MI Weekly

    A weekly update from the City of Mercer Island

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(For event details, visit the City's online calendar or click on a specific event)

July 31

Aug 1

Aug 6 

Aug 7

Aug 8

Aug 11

Aug 13

Debbie Bertlin

Volunteer Opportunities 

City Hall Address
9611 SE 36th Street
Mercer Island, WA 98040


Monday - Friday
8:30am to 5:00pm

Donations Requested 

The Mercer Island Food Pantry relies on your non-perishable food donations to keep the shelves stocked year-round.
Click for more info.
July 31, 2019 | Vol. 14 | No. 31
Mercer Island Goes Green
TreesNew Requirements for Tree Retention in Effect
Click to learn more about new tree retention rules in the Critical Areas code
The new Critical Areas Code, which represents over a year of work by the Planning Commission and City Council, has been adopted and took effect this Monday, July 29, 2019. The Critical Areas Code regulates development activities in areas that include watercourses, wetlands, steep slopes, landslide hazard areas and buffers associated with these areas. As a part of this effort, standards for tree retention within certain types of critical areas (watercourses, wetlands, landslide hazard areas and associated buffers) have been updated.
The new standards apply when tree removal is proposed independent from a proposal for construction or subdivision, and may require mitigation for the loss of the tree(s). Mitigation would generally include replanting and the removal of noxious weeds, with the goal of preserving environmental quality in these areas.  For more information on the new requirements, please see the updated tree removal standards. The City also has an online map  available to help property owners determine if they have critical areas on their property (zoom in for detail).
Based on separate residential development code updates that took place in 2017, many proposed tree removals already require a City permit, including all trees over 10 inches in diameter.  Approved tree removals require replacement trees to be planted. 

Homeowners that are considering a tree removal should first contact the City to understand permit requirements as well as replanting and possible mitigation requirements. Cutting trees without permits is a common code compliance issue and can be subject to significant civil penalties in some circumstances.  If you have questions about tree removal permits or the new Critical Areas standards, please contact the permit counter at 206-275-7605.  
ObliterideFundraiser Bike Ride Crosses Island Aug 10
Click to learn more about the routes across Mercer Island
The annual Obliteride fund-raising bicycle ride rolls through Mercer Island again on Saturday, August 10. About 2,500 participants are navigating various routes ranging from 25-100 miles around Lake Washington and beyond, with a portion of the 50-mile and 100-mile race options traversing the Island (see maps). 

Every dollar raised from the event benefits the globally recognized  Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, whose mission is the elimination of cancer and related diseases as causes of human suffering and death. Home to three Nobel laureates and interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists, the "Hutch" is a global leader in research to prevent, detect and treat cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

Residents will encounter bicyclists after about 6:30am on Saturday along East and West Mercer Ways, and are asked to accommodate the event; riders must follow all traffic laws.
Swim_BeachWater Testing at Swim Beaches
Click to visit the King County swim 
beach testing website
Given the current closure of nearby beaches at Newcastle and Enatai due to high bacteria levels, residents may be wondering how the City monitors its own swim beaches. Mercer Island's swim beaches are currently OPEN...but no lifeguards are on duty (i.e. swim at own risk).

Once a week during swim season, King County technicians sample water at two of the City's designated swim beaches: Groveland and Luther Burbank. These results are analyzed for 24-48 hours and the City is informed directly if safety standards are exceeded. In these cases, the beach would be closed to all swimming and the City would post notices widely. Re-testing would expand to twice per week until clear results are obtained.

Due to its location in the middle of Lake Washington, the City's beaches have rarely tested too high, and closures are very uncommon here, even when nearby beaches are closed due to high bacteria levels. Mercer Island's swim beaches are currently OPEN.

More information, and a King County FAQ, is on the City's website at:
AWCCouncilmember Weiker Elected to AWC Board
Councilmember Wendy Weiker; 
click to read full press release
The Association of Washington Cities (AWC) announced recently that Mercer Island City Councilmember  Wendy Weiker  was recently elected to its Board of Directors.
"I am delighted to join the AWC Board of Directors," said Weiker, "I am committed to fostering healthy, thriving, sustainable communities and advancing economic opportunity for all people to fully realize their potential. I'm bringing my years of experience as a public servant to the board in order to address the pressing issues affecting all cities and members of our communities."
Councilmember Weiker was elected to the AWC Board during the association's Business Meeting on June 27 in Spokane. She represents AWC Board District 7, which includes 21 cities in North King County. 

ElectionAugust 6 Primary Election
Mercer Island's ballot dropbox has walk-up access; click to contact King County Elections
On July 17,  King County Elections mailed ballots to registered voters for the August 6 Primary Election. If you did not receive a ballot, need other accessibility accommodations, or will be out of town, view a summary of options on the  City's website.

All voters can learn about candidates and  measures on the ballot from the King County Elections website.

When you mail your ballot back, NO stamp is required, but make sure it is postmarked by Election Day.  Or, use the secure ballot drop box at the Mercer Island Community and Event Center (8236 SE 24th Street) -- it's available 24/7 until 8:00pm on Election Day.

Contact  King County Elections with questions.  


For questions and comments on the MI Weekly, contact
Sustainability & Communications Manager Ross Freeman at

ross.freeman@mercergov.org or 206.275.7662.