MINUTES
PLANNING COMMISSION
CITY AND BOROUGH OF JUNEAU
REGULAR MEETING
October 10, 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 City Hall.

I. ROLL CALL

Commissioners present: Roger Allington, Mike Bavard, Dan Bruce, Johan Dybdahl, Maria Gladziszewski, Marshal Kendziorek, Mark Pusich, Merrill Sanford, Jody Vick

Commissioners absent: None

A quorum was present.

Staff present: Cheryl Easterwood, Director of Community Development; Tim Maguire, CDD Principal Planner; Heather Marlow, CDD Planner; Katherine Heumann, CDD Planner; Teri Camery, CDD Planner

II. APPROVAL OF MINUTES

September 26, 2000 - Regular Meeting

October 4, 2000 – Special Meeting

Motion by Mr. Kendziorek to approve the minutes of the September 26, 2000 regular meeting, with corrections and to approve the minutes of the October 4, 2000 special meeting as written.

III. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION ON NON-AGENDA ITEMS

Richard Young, 2327 O’Day Drive, spoke in regards to Building Permit 2000-000522, TO ALLOW A SINGLE-FAMILY HOUSE ON A NEW STREET ADDRESS AT 9371 SMITH COURT. The lot currently has a duplex sitting on it. CDD contends that the one lot is actually two lots, Lot 1 and portion of Lot 3, Block A Airport Acres Subdivision. Mr. Young disagrees with CDD’s determination and he stated his reasons.

In 1956, Lot 3 was subdivided because a house that was built on Lot 1 had its septic tank system on a portion of Lot 3. The result was one lot that had been bought and sold as one lot and had been taxed as one lot ever since. The power poll on the lot is tagged, "2321 O’Day." Now the new portion of Lot 3 has a new tax id number and new street address. Mr. Cheney contends that the subdivision preceded CDD platting authority, which was not extended to the Mendenhall Valley until 1960. The first deed for this lot, recorded in 1964, shows that it is actually one lot.

Another thing in question is: Per CBJ Code, this lot is substandard in size by approximately 2600 square feet for a single-family dwelling. He was told that there were instances when non-conforming lots have been issued permits, but he wonders where the lots are? Are they downtown or in Douglas, where lots are substantially smaller, or are they in the Mendenhall Valley?

Mr. Young wanted to address several other facts. In July 1999 a Compliance Order was issued to D & M Rentals for their continued use of the duplex located at 2321 O’Day Drive as a commercial warehouse. The property is zoned D-5. Mr. Young states that it is still being used by D & M Rentals for maintenance of the hotels and of the apartments. Dan Garcia, CDD Enforcement Officer has photographed the violations and has issued another Notice of Violation in August 2000. Mr. Young reports that last Sunday, a contractor was backing a container trailer into one of the garages. Mr. Young stated that without any action by the CBJ on the compliance, the first floor of the duplex would generate its own commercial traffic.

Frontier Suite Annex III was proposed but it ran into problems with traffic and parking. D & M had to resubmit the Frontier Suites application as a stand-alone hotel under the name of Airport Suites. Before the building was finished, D & M Rentals applied for and received a permit to build a sky bridge, thereby annexing the stand-alone hotel into the Frontier Suites Annex III.

Mr. Young does not want to be blind-sided by the new development going on a D-5 residential lot. CDD has not been very effective in enforcing the zoning regulations on this particular developer. It is very selective about whom they go after and who they don’t and Mr. Young believes that money has a lot to do with it.

Mr. Young urged the Planning Commission to stop the further development before it starts and issue a cease and desist order to prevent further trees from being cut down. Ground has not been broken, but Mr. Young believes that it will happen within the next few days. He wants the issue of whether the property in question is one lot or two resolved.

Mr. Kendziorek asked for a clarification on the tree cutting. Mr. Young reiterated that he believes D & M Rentals will be building another warehouse on the site.

IV. RECONSIDERATION OF THE FOLLOWING ITEMS

USE2000-00060

Possible reconsideration of a Conditional Use permit to locate and operate a portable asphalt plant in the lower West Mendenhall Valley near the end of Crazy Horse Drive.

Location: CURTIS AVENUE
Applicant: MONTANA CREEK DEVELOPMENT INC.

Mr. Bruce disclosed that he had a conflict of interest on USE2000-00060 and he stepped down from review and consideration of this matter.

Commission Action:

Motion – by Mr. Vick for reconsideration of USE2000-00060.

ROLL CALL VOTE:

Yeas: Allington, Bavard, Dybdahl, Gladziszewski, Kendziorek, Pusich, Sanford, VicK

Nays: None

The Motion passed, 0 - 8.

Mr. Vick stated that with the conditions added and because of the short length that the permit is authorized for, if there were problems, the interests of those affected would be protected.

Mr. Dybdahl, who wasn’t at the October 4th Special Meeting, asked if all of the Conditions would be required of the applicant at the time the operation starts up. Mr. Vick said that they would.

Mr. Pusich said that he too wasn’t at the October 4th, but he had a question pertaining to the hours of operation. Did they the hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. apply seven days a week? Ms. Heumann said that was correct. Mr. Allington added that information provided to the Commission by the applicant indicated that they would not operate seven days a week but the permit would allow them to operate seven days.

Mr. Bavard wanted to verify that the motion before the body included all of the amendments that were added at the October 4th meeting.

Mr. Kendziorek stated that his original motion gave the applicant until the end of the year to operate - which would be time enough to experiment. The short duration for the permit seemed rational because the applicant himself had indicated that he had approximately five days of asphalt work left for the season. He also acknowledged Mr. Vick’s argument that permitting the applicant only through the end of the year might not be sufficient time if weather did not permit. The Planning Commission’s intent was to provide a test to see if the asphalt plant created the problems that people warned about: noise, smoke and odor. If the time period were shortened, the applicant would still have time to do the experiment and time to re-apply if the neighbors didn’t have an objection. Mr. Kendziorek said he would support an amendment that pushed the date back to the end of May.

Mr. Allington supported pushing the date back to June 1st, however, in Juneau; there is no guarantee that the weather conditions will allow for paving projects to proceed.

Mr. Dybdahl said he was concerned that the test period had an extreme number of conditions that equated into an investment by the applicant when the possibility existed that the permit would be jerked from him, depending on the conditions. Mr. Dybdahl thought at a lot was being asked of the applicant and it may not be fair to anyone to put the facility to a test in that area. Mr. Dybdahl was in a quandary. He did not want to burden either side and he was therefore, inclined to vote,"no" as the motion is currently structured in terms of the time period.

