reach a solution. He feels the color issue was resolved. If the Commission proposes a different sign, we will be back at least one more time. In the mean time, the business has no signage. We do not want to introduce a new type of sign. He offered to have the storage court letters in blue instead of yellow, as a compromise. Commissioner Sandler indicated that a time line is not our responsibility; did you know city staff was unhappy with the colors of this sign. Mr. Soltendieck responded, yes. Commissioner Sandler continued, staff has a roll, and they have stated the sign does not meet the review criteria. He asked how does the proposed sign work in with the previously approved lighting, benches and architecture of the entire center. Vice Chairman Glick stated we are talking about a larger issue than colors on the proposal. Mr. Hart offered to get the color copy of the Shoreline store. Discussions followed regarding what colors are accurate on the Shoreline sign. Discussion continued on what colors could be used as part of the proposal and where on the building the sign could be located.

MOTION: Commissioner Sandler motioned that the submitted sign be approved in scale and lighting as presented on formal plans dated October 30, 2000 for one wall sign with the following conditions:

  1. The words, “Storage Court”, the background and the uniform of the keystone cop shall be navy blue (matching the color submitted at the meeting); and, the words, “Mr. VanGard”, the key and star, shown as part of the keystone cop, shall be gold (matching the color submitted at the meeting). In addition, the location of the sign shall be lowered approximately three feet (the lower third portion of the building) from the proposed location. DSG staff shall review and approve the above requirements prior to building permit issuance.
  2. The applicant shall address the lighting issues presented in the Jim and Marion Peterson letter, dated November 8, 2000. DSG staff shall review and approve lighting associated with the sign prior to building permit issuance to ensure it is subdued and does not shine directly outward towards 84th Avenue SE.

Commissioner Wittman seconded the Motion; Motion Passed 5-0.

ACTION ITEM: (2) File #DSR0008-001 Building Addition Note: Commissioner Laszlo recused himself from this Item.

APPLICANT: Broweleit Peterson Hammer Architects (BPH), Mike Snodgrass

SUBJECT: Review and Approval of a New Building Addition to the Existing St. Monica Catholic School

LOCATION: 4320 87th Avenue SE

STAFF REPORT: Richard Hart, Director of DSG, stated he has worked with Kathy Harbert on this project and has met with the applicant. He summarized the project: The proposal is for a 16,000 square-foot building addition on the north end of their existing private K-8 school. The purpose is to provide needed areas for their administrative, library, computer room and maintenance facilities. There also is the demolition of a 1,600 addition located on the north end of the building. A new main entry is part of the addition. There are no additional classrooms proposed. Relocation of a parking area along 87th Avenue SE is proposed in order to provide a landscape area and path along the north frontage. Deviation, SEPA and Conditional Use applications are part of the proposal. The Impervious Surface Deviation has been granted by the city. The SEPA Determination has been issued. The Planning Commission will review the Conditional Use in the near future. Staff feels the proposal does fit into the site well and is an improvement. Mr. Hart reviewed the criteria, giving examples. He read the recommended motion into the record.

APPLICANT PRESENTATION: Applicant, Mike Snodgrass of BHP Architects, 19624A 76th Avenue W., Lynnwood, spoke. He feels staff did a good job presenting the project and will answer questions.

QUESTIONS FOR THE APPLICANT: Vice Chairman Glick asked, are they any better illustrations than our packets. Mr. Hart offered to go get the color board. Commissioner Sandler asked for clarifications on building materials and color. Mr. Snodgrass responded, describing colors and use of existing materials. The new columns will be exposed concrete. The brick will be matched as close as possible. The material for the horizontal band needs to be smooth; painted plywood is being considered. Vice Chairman Glick asked who is the landscape designer, and asked for a landscape presentation. Tom Reinstoff, 911 Western Ave., Seattle, began by addressing the planting on the west side where the parking is being relocated. Additional planting is also on the east side by the existing rectory. The landscaping for the screening of the emergency shelter will be addressed. Vice Chairman Glick asked if existing landscaping is on the plans. Mr. Reinstoff answered yes, there are existing trees being preserved. Further clarification was given on what is grass versus hard surface. Vice Chairman Glick asked if additional screening was considered across along the street where the new parking lot is proposed. Mr. Snodgrass indicated the parking is existing along the front of the building. Vice Chairman Glick asked if thought had been given to clustering the trees in the new landscape area along the west facade. Mr. Reinstoff replied, the church wanted them somewhat spread out for security purposes. Mr. Reinstoff indicated there is a mix of deciduous and evergreen. Commissioner Sandler asked if the screening for the emergency containers is landscaping or what. Mr. Reinstoff stated large shrubs would be appropriate; trees could be offered for immediate screening. Either option would work, as it is easy to screen the container. Commissioner Sandler asked why staff’s recommendation is for one year instead of two in regards to the landscape security agreement. Vice Chairman Glick added, he typically asks for two years. Discussion continued regarding the landscape species chosen. Vice Chairman Glick asked why shrubs are proposed between the walkway and the street. Mr. Reinstoff replied variety is the intent. Vice Chairman Glick suggests clustering the plant materials would be better, instead of a line of shrubs. It would be behind the logo as well.


