MINUTES

PLANNING COMMISSION

CITY AND BOROUGH OF JUNEAU, ALASKA

REGULAR MEETING

February 22, 2000

Chair Johan Dybdahl called the regular meeting of the City and Borough of Juneau Planning Commission to order at 7:00 p.m., in the Assembly Chambers of the Municipal Building.

I. ROLL CALL

Commissioners present: Mike Bavard, Dan Bruce, Johan Dybdahl, Marshal Kendziorek, Mark Pusich, Tracey Ricker, Merrill Sanford, Jody Vick

Commissioners absent: Ken Williamson

A quorum was present.

Staff Present: Cheryl Easterwood, Community Development Director; Katharine Heumann, CDD Planner; Sylvia Kreel, CDD Planner

II. APPROVAL OF MINUTES

February 8, 2000 - Regular Meeting

MOTION - by Mr. Kendziorek to approve the minutes of the February 8, 2000 regular meeting as written.

There were no amendments or corrections. Without objection, the minutes were approved.

III. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION ON NON-AGENDA ITEMS - None

IV. RECONSIDERATION OF THE FOLLOWING ITEMS - None

V. CONSENT AGENDA

Chair Dybdahl read the items on the Consent Agenda and inquired if there was any public comment. One gentleman indicated he wished to testify on USE1999-00076, and that item was pulled from the Consent Agenda and taken up under the Regular Agenda.

MOTION - by Mr. Pusich to approve the Consent Agenda consisting of one item -- VAR2000-00008 (as listed below). There being no objection, it was so ordered.

VAR2000-00008

A VARIANCE TO REDUCE THE FRONT YARD SETBACK FROM THE REQUIRED 25 FEET TO 10 FEET IN ORDER TO CONSTRUCT A SINGLE-FAMILY DWELLING.

Location: 8940 North Douglas Highway

Applicant: Mary Veale

Staff recommendation: That the Board of Adjustment adopt the director's findings and staff analysis which conclude that criteria 1-6 of CBJ 49.20.250 have been met for this variance request.

VI. CONSIDERATION OF ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS

VII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS - None

VIII. REGULAR AGENDA

USE1999-00076

A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT TO ALLOW DEVELOPMENT OF A 12,000+/- SQUARE FOOT CHURCH WITH A SANCTUARY SEATING 300 PEOPLE.

Location: 1825 Douglas Highway

Applicant: Tom Huntington

Staff report: CDD Director Cheryl Easterwood reviewed the staff report included in the packet. The development includes the building, two parking lots, and landscaping. The lower level of the building would feature classrooms and fellowship hall. Any other future uses, such as daycare, would require additional review and approval by the Planning Commission. The Alaska Department of Transportation/Public Facilities (DOT) reviewed the proposal and indicated that since the peak hours for churches are different from the peak periods of a typical residential neighborhood, DOT did not have any concerns with respect to traffic.

Staff recommendation: That the Planning Commission adopt the director's analysis and findings and grant the requested conditional use permit, subject to the following conditions:

  1. If exterior lighting is to be incorporated into the project, the specifications for lighting shall be submitted and reviewed, prior to issuance of a building permit for the exterior lighting, to assure compliance with CDD regulations which prohibit glare onto adjacent properties and roadways.

2. Prior to issuance of a temporary or final certificate of occupancy, the owner or developer shall install the planting strip between the subject project and the adjacent residential building with plant material which will provide an effective visual buffer between the projects. Plant material shall consist of a mix of evergreen with a minimum height of six feet and deciduous trees with a minimum caliper of two inches at the time of planting. If planting cannot occur due to weather limitations, then a bond shall be submitted to guarantee installation when weather permits.

Public Testimony:

James E. Musslewhite, 2156B Lawson Creek Road, said he found it somewhat difficult to speak against a church, however, he had concerns that a future school or daycare facility in the church would generate additional traffic during the regular peak traffic hours. He preferred that the area remain undeveloped, but he acknowledged that his personal feelings carried no weight in the decision-making.