Mr. Allington commented that the applicant could re-apply for the permit renewal any time prior to its expiration. If the experiment works, then there would be no problem renewing the permit. If it doesn’t and the applicant can’t keep the noise down, then it ends on June 15th.

Ms. Gladziszewski stated that she thought that the applicant deserved a chance to prove his case. If it works like the applicant says and the room isn’t full of people with complaints then the renewal should move forward. Ms. Gladziszewski cited testimony that another asphalt plant was necessary in Juneau. However, she did not support the original motion due to the June 15th expiration date. She suggested an alternative approach be to say, "the plant has operated "X" number then the permit ends May 30th and if not, then the permit is extended to June 15th.

Mr. Pusich agreed. He supported the June 15th deadline because of historical weather patterns. However, if the applicant got with his work done, then there should be a caveat that the applicant has to stop operations.

Mr. Sanford suggested an amendment to read, "the permit shall be valid for ten days of operation or June 15th whichever comes first."

Mr. Kendziorek accepted that as a friendly amendment and then he would also support it.

Prior to the roll call vote, Ms. Easterwood referred the Commission’s attention to Finding No. 5.

Mr. Sanford stated that all of the professional people that testified said that this project could be done; however, no one wants to overburden the CBJ with a heavy enforcement problem.

Mr. Kendziorek said with regard to neighborhood harmony, that Finding No. 5 be worded to state, "that the Planning Commission believes based on the preceding analysis and information from experts, that the asphalt plant will not substantially decrease value or be out of harmony, but this experiment is designed to determine if that is in fact the case."

Noting the guidance of the Commission, Ms. Easterwood added "that it may be unreasonable to obtain this information any other way than by having a test period."

Mr. Pusich agreed with Mr. Kendziorek and said that the Findings should reflect that it is important to have a demonstration period. Mr. Dybdahl suggested that the wording be stated in the affirmative.

Ms. Gladziszewski asked for final clarification on Amendment No. 1 " the permit shall be valid through June 15th or ten days of paving operations, whichever comes first?" Mr. Dybdahl concurred.

Commission Action:

Revised motion: by Mr. Kendziorek that the Planning Commission adopts Conditional Use 2000-00060 with the following Conditions:

ROLL CALL VOTE:

Yeas: Allington, Bavard, Dybdahl, Gladziszewski, Kendziorek, Pusich, Sanford, Vick

Nays: None

The Motion passed unanimously, 8 - 0.

V. CONSENT AGENDA

Mr. Dybdahl announced that there were two items on the Consent Agenda USE2000-00062 and USE2000-00064. Mr. Kendziorek requested that USE2000-00064 be pulled from the Consent Agenda and moved to the Regular Agenda.

MOTION - by Mr. Pusich to approve the Consent Agenda that included USE2000-00062 (as listed below). There being no objection, it was so ordered.

USE2000-00062

A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT FOR A MOBILE HOME RESIDENCE.

Location: 7337 NORTH DOUGLAS HIGHWAY

Applicant: TLINGIT & HAIDA REGIONAL HOUSING AUTHORITY

Staff recommendation: That the Planning Commission adopt the director’s analysis and findings and grant the requested Conditional Use permit. The permit would allow the placement of a 56-foot mobile home residence at 7337 North Douglas Highway.

VI. CONSIDERATION OF ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS - None

VII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS - None

VIII. REGULAR AGENDA

USE2000-00064

A Conditional Use permit FOR A 12 UNIT HOTEL IN THE WC, WATERFRONT COMMERCIAL ZONE.

Location: 1250 WEST NINTH STREET

Applicant: JUNEAU HOTEL PROPERTIES

Staff report: Ms. Heumann reviewed the project for the Planning Commission.

The applicant requests a Conditional Use permit for a 12-unit hotel in the waterfront

commercial zone. It will be accessed by way of Ninth Street. The building

itself will be three stories, with a total height o 34 feet above grade. Guest

parking will be to the side of the hotel. It is very similar to the hotel that has just

been completed and it would have typical one-bedroom hotel rooms. The location

is on the north side of West Ninth Street and it is west of the previously approved

66-unit business hotel that was approved in 1995 and 1997. That proposal fronted on the approach to the Juneau-Douglas Bridge and was to be accessed on West Ninth

Street. A review of those records, it appeared that traffic parking and the definition

of a hotel were items that were addressed, however, that hotel was never built.

Then in August of 1999, a 12-unit hotel was permitted and was constructed.

CBJ Land Use Codes define a hotel as follows: "hotel means building offering

transient lodging accommodations to the general public an which may provide

additional services such as restaurants, meeting rooms, or recreational facilities."

The proposal clearly meets the first part of the definition of a hotel in that it provides accommodations to the general public.

The Comprehensive Plan designation for the site is WC, Waterfront Commercial.

The Waterfront Commercial Designation states: The land is to be used primarily

for waterfront dependent and water-related commercial uses and, in special cases,

for water-related mixed uses including hotel and residential uses.

Parking. The site is accessed by taking a right turn only onto West Ninth Street

from eastbound Egan Drive. West Ninth is a 60-foot public right-of-way that is

without curb, gutter or sidewalk. There were some concerns expressed by CBJ

Engineering department and there is a condition on the permit addressing drainage.

Parking and Circulation. Comments from Ernie Muller, CBJ Public Works Director

noted the limited and somewhat awkward access to this site as well as the presence

of the CBJ heavy equipment shop. Mr. Muller asked that the applicant be made

aware of these conditions but requested that there be no additional mitigating

conditions to the permit as a consequence. The proposal for parking is one space

per four units, or three spaces and one space that is ADA approved and van-accessible.

Regarding public health and safety, staff has found no evidence that the development,

as proposed would jeopardize public health and safety nor would the proposed

development be out of harmony with the surrounding neighborhood, nor did it

impact property values.

Staff recommendation: That the Planning Commission adopt the director’s analysis

and findings and grant the requested Conditional Use permit. The permit would allow

the development of a 12-unit hotel on West Ninth Street subject to the following condition:

All drainage facilities shall be designed to carry waters to the nearest practicable

drainage way approved by the building official or other appropriate jurisdiction

as a safe place to deposit such waters. Erosion of ground in the area of discharge

shall be prevented by installation of nonerosive down drains or other devises.

Building pads shall have a drainage gradient of 2 percent toward approved

facilities, unless waived by the building official.

Mr. Kendziorek stated that the reason he wanted this item removed from the consent

agenda was that it appeared from the drawings that the height requirement was met

by the addition of a berm. If the measurement was taken from the berm to roofline,

the figure would be 35 feet. Mr. Kendziorek asked if this was another case of a

building using a berm in order to sidestep the height requirement?

