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Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Call To Order

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

Roll Call

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

Staff Present

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

Minutes

Commissioner Vice Chairman Sandler moved, Commissioner Dawson seconded, to approve the minutes of July 23, 2003. The minutes were approved by a vote of 6-0.

Regular Business

Action Item #1: The applicant, M5 Investments, is requesting design approval of minor modifications to the exterior and roof elements for the Newell Court mixed-use project to be located at 3011 78th Avenue SE. This project was originally approved by the Design Commission on January 9, 2002 and this current review has been continued from the July 23, 2003 Design Commission meeting. At the July 23rd meeting, the Commission requested that the applicant shall return to the Design Commission with a proposal that reflects the original proposal as much as possible. The proposed modifications are as follows: reducing the number of pitch roof elements from 10 to 5, changing the roof material from metal to composition shingle, pushing the corner elements out 12” from the face of the structure while recessing the wall segments next to the corner elements, eliminating a deck on residential units that have two decks, and eliminating the landscaping on the upper floors and the radius portion of the entranceway canopy.

Richard Hart, Director of Development Services, summarized the staff report. City staff recommended approval of the proposed modifications with two conditions.

Roger Newell, Roger Newell Architects, 1102 19th Ave. E, Seattle, WA, and George Ma, 8425 SE 34th Place, represented the applicant. Mr. Newell indicated that they are attempting to reflect the original proposal as much as possible while reducing construction costs. He also indicated that they would be willing to consider having 6 or 7 pitched roof elements instead of the proposed 5 roof elements.

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

  • The need for some sort of corbel or brace to help transition the pushed out tower elements to the recessed lower floors,
  • The importance of having a metal roof instead of a shingle composition roof for this and other projects in the Town Center, and
  • The visual difference between 5 pitched roof elements and the originally approved 10 pitched roof elements

Chairman Glick 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 level of detail on the first floor planters and the type of plant material designated for these planter boxes,
  • The impact of having less than 10 pitched roof elements on the integrity of the project,
  • The difference between a metal roof and a composition shingle roof,
  • The need for some sort of transitional element between the lower and upper floors of the corner tower elements, and
  • The status of the project considering the budget issues and the design concerns of the Design Commission.

City staff indicated that the Design Commission must make their decision based on project compliance with the MICC Town Center Development and Design Standards, not on budget concerns.

Motion: Vice Chairman Sandler moved, seconded by Commissioner Parsons, to approve the proposed design modifications for the Newell Court mixed-use project (DSR03-014) as presented on the plans and elevations date stamped August 19, 2003 and as modified by the Design Commission. This decision incorporates the findings of the Staff Report and testimony from the July 23, 2003 and August 27, 2003 Design Commission meetings. This decision is in accordance with MICC Section 19.11 – Town Center Development and Design Standards. This approval is subject to the following conditions:

  1. The originally approved 10 pitched roof elements shall remain in the originally approved locations.
  2. The originally approved green metal roof shall be used instead of the proposed composition shingles.
  3. A corbel, bracket, or arch element shall be added to the bottom corners of the corner tower elements of the building. The final design of these bracing elements shall be determined by the architect.
  4. The planting areas along the first floor shall include multiple types of plant material.

The motion passed by a vote of 5-1. Commissioner Caditz dissented.

Action Item #2: The applicant, Weinstein A/U, is requesting Preliminary Design Approval for the construction of a new 18,057 square foot, single-story, modular building for the French American School located at 3801 East Mercer Way, adjacent to the Stroum Jewish Community Center. This one story structure will be composed of three 60’ x 70’ modules and a 60’ x 63’ module connected by a 20’ wide hallway. The applicant eventually plans on implementing a Phase 2 to this proposal which involves adding a second story to the inner two sections of the building.

John Scandola, Associate Planner, summarized the staff report for the proposed one story, modular structure. City staff recommended Preliminary Design Approval for this proposal with 6 conditions.

Edward Weinstein, Weinstein A/U, 121 Stewart Street, Seattle, WA, represented the applicant. Mr. Weinstein indicated that this was not a typical school building and through this unique design, three dimensional relief, and a sophisticated use of color, the proposed structure will not look like a conventional portable building.