Ms. Easterwood stated that uses such as a daycare facility would require a permit from the Planning Commission, and at that time traffic concerns would be evaluated.

Tom Huntington, the applicant, indicated that he was available to answer questions. He also stated that he understood other permits would be required to operate a school or daycare on the site.

Commission Action:

MOTION - by Mr. Bavard to approve USE1999-00076 and accept staff's analysis, findings, and recommendation with two conditions.

There being no objection, it was so ordered.

MAP1999-00001

A REQUEST TO CHANGE THE ZONING OF LOTS 1 THROUGH 10, BLOCK D, AND LOTS 1 AND 2, BLOCK F, GLACIER VILLAGE SUBDIVISION NO. 2, FROM D-5, SINGLE-FAMILY/DUPLEX RESIDENTIAL TO D5 (T) D18.

This item was continued to March 14, 2000.

The Commission decided to take up the next two items together.

USE2000-00004

A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT TO REDUCE THE REAR YARD SETBACK FROM 20 FEET TO 5 FEET ON A LOT ADJOINING PUBLICLY OWNED LAND TO ALLOW CONSTRUCTION OF A TWO-STORY GARAGE/BEDROOM ADDITION.

VAR2000-00007

A VARIANCE TO REDUCE THE 50-FOOT STREAMSIDE SETBACK FROM DUCK CREEK TO 40 FEET FOR A GARAGE/BEDROOM ADDITION.

Location: 4102 Aspen Avenue

Applicant: Kimberly Welburn

Staff report (USE2000-00004): CDD Planner Katharine Heumann reviewed the staff report. The applicants have lived in their house for about 10 years and want to build a 24-foot by 39-foot addition that would be a two-car garage on the ground floor with bedrooms upstairs. Their lot abuts the CBJ greenbelt along Duck Creek. The applicants applied for and received a conditional use permit and a variance in 1994 to construct the same addition, but both expired when no building permit was issued for the project. They are now ready to proceed with their project and are reapplying for both.

Title 49 states that for parcels adjoining publicly owned land the Commission, through the conditional use process, may allow structural projections into the required side or rear yard setbacks (provided that such projections are minimized and are necessary to prevent substantial hardship to the applicant). This Code section further states that the Commission may deny such requests if it finds that the addition would result in excess blockage of views, restriction of light and air, or other negative impacts. Open space or park land adjacent to this residence, without a stream on it, would not have the potential negative impact present in this case, and approval of a conditional use permit would then be appropriate.

Due to existing conditions, there is no other space on the property to accommodate an addition of this size without some encroachment into the standard setbacks. The proposed location has the most available room and would not result in excessive blockage of views, restriction of light and air, or other impacts on adjacent residential properties. There is, however, the possibility of deleterious impacts to the stream bank along Duck Creek. Development along stream corridors can cause destruction of the stream bank, increased runoff, sedimentation and pollution, and increase the danger of flooding. In addition, this project could be minimized with a smaller addition or one in a different configuration. Although the projection may be the most desirable solution for the applicants, it is not necessary to prevent substantial hardship to the applicant.

Ms. Heumann stated that the proposal is not in conformance with the Comprehensive Plan for protecting stream corridors from adverse effects of development. The Comp Plan implementing action is to continue requiring a 50-foot setback from the ordinary high water mark on all stream corridors and lake shorelines listed in Appendix B. Duck Creek is listed in that appendix and has been designated an impaired stream. Duck Creek also has been the recipient of many volunteer hours and thousands of dollars in restoration money. The project was also reviewed for consistency with the Juneau Coastal Management Plan. Although this project may not seem overly detrimental to the stream, it is the cumulative impacts of many small projects that have had a great environmental cost. Duck Creek has been greatly impaired by development since 1960, and attempts at restoration are ongoing.

