City briefs | City considers revising off-leash rules in Pioneer Park

AT&T reopens application for more wireless facilities; New King County Library director starts work.

City considers revising off-leash rules in Pioneer Park

A group of Islanders has asked the city to require leashes on a trail in the northwest quadrant of Pioneer Park, citing concerns about dogs going into neighbors’ yards, as the trail is closely aligned with their property line.

They brought their proposal to the Open Space Conservancy Trust. Former trustee and newly appointed City Councilmember Joel Wachs said that he’s walked that trail, and there are “periodic problems,” and voice control isn’t always effective.

The issue will be brought before the City Council in an upcoming meeting to solicit public opinion.

 

AT&T reopens application for more wireless facilities

AT&T withdrew an ordinance amendment to “bring reliable wireless technology to Mercer Island” by building additional facilities after its proposal raised questions at the Jan. 5 City Council meeting.

Since then, the firm has sent a letter to the city expressing continued interest in updating the city’s ordinance, as it has an “urgent need” to upgrade a facility at the corner of S.E. 28th Street and 61st Avenue S.E. Though it’s a residential area, there is already a tower in that area that was “grandfathered in” to the city’s current regulations.

Lawyers from Busch Law Firm, representing AT&T, said the existing facility can’t keep up with demand.

AT&T wants to build the facilities to solve problems with “dead spots” and overload caused by increased data usage.

AT&T also wanted to put  facilities at Islander Middle School and the South Mercer playfields, and amend the city code to allow small cells around the Island, but the Council remained concerned about putting the facilities in neighborhoods.

“Advancements in design and technology, including stealth/camouflage facilities and small cells, are new tools to improve service with minimal impact on community aesthetics,” an AT&T representative wrote in the letter.

The Council discussed the letter at its planning session on Jan. 24.

 

New King County Library director starts work

Gary Wasdin, the new King County Library System (KCLS) Director, started work on Jan. 26 after moving from Omaha. City officials and the Concerned Citizens group have meetings scheduled with Wasdin next week.

They will “begin discussions on the procedure that will be followed to ensure that Islanders have a greater say in the renovation project,” Deputy Mayor Dan Grausz said.

The Concerned Citizens group formed in opposition to the KCLS plans to remodel the Island library, which they felt didn’t reflect the character of the community.

Islanders voted on a bond in 2004 for $730,000 worth of “necessary updates,” but the cost of the proposed renovation was increased to $3.4 million.

The Mercer Island City Council sent a letter to the KCLS Board of Trustees in November asking that the library remodel be put on hold, which they agreed to do in order to “pause and reengage,” listen to public input and hire a new director.

 


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