Ms. Heumann stated that there was an ordinance on the books that precludes an

applicant from doing that. As well, she had asked the applicant that question directly and

was told that the building would measure 34 feet without using a berm.

Mr. Kendziorek said that although it was possible that the map could be scaled wrong,

he wanted this to be verified. Ms. Heumann stated that with the ordinance is in place,

if the hotel were out of compliance with the height standard, then the applicant cannot

build the hotel regardless of the receipt of a Conditional Use permit issued by the Planning Commission. Mr. Kendziorek stated that he would then support a motion to

grant the Conditional Use permit and requested that CDD confirm that the building is not

over the height restriction, based on the berm.

Mr. Pusich agreed with the intent of Mr. Kendziorek's concern but he said that before

the applicant can get a building permit he would have to submit drawings with dimensions.

At that point, CDD and the Building Department would be able to verify the dimensions.

Mr. Allington asked that it be clear to all, that he worked on the earlier hotel project

but had no involvement on this project, regardless that materials citing his name were

included as supporting documentation.

Mr. Sanford asked if staff had any concerns about the traffic feeding out of West Ninth.

Mr. Allington stated that a complete analysis was performed for Tiffany's project, or

Malamute Suites (which was not built). He stated that particularly with the light volume

of traffic, the access patterns were not a problem.

Mr. Allington asked about the gravel street status of West Ninth. Did staff know

of an ordinance that required developers to improve or pave at least the frontage

and out to the half width of the street in a development such as this? Ms. Heumann

was not aware of any ordinance. However, Terry Brenner did speak to the applicant

about the possibility of getting together a LID for this area. It wasn't something that

CDD could include as a Condition, but the applicant was favorable to this solution.

Mr. Sanford asked about the open spaces ready for development in this area. Looking

ahead, are there future problems that the Planning Commission should note with regard

to the Egan and Ninth Street intersection?

Mr. Pusich asked if Mr. Allington had seen a full build-out of the area at the time of his

research? Mr. Allington said that the only issue considered was the 66-unit hotel

project. He thought that Mr. Sanford's question was excellent and should be looked

into. A method that has been utilized in other jurisdictions was to require the inclusion

of a LID for any developer that comes in. For example, with a large developer, on a

1000-acre project, the developer acquiesces to a LID before the property is subdivided.

Commission Action:

Motion: by Mr. Kendziorek that the Planning Commission accept staff's recommendations, findings and conditions including the condition stated in the addendum and grant USE2000-00064.

Mr. Bavard asked staff about the nature of the design. The project is called a hotel, but

the room plans resemble apartments. This leads Mr. Bavard to question the adequacy

of the parking spaces. He asked for an analysis on the definition of a hotel and how the

number of parking spaces is arrived at. Ms. Heumann stated that this establishment

meets the definition of a hotel prescribed in the CBJ Land Use Code even with the

amenities such as a refrigerator and stove. Even though this facility does not offer

restaurants, meeting rooms or recreational facilities on site, and it only offers simple

amenities, it meets the definition.

Mr. Kendziorek asked if the Code makes a distinction between a hotel and an apartment

building? Ms. Easterwood indicated that the major reason that the distinction becomes

important was the parking. The Planning Commission discussed the distinction in depth

when the 66-unit hotel came before the body twice. It was determined that cooking facilities

are now standard in many hotels, so consistently a building that has cooking facilities has

not been defined as an apartment. Mr. Vick added that the Frontier Suites all have cooking facilities in each unit and it is a legitimate hotel.

ROLL CALL VOTE:

Yeas: Allington, Bavard, Bruce, Dybdahl, Gladziszewski, Kendziorek, Pusich, Sanford, Vick

Nays: None

The Motion passes unanimously, 9 - 0.

Ms. Easterwood noted that the Motion for the asphalt plant did not address the findings. She suggested that staff work on written Findings for Condition No. 5 and have them drafted by the end of the meeting. Mr. Dybdahl agreed.

MAP2000-00001

A ZONE CHANGE FROM D-18, MULTI-FAMILY RESIDENTIAL TO LC, LIGHT COMMERCIAL, FOR A PORTION OF THE LOT LOCATED AT 9151 JAMES BOULEVARD.

Location: 9151 JAMES BOULEVARD

Applicant: HUGH GRANT

Staff report: Heather Marlow briefed the Planning Commission on this issue. The applicant requests a zone change to LC, Light Commercial for the northern D-18 residential portion of the lot. Currently, the lot is split zoned with 38% zoned D-18 residential and the remainder LC, Light Commercial. The applicant states that the approval of the zone change would better facilitate commercial use of the lot as the current "split zoning" and natural features limit development opportunities.

The site has had several Comprehensive Plan and zoning designations. Most recent zoning action happened in 1995 when the Comprehensive Plan retained the medium density residential land use for the northern portion of the lot and changed the southern portion from commercial to a mixed-use designation. During the review of the Comprehensive Plan, CDD looked at the uses that are in the vicinity. The general direction for this vicinity is towards the mixed use where there is a combination of commercial, retail, office space and pedestrian type scale. CDD has not done any work on rezoning this area as mixed use because there is additional development anticipated in the Mendenhall Valley that will better facilitate mixed-use environment. Hence, the re-designation is pending that development.

Currently, the property has between 7500 to 9000 square feet available for commercial development. With the proposed zone changes there would be about 30,000 square feet for potential commercial development. The only access to the site is from James Boulevard, which is a residential street. The Land Use Code provides directions with regard to this situation:

"Access drives or driveways or other means of egress or ingress

shall not be located in any residential zone that provide access to

uses other than those permitted in that residential zone."

The applicant researched another option for access: he approached the owner of the Mendenhall Mall about utilizing his property for access but that avenue did not appear to be appropriate for either party. Further, access to the Mendenhall Loop Road is not feasible due to the existence of Duck Creek.

The applicant proposes to have the all of the property zoned LC, Light Commercial and to have the access from James Boulevard. Staff looked at the allowable land uses that could be proposed with the LC,Light Commercial and noted that some of those uses could attract additional traffic. Policy 5.3 of the Comprehensive Plan states that:

"it is CBJ's policy to minimize conflicts between residential and

commercial areas through appropriate land use locational decisions

and regulatory measures."

CDD notes the traffic volume is often a concern of other areas where commercial traffic travels through residential neighborhoods. Ms. Marlow states that granting this request has the potential to increase conflict by introducing increased traffic volume. Staff found that the rezone would provide for higher intensity uses and it is therefore a land use decision that would not minimize the potential for traffic and safety concerns. Ms. Marlow indicated that responding to CDD's traffic volume concerns, the applicant proposed to initiate a traffic study to provide additional information for the Planning Commission if they were concerned as well.

