CITY AND BOROUGH OF JUNEAU
December 12, 2000
Chair Johan Dybdahl called the special meeting of the City and Borough of Juneau Planning Commission to order at 7:00 p.m., in the Assembly Chambers of City Hall.
I. ROLL CALL
Commissioners present: Mike Bavard, Dan Bruce, Johan Dybdahl, Maria Gladisziewski, Marshal Kendziorek, Mark Pusich, Merrill Sanford
Commissioners absent: Roger Allington; Jody Vick
A quorum was present.
Staff present: Cheryl Easterwood, Director of Community Development; Oscar Graham, Principal Planner Heather Marlow, CDD Planner; Sylvia Kreel, CDD Planner; Katharine Heumann, CDD Planner
Other CBJ staff present: Joe Graham, CBJ Port Director; Rory Watt, CBJ Engineering; Tim Montgomery, CBJ Engineering
II. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion by Mr. Pusich, to approve the minutes of the regular meeting as written.
Hearing no objection, it was so ordered.
III. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION ON NON-AGENDA ITEMS - None
IV. RECONSIDERATION OF THE FOLLOWING ITEMS
V. CONSENT AGENDA
Mr. Dybdahl announced that there were six items on the Consent Agenda and he inquired if there was any public comment. No one from the public wished to comment, however; Mr. Kendziorek requested that VAR2000-00042 be pulled from the Consent Agenda and moved to the Regular Agenda so that he could make some brief comments.
Mr. Bavard advised the Commission that he had a conflict of interest with regard to several items on the Consent Agenda. He recused himself from consideration of USE2000-00074; USE2000-00075; and VAR2000-00046 but would be available for consideration of the other Consent Agenda items if needed.
Motion: by Mr. Kendziorek to approve the Consent Agenda that included USE2000-00069; USE2000-00073; USE2000-00074; USE2000-00075; and VAR2000-00046 (as listed below). There being no objection, it was so ordered.
A Conditional Use permit for a 600 square foot accessory apartment attached to an existing single-family residence
Location: 08563 FOREST LANE
Staff recommendation: That the Planning Commission adopt the directors analysis and findings and grant the requested Conditional Use permit. The permit would allow the development of an accessory apartment at 8563 Forest Lane.
A Conditional Use permit to expand existing Bed and Breakfast from eight guests to ten guests total.
Applicant: DIANE PEARSON
Staff recommendation: That the Planning Commission adopt directors findings and staffs analysis and grant the requested conditional use permit. The permit would allow an expansion of an existing bed and breakfast to five guest rooms or ten guests in the residence at 4541 Sawa Circle.
A second extension to USE1997-00072 to allow development of a commercial/retail building in a Waterfront Industrial zoning district.
Staff recommendation: That the Planning Commission adopt the directors analysis and findings and grant an extension for 18 months to the previously approved Conditional Use permit (USE1999-00009) with the same conditions as contained in the Notice of Decision dated June 23, 1999. The conditions are as follows:
b. If it is determined by the director that the 24 spaces on the subject site is inadequate for the summer tourist uses, the applicant shall manage the dock facility parking area such that overflow parking may occur at the dock site serve cruise ships at the dock. when not used to
An extension to USE1999-00028 to allow construction of a commercial/retail building in a designated hazard zone.
Applicant: JENSEN YORBA LOTT
Staff recommendation: That the Planning Commission adopt the director's analysis and findings and grant an extension for 18 months to the previously approved Conditional Use permit (USE1999-00028).
An extension of VAR1999-00021 to allow reduction of required parking from 60 to 24 spaces for a new commercial/retail building.
Staff recommendation: That the Board of Adjustment adopt the director's analysis and findings and grant an extension for 18 months to the previously approved Variance (VAR1999-00021) with the same conditions as contained in the Notice of Decision dated June 23, 1999. Those conditions are as follows:
VI. CONSIDERATION OF ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS - None
VII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS - None
VIII. REGULAR AGENDA
A variance to allow a 20-foot setback from Nine Mile Creek, where the Code requires a 50-foot streamside setback.
Location: 10555 NORTH DOUGLAS HIGHWAY
Applicant: HENRY M. DEPPNER
Staff recommendation: That the Board of Adjustment adopt the director's analysis and findings and determine that criteria 1-6 found in Section 49.20.250 are met and grant the variance as requested. This recommendation is made subject to the following conditions:
Mr. Kendziorek requested that this item be removed from the Consent Agenda only to comment on its merit, therefore, a staff report would not be necessary. He commented that setbacks are important features in thoughtful community planning; yet this particular circumstance is a perfect example where a variance to the setback is appropriate. Ms. Kreel's thorough analysis demonstrates that there are situations where a streamside setback can be varied and still be in compliance with the Comprehensive Plan and the Juneau Coastal Management Plan.
Mr. Pusich agreed with Mr. Kendziorek, stating that this particular development was deserving of a variance.
