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9611 SE 36th Street
Mercer Island, WA 98040
Phone: 206.275.7605
Fax: 206.275.7726
Email: midsg@mercergov.or. . .
Hours:

Open to the public:
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
on Mon, Tue, Thu, & Fri

10:30 AM - 5:00 PM on Wed


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2016 Update to Residential Development Standards - Completed 9/19/2017


What's Happening Now

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Residential Development Standards Public Meeting
On November 1, 2017 the adopted changes of the residential development standards, that were approved by the City Council on September 19, 2017, took effect.  [Note: The Planning Commission completed its review and transmitted its findings to City Council on June 5, 2017] The new regulations will go into effect November 1, 2017 -- before that time, development projects submitted to the City's planning staff will be vested under the old regulations.
  
 

Information Sessions

The City is planning a series of Information Sessions geared towards architects, builders, arborists and other building professionals.  These sessions will provide an overview of the new regulations, new process and impacts to projects, with plenty of time to answer questions.  The information sessions will have an informal, discussion-based format focused around the topics of interest to those in attendance. 

Residential Code Overview: Thursday, November 30, 2017, 4:00 pm in Council Chambers at Mercer Island City Hall

Focus on Trees: Thursday, December 7, 4:00 pm in Council Chambers at Mercer Island City Hall

Residential Code Overview: Tuesday, December 12, 2017, 4:00 pm in Council Chambers at Mercer Island City Hall
 

What Has Changed in the Code

NEW! - Click here to view the final, full-text adopted changes (9/19/17)

Click here to view a comparison table of the old rules (as of 8/7/2017) and the Proposed Changes (as of Council Review through 8/7/2017).

Click here to read the draft language of the proposed code changes for Residential Development (as of Council Review through 8/7/2017).


Frequently Asked Questions

UPDATED 8/16/17 - Click here to read or download Frequently Asked Questions, including a summary of proposed changes.

 

Watch explainer videos

City staff deliver explanations of key changes; all available on the City's YouTube Channel

Why is the City Updating the Standards? (3:21)

Tree Protection and Retention (6:22)

Site Design (5:41)

Construction Impact and Noise (2:52)

Building Size Requirements (6:39)


Comment Archive

 


Planning Commission Meeting Schedule

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The Planning Commission is in the process of reviewing the Residential Development Standards, using a policy based review approach described here.  Using this approach, the City has developed the following anticipated schedule for review of the Residential Development Standards by individual topics.
 
  • October 26, 2016 (Special Meeting) – Community Kickoff Meeting at MICEC (see below)
  • November 2, 2016 – Initial review of the standards related to Building Design
  • November 16, 2016 – Initial review of the standards related to single family Site Design and Subdivision
  • November 30, 2016 (Special Meeting) – Planning Commission is scheduled to address other items (appeals).  No review of Residential Development Standards is anticipated on this night
  • December 7, 2016 – Initial review of the standards related to Trees
  • December 12, 2016 (Special Meeting) – Initial review of the standards related to the Process associated with development review
  • January 4, 2017- Second review of Building Design
  • January 11, 2017 - Community Meeting (see below)
  • January 18, 2017- Trees and Site Design second review
  • February 1, 2017- Subdivision and Process second review
  • February 15, 2017- Planning Commission is scheduled to address other items (appeals). No review of Residential Development Standards is anticipated on this night.
  • February 25, 2017 - Community Meeting (see below) at West Mercer Elementary
  • March 1, 2017- Planning Commission is schedule to address other items (appeals). No review of Residential Development Standards is anticipated on this night.
  • March 15, 2017- Review of complied regulations (start of Final Review)
  • March 29, 2017 (Special Meeting)- Review of Compiled Regulations
  • April 5, 2017- (Rescheduled from March 15, 2917) Public Hearing (see below) at MICEC
  • April 19, 2017- Review and Deliberation of Regulations
  • May 3, 2017- Review and Deliberation of Regulations
  • May 8, 2017- Joint City Council/ Planning Commission Study Session
  • May 17, 2017- Planning Commission Recommendation to City Council
  • June 5, 2017- City Council Review of Recommendation
  • June 12, 2017- City Council Public Hearing
  • June 19, 2017- City Council Review of Recommendation
  • July 5, 2017- City Council Review of Recommendation (6-9 pm)
  • July 17, 2017- City Council Deliberation
  • August 7, 2017- City Council Deliberation
  • September 19, 2017- City Council Adoption
Check the Planning Commission Review tab to link to relevant agendas and minutes