COMMISSIONER DISCUSSION: Commissioner Wittman complimented the architecture proposed. He added, the east facade appears flat; is it possible to provide relief to the facade, possibly by recessing the windows 2-3 feet. He also asked how drainage would be handled; Mr. Snodgrass stated the same gutter line would be used as the existing. Commissioner Wittman added, the metal cladding might be a little dark. Commissioner Sandler stated the design of the building fits well; the metal siding does seem heavy handed. He urged him to rethink the metal siding. Commissioner Bryant agreed with the good design; however, he expressed concerns about the plywood. It appears to not be consistent with the other materials and may end up being a maintenance problem. Commissioner Bryant asked whether an exit is needed for the media center. Mr. Snodgrass clarified there is an east exit. Vice Chairman Glick also commended the work and asked if there is an access from the two-story addition to the play area on the site plan. Mr. Snodgrass indicated it was out the main entry around the northwest corner. Vice Chairman Glick suggested the taller plants along the west pathway between the street and pathway be moved to the east side of the path in clusters. He suggested a few lower shrubs be placed near the sidewalk of the west area of the main entry to the addition, in order to provide direction for pedestrians. Mr. Snodgrass asked for clarification on direction for the materials: He asked if the material selection for the horizontal band is the question. Commissioner Bryant replied, yes. Mr. Snodgrass asked if the color is the concern on the siding. Commissioner Sandler answered yes.

MOTION: Commissioner Wittman motioned to recommend the Planning Commission grant approval of the proposed building addition and landscape revisions shown on the final set of plans, dated October 12, 2000, with eight conditions. The conditions are as follows:

  1. The yard waste container and recycling bins will be removed prior to issuance of the building permit.
  2. Bench and lighting proposals, including location, shall be reviewed and approved by DSG staff prior to issuance of the building permit.
  3. Tree protection fencing for the established evergreen trees located adjacent to the proposed hard surface play area/Sunday parking area shall be shown on building plans and approved by the City Arborist.
  4. A landscape security agreement in the amount approved by the DSG staff shall be submitted to the City for the duration of one year from date of final inspection.
  5. Screening of the emergency management storage container, along 87th Avenue SE, shall be provided with plans approved by DSG staff prior to issuance of the building permit.
  6. Plywood siding shall be re-addressed as to the material chosen and the color of the corrugated siding below the eaves shall be re-addressed. Both changes shall be reviewed and approved by DSG staff prior to issuance of the building permit.
  7. The recessed glazing on the east facade shall be setback further to provide additional relief. The revision shall be reviewed and approved by DSG staff prior to issuance of the building permit.
  8. Landscaping located along the west side of the meandering path shall be reduced to three-to-four feet (or lower) tall shrubs; and, most of the five-to-six feet tall shrubs shall be moved to the east side of the path with the recommendation to cluster the shrubs. In addition, several shrubs shall be added west of the plaza area, along the edge of the concrete walkway, in order to direct pedestrians to the entrance. All revisions shall be reviewed and approved by DSG staff prior to issuance of the building permit.

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

Other Business


Meeting Adjourned:
9:42 PM

Special Study Session Meeting: November 15, 2000, 7:00pm, held in the District Court room with box dinners provided at 6:30pm

Council Liaison Report:
Councilman Cairns expressed his personal views on the signs for Mercer Village; he prefers future signs be placed internally. He indicated that for the review of the major town center project next week, parking should be addressed. The park-and-ride location and the operations of I-90 are still under consideration. Until the I-90 decision is made, Sound Transit is not going to make a decision. Councilman Cairns indicated, Island Elementary is looking at creating more parking. Also, the equipment cabinets along Island Crest Way need to be reviewed thoroughly. The City Council is considering placing some funding toward the screening or painting of these cabinets. Discussions continued regarding the park-and-ride facility.

Next Regular Meeting:
December 13, 2000, 7:30pm

[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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