It was also determined that the Light Commercial zone change is out of harmony with the general direction of the Comprehensive Plan and that D-18 zoning more accurately reflects the permissible land use opportunities.

Ms. Marlow also reviewed for the Planning Commission several points from a letter dated October 10, 2000 from the applicant's representative that was submitted in response to staff's findings. The applicant stated that staff had taken an absolute position on the restriction that rezoning not allow uses, which violate the land use maps of the Comprehensive Plan. In the alternative, the applicant suggests that the CBJ simply amend the map at the same time. Ms. Marlow stated that the Comprehensive Plan provides guidance and should not be changed to meet individual requests.

The applicant argues that a rezone may actually result in a slight reduction in traffic. Currently, residents traveling to other distant commercial locations utilize James Boulevard. If a Light Commercial zone were located in the neighborhood, the residents would then not have to go as far. Ms. Marlow agrees with the principal that if commercial land were located in residential areas then the total traffic loads would be decreased.

The applicant contends that there is a modest prospect that a commercial use could draw traffic from the west. Ms. Marlow indicated that this depended upon what was developed on the commercial site. There was a potential that an intensive use of the site would draw a significant amount of traffic.

The applicant suggests other points from the Comprehensive Plan that have authority in this analysis:

  1. "to promote compact urban development within and adjacent to existing urban areas."

5.6 "to identify…sufficient land appropriately located to accommodate future commercial and industrial uses."

5.7 "to encourage limited neighborhood commercial uses in ….existing neighborhoods."

Ms. Marlow notes that mixed-use land use designation is quite consistent with the points offered by the applicant.

Staff recommendation: That the Planning Commission adopt the director's analysis and findings and deny the request to change the zoning of the subject portion of the parcel from D-18, multi-family residential, to LC, Light Commercial.

Mr. Vick asked if this split zoning occurs area-wide and are there other situations in the area that created similar problems for the property owners and neighboring residences? Ms. Marlow stated that CDD had reviewed an inordinate amount of property with split zoning and she verified that split zoning does present serious problems. The main problem with the site under review was that it is difficult to get access to a commercial site when the only frontage is on a residential road.

Mr. Allington asked staff if it were in fact, impossible under the current zoning for the applicant to utilize the LC portion of the lot without going through D-18. Ms. Marlow agreed, adding that as the Code currently states, in order to utilize the LC portion, a use must be compatible with D-18 zoning. However, there are limited opportunities for commercial use in D-18 zoning, for example a nursery or a day care. The sole access of James Boulevard limits the potential for full light commercial development on this property. Mr. Allington asked for further clarification and if it were true that commercial property cannot have access through a residential property. Ms. Marlow stated that access through a residential road could be allowed if the commercial use were a use that was allowable under D-18 zoning.

Mr. Bruce commented that under the current situation, the LC portion of the lot is effectively downzoned to D-18 residential. Ms. Marlow agreed.

Mr. Kendziorek suggested that the situation be reversed to change the LC portion to D-18. Ms. Marlow indicated that CDD isn't opposed to that solution because, as Mr. Bruce stated, the LC had been de facto zoned D-18.

Mr. Bruce, referring to the Table of Permissible Uses, noted that most of the allowable uses of LC are actually less intensive than if the property were developed into apartments. The intensive, traffic generating LC uses were conditional uses and would have to come back before the Planning Commission if the applicant sought to develop them. In other words, if the issues were concerns about traffic and the intensity of LC use then the LC option appeared to have the least impact on James Boulevard. Ms. Marlow stated that what is considered intense is a subjective call. She added that a large, 24-hour convenience store, which is an allowable use, would have a greater impact than a residential apartment building.

Mr. Allington reported that the applicant’s representative had contacted him to request historical traffic data from him. Mr. Allington did provide the information. In that regard, Mr. Allington suggested that more data on potential traffic impact on James Boulevard would be advisable.

Mr. Dybdahl asked Ms. Marlow if the real issue for staff was traffic or was it the fact that commercial property is accessed from a residential road. Ms. Marlow stated that the issue is primarily how the road will be used. Will it be a commercial and a residential road? Mr. Bavard agreed that the issue was the frontage on a residential road and not the traffic intensity.

Mr. Pusich commented that at the western end of James Boulevard lies the Juneau Racquet Club and, in the future, the new high school. Anticipating a larger traffic flow on James, Mr. Pusich suggested that the Planning Commission take a look at the bigger picture and the reality that the area will undergo dramatic changes in the near future.

Mr. Allington asked staff if the Mendenhall Mall Road were a private road and if so, could its owner choose to close it at some point? Ms. Marlow said that the road was private and the owner could change its use.

Public Testimony:

Murray Walsh, appeared representing the applicant, Hugh Grant. He referred the attention of the Planning Commission to the aerial photograph of the property. Mr. Walsh states that the property appears to be sizeable, 56,000 square feet. However, it is so burdened by environmental restrictions and limitations that the usable area is only 20,000 square feet. The pond is large in itself and it is encompassed by a 50-foot development setback as well. The Duck Creek pond also has the Flood zone consideration to contend with. Mr. Walsh questioned the thought that went into creating original designation of D-18 and LC, or the split zoning when the only access to the LC portion of the property was through a residential road. What is the fairest thing to do for the property owner? If the owner is to use the LC portion of the property as Light Commercial, then the smaller D-18 portion should be changed to LC as well and to allow access through the residential road.

Mr. Walsh stated that the Planning Commission could amend the Comprehensive Plan at the same time. There was no rule precluding amending, and if that is what it takes to make the property whole then it would be appropriate. When the character of James Boulevard traffic is analyzed, it can be said the most traffic is residents of the neighborhood traveling to and from commercial establishments at distant locations. He states that whatever will be built at 9151 James Boulevard would take some of the traffic off the road, and the net result traffic-wise would be no net increase in traffic. He did acknowledge that the potential development might draw some traffic from the Loop Road or Riverside Drive, but that would be the least fraction of new traffic.

In contrast, if a new 30-unit apartment building were developed, it could be estimated that seven car trips in and out on James Boulevard, per day would result. That amounts to 210 new car trips vs. a replication of existing trips on James Boulevard going in both directions.

Mr. Walsh asked that if the Commission were not convinced by their case, that the applicant be given the opportunity to gather additional information. However, considering all the information, granting the zone change would be the only fair result of the Planning Commission’s deliberation. In closing, he reminded the body that currently, the property was in commercial use as the Yard Doctor. During the summer, there is a high volume of traffic, which has not created any problems for the neighborhood.