Ms. Heumann next reviewed the findings and staff's recommendation.

Staff recommendation (USE2000-00004): That the Planning Commission adopt the director's analysis and findings and deny the requested conditional use permit. If the Commission chooses to approve the permit, the following condition is suggested:

1. A variance to the 50-foot streamside setback requirement must be obtained prior to issuance of the building permit.

Staff report (VAR2000-00007): Katharine Heumann reviewed the staff report. For this application, staff also reviewed the Duck Creek Watershed Management Plan which addresses development along stream corridors and cites possible side effects. That Plan recommends best management practices (BMPs) to prevent impacts to the physical and biological integrity of surface and ground water. The Plan states that perhaps the most important source control BMP for protection of stream resources is the 50-foot setback or buffer zone. A review of the variance requirements show that criteria 1, 2, 5 and 6 are not met. No evidence was found that other homes in the neighborhood have been given approval to build within the streamside setback; relief cannot be granted while meeting the intent of the Juneau Coastal Management Plan to protect the streamside environment; compliance with the existing standards would not prevent the owners from using the property for residential purposes which is the principal permitted use; and there are no unique physical features of the property which would render compliance with the standards unreasonably expensive. The presence of the creek is a amenity that should be looked at as a resource to protect, rather than a unique physical feature.

Ms. Heumann said that the habitat section of the Juneau Coastal Management Plan states that rivers, streams and lakes shall be managed so as to protect natural vegetation, water quality, and important fish and wildlife habitat and natural flow.

Staff recommendation (VAR2000-00007): That the Board of Adjustment adopt the staff analysis and director's findings and determine that not all the necessary criteria for variances found in CBJ 49.20.250 are met and, therefore, not grant the requested variance. However, should the Board of Adjustment determine that the criteria can be met, staff recommends that the determination be made subject to the following conditions, in order to minimize impacts to the river.

1. The natural vegetation within the greenbelt shall not be disturbed.

2. Roof gutters shall be used on the addition to the house to route water away from the creek.

3. No construction equipment shall be stored within the 25-foot no disturb zone from ordinary high water or within the greenbelt.

Mr. Bavard asked if this was the same request that was approved in 1994. Ms. Heumann said yes, the addition configuration was the same. Mr. Bavard inquired about staff's recommendations on the applications in 1994. Ms. Heumann replied that in 1994 staff recommended approval of the conditional use permit and denial of the variance. Her review looked at conformity with adopted plans and she was unable to recommend approval on either the conditional use permit or the variance request.

Mr. Kendziorek asked if there had been any changes in the adopted plans since 1994. Ms. Heumann said she didn't think so. Ms. Easterwood added that the biggest change is the availability of more information about Duck Creek.

In examining the site plan, Mr. Pusich questioned if 10 feet into the streamside setback was the most the garage/bedroom addition would encroach. Ms. Heumann stated that at the north end the addition would encroach into the setback close to 10 feet; she agreed with Mr. Pusich that at the south end it appeared to be quite a bit less.

Public Testimony:

Kim Welburn, 4102 Aspen Avenue, (the applicant), provided photographs showing the proposed location for the house addition and the natural vegetation in the stream setback. She also had copies of the 1994 conditional use permit approval and variance approval; their plans for the addition are unchanged from 1994. They cannot add to the side of the existing garage because it would bring it too close to their neighbor. They cannot build behind the garage because the oil tank is there, and it would not give them any more bedroom space, which they need with three growing children in a tiny house. The existing house is 2-by-4 construction, and to build up it would have to be 2-by-6, thus requiring a lot of changes to the existing structure.

Ms. Welburn said she spoke with Ben Kirkpatrick, of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G), who was unable to visit the site because of his travel schedule. Mr. Kirkpatrick had indicated that ADF&G's main concern was that natural vegetation be maintained in the stream setback area and that pollution be kept out of Duck Creek. Mr. Kirkpatrick had also made note that, unlike other lots on the street, their lot was higher than most. Further, they did not plan to build all the way to the creek.

