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9611 SE 36th Street
Mercer Island, WA 98040
Phone: 206.275.7600
Fax: 206.276.7663
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MICA - Frequently Asked Questions

These questions will be updated as new information or queries emerge...
Last Update: 18 July, 2017


Will a fire lane be constructed through Mercerdale Park?
The fire lane shown extending to SE 34th in the most recent plan set submitted by MICA shows a possible option for fire access. As proposed, a locked gate with a Knox Box (i.e. openable only by emergency responders) would be installed at SE 34th Street. It is the City’s understanding that this option is being shown for the purpose of evaluating the most impactful possible scenario—it does not necessarily represent future construction plans.

Note that the environmental review process (“SEPA review”) currently underway will NOT authorize construction. Additional land use approvals (requiring public notice) and building permits must be obtained before any construction can be permitted

Will stormwater detention ponds be constructed in Mercerdale Park?
No. The most recent information received from the applicant shows a system that collects water from roof and foundation drains, and from along the western edge of the proposed building. These are shown to drain water into an underground stormwater detention vault  within the proposed lease boundary, and then to the existing piped stormwater system.

Note that the environmental review process (“SEPA review”) currently underway will NOT authorize construction. Additional land use approval (requiring public notice) and building permits must be attained before any construction can be permitted.

Will SE 32nd Street be vacated?
The most recent information received from the applicant shows paving in an undeveloped portion of the SE 32nd Street Right-of-Way, to the west of 77th Avenue SE.  The right of way is owned by the City for the purpose of a possible future street. At this time, the City has no plans to develop this land as a street and if MICA’s plans for development were to be approved, the City could choose to allow private development on this land.  The City would then need to determine the appropriate mechanism for enabling this use of the right of way, which could be transferring ownership though a "street vacation" (requiring City Council action), allowing use of the right of way through a right of way use permit, or some other arrangement.

Note that the environmental review process (“SEPA review”) currently underway will NOT authorize construction. Additional land use approval (requiring public notice) and building permits must be attained before any construction can be permitted.

Is it true that MICA will not have to provide any parking?
MICA has submitted a request to change City rules about where parking must be provided.  Their “Zoning Text Amendment” proposes changes to the City Code to allow parking for Public Facilities in Mercerdale Park to be met off-site (on properties other than the Park), based on a parking demand study prepared by a professional traffic engineer, and requiring written agreements with other property owners who would allow MICA-related parking on their properties.

This plan for parking has not been approved yet and requires review and approval by the City before it could go into effect. The proposal will be reviewed by the Planning Commission to evaluate consistency with Comprehensive Plan goals and policies, who will then make a recommendation to the City Council for a final decision. Planning Commission Agendas can be viewed here

Do the City’s zoning regulations currently allow the proposed use in Mercerdale Park?
No.  MICA’s proposed Zoning Text Amendment proposes adding “Public Facilities in Mercerdale Park” as an allowed use in the Public Institution zone (the zone in which Mercerdale Park is located).  This request will follow the same review process as the parking request discussed above (Planning Commission review and recommendation to City Council, which will make the final decision). 

Is it true that the City plans to restripe 77th Ave SE in order to provide parking for MICA?
In June 2016, the City Council approved possible elimination of the center left turn lane and bike lanes on 77th Avenue SE as part of the new Town Center plan.  The dedicated bike lanes would be replaced with sharrows, allowing for on-street parking.  The Council’s decision last year was informed by the months of Town Center meetings, hearings and written comments before a Stakeholder Group representing businesses and residents, the Planning and Design Commissions (meeting together) and City Council.  If implemented, this parking would be available for public use, potentially including commuter parking for Mercer Island residents only.  Other uses of the parking would be determined by restrictions (or lack of restrictions).  If there were no restrictions at night or on weekends, this public parking could be open for anyone to use.


 

 

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