Mr. Kendziorek asked why didn’t the applicant request that the entire parcel be rezoned to D-18? Mr. Walsh said that the applicant would not accept changing the property to D-18. Mr. Kendziorek thought that it seemed like an apartment building would actually be a more harmonious use of the applicant’s property. Mr. Walsh stated that the location was unsuitable for apartments for several reasons. First, it is next to the Loop Road and it is noisy. Another reason was, because of the environmental restrictions, half of the property was unavailable so situating an apartment would be difficult.

Mr. Bavard asked what types of uses might occur if the zoning were changed to LC. Mr. Walsh said that no specific use was settled upon, but ideas included a convenience store or a professional office building.

Dave Hanna, 11491 Mendenhall Loop Road, states that he is interested in this issue because he has faced this type of problem recently. He recollected researching how much property was available for commercial use in the CBJ. After correcting for properties that were not buildable due to their physical features, only around 4% of all commercial properties in Juneau were in the Valley and available for development. In fact there are no other commercial properties in the Valley along the Loop Road, excepting Duck Creek Market. An unintended consequence is that the industrially zoned areas are being utilized for commercial enterprises because there is no place for businesses to go, for example the industrial area surrounding Costco. If the Planning Commission did not allow this entire property to be utilized as LC, it would be a loss to the community.

Mr. Allington asked Mr. Hanna if there were really no place in the Mendenhall Valley available for professional offices? Mr. Hanna stated that during his research he found that there was no space available in the Valley passed the Mendenhall Mall.

Hugh Grant, is the property owner for the past 25 years and he has paid property taxes on its entirety even the unusable portions such as the pond. Mr. Grant states that the highway is on one border, the mall is on another and across the street is commercial. The only thing that is not commercial is the side that contains apartments. Mr. Grant acknowledged that the access is through a residential road, but he states no matter where one drives in Juneau, they are driving through a residential area to get to a commercial area. Mr. Grant states that the character of the parcel is commercial and nothing else. He thought that he might develop a small convenience store or a professional type offices or hairdressing salon. Mr. Grant envisioned a neighborhood type enterprise.

Mr. Kendziorek asked if he had plans specifically or just notions? Mr. Grant stated that he did not have firm plans but he was thought a small convenience store was a good idea.

Chuck Cohen, 2865 Mendenhall Loop Road, appeared representing Kodzoff Acres, LLC, the company that owns the mobile home park, as well as the 23 families that reside in Kodzoff. Mr. Cohen stated that the property adjacent to the Park is being described as a commercial parcel; however, it is not commercial, it is residential D-15 that has been slowly and surely developed as commercial. Mr. Cohen indicated that he liked the owner of the Yard Doctor and bore him no ill will, but for the neighbors that look at the bright greenhouse lights 20 hours a day in the winter time and contend with the traffic, the property's commercial use is a problem. Mr. Cohen is concerned about the character of what will happen with the slow and creeping inroads that commercial property is making into residentially zoned neighborhoods. Everyone wants to have commercial property, but no one wants to live next to it. Mr. Cohen is concerned because no one knows what Mr. Grant will develop there. He was in general opposed to a convenience store.

Mr. Cohen states that the real reason that his property hasn't been developed is due to the androgynous stream that is the former dredge pond that is now considered to be Duck Creek.

The view of the trailer park is that the property should be used as residential if it is to be residential. The use of the property adjacent to Kodzoff Trailer Park is a concern because a truly commercial zoned property could not be developed to the density that it currently is. There are no set backs whatsoever. Mr. Cohen didn't want to put neither the Yard Doctor out of business nor Mr. Grant, but the residents of Kodzoff Acres did not want to be pushed out either.

Public Testimony was closed.

Ms. Gladziszewski noted her observation from the Table of Permissible Uses that already in D-18, professional offices are a conditional use. The only difference between D-18 and LC regarding professional offices is that it would be a department approval in LC, but before the applicant could build a professional office in D-18, he would have to come before the Planning Commission for approval.

Mr. Kendziorek asked staff to confirm the statements made by Mr. Hanna in his testimony with regard to the amount of commercial property available for development. Ms. Marlow stated that 4% seemed low but she agreed that there is a very limited supply of industrial and commercial land that is also free and clear of environmental concerns, has clean access and does not have proximate residential development.

Ms. Easterwood reviewed statistics from the Comprehensive Plan review where staff did an analysis of available industrial, commercial lands. The investigation showed that commercial lands were scarcer than industrial lands. There are about 162 acres of undeveloped commercial land at this time. Of all the commercially zoned properties area-wide, 25% is vacant.

Mr. Bruce referred to Ms. Marlow's comments that it was an allowable use to have a convenience store of 15,000 square feet. Referring to the Table of Permissible Uses, he interpreted it to read a 5,000 square foot limit. Ms. Marlow indicated that she was referring to the larger uses in excess of 5,000 square feet and that it would be a conditional use.

Commission Action:

Motion by Mr. Vick that the Planning Commission approve the zoning change from D-18 to Light Commercial.

Mr. Dybdahl clarified that the action before the Planning Commission would be a recommendation to the Assembly.

Mr. Vick spoke in favor of his motion. He states that essentially what has happened because of the setbacks, no disturb zones, etc. was a taking of the applicant's commercial property for any type of development. It would be fair for the entire lot to be commercial and Mr. Vick did not see any problems associated with the residential access issue.

Mr. Allington also supported the motion. He believed that an error was made when the zoning maps were created and he did not think that the applicant should be held liable for government's actions. There was no way to access the commercial property except by crossing residentially zoned property.

Mr. Kendziorek didn’t support the motion because of the nature of the traffic. Residential and commercial traffic is fundamentally different due to timing, etc. He also reminded the Commission that zoning stays with the land and while Mr. Grant might be thinking of a small convenience store now, nothing can prevent the possibility of his selling to a developer with a more intense use in mind. Anything could happen. As Mr. Cohen pointed out, before long encroachment into residential areas occurs. Mr. Kendziorek was not convinced of the necessity of a convenience store, pointing out the proximity to the Mendenhall Mall. He urged members to vote against the motion because of the type, and of the quantity of traffic.

Mr. Bavard supported the motion and stated that the split zoning of the property has rendered the LC portion of the property useless because it cannot be accessed. If the D-18 portion were added to the LC portion then the applicant could make something out of the problem. He was comfortable that a sizeable use of the property would come before the Planning Commission. However, the frontage onto a residential road was a problem for Mr. Bavard, but after listening to the testimony he tended to be in support of the motion.