Mr. Dybdahl asked if there were any member of the public who wished to testify. No one wished to testify and public testimony was closed.
Motion: by Mr. Kendziorek to adopt staff's analysis, findings, and recommendations and approve VAR2000-00042.
There was no objection, the motion passed.
A City project review of the expansion of Douglas Harbor launching, mooring and parking facilities.
Staff report: Heather Marlow explained that the harbor expansion project would provide needed moorage facilities and better provide for parking, traffic circulation and launching demands. This expansion project has been on the Capital Improvement Priority List since 1986, but funding has been elusive until 1998, when the project was included in Proposition #3 Sales Tax project list. When the measure passed, $3 million dollars was allocated towards the Douglas Harbor expansion project. The project before the Commission is presented as a Master Plan in that it covers several areas of improvement taking place in four phases. Improvements will be made to moorage and launch facilities, as well; the limited harbor parking will be augmented with additional spaces. Other improvements, such as additional bathrooms, garbage containers and seawalks will improve the appearance and functionality of the entire area. The project also entails dredging and filling activities. The review before the Planning Commission contains Phases I through III.
Phase I, dealing with dredging of Area 5 on the site plan, is funded through Proposition #3 funds, however, Phases II and III do not have funding sources identified thus far. The Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee, the Docks and Harbor Board have reviewed the Master Plan. The project is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.
Ms. Marlow explained that the Savikko Park and Douglas Harbor are areas renown for parking congestion and site circulation, particularly during the spring and summer. The Master Plan proposes alleviate these problems by retaining the existing parking on the upland side of Savikko Road, by reconstructing Savikko Road and developing 229 new parking spaces and 54 new trailer spaces. The Master Plan seems to be able to accommodate its own parking demands and improve the area for all users. The Code addresses landscaping. CDD is looking for a combination of vegetated cover and public improvements to meet the intent of landscaping in the Code. The harbor expansion project will use fill from the harbor basin as well as fill from the proposed Fish Creek gravel permit site. The development will occur in Phases spread over three years. While a substantial number of trips made by dump trucks will be made, the pacing will mitigate the impact. As well, a Condition is in place to restrict traffic during peak hours.
Ms. Marlow announced that CBJ staff from the Harbor and Engineering Departments as well as their consultants are in attendance and are available for further comments.
Staff recommendation: That the Planning Commission adopt the director's analysis and findings and approve the Douglas Harbor Master Plan as proposed. The approval is subject to the following conditions:
Mr. Bavard asked what entity would assume responsibility for maintaining the landscaping. Ms. Marlow indicated that the Harbor Department maintains their own facilities.
Mr. Bavard also asked for detailed clarification of Condition No. 4, which deals with the private property acquisition. What was the status of the property acquisition? Mr. Bavard stated concerns about the potential for the timetables to be disrupted. Ms. Marlow said that Phase I required private property acquisition. The Harbor Department is also an Enterprise Board and is thereby entitled to negotiate for the acquisition of land. The intent expressed in Condition No. 4 requires that the property negotiations be finalized prior to groundbreaking.
Mr. Pusich noted Condition No. 8, wherein dredging and fill disposal activities in the tidal regions are exempted from CBJ noise regulations. Ms. Marlow explained that CBJ Engineering anticipates the dredging activities will take from ten days to two weeks. Due to the necessity of working at low tide and within a narrow window of time, the need for flexibility arose. Condition No. 8 encompasses dredging only and not the import of fill material. Considering Douglas's noise related concerns, Mr. Pusich urged caution. He explained that the equipment commonly known as the "clam shell" could be fairly noisy at times, depending on conditions.
Mr. Pusich next asked staff to explain the nature of the contamination in the 2400 cubic yards of material to be dredged from the Old Steamship dock. Specifically, is one contaminated substance merely being transported to another site? Ms. Marlow explained that dredging at the Old Steamship site serves two purposes. First, the ground level will be lowered thereby facilitating the safe docking of cruise ships and secondly, the removal of the contaminant from the area. The proposal includes laying fill in Area 1 of the Douglas Harbor expansion. The first layer of fill is saturated with tidal water. The contaminated material will sit on top of the water-saturated fill, which will in turn be capped with clean fill. Additionally, an oil and water system will be installed below the contaminated material, which the contaminants will be separated out. The intent is that the contaminated fill will be above ground water and it will be cleaned out.
Mr. Kendziorek asked what the contaminate material was. Ms. Marlow invited the consultant to the Harbor Department to come forward to address the Planning Commission.
Dick Summerville, 3220 Hospital Drive, Ste. 220, is employed by Peratrovich, Nottingham and Drage, the consulting firm on the Douglas Harbor expansion project. Mr. Summerville's role is the Project Manager of the consulting team. Mr. Summerville explained that hydrocarbon contamination from long ago operations around the Steamship Wharf was identified about three years ago when preliminary steps were taken to arrive at an adequate berth depth for the cruise ships. Since that time, engineers have searched for a suitable disposal site for this material so that dredging could begin. The Savikko Road project provides a suitable disposal site and this type of solution has been used in the past for other marine projects. As well, the Department of Environmental Conservation has approved of this method.
