Newspaper Archive of
Mercer Island Reporter
Mercer Island, Washington
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April 22, 1998     Mercer Island Reporter
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April 22, 1998
 

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A4 Mercer Island Reporter Wednesday, April 22, I998 Commission: the aesthetic of Mercer Island. . . ~‘Continued from page A1 ‘Thrning something down not something we like to do. We agonize over it.’ Jim Stopper, Design Commission chair “I think when you have a group ofpto “fessimals who work in these fields all the time you’re getting much less subjec- tive feedback," said Mary Ann Kirkby. a landscape architect who fills that same role on the commission. “I that is some science and some objec- tivity in the field of aesthetics... I don't think it‘s as subjective as it might . NUT EVERYONE AGREES with that sentiment. Suttell and Schweet. a law firm based in the Town Center, ap— plied to the Design Commission last fall for a waiver of the size limit for their wall mounted sign. The firm argued that the sign on their building was artistic and added to the architectural design of the building. a condition that allows for a waiver un‘ der the design requirements. The Design Commission, however, denied the ap- plication, stating that the firm had not adequately proved the artistic merits of the sign, and the City Council upheld that decision on appeal early this year. In January. William Suttell, a part- ner in the firm, filed a lawsuit against the city. stating that the council had made an arbitrary and capricious deci— sion with no evidence and that they had violated his right to due process. City Attorney David Kahn denied those allegations but the two sides re- cently settled the suit out of court. In the agreement. the firm will move the sign to another side of the building, but will not reduce its size. ‘ Though the city chose to compromise Lawsuit. . . Continued from page A1 ‘ comment on specifics of the case but , he did continue to deny the allega- " tions after the settlement. , 1 “She left here voluntarily to take a position in Seattle. I know that I per— installs/encouragedhertostayand I was i kind of surprised to see (the lawsuit),” Lisa-id DeVeny. 2' “She did make a couple of com— :plaints and I can tell you they were f‘investigated.” The settlement that Stevens ac- cepted was well below the amount *she sought in the lawsuit. Court papers indicate that Stevens twas looking to collect $300,000 in general damages and $30,000 in back Lpay. as well as unspecified amounts for front pay, the loss of pension and benefits and tax liability. Call 453-4240 for circulation ,. It it t. BEST IANDSCAPE 8 A R D E N I N iii-lieu Sod 0 Reseeding Weeding 0 Pruning U Trimming Bark Retdttitthall 0 Garden Block Wall b Refined lies 0 General Cleanup FREE ESTIMATES . PAINTING-YARDW A sampling of design guidelines for the Town Center: Long buildings (more than 50 feet) should provide relief to perceived building mass — Buildings on corner lots should be oriented to the corner Parking lots shall not be located on a corner facing an intersection Building additions should complement the original structure in de sign — Architectural details should provide distinctive and unique visual ac- cents with the goal of being visually interesting — Building entrances should concentrate along the sidewalk and should be physically and visually inviting — Materials and colors should be used with consistency on all sides of the building — Bright colors should only be used for trim and accents on the suit, Stapper maintains that the commission made the right decision. He says that it was entirely based on the guidelines and that the commis- sioners made an honest effort to help the firm get the sign approved. “We left that meeting with a whole host of suggestions of ways to mitigate the signage without having to totally redo it." said Stepper. “fuming something down is not something we like to do. We agonize over it.” Stapper explains that the commis- sion often denies an application initial— ly. offering suggestions for changes in the hopes that the applicants will come back with a better product. He points to Noah’s Bagels and Walgreen’s as well-designed projects that went through several revisions due to suggestions by the commis— sion. Without that review, he says. the buildings would look considerably different and possibly diminish the appeal of the Town Center. DEVELOPERS WITH HUGE budgets and grandiose plans might not enjoy this wrangling back and forth with the Design Commission but at least they can afford it. For small business owners, how- ever, the process can be a major hin— drance to getting their operation of the