Mr. Bruce was also supportive of the motion. He did not foresee a creeping commercialization down Mendenhall Loop Road because each project is weighed on its merits. However, Mr. Grant bought commercial property and it has been effectively downzoning to residential. Any significant commercial development would be a conditional use and the Planning Commission would have the opportunity to review it.

Mr. Pusich did have concerns pertaining to left-hand turns onto Mendenhall Loop Road factored in with future development. He stated that if a proposal comes before the body in the future, a traffic study would be prudent to fully analyze the situation. Mr. Grant's property is seriously encumbered so the rezoning made sense in that area. Even though there are traffic related issues, traffic was moving quite successfully on James Boulevard.

Mr. Kendziorek addressed the Findings and asked how will granting the zone change conform to 5.3? Essentially, a higher intensity use is being authorized and the associated traffic will be directed through the residential zone.

Mr. Bruce referred to testimony that suggested that the amount of traffic generated by a 30-unit apartment building versus what might be generated by light commercial development. Given the limited distance from the Loop Road and when the cars would turn off to the commercial development. Mr. Bruce stated that a secondary matter was the idea that the consultants that were in Juneau addressed. Their topic, "walkable neighborhoods" stressed the inclusion of light commercial areas in residential areas.

Mr. Allington acknowledged that there would be an increase in traffic on James Boulevard whether or not this zone change is approved. There are many factors involved in the traffic dynamics and not simply the addition of a convenience store to the mix.

Roll Call Vote:

Yeas: Allington, Bavard, Bruce, Dybdahl, Gladziszewski, Pusich, Sanford, Vick

Nays: Kendziorek

The motion passed, 8 – 1.

Mr. Dybdahl next raised the issue of Findings. Ms. Easterwood incorporated comments made by Mr. Bruce and others suggesting that Finding No. 2 state, " the request conforms with Policy 5.3 of the Comprehensive Plan. There is no inherent conflict between the residential and light commercial zoning. It is an appropriate locational decision, which may promote a walkable community."

Mr. Bruce referred to Mr. Walsh's letter dated October 10, 2000 and suggested that they be incorporated into Finding No. 3. Mr. Walsh refers to three Comprehensive Plan policies that apply:

Mr. Bruce states that considering these policies, the rezoning is in harmony with the general direction of the Comprehensive Plan.

Ms. Easterwood suggested that Finding No. 4 be deleted.

Motion by Mr. Pusich to approve the Findings.

There being no objection, it was so ordered.

SUB1997-00042

A STREET VACATION OF THAT PORTION OF THE TRAPPER’S LANE RIGHT-OF-WAY LYING BETWEEN LOTS 5 AND 11 OF LUPINE ACRES SUBDIVISION.

Location: 9708 TRAPPER’S LANE

Applicant: COREY PAVITT

Staff report: Tim Maguire briefed the Planning Commission on the development of the Montana Creek subdivisions and how the easement at the end of Trapper’s Lane was handled at various times. Originally the extension of Trapper's Lane was dedicated with Lupine Acres Subdivision and its purpose was to allow for another road connection to the undeveloped Montana Creek subdivisions. Since that time, development of a second access to the undeveloped area has been discussed a number of times. The main access is now at Ninnis Drive. The potential connections were Trapper's Lane and Terrace Place and to the yet undeveloped portion of Brigadoon Estates. As noted in the staff report with Phase I and with the overall master plan that was approved, another connection to the undeveloped area was not shown.

During the Subdivision Review process for the third phase, known as Phase IIIA, the issue of access was brought up again. Musher's Lane connecting with Trapper’s Lane was looked at as were other access routes, such as Terrace Place and through Brigadoon Estates. During the Subdivision review, recommendations varied from not considering any other access because of the approved master plan to looking at the three options again. The Subdivision Review Committee suggested looking at the feasibility of extending the access to Terrace Place. When the plat came to the Planning Commission, staff’s recommendation was to require a 15-foot pedestrian and utility easement but not an easement for public or vehicular access. The problem that came out was that there was no direct frontage and it would require crossing across Forest Service lands. The Forest Service also had indicated that they would not approve that. The final action of the Commission did not require pedestrian access, just utility access.

Since that time, Phase III expired. The developer went on and developed Phase IIID instead. Because, Phase IIID included several lots from the original Phase IIIA so the issue of access came up again. Staff recommendation was with IIIB was to extend access to Brigadoon; however, the Planning Commission did not require that because there was questions whether the future phase of Brigadoon would take place. At that time, there was an opinion from the Fire Department that a second access be added to the site.

As the subdivision action was happening, the owner of Lot 5 applied for the easement vacation in 1997. As well, the owner of Lot 11, adjacent to right-of-way, wants the issue settled so they can develop a house site. Because this is a dedicated right-of-way, there is a 25-foot building setback required. The request comes before the Planning Commission to vacate the right-of-way and settle the issue.

At the same time that the Planning Commission approved Phase IIIB, the Commission held up the Non-Motorized Trail Plan which envisioned for the subdivision the concept of a bicycle / pedestrian pathway traversing the subdivision. A condition recommended in the staff report is that if the right-of-way is vacated, that the bicycle / pedestrian pathway be retained for possible connection into the trail system.

Base on the previous staff recommendations and Planning Commission actions, and the difficult topography of the site, CDD staff will not object to the vacation of the right-of-way for roadway purposes, however, staff believes that there are other public interests that remain for the property. Staff's opinion is that retaining an easement for a bicycle / pedestrian pathway that can be tied into the proposed pathway with the Montana Creek Subdivision development is still valid. It is clear that the Planning Commission did not require that connection to be shown with the approval of Phase IIIA, however since that time, the approval of Phase IIIA has expired, and the Non-Motorized Transportation Plan that shows this connection was adopted. The proposal to include the main pathway through the Montana Creek Subdivision has been settled with the approval of Phase IIIB and the concept of connecting neighborhoods with non-vehicular access has been promoted as a part of the current transportation planning efforts of the CBJ. In addition to this need, the Engineering Department wants the option for utility and drainage corridors to be retained.

During the Subdivision Review Committee review of this proposal, the recommendation was varied. One recommendation was to retain the right-of-way as is and not vacate it at this time due to the question that the adjoining development has not taken place. Two of the members agreed with staff's recommendations.