Ms. Welburn said they have maintained the stream setback area for 10 years. They had installed a wire fence to keep the kids and toys away from the creek, but they removed it as requested. A few months ago they replaced all the rain gutters on the house and would install gutters on the proposed addition. They have no problem with the three conditions proposed by staff for the variance request. Other houses on the street that have built additions are located closer to the road so they had more room in back, or they built above an existing two-car garage. Neighbors have indicated they are glad to see people upgrading the subdivision, and they have no problem with the proposed addition.

Mr. Bavard asked when the house was built. Ms. Welburn said she thought it was 1979, but she saw some papers that indicate 1969. Mr. Bavard asked why Ms. Welburn contacted ADF&G. She said they wanted someone to see that their corner lot was quite a bit higher than other lots in the neighborhood. Mr. Bavard asked how high the creek gets at its peak height. Ms. Welburn said inches, and she has never seen any salmon in the creek.

Ms. Ricker inquired about ADF&G's opinion for the 1994 application. Ms. Welburn stated that Mr. Kirkpatrick told her ADF&G would not be responding to this application because of time constraints.

However, based on her description to him, he indicated he was comfortable with their plans as long as the existing vegetation remained or they planted where there was none. He had explained to her that the natural vegetation was beneficial to Duck Creek. Ms. Heumann drew attention to a copy of ADF&G's 1994 opinion submitted by Janet Hall Schempf which was included in the staff report. She said she had spoken to Mr. Kirkpatrick, who read the 1994 opinion and told her he hoped to be able to visit the site before leaving town. He said he concurred with Ms. Schempf's opinion. Because he would not have a chance to write a letter, he wanted Ms. Schempf's letter included in the staff report. Regarding Ms. Welburn's statement that their yard is flat and high above the creek, Ms. Heumann said one concern would be that there not be a lawn in the 50-foot setback because fertilizers might add pollutants to the stream.

Upon examining the photographs provided by the applicant, Mr. Bruce asked if the applicant's lot extended out to the storage shed. Ms. Welburn replied that the shed has since been moved onto their property, and the former location is considered greenbelt. She added that the greenbelt area will remain, even when the addition is built.

There was no one else to testify, and public testimony was closed.

Mr. Bavard asked for clarification on the streamside setback and the no-disturb zone. Ms. Heumann stated that there can be no building in the 50-foot setback, and the 25-foot no-disturb zone must retain the natural vegetation or have any disturbed vegetation replanted.

Mr. Bruce asked the applicant if their gutters are connected to the storm sewer to divert the water away from Duck Creek. Ms. Welburn replied that the water just flows to the surrounding property, the same as other houses.

Mr. Pusich mentioned that the Duck Creek Advisory Group made a lot of improvements to Duck Creek, including creating a more natural meander in the stream to improve the flow. He wondered if the setback measurements were done before they rerouted the stream. Ms. Heumann reported that she visited the stream with K Koski (of the Duck Creek Advisory Group) and doubted the meandering would change the ordinary high water measurement by more than a few inches. Mr. Pusich asked who measured the streamside setback in 1994. Ms. Heumann said Janet Schempf and Cristi Herren. Mr. Pusich asked who would conduct the measurements now. Ms. Heumann said Ben Kirkpatrick of ADF&G.

Commission Action (USE2000-00004):

MOTION - by Mr. Kendziorek that the Planning Commission approve USE2000-00004.

Speaking against the motion, Mr. Kendziorek said he found these types of cases the hardest because it was clear that Ms. Welburn cared about Duck Creek, her family enjoyed living near it, and they wanted to do the best thing for the creek. However, ADF&G has made it clear that the proposed construction would not be a good idea. There has been a lot of restoration work done on Duck Creek since 1994, and a Duck Creek Management Plan now exists.

