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Monday, March 15, 2004

Call To Order

Deputy Mayor Brian Cairns called the meeting to order at 6:20 pm in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.

Roll Call

Deputy Mayor Brian Cairns, City Councilmembers Dan Grausz, Steve Litzow and Jim Pearman were present. Councilmembers Sven Goldmanis and El Jahncke, and Mayor Merkle were absent.

Study Session

AB 3851 Island Crest Way Conceptual Design Due to a lack of Council quorum (Deputy Mayor Cairns, Councilmembers Litzow and Pearman were present), the study session did not convene at 6:00 p.m. as scheduled. However, Street Engineer Clint Morris provided an informational briefing to the three (3) attending Council members regarding improvements to Island Crest Way and SE 68th Street.

At 6:20 p.m., Deputy Mayor Cairns officially called the meeting to order. Roll call occurred and Deputy Mayor Cairns, Councilmembers Litzow, Pearman and Grausz were present. Council considered staff’s recommended improvements to Island Crest Way and SE 68th Street including street and pedestrian trail repairs and asphalt overlays, American with Disabilities Act (ADA) ramps, and crosswalk improvements. Council indicated their preference that within the established budget, the project should maximize the pedestrian crossing and walkway improvements and drainage repairs in the vicinity of SE 53rd and Island Crest Way. Curbing and drainage improvements on the south side of SE 68th Street in front of the South end Shopping Center may be bid as a project alternative.

The Study Session was adjourned at 7:05 pm to Executive Session to discuss potential litigation under RCW 42.30.110 during the Council’s dinner break. The Executive Session ended at 7:35 pm and the Regular Meeting reconvened.


Phil Flash, 3305 69th Ave SE, testified regarding AB3849: Community Center Art Call for Artists and recommended that the Council consider using art currently owned by the Mercer Island Historical Society. Mr. Flash stated that the Society has excellent historical pictures available for use in the Community Center. Mr. Flash also encouraged historical Mercer Island motifs in any murals installed at the Community Center. Mr. Flash also testified regarding an auto and bicyclist accident that occurred on East Mercer Way and stated he is concerned about the narrow width of the road.

Rita Moore, 4509 Ferncroft Road, encouraged the Council to start ivy removal immediately and not to wait until City staff’s study is completed. Ms. Moore recommended that the Council approve the accelerated option recommend by the Parks Department in Agenda Bill AB 3852. Finally, Ms. Moore invited the Councilmember to pull ivy in Clise Park on Saturday, March 20, 2003.

The Deputy Mayor advised Mr. Flash that Council would be considering art in the Community Center under AB 3849 and advised Ms. Moore that Council will be taking up this issue under AB 3852.


It was moved by Councilmember Litzow; seconded by Councilmember Pearman to:

Approve the Regular Meeting Minutes of March 1, 2004 as written.

The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 4-0.

Consent Calendar
Payables: $ 752,436.18  
Payrolls: $ 445,706.15

AB 3850: Transportation Plan Update: Set Date for Public Hearing: Set a public hearing date for the 2005-2010 Six-Year Comprehensive Transportation Improvement Program for May 17, 2004.

AB 3848: Kiwanis Fireworks Sales: Approve permit to allow the sales of “Class C” fireworks by the Kiwanis Club in conjunction with Independence Day 2004.

AB 3849: Community Center Art Call for Artists: Accept the program, budget and Artist Selection Panel as described and direct staff and Arts Council to move forward in selecting an artist.

Councilmember Grausz pulled AB 3849 from the consent calendar and the Deputy Mayor added this item to the Council’s Regular Business as item (8).

It was moved by Councilmember Pearman; seconded by Councilmember Litzow to:

Approve items (3), (4), and (5) of the Consent Calendar and the recommendations contained therein.

The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 4-0.

Regular Business

AB 3847: Public Hearing: Code Amendments on Wireless Communication Facilities (1st Reading)
City Attorney Londi Lindell presented Ordinance No. 04C-02 amending the Mercer Island City Code regulations covering wireless communication facilities. Ms. Lindell summarized staff’s proposed amendments including reducing the number of support structures in Clise Park and allowing above ground equipment cabinets in Island Crest Park and Clise Park if the Parks Director determines there is benefit in vegetation/tree preservation and/or improvement to park purposes.

Following Ms. Lindell’s presentation, the Deputy Mayor opened the public hearing for public testimony.

Gloria Mattila, 5710 91st SE, testified that she lives near 58th Street and attended a prior public meeting on siting a WCF on Island Crest Way and the eventual siting of this WCF in Island Crest Park. Although Ms. Mattila approves of the location in the park, she remains concerned regarding the red light on the cell tower. She also stated that she objects to future WCF support structures that will have the red light.

Director Richard Hart testified that he has spoken with Ms. Mattila and contacted the FAA on her behalf. Director Hart stated that the FAA requires the red light and that the FAA met with Ms. Mattila on site to discuss her concerns and understood that she was no longer concerned regarding the red light.