Staff's recommendation: That the Planning Commission adopt the director's analysis and findings and grant the request, as revised by staff, to vacate of that portion of the Trapper's Lane right-of-way lying between Lots 5 and 11 of Lupine Acres Subdivision subject to the following conditions:

  1. The applicant shall complete the replatting process to record the revised property reflecting the street vacation and necessary easements.
  2. The plat associated with this request will establish an access and maintenance easement for utilities and drainage. The easement dimensions will be a minimum of 30 feet and be approved by the CBJ Engineering and Public Works Departments prior to plat recording.
  3. The plat associated with this request will establish an access and maintenance easement for a bicycle / pedestrian pathway. The easement dimension shall be a minimum 30 feet and be approved by Parks and Recreation prior to plat recording.
  4. The applicant shall prepare an Order of Street Vacation in accordance with CBJ 49.15.45(E).

Mr. Allington asked if the two 30-foot wide median easements amounted to a 60-foot wide easement. Mr. Maguire said that Departments of Parks and Recreation and Engineering agreed that the easements could overlap.

Mr. Kendziorek asked if a 30 foot easement for the bike and pedestrian way put in, would that give the owners of Lot 11 the room that they needed to build, given the set-back requirements? Mr. Maguire said that vacation would put the property boundary down the middle of the current easement. With the elimination of the right-of-way setback, the setback becomes a side yard set back, so the owners of Lot 11 could do their development without problems.

Mr. Pusich asked why was a 30-foot easement for a bike path needed? Mr. Maguire stated that it also had something to do with retaining options due to the need to avoid some wet areas. Mr. Pusich thought it might make more sense to create a meandering easement, rather than a 30-foot swath of land.

Mr. Sanford asked how wide was the street right-of-way. Mr. Maguire said it was 60 feet wide. He also asked when was the second access issue going to be addressed? Mr. Maguire said that it has been looked at a number of times. Each time it was considered, a second access was not required. If a connection were not required then a vacation would be the course to take. Mr. Sanford asked if after the entire area were developed then there would only be one access road? Mr. Maguire said that the only possible opportunity to create a second access would be to cut across Forest Service land. Mr. Sanford commented that in the lower 48, when gated communities are built, they put in through streets that are boarded up, so if additional access were needed, they could quickly dismantle the road blocks and have immediate access.

Mr. Allington referring to Mr. Pusich’s comments on the size of the easement. He thought a 20-foot easement would be adequate to support a bike path and the utilities. He was also concerned by the limited access to the subdivisions. Mr. Allington added that if the lots were added up after full development and the number of car trips were projected would result in 500 additional car trips on Ninnis Drive. At some point this problem needs to be addressed, he suggested that CDD begin working with the Forest Service.

Mr. Pusich asked about the non-motorized roads transportation improvements and the needs list. Were they prioritized order of importance? Mr. Maguire indicated that they are not in any particular order.

Ms. Easterwood clarified that the Engineering Department had requested that a 30-foot easement be retained for the potential placement of a water main. Mr. Pusich noted that a 20-foot easement is standard.

Mr. Kendziorek asked what potential was there for an easement through Forest Service lands? Mr. Maguire recalled that the Forest Service had a serious objection to granting the easement. One factor may have been that the Forest Service had learned about the adjacent neighborhood’s opposition to any connection.

Mr. Maguire said that at one time there was discussion on another project about temporary access for fire. The problems with that approach could be if it weren’t maintained then that would be problematic or if it were wide enough for vehicular traffic then it would have to be blocked.

Mr. Sanford reiterated his alarm about one big block of land that is being developed with only one way into it. Provided for adequate access was a simple matter of safety.

Mr. Pusich asked if a building permit had been issued for Lot 11. Mr. Maguire said that it had not.

Corey Pavitt, resident of Trapper’s Lane, states that he is the applicant of the vacation request. He agrees with staff’s recommendations as far as the vacation for the road access, but he disagreed with the proposal of placing a non-motorized path. In 1997, Parks and Recreation proposed a non-motorized path. The residents asked why and they were told it was to connect the residents of Trapper’s Lane with the trail system. At that time, every member of the street signed a letter in opposition that was presented to the Planning Commission.

The same topographic problems that exist for building a road on the easement also exist for a bike path. Neither could be built without destroying a large portion of the pond.

In July, 1997, when Phase IIIB was brought up, the issue of the trail was raised and debated. The final approval of Phase IIIB was without a road and a bike path. Several months later the Assembly adopted the Non-Motorized Transportation Plan with the trail going through the easement. It wasn’t until 1998 that Phase IIIB expired.

In 1997 every member of Trapper’s Lane believed that the issue was settled, that there would be no road or bike path. Mr. Pavitt did not know whether the area was too large for a single access, but he did not believe that Trapper’s Lane needed to be that access route. All members of Trapper’s Lane continue to oppose the development of the easement.

Alice Brandner, is the co-owner of Lot 11. Their desire is to build a totally handicap accessible retirement home on their property. This would require no steps anywhere. To achieve that, the easement would need to be vacated because the setback cuts so far into their lot that it severely limits what can be built.

Jay Johnson, 9180 Wolfram, spoke in opposition to the vacation. He states that there was no good reason approve the vacation and he urged the Planning Commission to table the issue until after the subdivision is built out. The vacation was not in the public good and it only benefited the two properties that lie adjacent to the easement. He objected to the notion that a bike trail was not an amenity and he referred to Anchorage as evidence. In Juneau, river trails and connections to the glacier and to the Mendenhall campgrounds are all amenities to the public.

Giving up the easement today then means that the CBJ’s hands are tied for the future. The Planning Commission should look forward to the future and consider its needs. He didn’t think that there was a compelling public need to accommodate the wishes of the eight to ten families of Trapper’s Lane compared to the many potential families of the undeveloped subdivision.

Mr. Kendziorek asked if Mr. Johnson would be in favor of retaining a 30-foot right-of-way for bikes and pedestrian, and he had no objection to vacating the road right-of-way? Mr. Johnson strongly objected to vacating any portion of the right-of-way. The public is not gaining anything by vacating. While the property owners are adding to their property values, the public is loosing an opportunity to address future growth problems. He urged the Planning Commission to look at the bigger picture.

Michelle Kahlke, 9723 Trapper’s Lane, has lived on Trapper’s Lane for a year and a half. When her family considered moving to the neighborhood, she quickly noted that existence of an easement on maps. The previous owners showed her the minutes from the 1997 Planning Commission meeting that stated that there would be no pedestrian or road right-of-way in the area. She didn’t think that it would be fair to the Trapper’s Lane residents to locate a through street to development beyond. She feels that this issue had been addressed and promises were made to the neighborhood. She urged the Commission to vacate the easement and settle the issue.

