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Design Commission - Minutes     
Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Call To Order:

Vice-Chair Sandler called the regularly scheduled Design Commission meeting to order at 7:34 PM in the Council Chambers, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.  He also introduced the new Design Commissioner, Lucia Pirzio-Biroli, who is an architect and is holding the position of Commissioner Carl Bryant Jr.  This would have been Commissioner Bryant’s last meeting on the Commission. 


Roll Call:

Bryan Caditz, Marcia Dawson, Lucia Pirzio-Biroli, Callie Ridolfi, Vice-Chair Sandler, and George Wittman were present.  Commissioner Bryant was absent.  Chairman Glick arrived at 7:35pm.


Staff Present:

Richard Hart, Development Services Director, and Shelley Krueger, Associate Planner, represented the City.



Commissioner Dawson moved, and Commissioner Wittman seconded, to approve the minutes of May 12, 2004 as submitted.  The minutes were approved by a vote of 7-0.


Regular Business:


(1)  Action Item #1: The applicant, Craft Architects for Wells Fargo bank, is requesting Final Design Approval for the construction of a 1,136 square foot addition to the existing Wells Fargo bank building located at 3001 78th Ave SE.  This addition is located on the north end of the east façade and will require the removal of five parking spaces and relocation of a mature Japanese Maple.  The proposed addition has a hip roof and colors and materials to match the existing structure.  This proposal includes replacing the five parking spaces with seven spaces in other areas of the site.  This proposal came before the Design Commission in a Study Session on May 12, 2004.  No action was taken at that time.


Shelley Krueger, Associate Planner, summarized the staff report.  Ms. Krueger discussed the changes made by the applicant at the suggestion of the Design Commission during the Study Session on May 12, 2004.  These changes included a hip roof for the addition, increased parking, removal of trash enclosure to make room for parking, and vehicular circulation changes.     


Kathryn Craft of Craft Architects, 2111 Third Avenue, Seattle WA 98121, represented the applicant.  Ms. Craft stated that she made changes to the roof design as requested, removed the trellis from the proposal due to the addition of the hip roof, and also propose removal of an unused trash enclosure to make room for parking.  Wells Fargo has all trash hauled away nightly and does not subscribe to solid waste pickup.  Ms. Craft also presented a traffic report to the Commission indicating the acceptability of the one-way circulation on the north side of the site. 


The Design Commission had the following comments:

§         The applicant should consider recessing windows in the addition to give depth to the façade; south side of the addition should use a stucco pilaster between the windows

§         consider consistency regarding the use of brick and stucco in the addition and the existing structure

§         assign employee parking to certain areas of the site (north or west)

§         final approval should reference the planting plan approved at the May 12, 2004 Study Session.

§         final traffic and parking circulation should be subject to staff approval

§         consistency in the façade is important

§         the hip roof greatly improves the consistency of the addition with existing


Chairman Glick opened the public testimony portion of the meeting.  There was one public comment from Tom Dawes of Wells Fargo Bank, who stated that the trash enclosure is unused and all trash is collected nightly from one small container near the building. 


The Commission clarified with the applicant:

§         removal of the trash enclosure should be subject to compliance with the Code and staff approval

§         new gutters should be tightlined to the existing drainage system

§         there are no proposed changes to signs or lighting, although Commissioners felt that uplighting of planting and building façade would be beneficial

§         planting should be informal and less single species hedge formation



Vice Chair Sandler moved, seconded by Commissioner Wittman, to recommend Final Design Approval for the proposed addition to the Wells Fargo bank building and parking and planting changes (DSR04-009) as presented in the site plans and elevations dated April 12, 2004 and date stamped May 28, 2004, supplementary materials, and testimony from the May 12, 2004 Design Commission Study Session and June 9, 2004 Design Commission meeting.  This decision is in accordance with the Mercer Island City Code Section 19.11.130(A)(1)(c)  This approval is subject to the following conditions: 

1.       The proposed one-way circulation on the north side of the site shall be implemented upon approval of the traffic study by the City Engineer.

2.       The trash enclosure may be eliminated subject to MICC and staff approval.

3.       The applicant shall provide soffits on the new addition consistent with existing conditions and provide soffit lighting.

4.       The applicant shall provide a planting plan that avoids single species hedges at the building foundation and shall install informal plant groupings in these areas.

5.       The wall sections between the brick elements shall be stucco on the north, east, and south sides of the building.

6.       The Japanese Maple on the east side of the building shall be relocated to the NE corner of the site in the existing planting island. 

The motion passed by a vote of 7-0. 





Director’s Comments:

Richard Hart, Development Services Director, indicated the City Council approved the CO Zone text amendment to allow care services in the zone.  The City Council discussed the proposed ordinance for design standards outside the Town Center, but had concerns with horizontal and vertical modulation requirements and excessive landscaping requirements.  Mr. Hart invited comment from the Design Commission in modifying the proposed ordinance.  This item will go before City Council again July 19, 2004. 


Mr. Hart also welcomed Commissioner Pirzio-Biroli, who was appointed by the Mayor.  The Mayor also re-appointed Commissioner Wittman to the Design Commission.  Commissioner Bryant was absent, but Mr. Hart mentioned that he served eight years on the Design Commission, as well as serving on the Planning Commission and Parks Board.  Mr. Bryant has a total of 25 years of service on various boards.


The Town Center projects are at the following stages:

  • Avellino:  scheduled to be complete August 2004
  • Newell Court:  have poured concrete foundation; working at grade within a month
  • Starbucks Drive Through:  complete August 2004
  • Island Market Square:  received demolition permit, demolish foundation June 2004, construction begins July 1, 18 months to completion
  • Coldwell Banker Bain has moved to their new temporary location
  • Metropolitan Market negotiations with Safeway have broken down; project probably won’t go through


Council Liaison Report:

Councilmember Jim Pearman was absent.


Next Regular Meeting:

The next Design Commission meeting is scheduled for July 14, 2004 at 7:30 PM.  So far there have not been any Design Review applications submitted.


Commissioner Absences:

Four Commissioners definitely indicated that they could attend this meeting.


Adjournment:     8:35 pm


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