Mr. Sanford asked how far down the dredging at the Old Steamship dock must go? Mr. Summerville said it was a sliver that varied between 0 and 7 feet.
Mr. Pusich noted that more fill would be removed from the Old Steamship dock than is needed in the Douglas Harbor. Considering that the gravel resources are limited areawide, if the fill material were drained and stockpiled, could it be utilized at another CBJ project rather than disposing it into the ocean? Mr. Summerville said that more fill could be used than is noted on the permit application and also, he wasn't aware of any other CBJ projects that could utilize the surplus. This material in question is primarily marine silts and sands, which is poor foundation material. For example, its use to be effective in the Douglas Harbor, it must be capped with four to seven feet of shot rock material.
Joe Graham, CBJ Port Director, came forward to address the land acquisition details involved in the Phase I of the Douglas Harbor expansion project. The Docks and Harbor Board is committed to acquiring portions of the properties necessary for the completion of the fill. Mr. Graham referred the Planning Commission to a map titled, Douglas Harbor Master Plan No. 8 to demonstrate where the private property in question lay. The Docks and Harbor Board is interested in acquiring the submerged portions only of private property located on 1st Street, at the left of the Douglas Harbor. Currently, he is negotiating the purchase of these parcels from the property owners. At this point, they have received counter offers. Some of the property owners have indicated their desire to sell the uplands portion of the properties as well. Mr. Graham explained that this is not practicable because there are statutory constraints precluding the Docks and Harbor Board from purchasing property beyond their needs. Those issues will be worked out over the next couple of months. The bottom line is that the project cannot go forward until that property is purchased and the Docks and Harbor Board will take whatever steps necessary to acquire the property.
Mr. Sanford wanted to be clear that the concept was to purchase the wetlands up to the buildings? Mr. Graham stated that they wanted to purchase lands up to the bank of the shore. At this point the CBJ only owns the tideland delineated as "No. 4" on the above referenced map.
Mr. Graham restated to the Planning Commission that the bottom line for the project is that obtaining the submerged portion of private property is necessary to complete the fill and they would take whatever steps necessary to acquire the submerged tidelands.
Mr. Bavard referred to Mr. Graham's statement that the Docks and Harbor Board was unable to purchase property beyond their needs. He asked if any consideration was given to purchasing the uplands and using that for parking instead of dredging and filling of the tidelands? Mr. Graham stated that the only property needed was the submerged tidelands, up to the bankline. Purchasing the uplands and using it for parking was considered, however, there is no money to accomplish that nor is it a real need. In this particular case, it is cheaper to fill the submerged lands than to buy the uplands.
Dale Henkins, of Douglas, is the property owner of Lot 19 and 19A, which is delineated on the Douglas Harbor Master Plan No. 8 as "No. 6." Mr. Henkins is grateful that the CBJ will not issue the grading permit until the property dealings have been finalized. He referred to his letter that he submitted to the Planning Commission and he wanted to speak to those concerns. He has lived in that area since 1947 and he later purchased the property from his father. Mr. Henkins's view has always been that at some point the property would one day be included in a harbor expansion project and he is not against that. As a property owner, he has always been concerned that one day he would abruptly be put on notice that the bulldozers were coming and he had to get out. He understands that the whims of government agencies depend on funding and that has made him nervous over the years. Several years ago, he pointedly asked the Port Director about the timing of the project. Mr. Graham told him that due to funding, most likely the harbor expansion wouldn't happen for perhaps seven years to nine years. At many meetings, Mr. Henkins had been told that the harbor plan was to take the property from the road right-of-way to the harbor. It was a given fact, only the timing was unknown. Two months ago, Mr. Henkins attended a meeting with Mr. Graham and learned that the Docks and Harbor Board now had Master Plan No. 8 and he would be inundated by parking lot. He was incredulous that this happened without anything being said to the property owners, nor were there any public meetings as the Master Plan was being developed.
Mr. Henkins believes that if this project goes forward as planned, and if the Docks and Harbor Board did not buy the uplands portion of his property then he would effectively be left unsaleable property. What bank would finance the purchase of his property knowing that at some point the Harbor will take the remaining property? Having said that, Mr. Henkins explained that he made a reasonable counter offer to the Harbor Department and received the following response from Mr. Graham in a letter dated October 30, 2000. The letter states: "unfortunately, your counteroffer cannot be accepted because it would more than exhaust the funding available for the Docks and Harbors Department for property acquisition for the Douglas Harbor expansion project." To Mr. Henkins, that means that there is not adequate funding to complete this project in the location they wanted.
