Learn about the SJCC’s zoning request for the City of MI
Herzl-Ner Tamid Conservative Congregation and the Stroum Jewish Community Center of Greater Seattle have been serving the community from our Mercer Island locations since just around 1970. The French American School of Puget Sound moved to Mercer Island in 1999. Together we serve thousands of people at all phases of life.
Our three organizations have worked in close partnership over the years to maximize the space we currently have and work together to meet all of our needs. As we look to the future, our much-loved and well-used facilities are aging, which has financial, operational and maintenance impacts for each of our non-profit organizations. We’ve realized we need to think about a long-term plan that addresses these challenges and allows us to plan for the future while continuing to serve our community with the mission, excellence and heart for which we are known. While we are just starting this process, our intent is to stay within a similar building footprint as we have now.
As we started this project, we met to discuss optimal ways to work together in the best interest of the broad community. We then enlisted the help of land-use professionals and quickly learned the wide mix of zoning under our properties carries restrictions that will make it challenging to collectively update or redevelop our buildings. Therefore, in an effort to invest in our future with the greatest benefit to the community, neighborhood and our organizations, we have requested that the City of Mercer Island consider a new zoning designation, termed a ‘Private Community Facility.’ This new designation would reflect the uses and needs of our combined, community-focused properties. It would also allow us to optimize our shared properties in a manner consistent with the programs and services we deliver, while continuing to be responsible citizens and neighbors in addressing key requirements of modern development.
As noted at the Planning Commission meeting on June 6, 2018, a new zoning designation also equips the city with a set of design parameters for managing future uses in a way consistent with an organization’s needs and in harmony with neighbors. We have prioritized being good neighbors for 50 years and will continue to do so. We love our neighbors and neighborhood and want to approach these discussions as openly as possible to get to the best outcomes for all.
We are very early in what will be a lengthy process and expect that there will be many opportunities and challenges to discover, discuss and resolve throughout. We would like your ongoing input to help shape an exciting and productive future.
In an effort to open a dialogue about our approach with our neighbors, we’re hosting two community meetings in mid-July. Our hope is that this is a first opportunity to learn about and discuss the proposed ‘Private Community Facility’ designation with the goal of increasing understanding and encouraging dialogue. We hope you can join us.
|Monday, July 16 9:45 am
3700 E Mercer Way, Mercer Island
|OR||Monday, July 16 6 pm
3801 E Mercer Way, Mercer Island
If you cannot attend and would like to give your input, or for more information, feel free to contact us at Future@sjcc.org.
Board President, FASPS
Board President, Herzl-Ner Tamid
Board President, SJCC