ground. . Cel Davis, an Island business own~ er who recently started a gift shop in the Town Center, saw the design review process as an unnecessarily frustrat- ing exercise that taxed the resources of her small business and delayed the grand opening of her store. “The things that they were asking for were above and beyond the call of duty," said Davis, who balked when the commission requested computer- generated construction specifications for a storefront awning, which she and her partner ultimately decided to drop from their plans. “I’m not going to go spend ten thousand dollars for the one awning company in Seattle that does a computer generated design...The commission needs to be a little bit more under: standing about what a small business is going through. The process itself was too arduous for a small business and it put us in a place we shouldn’t have been as far as time.” 7811 SE 27th ‘23” out COMMUNITY WATERFRONT Dramatic views of Lake Washington & Cascades Four bedroom home on large lot with premiere community waterfront, dock and moorage. ‘ $580,000,] ‘ For more information call: ‘. (Sue 4‘7465 0‘22 S H E B W 0 O D (206) 236-0740 ‘ :_ “menu ,- ROOF CLEANING ' GUTTERS - RK YOU NO WANT TO DO? WE DO ‘FOR YOU! o Helpful Services will do all jobs you do not wish to do yourself. We Can Powerwash Anything! Roofs, Houses, Decks, Driveways — the best! Gutters Cleaned & Repaired - Windows, Chandeliers Sparkling Clean! Need Something Repaired or Assembled? We are the handiest Clean Your Debris & Remove It! No Sweat - Yardwork, Pruning WE DO IT ALL! 4We Can Do ItAll and We Guarantee Very Or You Don’t Pay — N0 NONSENSE HELPFUL SERVICES 232-01 49 QUALITY WORK ATAFFOHDABLE PRICES LICENSED BONDED 0 INSURED SERVING MERCER ISLAND &-BELLEVUE FOR 8 YEARS POWER WASHING ' SHIVdEH UPS - COPIES FAXES GIFT ITEMS SPRING CLEARANCE SALE! All clothes & 9 items 50% off! PONY EXPRESS ift (Located between Tully’s & Starbucks) SMOGNIM ‘The commission needs to be a little bit more understanding about what a small business is going through.’ — Cel Davis, gift shop owner Though most of the commissioners don’t own small businesses, many of them have had to go through similar re- view processes in their work as archi- tects and engineers for building projects. Don McDonald, an architect on the commission. says he understands the frustration of business owners who feel cramped by the regulations. But as a Mercer Island resident who takes pride in his community, he be- lieves the design guidelines are nec- essary. “I get frustrated by the regulations that we face daily in my business, but sometimes you have to back up and take a look at the big picture,” said McDonald. “I know it’s a pain for each individual person, but overall the result is beneficial. I guess it’s just part of life in the modern world}? 236-11 03 Tunin 0 Call For g Appointment 0 Prompt Service Piano Insurance, Value, Possible Needed Repairs. (Used Pianos Available) JACK FLAGLER’S PIANO SERVICE 35 Yams EXPERIENCE - 25 Yours EASTSIDE 425-455-931 5 4175239420 on Ellen 'Mttterhwo to an Mantle , V, MERCER ISLAND VETERINARY CLINIC HOURS: Monday Saturda 8 am - 6 pm Convenient early AM rap-offs Quality care for Dogs 0 Cats 0 Reptiles o Avians o Rabbits Rodents 0 Fish and other exotics Glen Howard, DVM 0 Evan Cracker, DVM Dial 2 3 2 -VETS 2448 76th SE, Mercer Island "7‘64 04H D one; REPORTER To recognize the invaluable influence of dedicated teachers on the lives of students. An outstanding Mercer Island School District teacher will receive a $1,000 award to be used for continuing professional growth. The award will recognize a teacher who not only inspires tn students a love of learning, but who also has a positive influence on fellow teachers, the Mercer Island School District and to the teaching profession in general. Any Mercer Island resident may nominate a teacher; complete the form and return to: MERCER‘ISLAND REPORTER, 7845 S.E. 30th, PO. Box 38, “25) 646-360 SHOREWOOD APARTMENTS, 3209 Shorewood Drive DEADLING IS MAY 8. - . The selection committee will chose the Mercer Island Educator of the Year, to be announced May 27.: , My Nominee: School: - onesronv seoo ' TWO STORY 31400 WOLUDE I MSUBE WASH. PEEP 5 MATERIAL sum OFFICE 1“ 84 "a L Reason for Nomination: Construction Diolmte Resolution, Inc. 15 years helping owners, contractors, designers at: vendors solve construction dilemmas resourcefully and sensiny Our services include: Consulting Plan & contract review Litigation Support fact-finding expert witness Dispute resolution mediation ‘ arbitration Mike Showalter, President 3047 78th Avenue SE, Suite 203, Mercer Island CREATIVE SPACE 206232- gii lot ltl'i‘ Riorhvw or Visit our Stow I 800'488' 3540 “6 Drive Ink wile, WA 98l38 Near Sdulhtenlfl