Other concerns focus on Mr. Graham's statement that "no mud will be moved until we acquire this property and we'll do whatever is necessary." On surface, it seems like they'll work at this, however, as a private person, Mr. Henkins is going up against Mr. Graham, who is a part of a much larger organization known as the Harbor Board. For example, Mr. Graham had the tidelands assessed for the "fee simple market square footage value," and arrived at $3 per square foot, or $17,000. While he is unaware of what the fair market value of that property is, Mr. Henkins stated that portion of his lot it is currently assessed at $65,000. In light of that fact, Mr. Henkins is deeply alarmed by Mr. Graham's comments indicating, "we will do what we have to do to acquire your property."
Mr. Henkins also raised the issue of a storm drain that may have been overlooked in the harbor expansion plan. The storm drain, which isn't connected to anything, is located between Lots 19 and 18. Another issue is the potential problems that filling in the tideland property may create for the uplands. Since some of the structures built on the uplands are on pilings, this presents a serious drainage issue for the property owners. Mr. Henkins cites this as an example of the plan's lack of concern for the property owners. Due to the speed that this project has progressed, not enough time has been spent on the grading and drainage impacts on the upland area.
Mr. Henkins referred to the September 23, 2000 permit issued by the Army Corps of Engineers that states on page 2, that "this permit does not grant any property rights or exclusive privileges." He was glad that the Corps had implied that his property hadn't been confiscated by the CBJ. However, he is concerned that the City, by its refusal to pay fair market value for his property, is treating him as though his property had been confiscated. Mr. Henkins further quotes from the permit, stating, "this permit does not authorize any injury to the property rights of others."
In closing, Mr. Henkins said that if the Docks and Harbors Board does not have resources to take care of the upland, then the project should be put on hold or else, the Master Plan should be revisited to consider alternatives that do not impact the upland property owners.
Mr. Kendziorek noted that the submerged portion of Mr. Henkins's property amounted to 60% of the total lot. Since this portion of the property is below the tidelands, is it correct to say that it is unusable? Mr. Henkins said that wasn't the case. For example, he uses it for boat storage, he also uses it to launch a skiff to access his mining claims located on the old Treadwell mine tailings. Further, he could also drive piles on the waterfront and build a building, or he may fill the property himself to build a structure. However, Mr. Henkins primarily values the tideland portion of his property for its waterfront characteristics. He likes the tidal action, and he enjoys hosting summer beach parties. However, he understands that there is a greater good to the community by selling his property and he has no plans to hold up the harbor expansion. He asks that the financial issue to be settled.
Mr. Dybdahl recalled CBJ Port Director, Joe Graham to clarify how much of the actual uplands portion of the private property is needed for the harbor expansion project or is this need relative to the engineering and the fill? Mr. Graham stated that in the actual Corps of Engineers application, the property was identified as being utilized for parking. Even with this property being used for parking, the project falls short of what is needed in the parking formula for a small boat harbor. The initial negotiating posture with the property owners was to fill in the property for their use, due to the fact that funds for property acquisition were limited. Subsequent to that, the Harbor Board has made decisions that freed up some other funds. These funds will now be used for out right purchase of the submerged tidelands.
Mr. Bruce asked if in the event that a negotiated sale failed, was the City prepared to condemn the property? Mr. Graham stated that the issue of condemnation had been discussed. At this point, he is very positive about the negotiations and they will continue to move forward. In that regard, another appraisal will be done that will take the waterfront value of the submerged tidelands into consideration. The property owners will then be re-contacted for further negotiations.
Mr. Bruce asked what notice or interaction has occurred between the Harbor Board and the Douglas Neighborhood Association in terms of informing them of the size and scope of the project? Mr. Graham said that in the past two years, there have been three or four meetings with the Neighborhood Association. Mr. Bruce asked if they knew about Douglas Harbor Master Plan No. 8? Mr. Graham stated he expected that they did, adding that the Army Corps of Engineers noticed the affected property owners as a part of their permit review.
Mr. Sanford asked staff what was the land use designation of the property and whether or not the drainage issue that Mr. Henkins addressed was considered in the Master Plan? Ms. Marlow indicated the land was that it was Waterfront Industrial. Mr. Graham understood that the drainage issue had been resolved and he deferred further discussion on that to Mr. Summerville.
Mr. Sanford inquired if Mr. Graham had conversations with the property owners regarding their concerns for filling in the uplands portion of their property. For example, would the property owners be interested in utilizing the surplus fill? Mr. Graham stated that property owners were given the option of having fill deposited beneath their property.
Mr. Dybdahl referred to earlier plans to fill the tidelands portion of their property and leaving it for the property owner's use. Was that notion still on the table? Mr. Graham stated that everything was still on the table and is being negotiated. However, the posture of the Harbor Board at this time is that it needs the submerged properties for parking. If that can't be done, then the earlier option may still be a viable alternative.
Mr. Bavard asked for clarification as to how the submerged property would used if acquired. Would it be for parking immediately or for future parking? Mr. Graham stated that the property would not be left vacant; it will be used immediately for automobile and trailer parking.