Ms. Mattila again stated she is opposed to the red light.

Ira Appelman, 6213 83rd Pl. SE, testified regarding the December 2002 amendments and indicated that such amendments impacted two parks: Island Crest Park and Clise Park.

Island Crest Park: Mr. Appelman indicated that the December 2002 public process was a success and a compromise was reached resulting in the WCF being placed on an existing ballfield light pole and the undergrounding of the equipment cabinet. Mr. Appelman encouraged the Council to leave Island Crest Park alone and not to allow higher support structures and not to allow above ground equipment cabinets.

Clise Park: Mr. Appelman stated that Clise Park was a failure of public process and that Council should have considered sites outside of Clise Park because the park was donated to the City for park purposes only. However, Mr. Appelman did state that requiring the equipment cabinets to be located on 39th, underground, is an improvement. Mr. Appelman encouraged Council to look for locations for WCF poles other than the park.

Marguerite Sutherland, 5425 96th Avenue SE, noted that following the December amendments, she encouraged Council to consider amendments to its code allowing additional height of poles in Clise Park to avoid topping trees and also to allow above ground equipment cabinets to preserve trees. However, having heard the previous testimony, she supports considering locations other than Clise Park.

The Deputy Mayor closed the public hearing. Mayor Merkle arrived during the public hearing. The Mayor returned the issue to the Council for questions of staff and for discussion and debate.

It was moved by Councilmember Grausz; seconded by Councilmember Pearman to:

Direct staff to consider amendments to allow support structures to be located outside of Clise Park in Island Crest Way, 84th Avenue SE and allow above ground equipment cabinets within SE 39th street and forward such amendments and Ordinance No. 04C-02 to the City Council for second reading and adoption on March 29, 2004.

The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 5-0.

AB 3849: Community Center Art Call for Artists.
This item was removed by Councilmember Grausz from the Consent Calendar and added to regular business as item (8).

Jennifer Berner introduced Marguerite Minnick from the Arts Council.

Ms. Minnick, 4645 Forest Avenue SE, presented the agenda item. Ms. Minnick discussed various zones of art opportunity within the Community Center and identified the interior stair railing project as the primary public art opportunity. Ms Minnick discussed the budget of $60,000 that was the working number ($300 per sq ft) given by the lead architect to the Arts Council for the interior stair fabrication cost.

It was moved by Councilmember Litzow; seconded by Deputy Mayor Cairns to:
Accept the program, budget and Artist Selection Panel as described and direct staff and Arts Council to move forward in selecting an artist.

The Chair put the question on the Motion; Motion Passed 4-1 (Councilmember Grausz dissenting.)

AB 3852: Parks and Open Space Vegetation Management Proposal
Parks and Recreation Director Pete Mayer introduced this agenda item and Paul West, City Arborist.

Paul West discussed the various benefits of vegetation in parks and open spaces. Staff recommended quantifying these benefits by surveying Mercer Island citizens and reporting to the City Council. Staff would then prioritize projects to most closely achieve the objectives identified from the survey. Mr. West presented 3 options: (1) an accelerated process by increasing Mr. West’s hours to full time and retaining a consultant ($51,700 cost); (2) Performing the work over the next biennium using the Parks Arborist ˝ FTE costs ($30,000); or (3) Do nothing ($0.00).

It was moved by Councilmember Grausz; seconded by Councilmember Litzow to:

Direct staff to study the (7) tasks shown in staff’s proposal; select the accelerated option number 1 by increasing the City arborist to a full time position and retaining a consultant ($51,700) resulting in a proposed work plan to use in forming the 2005-2006 biennial budget; and fund the accelerated option by using the funds budgeted for open space acquisition in the 2003-2004 budget.

The Chair put the question on the Motion; Motion Passed 3-2 (Mayor Merkle and Deputy Mayor Cairns dissenting).

Other Business

Councilmember Absences:
Councilmember Goldmanis and Councilmember Jahncke were absent. Moved by Councilmember Litzow, seconded by Councilmember Pearman to excuse the absences. Motion passed 5-0.

Planning Schedule:
There were no changes.

Board Appointments:
Councilmember Pearman recused himself.

It was moved by Councilmember Litzow; seconded by Deputy Mayor Cairns to:

Appoint Katalin Pearman to Position No. 2, expiring May 2007, on the Arts Council.

The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 4-0.

Councilmember Reports:
Deputy Mayor Cairns reported that he had voted no at the ETP in connection with a proposal to seek grant funds for the R8A I-90 project because the grant linked R8A with high capacity transit.

Councilmember Litzow briefed the Council on the Arts Council and advised that Barry Massoudi had been elected as the new chair of the Arts Council and that he had requested a meeting to discuss the annual work plan.

Adjournment: 9:45 pm

[Important Note: The proceedings of the City Council meeting were recorded on tape and are filed in the City Clerk's Office. The complete agenda and official minutes of this meeting are also filed in the City Clerk's office.]


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