Council members questioned whether the measure was the right tool to address growing complaints that some new-home construction is out of scale and character with existing properties.

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After about two hours of public testimony, the Mercer Island City Council voted Monday night to reject a proposed moratorium on residential development that divides existing properties into smaller lots.

By a 5-2 margin, a majority of council members questioned whether the measure was the right tool to address growing complaints that some new-home construction is out of scale and character with existing homes and threatens landscaping and trees.

The council agreed to discuss the issue of residential development at its two-day January planning session, when three new council members, elected in November, will have been sworn in.