Community Facilities Rezone

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The Stroum Jewish Community Center (SJCC), the French American School of Puget Sound (FASPS) and Herzl-Ner Tamid (HNT) have applied for a Comprehensive Plan Amendment and rezone that would enable a master planning and redevelopment process for their facilities.

The properties owned by the applicants currently consist of four zones, with some of the properties spanning multiple zones. While the properties can be redeveloped under the current zoning, the complexity of the requirements across the multiple zones makes it more difficult to understand what is allowed and to plan for potential impacts of redevelopment. A new zone can better address the potential impacts and provide more clarity to the community around what to expect from redevelopment. The rezoning process will also allow for more community involvement in planning for the future of SJCC/FASPS/HNT sites.


The Stroum Jewish Community Center (SJCC), the French American School of Puget Sound (FASPS) and Herzl-Ner Tamid (HNT) have applied for a Comprehensive Plan Amendment and rezone that would enable a master planning and redevelopment process for their facilities.

The properties owned by the applicants currently consist of four zones, with some of the properties spanning multiple zones. While the properties can be redeveloped under the current zoning, the complexity of the requirements across the multiple zones makes it more difficult to understand what is allowed and to plan for potential impacts of redevelopment. A new zone can better address the potential impacts and provide more clarity to the community around what to expect from redevelopment. The rezoning process will also allow for more community involvement in planning for the future of SJCC/FASPS/HNT sites.


  • COVID-19: Work Temporarily Suspended

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    03 April, 2020

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City has temporarily suspended work on this item. For more information and updates, please visit the COVID-19 website.

  • Community Facility Zoning Process Halted

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    24 February, 2020

    (24 Feb 2020) At its February 18 Regular Meeting, the City Council unanimously voted to halt work on the ongoing Community Facility Zoning process that began in late 2018 and to repeal that portion of the 2018 Comprehensive Plan amendments related to the Community Facility zone. This vote followed the Planning Commission's January 2020 recommendation to halt work on the original Community Facility rezone and to instead focus on a narrower set of code amendments.

    The Council also discussed a recently submitted application (view here) from the Stroum Jewish Community Center (SJCC) and the French American School of Puget Sound (FASPS) for a code amendment that would change the development standards for private schools, places of worship, and community clubs that are located in the residential zoning designations across Mercer Island.

    At its upcoming March 10, 2020, meeting, the Council will determine what action, if any, it will take to amend the code in response to the recent application or the Planning Commission's recommendation.

  • Planning Commission Recommendation, New Code Amendment Application, and Next Steps...

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    13 February, 2020

    (13 Feb 2020) On January 29, the Planning Commission finished the work the City Council requested in August of 2019 by preparing a “Problem Statement” and a recommended approach for the City Council’s review. The Planning Commission developed a three-part recommendation to the City Council:

    • Part A – Discontinue Community Facility zone process: Discontinue the work on the Community Facility zone. As a reminder, this planning process was “paused” in June of 2019.
    • Part B – Review/update CUP process and pursue code amendments: Direct the Planning Commission to prepare a code amendment related to the following, as soon as possible:
      • Revise the CUP approval criteria for clarity and to address community concerns.
      • Review the “cap” on Gross Floor Area (GFA) for institutional uses.
      • Review the height limit for institutional uses.
    • Part C – Resume Community Facility zone process at a future date: Consider re-initiating the code amendment associated with the Community Facility zone at a future date, to be determined by the City Council.


    On February 11, 2020, the City received an application for a new code amendment related to the Community Facility subject (view here). This proposed code amendment is different than the approach recommended by the Planning Commission; it would amend the development standards for “regulated improvements.” Regulated improvements include private schools, places of worship, and community clubs. In summary, the proposed amendment would change the gross floor area limits, height, and lot coverage, for regulated improvements that are located in the residential zoning designations.

    At the February 18, 2020, Council Meeting, the City Council will decide whether to repeal the 2018 Comprehensive Plan amendments related to the Community Facility zone. Staff is scheduled (tentatively) on March 10, 2020 to seek direction regarding the Planning Commission’s recommendation and the new code amendment application.


  • Planning Commission Meeting - Beginning to re-evaluate problem statement and approach

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    17 October, 2019

    On October 16, 2019, the Planning Commission renewed their work around the Community Facilities regulations. Following the joint study session in August, the City Council asked the Planning Commission to: A) review the problem statement and proposed solution, B) explore alternative options to address the problem statement and solution (e.g. modified Conditional Use Permit), and C) report back to City Council for further direction.

