City to allow some additional comment on COVAL project on Feb. 24

The Mercer Island City Council has set aside extra time before its regular meeting on Tuesday evening, Feb. 24, to allow public comments on the proposed Coval Project, which includes the development and construction of 18 single family homes on a minimun 9,600 square foot lots on a five acre piece of land in the 3000 block of 84th Avenue S.E.

The comment period is being added at the request of Islanders who felt that the single open hearing on the project was insufficient to voice their concerns about the project and its impacts on the surrounding neighborhood.

The City Code only allows one open record public hearing on a project such as the Coval development. According to a letter by City Senior Planner, Shana Crick, that hearing took place on Jan. 15.

The city and the applicant have decided to set another opportunity for citizens to add to the record.

The letter describes the process as follows;

"The Mercer Island City Code allows only one open record public hearing on a project such as this. Theopen record hearing was already held before the Planning Commission, with the record closed to any additional information on January 22. The public hearing in front of the City Council is a closed record hearing. Because it is a closed record hearing, the City Council can only consider the complete record developed before the Planning Commission and the recommendation of the Planning Commission and its conditions of approval.

The record that will be reviewed and considered by the City Council includes written comments submitted during specified comment periods and the testimony of those who commented at the open record hearing. The City is not required to allow additional oral comments at the closed record hearing.

In this case, the applicant has agreed to use the structure for an appeal hearing described in the MICC to guide the closed record hearing. According to MICC 19.15.020(J)(5)(c), ''the total time allowed for oral argumenton the appeal shall be equal for the appellants and the applicant (if not the appellants). If there are multiple parties on either side, they may allocate their time between themselves or designate a singlespokesperson to represent the side ... " Therefore, during the closed record hearing, City staff, the applicant, and the parties of record will each have a total of 20 minutes to address the proposal to theCity Council.

All comments must address the record established by the Planning Commission, and all speakers must be parties of record. One representative may speak for the entire 20 minutes, or the 20 minutes can be divided between multiple speakers.

The names of all intended speakers must (have been provided to Shana Crick by 5 p.m. on February 18) to distribute to the City Council.

No new evidence may be presented, nor may expert witnesses testify or act as spokespersons. The spokespersons for the relative parties may only discuss the record established by the Planning Commission. The City will give a staff report first. The applicant goes next and may reserve time for rebuttal after the public speaks.

The Council meeting will begin at 8 p.m. Tuesday, in the Council Chambers in City Hall.



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