Mr. Sanford asked if this Master Plan included fixing the parking situation at Savikko Park? Mr. Graham stated that further phases include a complete restructuring of Savikko Road.
Ms. Gladziszewki asked Mr. Graham to elaborate on the process of condemnation. Should the property owners be worried about their property being condemned? Mr. Graham explained that government agencies could condemn private property for public purposes. Once a property is condemned, there is a court process that establishes fair market value. After the court determines the value, the Harbor Department would be obligated to pay the value.
Ms. Gladziszewski asked if Mr. Graham was approaching the point where he would condemn the private property? He stated that the parties were still in active negotiations.
Mr. Pusich asked Mr. Graham to elaborate what kind of buffers will be employed to separate the future parking lot from the private property. Mr. Graham said some property owners have suggested a fence, however, negotiations have not progressed to that detail.
Mr. Pusich asked CDD staff what would happen if the project is carried out and property lines are redrawn and then the setback requirements are not met. He puzzled over how a separation between the divided properties could be established which would also meets the current Land Use Code. Ms. Easterwood stated that a Variance would be required.
Mr. Graham stated that one possibility relative to the buildings would be to construct a retaining wall so that they remain supported on their piles.
Mr. Bavard notes that the Master Plan included the demolition of the grid in the Douglas Harbor. Are there plans to replace the two local grids that will now be lost? Mr. Graham said that there are no immediate plans for replacement; however, it is the policy of the Board to replace those in some shape, form or manner. While replacement will be more costly due to the environmental constraints, the Board is committed to reconstruct the grids at some point.
Mr. Dybdahl recalled Mr. Summerville to address the drainage concerns.
Mr. Sanford asked how the uplands on First Street would be interfaced with the parking lot. Mr. Summerville noted that the design documents presented to the Planning Commission were early planning documents that were drafted in 1999 through early 2000. Since that time, the storm drain issue that Mr. Henkins raised has been resolved as the project progressed to the design phase.
A retaining wall has also been designed to keep the fill from travelling under the piles. As well, drainage pipes have been added to draw off water accumulating under the property. The drainage pipes lead to an oil and water separator before discharging into the basin.
Mr. Pusich asked how much time will occur between phases of the project, specifically how long after the preliminary base course layers are established will final paving take place? Mr. Summerville stated that settlement-monitoring devises would be installed and monitored. In terms of drainage structures, they will be installed into the shot rock and not into dredge materials. No settlement at that level is anticipated. Some settlement on the surface is expected, however. This will be monitored and in the future, some re-grading is likely. It could be years down the road before that site is paved.
William League, a property owner of sites 6 and 10 on the Douglas Harbor Master Plan No 8 map. Mr. League also owns and operates Tanner's Service Center. Regarding the drains, there are two drains on lot 6; one is on the north corner and the other is on the south corner of Lot 6. He states that there are also drains between lots 9 and 10 that run under the street and into the beach grass. Mr. League doesn't know who owns the drains, but it is dumping sediment under his structure. His building is not salvageable due to moisture from the tide. By putting retaining walls around the building will cause a moisture barrier to form, which will facilitate the rot and accelerate the loss of the building pilings. If the space under the building were filled then it would also be difficult and expensive to replace rotted pilings. Mr. League stated that in the mid-1980's he had plans to develop the lot fully. Due to the downturn in the economy, his plans were tabled but they still have hopes to proceed. He doesn't want to loose his tidal property.
Mr. League recalls a conversation with Mr. Graham where he stated to them that condemnation proceedings could not be carried because land cannot be condemned for public parking only. He doesn't know what has changed. He said what has been offered to him is this: "we reach a deal that is favorable to the City or we condemn your land." Mr. League objects to loosing his investment and his life's work. Furthermore, his future financial well-being is tied up into that land. The amount of money that he was offered for the tidelands doesn't even come close to the value of a small commercial building that he rents on the property.
The Douglas waterfront is unique. When he considers developing his property, he deals with unrealistic setbacks on the sides and front. Because it is a business area, Mr. League is required to build to new conditions which require more parking space. If the waterside were filled in, a new setback requirement would be imposed which would make future development of the property very, very difficult. For example, Mr. McCormick, the owner of Lot 8 has a building that takes up the entire lot. For him to rebuild to meet the current setback and parking requirements, his building would be 10-foot by 10-foot by 34 feet high. He suggests a compromise would be to exempt the property owners from these requirements. As it stands, the property owners would be better served if the CBJ purchased their entire property. In closing, if eminent domain is now a factor, the property owners must be told.
No one else wished to testify and public testimony was closed.
The proposed meandering property lines that were indicated in the Master Plan No. 8 concerned Mr. Bavard. He feared that this proposal would render the property useless to its owners if at any time they wanted to build something new. This would compound the existing challenges that the property owners are now facing and result in non-conforming buildings because of the setback requirements. Mr. Bavard asked what impact would changing the meandering line have on the project. Mr. Graham said that the meandering line represents the bankline, and it represents an area that must be filled.
