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Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Call To Order

Chairman Glick called the regularly scheduled Design Commission meeting to order at 7:50 PM in the Council Chambers, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.

Roll Call

Bryan Caditz, Julie Parsons, Chairman Fred Glick, Vice Chairman Norm Sandler, and George Wittman were present. Carl Bryant and Marci Dawson were absent. Vice Chairman Sandler left at 9:00 PM.

Staff Present

Richard Hart, Director of Development Services; Londi Lindell, City Attorney; Pete Mayer, Director of Parks and Recreation; John Scandola, Associate Planner

Minutes

Vice Chairman Sandler moved, Commissioner Wittman seconded, to approve the minutes of June 25, 2003. The minutes were approved by a vote of 5-0.

Regular Business

Action Item #1: The applicant, Cingular Wireless, is requesting design approval for the installation of a wireless communications facility (WCF) to be located in Clise Park near Island Crest Way and SE 39th Street. This facility is composed of a 110 tall monopole with three antennas and an above ground equipment cabinet to be located southwest of the monopole.

John Scandola, Associate Planner, summarized the staff report. Mr. Scandola indicated that the applicant initially planned on burying the equipment cabinet in the northwest corner of the park. However, buried utility lines were discovered at this location and the applicant indicated that vaulting the cabinet in other areas of the park would negatively impact the park’s Douglas Fir trees.

Londi Lindell, City Attorney, indicated that the applicant did not prove that it is not physically feasible to bury the equipment cabinet. She felt that the applicant could explore other areas of the park to bury the cabinet without impacting significant trees.

Rebecca Hunter and John Hunter of Cingular Wireless, 2445 140th Avenue NE, Bellevue, WA, represented the applicant. Ms. Hunter indicated that the cabinet could possibly be buried in another location in the park. However, she felt that the current proposal was the best option.

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

  • The option of burying the equipment cabinet,
  • The feasibility of other carriers collocating on this facility,
  • The possibility of separating the monopole from the above ground equipment cabinet to lessen its visual impact,
  • The possibility of another location along SE 40th Street at the south end of the park,
  • The possibility of reducing the size of the proposed equipment cabinet,
  • How the current proposal will look from SE 39th Street,
  • How visible the monopole will be when viewed from different directions,

Chairman Glick opened the public testimony portion of the meeting and there were comments from the following citizens:

Ira Appleman, 6213 83rd Place SE: Mr. Appleman indicated that the current proposal relies on “blending and screening” as opposed to “hiding and burying”, which is required by the City Code. The applicant has not provided enough proof that it is not physically feasible to bury the equipment cabinet.

Zhimin Zhai, 3732 84th Avenue SE: Ms. Zhai is concerned about possible health effects posed by the WCF.

Pat Hayden, 8420 SE 33rd Place: Ms. Hayden stated that she did not understand why the applicant does not consider locating the WCF in other locations outside of the park.

Jean Palmberg, 8404 SE 33rd Place: Ms. Palmberg would like to see the original deed that donated the park to the City to see if commercial uses are permitted.

Margarite Sutherland, 5425 96th Avenue SE: Ms. Sutherland feels that the cabinet should be buried and that the applicant should consider other locations in the park such as the northeast corner.

Chairman Glick closed the public testimony portion of the meeting.

Vice Chairman Sandler left at 9:00 PM.

Pete Mayer, Director of Parks and Recreation, stated that locating WCFs and other utilities in parks is common and is not inconsistent with its use as a park. He indicated that the City is committed to minimizing the impact to the park while honoring the City Code.

The Commission discussed and debated the following issues:

  • Possible underground placement of the equipment cabinet,
  • Significantly reducing the size of the equipment cabinet,
  • Locating the facility in different areas of the park,
  • Ensuring the use of native vegetation for landscaping around the facility,
  • Better screening and stealth design of the WCF tower with minimal impact on trees.

The Commission indicated that the applicant must consider these issues for this proposal.

Motion:
Commissioner Wittman moved, seconded by Commissioner Parsons, to continue the Design Review of the proposed Cingular Wireless in Clise Park (DSR03-008) to a future Design Commission meeting. Commissioner Parsons moved to amend this motion to require that the applicant reduce the size of the equipment cabinet to the minimum size necessary to address significant gaps in coverage. Commissioner Wittman seconded the amendment to the original motion.

The amendment to the original motion passed by a vote of 4-0.

The Design Commission requested, as part of the motion, that the applicant shall return to a future Design Commission meeting with a WCF proposal that addresses the following issues:

  1. Placing the WCF tower in an area of the park that is away from public right-of-ways for maximum screening opportunities and with minimal impact on the larger coniferous trees. It may be helpful to explore other locations, including along SE 40th Street and east of the pedestrian trail along SE 39th Street, and show the possible impacts of placing the WCF at these locations.
  2. Burying the equipment cabinet in a different area of the park that will not impact the larger coniferous trees.
  3. Reducing the size of the equipment cabinet to the minimum size necessary to address gaps in coverage and additional engineering data to support any cabinets other than the “primary cabinet”.
  4. Using improved stealth design on the tower and native landscaping for restoration and screening.