 

Community Meetings

April 5, 2017 6:00 pm Public Hearing- Mercer Island Community & Event Center (MICEC)
The City of Mercer Island is considering changes to the rules for building and remodeling homes throughout the island.  The Planning Commission is proposing several changes, including:
  • New limits on house size and bulk
  • Wider side setbacks between homes
  • More tree protection
  • Reduced construction hours
The Planning Commission invites your input on the proposed changes at the public hearing.  Please join us!
Click on the links below to download the meeting agenda and materials presented at the meeting:
Agenda
Powerpoint Presentation
 

February 25, 2017 9:30 am - 12:00 pm
The Planning Commission hosted a Community Meeting on February 25, 2017 from 9:30 am - 12:00 pm at West Mercer Elementary.  The City is updating the rules for building and remodeling homes throughout Mercer Island, potentially including things like building height, size and bulk, yard size, paving and tree protection. The Planning Commission has been meeting since November to review concepts and will make a recommendation to the City Council this spring.

At the meeting the Planning Commission hosted an Open House for community members to review concepts. There was also a presentation by staff giving an overview of the concepts and a question and answer session with the Planning Commission.
 
Click on the links below to download the meeting agenda and materials presented at the meeting:
Agenda
Powerpoint Presentation
Workshop Boards


January 11, 2017 6:00 - 8:45 pm
The Planning Commission hosted a Community Meeting on January 11, 2017 from 6:00-8:45 pm at the Mercer Island Community & Event Center. The City is updating the rules for building and remodeling homes throughout Mercer Island, potentially including things like building height, size and bulk, yard size, paving and tree protections. The Planning Commission is meeting to review concepts and make a recommendation on residential issues to the City Council in Spring 2017.

The Planning Commission presented preliminary concepts for discussion and input. Participants engaged in small group discussions about the concepts, providing feedback and additional ideas to the Commission.

Click on links below to download the meeting agenda and materials presented at the meeting:
Agenda
Powerpoint Presentation
Code Summary
Workshop Boards
Discussion Questions with Graphics


October 26, 2016 6:30-8:30 pm
The Planning Commission hosted a Community Kick Off Meeting on October 26, 2016 from 6:30-8:30pm at the Mercer Island Community and Event Center.  This was an opportunity to learn more about the residential development standards, the planned update process and how to get involved. 

Download meeting flyer (8.5 x 14") or event agenda

City staff and the Planning Commission heard from the community about their concerns around the rapidly changing character of Mercer Island’s neighborhoods, based on the following key questions:

  • What do you love about your neighborhood?
  • What are some changes you’ve seen in your neighborhood?
  • How do you see your neighborhood in the future?
 

Background Context

Since early 2016, the City of Mercer Island has heard from residents with a variety of concerns regarding residential development and the rapidly changing character of Mercer Island’s neighborhoods. The City Council has tasked staff and the Planning Commission with reviewing the code, gathering public input and recommending code updates to City Council.
 
At this time, we ask for feedback from residents on the Scope of Work for the code update. So far, the City Council, Planning Commission and staff have developed the following list of items for additional study, and the City is actively seeking suggestions for additional areas of focus.

Please use the comment form link above to make your suggestions.
 
  • Building height
  • Gross floor area
  • Lot coverage (impervious surface)
  • Minimum setbacks
  • Tree retention
  • Building pads
  • Minimum lot width and depth
  • The definition of a single-family residence as related to very large homes (e.g., is a 15,000 sqft house with 12 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms, and 3 kitchens a single-family home or something else?)
  • Lot consolidation / Maximum lot area (impact of creating larger lots resulting in larger homes that are different from the existing neighborhood pattern)
  • Construction related impacts (hours of operation, parking, length of construction activity, etc.)
  • Deviations (process and criteria)
  • Large residential accessory structures and uses (e.g., 30-foot-high gazebos, 12-car garages, etc.)
  • Enforcement Tools including penalties
  • Building Permit Process:  Public Notice, Public Input, and Right to Appeal
  • Fence Height Deviations
  • Time Limit on Validity of Building Permits
  • Short Plats - Ensuring that short plat process is not circumvented by, for example, applying for a building permit for one part of a lot with the intention of short-platting the property after that permit is granted.
  • Other suggestions?


 

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