Mr. Sanford asked if water, sewer and electricity for this extension were included in Phase I. Mr. Graham indicated that it would come with a later phase.
Mr. Kendziorek asked staff to clarify a procedural question, namely what action is the Planning Commission asked to take on this project review? Ms. Easterwood indicated that the Planning Commission is reviewing and approving a City project and an approval of the project is anticipated. Mr. Kendziorek noted that the project before the Commission seems incomplete with many uncertainties. He was hesitant to take any action because there isn't a precise plan in place for the fill area.
Mr. Bruce agreed, adding his concerns focused on the private property acquisition. If the Harbor Department was unable to negotiate the purchase and they elected to condemn the property then it goes to court. In that event, the City could be required to pay much more money than it intended. Since the Port Director states that there are no more funds available than what has been offered, the project could be killed.
Ms. Marlow asked if the Commission would consider approving the concept. Before a grading permit is issued outstanding drainage and the effects of placing fill onto existing structures will need to be addressed. Furthermore, during the subdivision of the land, the setback issues will also be addressed. She had hoped to get a concept approval from the Commission, understanding that there were details that still needed to be worked out. In fact, Condition No. 4 addresses this very concern.
Mr. Sanford noted that since staff handles the Grading permit, this would be the only opportunity for the Douglas Harbor expansion project to be reviewed by the Planning Commission. Ms. Marlow agreed. Mr. Sanford did not approve since there would be no further opportunity to provide input on the project.
Mr. Bavard acknowledge Ms. Marlow's point, however, he was concerned by the impact on the upland property owners. Granted, there are current setback issues facing the uplands, but he was loathed to make the problem worse by creating more setback problems. Some of the buildings in the area are in tough shape and will need to be replaced. If there is a new property line created by the CBJ's action, he foresees a problem when someone wants to build, but says, "because the City took this land, I don't have a lot that I can do anything with." The Planning Commission tries to avoid creating problems in the future in their work with Subdivision Review.
Mr. Bruce agrees that there is the potential for trouble, unless the CBJ and the property owners must work together so everyone's needs are met. As it stands, the upland property owners have pressing questions that need answers.
Mr. Pusich views the subject before the Planning Commission as more than a concept, rather it is a plan that has been approved by the Corps of Engineers and has progressed into the design phase. He wanted to see the property negotiations to accelerate their pace and show signs of resolution before the Commission approve of this review.
Mr. Dybdahl asked what impact timing had on the project? He observed that the community had the right to expect that any project put forth by the City be not treated any differently than a private developer's project. If these projects are allowed to go forward with so many unanswered questions, then everyone is damaged.
Mr. Sanford asked that the drainage issue be added to Condition No. 5 since it doesn't explicitly address drainage.
Motion: by Ms. Gladziszewski to approve CSP2000-00010.
Ms. Gladziszewski then indicated her opposition to the motion.
Mr. Bavard suggested that perhaps a better course would be to continue the item rather than vote it down and give the impression that the Planning Commission was opposed to the concept.
Mr. Bruce asked the Harbor Director how quickly he could address the issues that concerned the Planning Commission. Mr. Graham indicated that timing was critical. The Harbor Department wants to advertise this project by early January 2001, with the caveat that nothing happens unless the private property is acquired in a fair and reasonable fashion.
Mr. Graham also said that he was confused by what was going on. He didn't realize that the Harbor Department was here for approval or disapproval but rather only a project review. He thought he would come away from tonight's meeting with a list of concerns, covenants and conditions that would be binding on the project. Mr. Graham asked for clarification on the role that the Planning Commission played.
Ms. Easterwood stated that the CBJ Code obligates the Planning Commission with the duty to review and make recommendations to the Assembly on all City projects. How this has worked in practice is that if the Commission approves the project, then the recommendation stands, and it has not gone to the Assembly for further action (because the typical project had been reviewed by the Assembly in another form, that of the Capital Improvement Priority list). However, if the Planning Commission were to ever recommend denial of a City project, that recommendation would go straight to the Assembly. Therefore, this is a review, and the Commission must recommend either for or against the City project.
Mr. Pusich asked Mr. Graham if he had responded back to Mr. Henkins's counteroffer? How quickly are the property negotiations going? Mr. Graham said that he has not responded because he is waiting for one last property owner to respond to his letter of October 30thl. After that point, the Harbor Department will have a better understanding of its options. Currently, they have received counteroffers from several property owners that request that their uplands be purchased as well. Given the scope of the counteroffers, the Harbor Department's revenues would clearly be exhausted, many times over. After the last individual responds, Mr. Graham said he would follow up with another counter proposal.
Mr. Sanford noted the provisions of Condition No. 4 and asked what would happen if the project goes out to bid, a contractor is engaged but the project ultimately fails due to insufficient funds necessary to purchase the private property. Does the CBJ merely break the contract? Mr. Graham said that the contract could be held for 90 days before it is awarded.
