Newspaper Archive of
Mercer Island Reporter
Mercer Island, Washington
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April 20, 1994     Mercer Island Reporter
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April 20, 1994
 

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Wednesday, April 20,1994 Mercer Island Reporter City aims for user-friendly remodeling permits Department restructuring is minimizing maze of red tape By Chris Norred Mercer Island Reporter emodeling of single-family homes on Mercer Island was the most common building activi- ty during the first quarter of 1994, according to City Hall reports. Remodeling has been the con— sistent leader in local building ac- tivity since at least 1991 and City Hall officials are adjusting to ac- commodate the trend. But the statistics do not indi- cate that remodeling has in- creased significantly on the Is- land in the past year compared to preVious years. And local bankers confirm that, in fact, they are seeing few- er applications for remodeling loans than in recent years. In 1991, City Hall issued 160 re- model permits for single-family homes on the Island. In 1992 the number grew to 185. And in 1993 the number dropped to 153. In contrast, City Hall issued only 21 new home construction permits in 1993. AT 20% OFF, ADT SECURITY Is A STEAL. A REMODELING PROJECTS account for a significant amount of the workload for the City Hall development services group, ac- cording to City Manager Paul Lanspery. “That is an area where we need to do well. People often come in and don’t have a site plan or a building plan. A lot of times, people who do these projects are not working with architects and designers,” he said. “Those are a lot of our customers coming in the door. When they come in here, our system has to be pretty user- friendly. “In terms of customer contact and hours spent, that single-fami- ly remodel product is pretty im- portant.” The building reports indicate that new home construction on the Island will continue at a slow pace. Only six new home permits were issued in the first quarter this year. Commercial remodeling and alteration projects are booming Call 1-800-ADI-INFO or 389-6917 to receive 20% off any ADI home security system. Home Security Systems 9, 7607 SE 27th, Mercer Island 236-1110 IN THE SAME BUILDING AS ISLAND VIDEO AND ROBERT OS IF YOU HAVEN’T DISCOVERED g 13:36:? NOW IS THE TIME LAMPS RUGS - POTTERY AFFORDABLE GIFTS CARDS - CANDLES 0 ANIERICANA MANY ITEMS NOW ON SALE Mom-Sat. 10-6 See me for a State Farm , Family Insurance Chechp It’s a no-cost review of your insurance cover- ages and needs. Ross Kellogg 2448 76th Ave. S.E. 232-1024 Like a good neighbor. State Farm is there. State Farm Insurance Companies Home Offices Bloominglon, Illinois $IAH "IM INIUIANCI DON'T PUT IT OFF! Now is the time to reroof With IIAIIIIIEIIARF ' Call Now For YOur FREE Inspection By Dale Yarbek, Roofing Consultant 232-0225 HARDISHAKE® is a popular tire safe alternative to woodshakes. HARDISHAKE® won't burn, rot or Splinter, and it's beautiful. It‘s available in six decorator colors. Create a look of shake, shingle or slate. 50 year Limited .Transferable Product Warranty. Join our thousands of satisfied customers. JORVECI 36CS on Mercer Island with 10 permits issued in the first quarter. A total of only five commercial remodel permits were issued in 1993. Three major commercial re- modeling projects are currently underway on 77th Avenue South- east in downtown Mercer Island. Albertsons, Windermere Real Estate and Hollywood Video are all in the midst of heavy construc— tion on the block. Some of the ac- tivity may be spurred by City Hall plans to invest in street improve- ments and an overall downtown spruce-up effort. And part of the activity may be the result of glowing reviews for City Hall from commercial build- ers who recently finished projects on Mercer Island. The development services group at City Hall is in the pro- cess of rewriting codes and proce— dures as part of the regulatory re- form mandated by the state Growth Management Act. Lanspery said a restructuring of the department, which started in 1990, paid off during recent commercial projects, and will make regulatory reform an easier process for Mercer Island. The Legislature mandated that cities strive to eliminate duplica- tion and clarify code require- ments. Mercer Island has work to do in fixing the code books, Lanspery said. But builders and remodelers have been finding the City Hall maze less confusing since the re- structuring that started in 1990. THE EVIDENCE of that is rave reviews from the commer- cial builders. The owners of QFC have issued public compliments to the City Hall process they en— countered while building their new store. And John O‘Shea, downtown property owner, has been compli- mentary about the City Hall coop- eration his partnership found when seeking permit approval for construction of the new Holly- wood Video store. ' “We’ve done a lot on our atti— tude,” Lanspery said. “You can look at building regulation as an adversarial process or as an en- abling process. “We have done a lot on how our employees were approaching the problems. Now, we are work- ing on the technical system.” The restructuring work began in 1990 after a department audit revealed several shortcomings. For example, the audit revealed a separation between men’s work Check these prices again! Spectacular Vancouver gives you mountains of fun and a choice of exceptional hotels . . . all at up to 50% offl Save on transportation too... with a special halfr _" ¢ price fare aboard the Quick Shuttle Express Bus Service from downtown Seattle. Plus tl‘fi exchange rate is so favorableLyou’ll ggt an extra foLty cents on your d_ollzg_. That means more cash for more fun! Like shopping on fashionable Robson Street. Dining at tempting international restaurants. Mountain city with world—class attrac' tions. So c’mon...hop in your car... or and women’s work in the depart- ment. “That is certainly not this organization now,” Lanspery said. Under regulatory reform, to improve the building and develop— ment code, City Hall will strive to include more diagrams and draw— ings, which are easier to under- stand than written descriptions, according to Diane White, devel- opment services director. More do-it—yourself permit sys- tems will be instituted, also. No Gleeb The cartoon “Gleeb” by Paul Lowney does not appear in to- day’s Reporter. Watch for it in next week‘s issue. Correction Last week’s paper stated that two Mercer Island High School students accused of dealing drugs had been expelled. According to the mother of one, her son has not been expelled, but is on long—term suspension. MIHS seeks host family Mercer Island High School is looking for a host family to provide a home for a Japa— nese exchange student. during the next academic year. The girl is from the Baika School. For information, call Mar— cia Soule at MIHS, 236—3350, or at home, 364-6183. Pacific Sciclncc Center's Summer Day Camps Creative, \ Challenging, Fun! Rocketry Camp W’ild Wetlands Camp Stones 6: Bones Camp K/Critter Camp \Xk For ages 8 and up. Call 443-2925 PACIFI SCIENCE CEN'IIERfiit‘ ‘tiI Apr. 30 When The Rain Comes Arts Club Theatre 6 Apr. 21‘24 Vancouver Canadians Baseball Nat Bailey Stadium Apr. 29 Stars on Ice, Pacifiic Coliseum May 1 Vancouver International Marathon May 34 The Rankin Family, Q. E. Theatre May 68 International Wildlife Art Show Vancouver Trade 59’ Convention Ctr. May 68 Celine Dion, Q. E. Theatre May 15 Marilyn Home in Recital Orpheum Theatre sightseeing. Biking in Stanley Park. And hop on a bus. . . ’cuz Vancouver offers it’s all just 21/; hours away in a friendly so much for so little! '- Fol TRAVIL Inrollu'nou AID Accoluorunou RIIIIVAYIols: DISCOVER 1-800-663-6000 nuns" mumnin THROUGHOUT IRIYIIH COLUMBIA VanCouver. Spectacular by Nature. 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