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Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Call To Order:

Vice-Chair Sandler called the regularly scheduled Design Commission meeting to order at 7:33 PM in the Council Chambers, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington. 


Roll Call:

Vice Chair Sandler, Bryan Caditz, Marcia Dawson, and Callie Ridolfi were present.  Chairman Glick, Commissioner Pirzio-Biroli and Commissioner Wittman were absent.


Staff Present:

Shelley Krueger, Associate Planner.



Commissioner Caditz moved, Commissioner Ridolfi seconded, to approve the minutes of September 8th, 2004.  The minutes were approved by a vote of 4-0.




1.       Action Item #1: The applicant, Chandler Signs for PacifiCare, requested Design Approval for addition of two wall signs to the existing Island Corporate Center building at 7525 SE 24th St in the Town Center.  One wall sign measured 13.17 square feet and was proposed for the east side of the building in an existing wall cabinet.  The other wall sign measured 54.81 square feet and was proposed for the northeast parapet of the six-story building. 


Shelley Krueger, Associate Planner, summarized the staff report.  Ms. Krueger described the two proposed signs.  The east wall sign met code and staff recommended approval.  The northeast wall sign did not meet size or placement requirements.  Staff noted that the existing building has considerable wall length at the street front and a larger sign may be appropriate.  Under MICC 19.11.120(B)(2)(f), the Design Commission has the discretion to waive any of the wall sign restrictions if the proposal is “creative, artistic and an integral part of the architecture.”  Staff felt that the sign did not meet these requirements.  To achieve proportionality, staff recommended that the northeast wall sign be reduced to 36 square feet but should be placed on the façade below the second story windowsill. 


The applicant gave additional materials to the Design Commission, including a set of photos of the existing building and a photo simulation showing the northeast wall sign at the staff proposed size of 36 square feet, but located on the level above the second story windowsill. 


Richard Ombrellaro of PacifiCare at 7525 SE 24th St in Mercer Island and Will Keener of Chandler Signs at 12106 Valiant Dr in San Antonio, TX 78216, gave the applicant report.  Mr. Ombrellaro described the building and listed the reasons for proposing the northeast wall sign at a larger size and above the second story windowsill:

·         PacifiCare has historically rented a large portion of the building.

·         The proposed placement of the sign is intended to give PacifiCare maximum exposure to those near I-90 seeking their location without being visible from the Town Center.

·         The majority of those who visit the PacifiCare offices are elderly; a more prominent sign will help them locate the offices.

·         The existing trees on the site would block a wall sign placed below the second story windowsill.


The Design Commission had the following comments:

·         The applicant could consider a freestanding joint use ground sign to be shared with other businesses in the building.

·         The parking garage levels clad in stucco are the first two stories when viewed from the lower grade on the northeast corner.  A sign would need to be placed on the stucco portion of the building to meet the placement requirement. 

·         The proposed northeast wall sign would detract from the quality of the building architecture.

·         The proposed northeast wall sign does not meet MICC 19.11.120(B)(2)(f), in that it is not a “creative, artistic and an integral part of the architecture,” and therefore the requirements should not be waived.

·         The existing “C’est Cheese” sign background color is not correct in the photos – it is light beige.  To achieve compatibility with the surroundings per MICC 19.11.120(A), the proposed east wall sign shall use a background color the same as the “C’est Cheese” sign.



Motion: Commissioner Caditz moved, seconded by Commissioner Ridolfi, to grant design approval for the proposed east wall sign to be placed in the existing cabinet subject to the conditions listed below.  The proposal for the northeast wall sign is denied due to noncompliance with MICC 19.11.120(B)(2)(b)(ii)(A) for size and 19.11.120(B)(2)(d) for placement, and because the applicant has not demonstrated the criteria listed in 19.11.120(B)(2)(f).

1.       The proposed east wall sign to be placed in the cabinet shall use the same background color as the existing “C’est Cheese” sign, which is light beige.  

The motion passed by a vote of 4-0. 





Council Liaison Report:

The Council Liaison was absent.


Director’s Comments:

The Director was absent.  Shelley Krueger, Associate Planner, explained Director Hart was away and would be present at the next Design Commission meeting.  


Next Regular Meeting:

The next Design Commission meeting is scheduled for October 13th at 7:30 PM.  There are no proposals at this time.    


Commissioner Absences:

All Commissioners indicated that they could attend the next meeting.


Adjournment: 8:29 PM.


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