Although not as desirable, there is an alternative building site available on the lot. Further, the proposal is not in conformance with the Juneau Coastal Management Program (JCMP), nor with the CBJ Comprehensive Plan. There are no unique characteristics that would allow the Commission to find for the applicant on any items where staff has suggested the project does not meet the necessary criteria. Duck Creek is one of the last coho spawning areas in the Mendenhall Valley and should be protected. It is also important to support the restoration of Duck Creek and not allow projects that might undo that work.

Mr. Vick spoke in favor of the motion, saying that approval was granted in 1994, and circumstances prevented the owners from going ahead with construction at that time. He believed it would be a hardship for the applicants to build a second story because the original construction was 2-by-4, and new construction would require a higher standard.

Mr. Bavard said he agreed with Mr. Vick. The applicants made contact with ADF&G to get a response, they received approval for the project in 1994, and he sympathized with them needing more bedroom space for their children in a small house. Duck Creek has been a problem for many years, and he thought that the stretch of creek along by Berners Avenue was impacted much worse by its proximity to the highway (snow plowing, de-icing materials, etc.) than it would be by the proposed house addition encroaching slightly into the streamside setback. A person's investment is their home, and this family's request to add onto a small house that they've lived in for 10 years is reasonable.

Mr. Pusich stated that the fact that a previous permit was granted for this use makes this application difficult. Also, he is a member of the Wetlands Review Board and has done work on Duck Creek in this area. He was also involved in the design of Taku Boulevard in which features were implemented into the stormwater collection system to treat the water flowing into Duck Creek. He visited the site, viewed the string lines that outlined the location of the proposed addition, and looked at what would be impacted by the addition. He could not see where there would be any loss of vegetation or where water quality would be impaired in any manner by the addition, if the water collected from roof gutters was routed away from the creek. He wasn't sure this project by itself has negative cumulative impacts. Habitat in the creek is important, but he could not see where the addition would infringe upon the habitat. As such, he supported the motion.

Mr. Bruce stated that it was tough to second guess the regulatory agencies that are in charge of establishing greenbelts and stream setbacks. He was troubled about the applicant's testimony about ADF&G's apparent lack of response when requested to view the site. He said that in viewing the photographs, he tended to agree with Mr. Pusich that it did not appear the proposed addition would impact the stream setback. It appeared that lawns are a bigger concern to water quality than a roof that simply drains water. If the applicant intends to direct the roof runoff away from Duck Creek, that addresses that issue.

Mr. Kendziorek said he could not materially disagree with some of the comments, however, they were not the criteria that are part of the Commission's consideration. The location of the proposed addition is not in compliance with the CBJ Comp Plan and is not consistent with the JCMP, so if the permit were granted, the findings would have to show that it was consistent. He noted that cumulative impacts are hard to quantify, but the principle behind them is that even small impacts do add up. Granted, things go into Duck Creek that shouldn't, but it doesn't justify adding even more impacts.

Roll Call Vote

Ayes: Pusich, Vick, Bavard, Dybdahl

Nays: Bruce, Kendziorek, Ricker, Sanford

The motion failed on a tie vote, 4-4.

MOTION - by Mr. Vick for reconsideration of USE2000-00004 at the next regular meeting (March 14, 2000).

Mr. Sanford asked for current input from ADF&G by the next regular meeting.

Ms. Easterwood confirmed for Mr. Kendziorek that the Commission can take additional testimony if it votes to do so.

Mr. Dybdahl asked if it would be possible to get verification on the 50-foot stream setback line by that time, as well, because new measurements might have some bearing on the matter.

Chair Dybdahl explained to the applicant that a vote of reconsideration does not guarantee that USE2000-00004 will be reconsidered on March 14, just that the Commission will vote on whether to reconsider it. However, the variance request will be heard in full on that date.

The Planning Commission recessed and reconvened as the Board of Adjustment in order to take action on the variance request.