Mr. Dybdahl suggested that this item came before the Planning Commission prematurely. While it can be said that all details were open for negotiations, it seemed that because of the budget constraints, this was an impossible situation because there are no answers to so many issues.
Mr. Bavard stated that because the Harbor Board was an empowered board, he didn't think that the Assembly was involved at all in terms of the money issue. It was strictly within the purview of the Harbor Board to carry out Condition No. 4. Mr. Graham concurred.
Mr. Dybdahl asked for staff to
clarify that if the project review was denied and it goes to the
Assembly, then they would have to approve the plan.
Ms. Easterwood said that this situation was truly unique. If the Planning Commission recommended denial then the project review would go to the Assembly. Because of the relationship issues between the Assembly and the Harbor Board, she could not be sure how it would be handled at that level.
Mr. Kendziorek proposed that this issue be continued for two weeks when the Planning Commission could take this up.
Mr. Graham noted that the only outstanding question was that of the property acquisition, all of the other questions were of a technical nature. Chairman Dybdahl agreed, stating that the negotiations and acquisition can be the determining factor as to what the property owners can or cannot do with their property in the future. The Harbor Department has placed the property owners in an extremely awkward position. He hoped that that Mr. Graham would note that consideration as he continues his negotiations.
Mr. Bavard is supportive of the concept but he wanted to be assured that the properties are still usable after the acquisition occurs. He wanted to work this out and not delay the project.
Mr. Dybdahl called for a 15-minute recess at 8:50 p. m. to consider additional Conditions for the resolution of this project.
The meeting was called back to order at 9:05 p.m. and Ms. Easterwood announced that there were now two alternatives for the Planning Commission to consider. First, the Commission would add a Condition that asks the Harbor Board to commit to obtaining the least amount of property possible. This would also be consistent with their necessity to acquire some property in order to minimize the impacts to the property owners.
The second alternative would be for the Planning Commission to continue its review until January 9th so that the Harbor Board will have additional time to pursue negotiations. Hopefully at that time, the Harbor Board will have all of the concerns fully answered.
Mr. Kendziorek asked Ms. Easterwood to explain how the first alternative differed from what Mr. Graham stated earlier, that they are only allowed to acquire the minimum amount necessary.
Mr. Graham stated that there is an obvious necessity to fill in the entire submerged tidelands area. He is constrained by statute to pay the fair market value for that property needed for a project. His sense from the board member present is that they are comfortable with filling in property, which is a physical necessity for that project. Rather than take the entirety of that submerged property, the Board was prepared to take the minimal. This could be perhaps, enough land for one line of parking. This will also allow the submerged tidelands owners to have filled property of their own.
Mr. Pusich asked how many feet from the property owners would that amount to. Mr. Graham guessed that it could be 20 feet, but he declined to be specific due to ongoing negotiations.
Ms. Gladziszewski withdrew her motion to approve CSP2000-00010and instead made another motion.
Motion: by Ms. Gladziszewski to continue CSP2000-00010 until January 9th.
Mr. Bruce asked Mr. Graham if delaying this until January 9th would still allow the RFP's to get out by mid January. Mr. Graham thought it would, adding that he preferred the continuance to that of restricting the Harbor Board to a specific amount of land that it might acquire.
Mr. Dybdahl asked if there were any objections to the motion on the table. There was none, and the motion to continue the carried.
A State project review of the intersection improvement at Anka Street and Glacier Highway.
Applicant: STATE OF ALASKA DOT/PF
Staff report: Heather Marlow reported that staff had considered placing this item on the Consent Agenda but thought that it would be beneficial to brief the Planning Commission on it instead. First of all, Ms. Marlow has received updated and corrected figures related to the traffic volume on Anka Street. Currently the daily traffic volume on Anka Street is 6,414 vehicles; the daily traffic volume on Glacier Highway, near Anka Street is 9,990 vehicles. Projections for the year 2021 for Anka Street are: 9,530 vehicles and for Glacier Highway: 18,050 vehicles. The project area, which encompasses 850 feet of Glacier Highway between Tyler Rental and Tonsgard Court, will be reconfigured as a four-way intersection. The Department of Transportation will acquire small pieces of land from National Bank of Alaska and ACS in order to accomplish the project.
The applicant proposes some construction limits for the project, which are outlined in the Project Description of the staff report. However, the applicant has modified the hours of where construction activity will be precluded. They have take out the construction limitation during the morning hours of 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. under the premise that that section of Glacier Highway does not experience morning rush hour traffic.
Mr. Bruce noted that there is actually an abundance of commuters travelling through that area as they drop off their middle schoolers and continue on to work.
Ms. Marlow said in conclusion that the project is in compliance with the Comprehensive Plan and the Land Use Code and the proposed Glacier Highway/Anka Street improvements will provide much needed congestion relief and improved traffic flow. Ms. Marlow also noted that several staff members from the Department of Transportation were in attendance and would be available to answer questions.