    The October 16, 2019 Planning Commission meeting was the first in several meetings, intended to fully explore the problem statement, the solution, and regulatory options for addressing the solution. The Planning Commission identified additional information necessary to move forward. The Planning Commission's work will continue on November 20, and will likely continue through the remainder of 2019. The Planning Commission has also indicated that additional public outreach and input is necessary before completing their recommendation to the City Council.

    Work on the Community Facilities regulations and re-zone will remain on "pause" until further direction is received by the City Council.

  • Joint City Council / Planning Commission Meeting - Evaluation of Problem and Approach

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    03 September, 2019

    The City Council and Planning Commission held a joint study session on August 20th, related to the Community Facility rezone and code amendment. Following the joint study session, the City Council asked the Planning Commission to: A) review the “problem” and proposed solutions to determine if an alternative approach to solving the "problem" is warranted, B) explore alternative decision-making processes (e.g. Conditional Use Permit, Development Agreement, etc), and C) report back to City Council for further direction.

    Work on the third draft of the Community Facility rezone and code amendment will remain on "pause" while the Planning Commission completes this work and pending further direction from the City Council.

    The Planning Commission is scheduled to begin their work on October 16th, and are anticipated to continue their review in October and November, with a report back to the City Council in December.

  • CFZ Process Paused

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    26 July, 2019

    Today Interim City Manager, Jessi Bon, and Community Planning and Development Director, Evan Maxim, made the decision to "push pause" on the planning work related to the Community Facility Zone and code amendments. The City originally intended to release a third draft of the code amendment for Planning Commission review on August 7. Given ongoing concerns expressed by the community, the City is suspending this work and will not be releasing another draft in August. Instead, the City will take time to re-evaluate the process and approach before investing additional time and resources into this planning effort. The joint City Council-Planning Commission meeting scheduled for August 20 will include a discussion of the Community Facility Zone planning work and next steps.

  • Upcoming Meetings and Release of Draft 3

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    23 July, 2019

    UPDATE (7/26/2019): The release of a third draft and the August 7 and August 21 Planning Commission discussions have been postponed. More information


    Staff is currently preparing the third draft of the Community Facilities Zone code amendment. The draft will be released in advance of the next Planning Commission Public Meeting on August 7, 2019. The Planning Commission will conduct its first review of the draft at this meeting, and a second review of the draft is scheduled for August 21, 2019. In addition, The City Council and the Planning Commission will hold a joint meeting on August 20, in part to discuss the Community Facilities Zone code amendment.

    August 7, 6pm @ Mercer Island City Hall: Planning Commission Public Meeting - 1st review of Draft 3

    August 20, 5pm @ Mercer Island City Hall: City Council/Planning Commission Joint Meeting - Discussion of Community Facilities Zone Code Amendment

    August 21, 6pm @ Mercer Island City Hall: Planning Commission Public Meeting - 2nd review of Draft 3


    This post will be updated when the third draft of the code amendment has been posted for public review and comment.

  • An Update on Process

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    21 June, 2019

    Following a review of the second draft of the Community Facility Zone regulations on June 4 and June 18, the Planning Commission has directed the City staff to prepare a third draft of the regulations. As of June 20, 2019, the staff is working on the third draft; release of the third draft will occur in late July, with Planning Commission review continuing from late July through August. A community meeting is tentatively planned for after the release of the third draft, as well. This page will be updated with more details and meeting dates as they are available.


  • Updated Draft Code Amendment Now Available

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    30 May, 2019

    The Planning Commission last discussed the draft Community Facilities Zone code on January 30, 2019. Since that time a subcommittee of the Planning Commission has worked with staff to refine and revise the initial version of the draft code. The result is the current draft. The Planning Commission will review and discuss this updated draft on June 5, 2019, beginning at 6:00 pm at Mercer Island City Hall.

    Staff Memo to Planning Commission 6-5-19

    Draft Code Amendment 6-5-19

  • Community Facility Zone Hearing Postponed

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    13 February, 2019

    The City of Mercer Island is postponing the public hearing for the code amendment for the proposed Community Facility zone, initially scheduled for April 3, 2019. The City is working to identify a new date and will provide at least 30 days’ notice once the hearing has been rescheduled.

    The public hearing is being rescheduled to allow the community, community organizations, and the Planning Commission more time to review and discuss the proposed amendments. In their initial review, the Planning Commission had a number of items that they wanted to revise, and at least one more Planning Commission subcommittee meeting is desired.

    The City’s goal is to prepare a well-crafted set of draft regulations that fulfill the intent of the City Council. To do so, we need more time for both the staff and the community to work through the discussion.