IX. BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

Board of Adjustment Action (VAR2000-00007):

Chair Dybdahl recommended that this item be continued and brought back on March 14, 2000.

MOTION - by Mr. Kendziorek to continue VAR2000-00007.

The Board of Adjustment recessed, and the Planning Commission reconvened to take up the remaining agenda items.

VIII. REGULAR AGENDA (Continued)

USE2000-00006

A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT TO DEVELOP A COMMERCIAL STORAGE LOT FOR STORAGE OF MOTORHOMES, CARS, BOATS, AND CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT.

Location: 11820 Glacier Highway

Applicant: Donald Howell

Mr. Pusich stated that he had a conflict of interest on USE2000-00006 and USE2000-00007 because his employer was hired by both applicants to provide technical services for these permit requests. He stepped down from consideration on both these items.

Staff report: CDD Planner Sylvia Kreel reviewed the staff report, noting that the applicant received a wetlands permit from the Wetlands Review Board on January 20, 2000 to allow the removal and fill of category D wetlands. The applicant has a number of conditions to meet as part of the wetlands permit, primarily related to drainage (Attachment #2 to the staff report).

Ms. Kreel stated that the applicant proposes to use approximately 12,000 square feet of the approximately 40,000 square foot area for storage. The remaining area will serve for parking, drive aisles, drainage and vegetated buffers. The applicant would provide a 10-foot wide vegetated buffer between his property and the properties to the north and west. There is a pending conditional use permit application (USE2000-00007) to allow the property to the east to be developed in a similar fashion to this proposal. There is a very limited amount of commercial space in the Auke Bay area. The subject property and east to the Back Loop Road is General Commercial. The south half of the applicant's property is currently developed with a mixed commercial and residential building and parking. The large building on the property will screen a major portion of the storage yard. Staff did not find any traffic impacts associated with this proposal; people using a storage facility generally do not visit it on a daily basis. Also, users of the facility will not be routed through residential neighborhoods to access the site. The applicant proposes to use an existing 40-foot-wide entrance off Glacier Highway which is used by both this site and the property to the east. The internal circulation within the storage area will be determined by the applicant and altered as needed, depending on the items stored. The proposed landscaped areas will exceed the required 10% vegetative cover requirement in the General Commercial zoning district. There is no exterior lighting.

Regarding property value and neighborhood harmony, staff could not find any impact. Vegetation will help screen the site along the north and west. On the east, the use is very similar to this use. From the south, the site is substantially screened by buildings. There are no residences in the area that have views into the storage facility.

The proposed use is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and meets all the requirements of the Land Use Code. The proposed project will comply with the JCMP, provided that the conditions of the wetlands permit are met (WET1999-00001).

Ms. Kreel next reviewed the findings and staff's revised recommendation. Staff revised condition #1 to allow the applicant to work out the grading plan and erosion control plan with the CBJ Engineering Department.

Revised staff recommendation: That the Planning Commission adopt the director's analysis and findings and grant the requested conditional use permit for an outdoor storage facility in the General Commercial zoning district, subject to the following conditions:

1. Prior to removal of the overburden, the applicant shall obtain a grading and drainage permit from the CBJ Engineering Department.

2. It is understood that the exact location of the parking may change depending on the equipment stored. However, the applicant shall provide a minimum of one parking space per 1,000 square feet of storage area provided at any given time.

Mr. Kendziorek asked if this application needed a Department of Transportation permit to use the storm drain. Ms. Kreel said no, because the applicant is not using a DOT storm drain. The drainage will be funneled through two ditches, an oil separator and sediment control mechanism, and eventually into Bay Creek. Mr. Kendziorek sought verification that the runoff from the storage area would go into the ditching system. Ms. Kreel said yes, that conditions on the wetlands permit require widening the ditches, placing peat moss and a geotextile filter in them, and vegetating the ditches to slow and clean the runoff before it reaches the oil separator.

