SJCC Blog

Community Facilities Zone Update: July 26

Today the City announced a “pause” in their review of the Community Facilities Zone (CFZ). This allows for additional time to consider how to best enable community facilities like ours to evolve in a way that gives the community assurances on development standards, and that utilizes a more inclusive, flexible and predictable process than is possible under the current Single-Family zoning.

We are committed to continuing to work closely with the City and the community on tangible next steps as we move forward with our planning efforts, so that we can continue to deliver on our missions in serving young families, students, seniors, neighbors and the community of Mercer Island. 

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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.
Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Please email this note to:
evan.maxim@mercergov.org 
council@mercergov.org

Please also post your note here.

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