Staff recommendation: That the Planning Commission adopt the director's analysis and findings and approve the Glacier Highway/Anka Street project as proposed. The approval is subject to the following conditions:
Mr. Kendziorek asked if there would be any changes to the street lighting as a result of the project and if the lighting would use the full cut-off luminaires.
Mike Loken, an employee of the Department of Transportation and Traffic Engineer for this project came forward to address Mr. Kendziorek's questions. He said that additional lighting would be added to the existing lighting and that full cut-off luminaires are now standard with the State of Alaska capital projects.
Mr. Bavard asked if any changes or upgrades to the bike path were planned for the area. Mr. Loken said that improvements to the pedestrian routes would be made but not to the bike path. Currently, the road shoulder was the designated bike route. As with all signalized intersections, there would be provisions like bike loops so that bikers could get actuated responses from the signal.
Mr. Bruce asked what the construction schedule was and would it be complete by the start-up of the school year in the fall. Mr. Loken stated that the Department of Transportation intends to have the intersection operational by September, or the start-up of school.
Mr. Bruce asked if Mr. Loken objected to re-imposing limiting construction operations in the morning hours. Mr. Loken said he had no objection to that at all.
Motion: by Mr. Pusich to accept staff's analysis, findings and recommendations dated December 11, 2000, and approve CSP2000-00014. Additionally, that a third Condition be added to state that no construction along Glacier Highway and all intersections will be allowed between 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. during school days, and between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. during weekdays.
Mr. Kendziorek inquired whether or not the other construction limits proposed by Department of Transportation should be incorporated as additional Conditions.
Mr. Pusich agreed and the motion was revised to state the following Conditions:
Mr. Bavard supported the motion and was surprised to learn exactly how busy that intersection was. He thought that it would be a significant asset to the area.
Mr. Pusich commended staff of the Department of Transportation on their very thorough plans. Their submission made reviewing this project very easy.
Mr. Kendziorek agreed, adding that reviewing this project's plans was very refreshing
Mr. Dybdahl asked if there were any objections to the motion on the table. There was none, and the motion to approve CSP2000-00014 passed unanimously.
IX. BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT - None
X. OTHER BUSINESS - None
XI. DIRECTORS REPORT
Ms. Easterwood gave Commissioners an update on the Totem Creek Golf Course project. As of December 12, the applicant had submitted an additional three items (out of six) to CBJ Engineering Department. She expected that the project would come before the Planning Commission in January.
Ms. Easterwood reported that she attended an interesting Committee of the Whole meeting where discussions focused on how to resolve complaints lodged by caretakers who live in Industrial areas. Mr. MacKinnon recalled that he was on the Planning Commission when it was decided to allow caretaker residences in industrial zoned areas. At that time, it was predicted that some day caretakers would object to the noises, dust, and other factors associated with an industrial site. The Assembly proposes and ordinance to protect kennels that are operating in industrial zoned areas. While it is a good thing to have caretakers in these areas, the resident's need for peace and quiet is subservient to the community's need for industrial areas.
Ms. Easterwood announced that the Assemblyman John MacKinnon had arranged for a joint meeting between the Planning Commission and the Assembly. This would be an opportunity for the Planning Commission to provide an orientation to the function of the Planning Commission. The meeting is set for Tuesday, January 16th.
Ms. Easterwood introduced Oscar Graham, the newest staff member at CDD, is a Principal Planner. Mr. Graham is from Skagit County, Washington and comes with abundant experience dealing with rapid urban growth.
XII. REPORT OF REGULAR AND SPECIAL COMMITTEES - None
XIII. PLANNING COMMISSION COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS
Mr. Dybdahl commented on unusual events at tonight's meeting. There were safety issues and property rights issues that needed to be addressed by the Docks and Harbor Board that were overlooked. Bringing CSP2000-00010 before the Planning Commission at this stage was premature when the land acquisition negotiations were not yet finalized. Speaking as a citizen, Mr. Dybdahl thought that it was a good idea for these types of projects to come before the Planning Commission for review.
Mr. Bavard agreed. He wondered where the Planning Commission's Waterfront Committee fit in. It seemed if it were more active, it might have had the chance to raise the concerns of the property owners. He didn't know if it would have even been invited into that Harbor Board's process, however.
Mr. Sanford said that personally, he is supportive of harbor expansion, but he didn't thing this project was complete.
Mr. Bruce asked for an update on the enforcement of the debris that accumulates between Anka Street and Juneau Redi-Mix. Ms. Marlow said that staff reviewed all of the active gravel permits of operators in the area in question to find out what the Conditions were. As well, staff spent several hours in the field observing for violations. No problems were noted, however. The next step that CDD will take is to flesh out what options remain, including conducting another field visit to the site.
Mr. Sanford suggested that since there are so many pieces of equipment operating in that area that perhaps a new Condition can be added to somehow levy a fee, which would go towards more frequent operation of CBJ's street sweeper.
There being no other business and no objection, Chairman Dybdahl adjourned the meeting at 9:30 p.m.