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Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Call To Order

Vice Chairman Sandler called the regularly scheduled Design Commission meeting to order at 7:42 PM in the Council Chambers, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.

Roll Call

Bryan Caditz, Marcia Dawson, Callie Ridolfi, Vice Chairman Norm Sandler, and George Wittman were present. Chairman Glick arrived at 7:48 PM. Carl Bryant was absent.

Staff Present

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


Commissioner Wittman requested a change to the minutes for the meeting of October 22, 2003. Commissioner Wittman indicated that on page 2 of the minutes under the heading “Architecture”, the first bullet point should correctly state that the applicant should examine the use of tile or ground faced masonry instead of the CMU block with a brick face, not concrete face. Commissioner Dawson moved, Commissioner Wittman seconded, to approve the minutes of October 22, 2003 with the change mentioned above. The minutes were approved by a vote of 5-0.

Regular Business

Action Item #1: The applicant, Emmanuel Episcopal Church, is requesting Preliminary Design Approval for the construction of a new 36 foot tall, 9,696 square foot narthex addition to the existing Emmanuel Episcopal Church located at 4400 86th Avenue NE. This addition will create a traditional cruciform design for the church and will connect the church to the existing Christian Education Building. This proposal includes replacing the church’s existing wood shingle roof with asphalt shingles and creating a new walkway between the main church building and Parish Hall. This proposal has been presented to the Design Commission for a Study Session at the October 8, 2003 Design Commission meeting.

Chairman Glick arrived at 7:48 PM.

John Scandola, Associate Planner, summarized the staff report. Mr. Scandola discussed the important issues related to the project and how the applicant addressed the comments of the Design Commission from the October 8, 2003 Design Commission meeting.

Robert Thorpe of R.W. Thorpe and Associates, 705 2nd Avenue, Seattle; Randy Gardener of Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 4400 86th Avenue SE, Mercer Island, WA; and Mike Barthol of Dykeman Architects, 1716 W. Marine View Drive, Everett, WA represented the applicant.

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

  • If there are any pedestrian connections between the playground and the pea patch to the south,
  • Why the first floor façade of the narthex was changed from poured concrete to stucco covering,
  • How involved church members were in determining plant material for the site,
  • How the proposed “stop bars” were to be implemented at the entrances of the parking lots, and
  • Why three douglas fir trees are proposed for the northwest corner of the site.

City staff and the applicant responded to these questions. Commissioner Wittman left at 8:35 PM.

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

Randy Gardner, 4400 86th Avenue SE: Mr. Gardner indicated the church appreciated the Commission’s comments, but the applicant is limited on what they can do with this proposal due to budget concerns.

Chairman Glick closed the public testimony portion of the meeting.

The Commission discussed and debated the following issues:

  • The reason for placing tall trees such as douglas firs on the northwest corner of the property,
  • The potential difficulty in maintaining the proposed cedar trees along the east property line due to their height, width, and density,
  • The importance of the proposed cherry trees matching the species of existing cherry trees on site. These trees should also be tolerant of disease,
  • The need for bike racks in the parking lots and pedestrian connections to the pea patch, and
  • The need for two additional cherry trees midway along the eastern edge of the west parking lot. These trees should match the existing sets of cherry trees to the north and south.


Vice Chairman Sandler moved, seconded by Commissioner Caditz, to recommend Preliminary Design Approval for the proposed narthex addition and upgrades for the Emmanuel Episcopal Church (DSR03-025) as presented in the site plans and elevations dated October 30, 2003 and October 31, 2003, supplementary materials, and testimony from the November 12, 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 on August 6, 2003.
  2. The applicant shall adhere to the conditions of the Conditional Use Permit and Height Variance dated August 20, 2003 and the Impervious Surface Deviation dated October 21, 2003.
  3. Submission of a landscape security agreement in the amount approved by the Development Services Group for two years from the date of certificate of occupancy inspection.
  4. The applicant shall add two cherry trees midway along the eastern edge of the west parking lot to match and complement the sets of cherry trees located on this edge of the parking lot to the north and south.
  5. Consider replacing the proposed cedar trees along the east property line with a different variety of tree. This species of tree is very dense and tall, will require extensive pruning, and could impact the overhead power lines. The applicant may want to consider a variety of tree that would require less maintenance.
  6. Consider replacing the proposed douglas fir trees located on the northwest corner of the property with a shorter variety of tree that will not impede the view of the Memorial Garden and Sanctuary Building.

The motion passed by a vote of 5-0.

Other Business

Richard Hart, Development Services Director, indicated that John Scandola, Associate Planner, was leaving the City and that this would be his last Design Commission meeting.

Council Liaison Report:
Vice Mayor Cairns stated that the proposal to construct a parking garage for the Park and Ride is moving forward. The first story of the two-story garage will be partially buried to limit the perceived height of the structure. He also indicated that the Luther Burbank Park Levy was approved during last Tuesday’s election.

Next Regular Meeting:
The next Design Commission meeting is scheduled for December 10, 2003 at 7:30 PM.

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

9:10 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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