The Mercer Island City Council on Monday night rejected a proposal that would have leveled the Coval House to build 18 single-family homes on the 5-acre estate.
The City Council made the decision after more than 90 minutes focusing on the topic and expressed concern about various aspects of the proposal, including environmental impacts and traffic safety. The decision came after advocates and opponents each spent 20 minutes defending their points of view.
The proposal from a developer buying the property involved leveling the mansion and much of its landscape and chopping the top off a hill. It would have made the property the largest residential development on the island since the 1980s.
The Coval House has been featured on HGTV’s “Million Dollar Rooms” and includes cathedral-like ceilings built with wood shipped from the Republic of Congo and Costa Rica, a tropical pool and an organic fruit orchard. The Covals put the estate on the market with an initial listing price of $15.5 million in 2011.