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.


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    Will the remand of the CFZ by the Growth Management Hearing Board be discussed at the Joint meeting of the CC and PC on the 20th.?

    Matt Goldbach Asked 12 months ago

    The Agenda Bill (AB 5594) for August 20 notes that the City did not prevail on one of the Growth Management Hearings Board (GMHB) appeal items related to the Community Facility zone and that further action is required.  Staff does not know if the City Council and Planning Commission will wish to discuss the GMHB decision. The City does not anticipate discussing its legal strategy to complying with the GMHB decision and order at the study session. 


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    Hello, Is the joint meeting between the CC and PC open to the public? Thank you and I hope everyone at the city has a wonderful weekend.

    Ryan Asked 12 months ago

    Yes, the joint meeting of the City Council and Planning Commission will be in the format of a Council study session.  The meeting is open to the public and will be recorded/live-streamed via Youtube, like all Council meetings.  Public comments can be made after the start of the regular Council meeting during the "Appearances" item on the agenda.  The joint CC-PC study session will be held from 5:00-7:00 pm on August 20, at Mercer Island City Hall.  The Community Facilities Zone is second on the agenda, after a discussion of regional growth planning and VISION 2050.

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    Suppose a two small sites and one large site each are rezoned CFZ. These sites are near one another as in the properties along EMW. Will these sites be required to coordinate their development? For example: Suppose the SJCC decides to develop in 2023, then the FAS decides to develop in 2025. Does the draft plan require the SJCC to consider future development of the FAS or does the city require the FAS to consider the SJCC development? Or are these two properties subject to the rules separately? Put another way, suppose the 3 properties on EMW do not decide to engage in a landswap and, instead, use the new rules to meet their needs independently. What are the NEW legal "overlaps" of their separate development that did not exist prior to Amendment 8? I ask because the PC stated that more comprehensive development was one of the reasons they passed Amendment 8. However, I don't think the draft requires a lot of coordination and planning between property owners who seek to develop independently. Can you help clarify?

    Ryan Asked about 1 year ago

    The current, second draft, of the regulations does not require coordination – though there are practical reasons why coordination would make sense.  There are “implicit” incentives to coordination in the second draft – for example, a master site plan that encompasses multiple sites will have more flexibility in complying with the zoning requirements, than an individual site.  At the Planning Commission meeting on June 18, 2019, the Planning Commission directed staff to create explicit measures that would incentivize coordination (phrased as “site aggregation” at the meeting). As we work on the third draft, staff will seek to increase the incentives to coordinate and articulate site aggregation as a desired outcome. ~ Evan Maxim


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    The draft uses the term "public benefit" in many places. How is that defined? Will master planning process distinguish between public benefit to the community (Mercer Island) versus more generally (Puget Sound-region)?

    Erik Asked about 1 year ago

    The term “public benefit” is not defined directly.  There are several concepts that the Planning Commission is considering when it uses the term public benefit: A) providing predictability (e.g. in the rules, design after a master plan is approved, a schedule for work); B) establishing regulations that are intended to minimize impacts to property owners near a community facility; C) supporting community organizations on Mercer Island; and D) encouraging superior site design by providing site specific flexibility and requiring significant community engagement in the master planning process.  ~ Evan Maxim

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    Hello, Can you please confirm the dates of each of the subcommittes meetings? The mercergov.org website says March 21st and April 17th. Were those the only two subcommittee dates? Thank you for your time and consideration on this.

    Ryan Asked about 1 year ago

    The Planning Commission subcommittee met on March 7th, March 21st, April 17th, and April 23rd.   ~ Evan Maxim


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    Would the city be willing to make some maps to improve public engagement? For each set include: setback, height, lot coverage, and GFA. Set #1: Prior to rezone. Set #2: Original draft from the city. Set #3: Latest draft minimum. Set #4: Latest draft maximum. Having these maps in our hands for the June 5th meeting will be incredibly helpful. Thank you!

    Ryan Asked about 1 year ago

    The City will make maps and other materials available to aid in public review; however based on the Planning Commission’s review on June 4th and 18th, we expect further significant revisions in the forthcoming third draft.  The Planning Commission has also directed staff to omit specific numbers from the third draft, to allow for a fresh review of all the dimensional standards; consequently the maps and other materials will lag somewhat after the release of the third draft.  ~ Evan Maxim

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    How is this NOT a description of a spot zone? "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." It' clear that a rezone could be very beneficial to the applicants, but also clear to a casual observer that it is "Specific for the applicant" and no mention of the community impact. It is also clear that the applicant's ability to expand under the current zoning is UNTRUE or at minimum misleading.

    Matt Goldbach Asked over 1 year ago

    This is more of a statement than a question.  If you'd like to make a comment, please do so in the Post a Comment section

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    Why are you not including all planning commision date in your "Key Dates" . Is it an oversight or are you discouraging public participation? Your answer to Ryan question is clearly incorrect and misleading!!

    Matt Goldbach Asked over 1 year ago

    We have not posted subcommittee meetings on the Let's Talk site because while they are open to the public, they are not an opportunity for public input or participation.  We will be updating the Key Dates as soon as the next full planning commission meeting on this topic is scheduled.

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    Hello, Could the city please update the "Key Dates" on Let's Talk. I don't recall the new, updated schedule. Is it true that the next time the public/commission/city will meet on this is May when it is finally adopted? Thank you!

    Ryan Asked over 1 year ago

    Key dates are still in flux at this time. There will be at least one more public meeting, likely in April, and a public hearing, likely in May. Dates will be updated once they are set.

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    What are the lumen and kelvin ratings of the lights at the Island Crest Park? Does the code include any limit on the total amount of lights that the applicants can use or are the just limits on each individual light? Thank you!

    Ryan Asked over 1 year ago

    At Island Crest Park, each fixture is 121,000 lumens, and the kelvin rating of each fixture is 5700. Current code limits the wattage of each individual light, not the total of all lights. The brightness of lights is measured by either wattage or lumens. Current code does not regulate the kelvin rating.