Ms. Sanford said the applicant should be aware of the Code requirement to keep fire access lanes open in the storage area. He asked if the storage area would be fenced. Ms. Kreel said the applicant had not planned to erect a fence. Mr. Sanford inquired about a housing development proposed for the property above the subject site. Ms. Kreel said she spoke with the owner or developer of the property, and his main concern was regarding drainage.

Ms. Kreel circulated photographs of the area submitted by the applicant.

Public Testimony:

Nancy Lehnhart, 11755 Glacier Highway (across the street from the subject site), reviewed the points in her February 20th letter to the Commission. Her concerns were that a storage area is out of harmony with the scenic Auke Bay area; the potential movement of large equipment into and out of the storage yard when children are walking to and from school (when school zone lights are flashing); keeping the buffers wide and leafy enough to be an effective screen; and monitoring of Bay Creek to make sure it is not adversely impacted by gas, oil, etc. draining from the parking lot.

Fred Pollard, 2545 Pederson Street, said he was representing Mr. Jim Chan, who owns the property north of the subject lot, and he and Mr. Chan supported granting the conditional use permit. He said Mr. Chan intends to follow through with a residential development to the north, and he was a bit concerned about the impact of drainage as it would apply to that property.

At Mr. Pollard's request, Ms. Kreel briefly explained the drainage details in Attachment #7, a topographical survey of the proposed storage area.

Don Howell, the applicant, pointed out that regarding drainage, his property is about 20 feet lower than Mr. Chan's, so there should be no problem.

Commission Action:

MOTION - by Mr. Bruce that the Planning Commission grant USE2000-00006 and adopt staff's analysis, findings and revised recommendations.

Mr. Vick asked whether the buffers would be enough. Ms. Kreel replied that staff concluded the dense vegetation in the 10-foot buffer was sufficient. Also, the change in grade and the buildings in the front will also help screen the equipment stored on the site.

Mr. Kendziorek inquired about any limitations for moving large equipment and vehicles when school zone lights are flashing. Ms. Kreel said the limit is on speed only. Mr. Sanford and Mr. Bavard commented that wide loads require permits that specify when loads can be moved. There was a brief discussion about whether a condition should be added to limit movement of equipment to times other than when the school zone lights were flashing and how such a requirement would be enforced. The conclusion was that the applicant, as a prudent business operator, would use his judgment to move equipment at the safest and most efficient time.

Roll Call Vote

Ayes: Kendziorek, Ricker, Sanford, Vick, Bavard, Bruce, Dybdahl

Nays: None

The motion carried unanimously, 7-0.

USE2000-00007

A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT TO DEVELOP AN OUTDOOR COMMERCIAL STORAGE LOT FOR CARS, BOATS, AND OTHER EQUIPMENT.

Location: 11798 Glacier Highway

Applicant: John Gitkov

Staff report: CDD Planner Sylvia Kreel reviewed the staff report, noting that much of her report on the previous application (USE2000-00006) also applied to this permit request. The subject property is behind the University of Alaska Southeast Activity Center. This lot would be used primarily for storage of personal equipment associated with his freight business located approximately one mile down the road, just east of the Auke Bay ferry terminal. The applicant may also lease space for commercial storage, similar to the previous application. The plans show approximately 10,000 square feet of the approximately 37,000 square foot area would be used for storage. The remaining area will provide parking, drainage, vegetated buffers, and area to maneuver large equipment, such as forklifts.

This applicant also received a wetlands permit from the Wetlands Review Board on January 20, 2000 to allow the removal and fill of category D wetlands (WET1999-00002). The applicant has a number of conditions to meet as part of the wetlands permit, primarily related to drainage (Attachment #2 to the staff report).

Ms. Kreel said that the applicant had indicated that he anticipates no more than one or two trips per day during peak season in the summer, and possibly one trip per week in the winter. It would depend on what was stored at the lot at any given time. Similar to the previous application, this applicant should be aware of the Code requirements for fire and emergency vehicle access on the storage lot.