The original motion passed by a vote of 3-1. Commissioner Caditz dissented.

Action Item #2: The applicant, Mulvanny G2 Architecture, is requesting Preliminary Design Approval for the renovation of 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. This proposal was presented to the Design Commission in a Study Session on May 14, 2003.

John Scandola, Associate Planner, summarized the staff report for the proposed grocery store. The City recommended Preliminary Design Approval for this proposal.

Keir Vondruska and Chris Quandt, Mulvanny G2 Architecture, 1110 112th Avenue NE, Bellevue, WA, represented the applicant. The applicant addressed the issues that the Design Commission discussed at the May 14, 2003 Study Session.

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

  • How the second story, outdoor eating patio will be covered and how much natural light will enter this area,
  • The possibility of incorporating a ground floor, outdoor seating area,
  • Details of the parapet and roof cornice design and materials,
  • The size and design detail of the steel canopies,
  • Safety issues at the southeast corner of the property, adjacent to the access ramp of the parking lot to the south,
  • The site plan that features two pedestrian connections to 76th Avenue SE,
  • The required number of parking stalls and how it would be impacted with two pedestrian connections to 76th Avenue SE and a pedestrian connection to the west,
  • The effectiveness of the glass entranceway element as an “icon” piece.

Chairman Glick opened the public testimony portion of the meeting and there were comments from the following citizens:

Margarite Sutherland, 5425 96th Avenue SE: Ms. Sutherland indicated that she was pleased with the proposal and that she would prefer the second story eating area to have a glass roof to maximize the amount of natural light into this area.

Bryan Cairns, 7628 79th Avenue SE: Mr. Cairns stated that it is important to discuss signage for this proposal and clarify the details as part of final approval.

Chairman Glick closed the public testimony portion of the meeting.

The Commission discussed and debated the following issues:

  • The possibility of having two pedestrian connections to 76th Avenue SE and maintaining the diagonal parking stalls along the north wall of the building, adjacent to the loading dock,
  • The feasibility of installing an additional cross walk across 76th Avenue SE connecting the future location of the Gateway Commons mixed-use project,
  • Details and cutsheets for the proposed light fixtures and signage,
  • Shopping cart storage on the parking lot,
  • Outdoor benches,
  • The need for a study massing model of the building,
  • Clarify details of the size and type of trees and landscaping.

Motion:

Commissioner Wittman moved, seconded by Commissioner Caditz, subject to 12 conditions, to recommend Preliminary Design Approval of the proposed Metropolitan Market (DSR03-017), as presented in the site plans and elevations dated June 13, 2003, and supplementary materials. This decision incorporates the findings of the Staff Report and is in accordance with MICC Section 19.11 Town Center Development and Design Standards, and Section 19.15.040(H) of the Mercer Island City Code.

Chairman Glick moved to amend the original motion, by adding condition #13 that requires that the applicant provides additional detail of the proposed street trees along 76th Avenue SE. This information shall include the species of trees, their size at maturity, and show the relationship of the proposed trees to the existing street trees maintained by the City. Commissioner Caditz seconded this motion.

The amendment to the original motion passed by a vote of 4-0.

This approval of the main motion is subject to the following conditions, as part of the original and amended motions:

  1. The proposal shall adhere to the conditions listed on the Mitigated Determination of Non-Significance (MDNS) issued April 22, 2003.
  2. A narrative description and graphics drawn to scale for a detailed signage plan shall be submitted.
  3. Details of the steel and fabric canopies shall be provided.
  4. Additional information regarding the roof cornices, parapets, and stucco expansion joints shall be provided.
  5. Consider adding skylights or a glass roof to the second floor, outdoor eating patio to allow for more natural light into this area.
  6. Provide cutsheets of proposed light fixtures and additional detail of the lighting plan.
  7. Provide additional detail of proposed landscape amenities.
  8. Address shopping cart storage in relation to the parking lot.
  9. Submitting a “massing” study model of the renovated structure.
  10. Examine the possibility of having two pedestrian connections that extend to 76th Avenue SE and a pedestrian connection that extends west towards the Mercer Island Care and Rehabilitation Facility. Minimum parking standards must be maintained when implementing these connections.
  11. Examine adding a speed bump at the southeast corner of the property, adjacent to the access ramp of the parking lot to the south.
  12. Incorporate the elevator as a pedestrian connection element to the adjacent property to the south as part of this proposal if possible.
  13. Provide additional detail of proposed landscaping and street trees along 76th Avenue SE. This information shall include the species of the trees and their size at maturity. The proposed street trees shall be shown in relation to the existing street trees maintained by the City.

The original motion passed by a vote of 4-0.

Other Business

Director’s Comments: None.

Council Liaison Report: None.

Next Regular Meeting: The next Design Commission meeting is scheduled for July 23, 2003 at 7:30 PM.

Commissioner Absences: All Commissioners indicated that they could attend the next meeting.

Adjournment: 11:15 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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