Comprehensive Plan Amendment Update

As mentioned in previous blogs, we applied for a new land use designation through the City of Mercer Island with our neighbors, the French American School of Puget Sound and Herzl-Ner Tamid Conservative Congregation. This step would ultimately lead to a new zone with building and use standards more consistent with the programs and services our organizations deliver. It would also allow us to work toward our future development with an eye on master planning, key elements of modern development, and continued respect for our neighborhood.

The first step of this process was completed on November 21, 2018, when the City Council approved the Community Facilities land use designation. On December 13, the City of MI hosted a community meeting to capture neighbor and broader-MI resident concerns and interests related to this land use designation and subsequent zone. On January 23, 2019, the city issued the first draft of the code and hosted another community meeting on January 24, to capture responses to that draft. The broader effort is still marching toward a reading of the zone guidelines at the April City Council meeting. Discussion and an approval/rejection voting process will follow that.

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Comprehensive Plan Amendment Moving Forward

On November 20, 2018, the Mercer Island City Council approved a set of Comprehensive Plan Amendments, including Amendment #8, creating a new land use designation, “Community Facilities,” for the City of Mercer Island. This event marks the first step in a process to rezone the Stroum Jewish Community Center’s property. The SJCC is pursuing this as it presents an opportunity to create design and building regulations that align with current and expected facility uses in concert with community interests. Now the detailed work starts.

In the coming months, the city, neighbors and our organizations (the French American School of Puget Sound, Herzl-Ner Tamid, and the SJCC) will collaborate to capture stakeholder interests that the city will use to draft building regulations. The first public meeting for this phase of the process will be this Thursday, December 13 at 6 pm at the Community Center at Mercer View.

As part of this process, the City will also be posting public notice signs on the property, marking the beginning of the code amendment and rezone process. Notices were also recently mailed to neighbors within a designated radius of these properties.

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Write to City Council to Support SJCC Redevelopment

Help the J by writing to the Mercer Island City Council and voicing your support of the Comprehensive Plan Amendment. Here’s some language you can use and please personalize it as you see fit.

SUBJECT: Please support Comprehensive Plan Amendment 8

Hello, my name is ____________. I have lived on Mercer Island for [XX] years and am writing to request your support of Comprehensive Plan Amendment 8. I believe this Amendment will allow for wiser, more comprehensive design and development, helping the Stroum Jewish Community Center engage the community in its redesign and prioritize concerns related to traffic management, lighting, and landscape design to enhance the neighborhood. The SJCC is a long-standing community asset on Mercer Island and always works to serve the community’s best interest. Thank you for your consideration.

[Your Name]

Please email this note to:

Please also post your note here.

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Comprehensive Plan Amendment Update

Dear Neighbor,

Thank you for engaging with us over the last several weeks as we continue the dialogue and process around our organizations’ Comprehensive Plan Amendment with the City of Mercer Island. Herzl-Ner Tamid Conservative Congregation and the Stroum Jewish Community Center of Greater Seattle have served 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, and value the deep relationships we form with those affiliated with our organizations and our broader community.

As you know, our three organizations have worked in close partnership over the years to optimize the space we have on Mercer Island to meet 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.

As such, we continue to pursue a Comprehensive Plan Amendment and rezone to unify the zoning under our respective properties in a way that lets us look creatively and responsibly toward the future. Our goal is 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.

At our first community open house events in July, and through the recent Planning Commission process, we’ve heard several key topics communicated from neighbors close to our sites. Those topics include: concerns about intersection safety, current/increased traffic and school-time traffic, potential of larger-scale event impacts on parking, questions about building size, the desire for green buffers between the campus and neighbors’ homes, concerns about noise and possible lighting on ball fields at night, the visual appearance of a possible security fence, and overall neighborhood walkability.

We would like to invite you to join us for a continued discussion with our organizations and our architects to discuss these issues (and any others) in greater detail, as well as share an update on the process and our current thinking around project vision and approach.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018
10:00 AM OR 5:30 PM
Stroum Jewish Community Center, 3801 East Mercer Way, Mercer Island, WA 98040

If you cannot attend and would like to give your input, or for more information, feel free to contact us at, and/or

We hope you can join us for these next discussions and look forward to continuing to discuss these topics and more as a community.


Laura Mousseau
Board President, FASPS
Zane Brown
Board President, Herzl-Ner Tamid
Liz Friedman
Board President, SJCC
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