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City Council - Minutes     
Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Call To Order:


Deputy Mayor El Jahncke called the meeting to order at 7:01 pm in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.



Roll Call:


Councilmembers Mike Cero, Dan Grausz, Steve Litzow, Deputy Mayor El Jahncke were present. Councilmembers Bruce Bassett and Mike Grady and Mayor Jim Pearman were absent.





Maretta Holden, 8221 SE 24th Street, provided comment about the draft Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities Plan Update.  She wishes that discussions of pedestrian and bicycles were not coupled in this plan as they are very different entities.  She believes that time needs to be spent revising the rules of engagement when pedestrians and bicycles have to share the same space.


Lucia Pirzio-Biroli, 4212 West Mercer Way, does not believe the comments received at the public meeting and public hearings are adequately represented in the draft Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities Plan Update.  She spoke about the need to include the use of sharrows on shared streets and bike paths and revise the plan back to its original concerning bicycles.  She also is concerned about the financial responsibility put on residents to improve and maintain the public right-of-way on shared streets.


Bert Loosmore, 4639 Forest Avenue SE, believes that the modifications proposed by the Planning Commission are not in line with the primary goal ďto expand and enhance the opportunities for bicycle and pedestrian circulation on Mercer Island.Ē He expressed concern with the recommendations to: eliminate references to bicycle lanes, modify the language related to the Mercers (including language to discourage large pelotons), eliminate the use of sharrows, eliminate Figure 3 as it is confusing.  He feels these recommendations will reduce and restrict the use of bicycles on Mercer Island.  He suggested the Council send it back to the Planning Commission with more explicit instruction about achieving the stated goal.


Jonathan Harrington, 9514 SE 38th Street, read the vision state from the draft Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities Plan Update and stated that the plan also specifically refers to incorporating changes that promote sustainable development on Mercer Island.  He stated that a way to build a more sustainable community is favoring the use of carbon free transportation alternative such as bicycles.  He expressed concern that the recommendations from the Planning Commission remove significant provisions that would enhance bicycle use and create dedicated bike lanes. He asked the Council to restore the reference to bicycle lanes and sharrows and to have discussions of the Plan with a full Council.


Jim Stanton, 7812 SE 78th Street, stated that the Planning Commissionís recommendations left cyclists in a more restricted area then they have been in the past.  He believes that there is a significant safety issue as there are a good number of bicycle-car accidents on Mercer Island over the past few years.  He stated that as bikes are not fit for large portions of Island Crest Way, that will move more cyclists down to the Mercer Ways, where a majority of the accidents occured.  He asked the Council to consider safety rather than restrictions.





(1)        It was moved by Councilmember Litzow; seconded by Councilmember Cero to:

Adopt the Regular Meeting Minutes of February 1, 2010 as written.

Motion PASSED 4-0.

Consent Calendar:


(2)        Payables:         $1,185,742.60 (02/09/2010)

Recommendation: Certify that the materials or services hereinbefore specified have been received and that all warrant numbers listed are approved for payment.


            Payroll:             $629,741.19 (02/12/2010)

Recommendation: Certify that the materials or services specified have been received and that all fund warrants are approved for payment.


(3)        AB 4507            2009 72nd Ave SE (SE 24th to SE 32nd St) Asphalt Overlay and Pedestrian Improvements Project Close-Out

Recommendation: Accept the completed 72nd Ave SE (SE 24th St to SE 32nd St) Overlay and Pedestrian Improvements project and authorize staff to close out the contract.


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

Approve the Consent Calendar and the recommendations contained therein.

Motion PASSED 4-0.



Regular Business:


(4)        AB 4510            Schedule of Council Actions to Reduce Underage Drinking


This item was tabled to a future Council Meeting as the reporting staff was ill.



(5)        AB 4502            Planning Commission 2010 Work Program


Interim Development Services Director Manny Ocampo and Principal Planner George Steirer presented the Planning Commissionís Work Program for 2010 showing.  The proposed programs for 2010 have been categorized as follows:

         Mandatory Programs

I.    Process Citizen Initiated Comprehensive Plan and Code Text Amendments, Pursuant to RCW 36.70A

II.    Regular Land Use Work (e.g. long plats, shoreline deviations, and conditional use permits and appeals)

IV.  Shoreline Master Program Update

         Discretionary Programs

III.   Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities Plan

V.   Workforce Housing Tax Exemption


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

Accept the Planning Commission proposed 2010 Planning Commission Work Plan.

Motion PASSED 4-0.


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

Direct staff to return to the Council with language regarding possible code cleanup work that the Planning Commission could undertake if time and staff availability so allows during 2010.

Motion PASSED 4-0.



(6)        AB 4511            Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities Plan Update Briefing


Interim Development Services Director Manny Ocampo presented the Planning Commissionís recommended draft Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities Plan Update.  Pat Dugan from Dugan Consulting Services and Connie Reckord from MacLeod Reckord provided an overview of key issues and specific recommended amendments from the Planning Commission.


Planning Commissioner Bryan Cairns also spoke to the Council regarding a few of the recommended changes proposed by the Planning Commission.


Following discussion staff was directed return at the March 15, 2010  with the draft Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities Plan Update further Council deliberation.





Councilmember Absences:

Councilmember Bassett, Councilmember Grady and Mayor Pearmanís absences were excused.

Councilmember Grausz will be absent July 6 and July 19.


Planning Schedule:

City Manager Conrad asked the Council to hold March 25 or April 5 as possible dates for a Joint Meeting with the Mercer Island School District Board.


Board Appointments:

There were no appointments.


Councilmember Reports:

Councilmember Litzow spoke about the recent Eastside Transportation Partnership meeting.

Councilmember Cero spoke about the upcoming Suburban Cities Association Meeting.

Deputy Mayor Jahncke spoke about the upcoming Planning Commission Meeting and their ongoing work on the Shoreline Master Program Update.



Adjournment:          9:07 pm

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