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

  • How such a structure will be constructed,
  • Implementing architectural elements on the flat roof,
  • Using more color to add interest to the building,
  • How the proposed Phase 2 will relate to this proposal,
  • Why the vertical portions of the trellis are painted the same color as the hardipanel,
  • How this site is limited in relation to the setbacks, impervious surface, and how the building is positioned in relation to the JCC building,
  • How the landscaping will be irrigated,
  • The location of the entrance to the school site,
  • The lack of verticality with the structure,
  • The need for taller trees between the modular sections of the building,
  • The lack of details regarding the play area, and
  • The need of more vegetation at the entrance to the site.

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

Dennis Dougs, 1207 Magilvra Street, Seattle, WA: Mr. Dougs, who is the on the Board of Directors of the French American School, discussed the nature of the 15 year lease with the JCC and how constructing a portable building was the only way to proceed due to the nature of the lease.

Chairman Glick closed the public testimony portion of the meeting.

The Commission discussed and debated the following issues:

  • The lack of large canopy trees in the triangular landscaped area located northeast of the proposed building,
  • The limitations of the site in relation to how the building is positioned north of the JCC building,
  • The need for more prominent entrance canopies,
  • The possibility of wrapping the sun trellises and screens around the corners of the building,
  • How the Phase 2 second story could look compared to the first story,
  • The possibility of pulling certain sections of the trellis further away from the building,
  • The need to add more detail to the external play areas,
  • The possibility of moving one or two parking spaces located at the entrance of the site further west in order to add landscaping to the entrance of the site, and
  • The possibility of adding some roof elements such as skylights or some other architectural features.

Motion:Commissioner Dawson moved, seconded by Commissioner Caditz, to recommend Preliminary Design Approval for the construction of a new single story building for the French American School (DSR03-022), as presented in the site plans and elevations dated July 21, 2003, supplementary materials, and testimony from the August 27, 2003 Design Commission meeting. This decision is in accordance with the Mercer Island City Code Section 19.15.040(H). This approval is subject to the following conditions:

  1. The applicant shall adhere to the conditions listed on the Mitigated Determination of Non-Significance (MDNS) issued July 2, 2003.
  2. The applicant shall submit a landscape security agreement in the amount approved by the Development Services Group for two years from the date of certificate of occupancy inspection.
  3. Extra color, such as the additional use of the dark red trim, shall be added to the exterior.
  4. Additional information regarding the dumpster and its screening and the entrance canopies shall be submitted.
  5. Taller trees (approximately 30-40 feet at maturity) shall be planted between each module to add verticality to the building.
  6. The applicant shall increase the amount, variety, and detail of plant material for the triangular section of the grass located northeast of the proposed building. This area could possibly accommodate some trees with larger canopies.
  7. The applicant shall increase the amount of landscaping at the entrance of the site.
  8. The applicant shall examine moving one or two parking spaces located at the entrance of the site, to the west in order to increase the amount of landscaping at the entrance.
  9. Additional detail of the proposed play area shall be provided. This information should include details of how this area relates to the building and the parking lot.
  10. The proposed entrance canopies shall be more prominent with stronger architectural elements in order to better accentuate the entranceways.
  11. The proposed sun trellises and screens that project out from the building shall wrap around the corners of the building in order to continue this three-dimensional effect to all sides of the building.
  12. The applicant shall consider pulling certain sections of the trellis further away from the building to add depth and dimension to the façade.
  13. The applicant shall explore varying the style of the prefabricated building in order to add more interest to the proposal.
  14. The applicant shall consider adding some additional elements to the flat roof such as skylights or some other features that would add architectural interest.
  15. Irrigation is required for all landscaping.

The motion passed by a vote of 6-0.

Other Business

Director’sComments:
None.

Adjourned: 10:45 PM

Council Liaison Report:
Councilman Cairns stated that the next City Council meeting will focus on the funds needed to run Luther Burbank Park. He also indicated that at the September 15, 2003 meeting, the Community Center and Ivy Brigade will be discussed.

Next Regular Meeting:
The next Design Commission meeting is scheduled for September 10, 2003 at 7:30 PM. The agenda items will be the continued review of the Cingular Wireless WCF in Clise Park and the Final Design Review for a new Covenant Shores residential building.

Commissioner Absences:
Chairman Glick stated that he is tentative for the September 10, 2003 Design Commission meeting and Vice Chairman Sandler must recuse himself from the Covenant Shores Final Design Review. Commissioner Dawson indicated that she will not be able to attend the first meeting in October.

[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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