Ms. Kreel stated that, unlike the previous application, there is some noise associated with this proposal from the back-up warning signals on vehicles. However, the noise would be intermittent, and there are no residential areas nearby that would be disturbed. Also, the vegetated buffers and change in grade should also help deaden the noise.

Ms. Kreel reviewed the findings and staff's revised recommendation. The last sentence of condition #1 was deleted to allow the applicant to work out the grading plan and erosion control plan with the CBJ Engineering Department.

Revised staff recommendation: That the Planning Commission adopt the director's analysis and findings and grant the requested conditional use permit for an outdoor storage facility in the General Commercial zoning district, subject to the following conditions:

1. Prior to removal of the overburden, the applicant shall obtain a grading and drainage permit from the CBJ Engineering Department.

2. A permit from the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities allowing the use of the Glacier Highway drainage system shall be obtained prior to any removal of the overburden.

3. It is understood that the exact location of the parking may change depending on the equipment stored. However, the applicant shall provide a minimum of one parking space per 1,000 square feet of storage area provided at any given time.

Public Testimony:

John Gitkov, the applicant, made himself available to answer questions.

Mr. Bavard asked where the oil spill response gear is stored now. Mr. Gitkov said most of it is at his dock at Auke Bay, while some of it is stored near his home out the road (which is not zoned for that use).

Commission Action:

MOTION - by Mr. Bavard that the Planning Commission grant USE2000-00007 and adopt staff's analysis, findings and amended recommendations (deleting the second sentence in condition #1).

There being no objection, the motion carried unanimously, 7-0. Mr. Pusich rejoined the panel.

X. OTHER BUSINESS - None.

XI. PLANNING DIRECTOR'S REPORT - No report.

XII. REPORT OF REGULAR AND SPECIAL COMMITTEES

Mr. Bruce reported that the Public Works Committee and the Policy and Planning Committee met last week to discuss the comprehensive review of the Juneau waterfront planned by the Harbor Board. The project was recommended on to the Assembly for approval of funds for the study.

Wetlands Review Board - Mr. Pusich reported that the WRB met last Thursday to review the technical document of the environmental assessment for proposed improvements at the Juneau International Airport. Staff is drafting a letter of the WRB's comments.

XIII. PLANNING COMMISSION COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS

Mr. Bavard complimented Sylvia Kreel for two well-done reports that addressed all the different items that may have been a concern to people who testified. He also praised Katharine Heumann for her staff reports on the Welburn streamside setback matter. Katharine's recommendation was based on what she had to work with, and she also developed an alternate recommendation with conditions, in the event the Planning Commission concluded that it should grant the application requests.

Mr. Kendziorek expressed support for Mr. Pusich's earlier request for a remeasurement of the ordinary high water line on Duck Creek; it could mean that the intrusion into the streamside setback was less than first thought.

Mr. Vick said he would like clarification of the streamside setback and no-disturb zone. Ms. Easterwood stated that this subject will be part of the Comprehensive Plan review at the March 21 meeting.

Mr. Dybdahl questioned how staff determines if a particular project will have an effect on the property values of adjacent properties. He noted that this is not addressed in the Comp Plan, even though public comment often focuses on people's fears that their property values will go down. Ms. Easterwood said that staff's method is to check with the CBJ Assessor's Office; if it is controversial, staff will ask for the opinion in writing. She cited the old Lena Rock Quarry as an example of the Assembly adjusting taxes downward for properties located nearby.

Mr. Bruce reiterated his desire to see staff reports regularly include a notation as to how public notice was made so there is a record in case people complain that they were uninformed of certain developments.

XIV. ADJOURNMENT

MOTION - by Mr. Pusich to adjourn. There being no other business and no objection, the meeting adjourned at 9:00 p.m.