Dave Miller, 9164 Wolfram, said that the CBJ had many opportunities to make the Montana Creek Subdivision and neighborhood a better place to live when the issue of a second access was addressed. Even though no development had ever resulted after many reviews, he believed it was premature to eliminate the opportunity of a second access to the future development.

Dale Young, 9720 Trapper’s Lane, said that he was the original developer of Trapper’s Lane and Lupine Acres Subdivision. Based on the history, he was surprised that the issue was again being deliberated. He objected to being called a "nimby" for wanting to live in a quiet and rural part of Alaska. Since 1976, when the Young’s originally developed the subdivision, they wanted a wooded, quiet and peaceful setting without trucks going up and down the street. In fact, covenants were put in place to protect that atmosphere.

The easement in question was originally platted because the CBJ forced Mr. Young to include it, he states. The easement was placed right on top of the pond, purposefully, knowing that the City could not develop that easement without breaking federal environmental regulations pertaining to wetlands issues. There is a reason why its development has been problematic, Mr. Young states and he takes some of the blame for creating the problem. His intent was to not ever have a street going through Trapper’s Lane.

Mr. Young also addressed the radius of the curve at the head of Trapper’s Lane. Originally, the street was curved to accommodate an existing building that has since been removed. Because it is a sharper than a standard curve, the City criticized him with good reason, he states. The benefit that the neighborhood has realized is that the view out to Montana Creek Road is blocked. The negative side; however, is with a lot of traffic going around that curve, it becomes dangerous.

If a road were ever developed on that easement, the neighborhood would be extremely angry. Not because something has been forced upon them, but they thought they knew what the rules were when they bought the property and what the decision was after previous reviews. He agreed that it made sense for a waterline connection due to the low water pressure, but he was strongly opposed to a bicycle path and the road.

Mr. Allington asked what the centerline radius of the curve on Trapper’s Lane was. Mr. Young said he didn’t know exactly but he knew that it was twice as sharp as what would be recommended.

Dave Conway, 9056 Ninnis Drive, is opposed to the street vacation. He pointed to the wisdom and forward thinking of City Planners back in the 1970’s when the area were first platted. It was predicted that development would occur and therefore, the easement was required. He pointed to past opportunities to resolve the second access issue and he wondered why it was left unresolved every time. Stating that this was the last and best chance to resolve the congestion problem, he urged the Planning Commission to turn down the applicant’s request for vacation.

Public Testimony was closed.

Ms. Easterwood raised the issue of a letter that Mr. Sanford had personally received from the Ellenbecker’s. The letter was distributed to all members of the Planning Commission.

Mr. Dybdahl asked if there were plans to talk to the Forest Service about a possible land exchange in order to make the connection. Mr. Maguire said he wasn’t aware of that idea being discussed. He stated that the Forest Service land in question was designated as a recreation area and it would be more difficult to try to obtain by land swap.

Mr. Kendziorek asked hypothetically, if the swath of land were obtained from the Forest Service, would it be feasible to connect up through, going to the left of Tract 4A , to the future subdivision? Mr. Maguire indicated that another obsticle was in place. Because an individual property owner was seeking a buffer, he had acquired critical land. Therefore, that option appears unlikely regardless of the position that the Forest Service would take.

Mr. Vick asked if the City promised the people of Trapper’s Lane that it would vacate the easement? Mr. Maguire said the understanding was that the connection was not going to be made from Trapper’s Lane and that a vacation could follow. Because the subdivision that did not include the easement has expired, legally there is the opportunity for the CBJ to look into that connection again.

Mr. Bavard noted that as the Planning Commission touches on the access issues and potential access points, he recalled the process that was involved in the past. He stated that the residents of Terrace Place were as strongly opposed to being a second access road as the residents of Trapper’s Lane are. He also noted that the owner of the large piece of property that adjoins Forest Service lands and Terrace Place, stated that under no circumstances would he allow access through his property. He also recalled that the Forest Service had submitted a letter stating that they would not allow access to Montana Creek Subdivision through its property. In defense of the CBJ, the reason that the issue is before the Planning Commission again, was that access to the Montana Creek subdivisions is such a problem and no progress towards a resolution has ever been made.

Mr. Allington indicated that he would support the vacation because he didn’t believe that problems are solved by ruining neighborhoods. He thought that the CBJ should pursue Terrace Place as a second access route. He was concerned about a potential of 500 car trips traveling along Ninnis Drive, but he didn’t think it was right to direct that traffic through Trapper’s Lane either.

Ms. Gladziszewski asked if how many instances are there of subdivisions accessed by only one road. Mr. Maguire cited Mountainside Estates and Cordova Street as examples. Mr. Allington asked if somebody on the Planning Commission or the Assembly had quashed a second access to Mountainside Estates because of protests? Mr. Maguire said that there was a proposed subdivision into large parcels that was going to access through Mountainside streets, but that was turned down.

Mr. Dybdahl called for a motion.

Commission Action:

Motion: by Mr. Bruce that the Planning Commission grant the street vacation SUB1997-00042 and adopt staff’s findings and recommendations and that the street be vacated but that the 30-foot easement be retained for utilities and a bike path.

Mr. Allington suggested that Condition No. 2 be expanded to read "plat associated with this request will establish an access and maintenance easement for utilities, drainage and bike pathway. The easement dimension will be a minimum 30-feet and be approved by the CBJ Engineering and Public Works Departments prior to plat recording. Next, Condition No. 3 shall be eliminated.

Mr. Maguire indicated that change was acceptable.

Mr. Pusich noted that there were some environmental restraints on the Trapper’s Lane easement that would make its use unlikely. He also agreed that the easement be overlaying and amount to 30-feet. The water pressure in the area also concerned him and he stressed that the water service be kept up and improved for public safety reasons.

Mr. Dybdahl asked for clarification on the bike path and whether or not it would be built prior to it being connected to other bike paths. Mr. Maguire said that was the case.


Mr. Vick opposed the vacation, stating that it was premature. He didn’t feel it was prudent to give up a right-of-way until the development was complete.

Mr. Sanford was also opposed to the vacation. If in the future, the CBJ needs a second access, then tonight’s action would be regrettable. It wasn’t advisable for the City to just give up easements.

Mr. Allington urged the Planning Commission not to compound the issue by running traffic through a quiet neighborhood. He believed that that action would devastate the people on Trapper’s Lane.

Roll Call Vote:

Yeas: Allington, Bavard, Bruce, Dybdahl, Gladziszewski, Kendziorek, Pusich

Nays: Sanford, Vick

The motion passes, 7 – 2.

A five minute recess was called at 10:00 p.m.

Returning to the Findings for USE2000-00064, the waterfront hotel, Ms. Easterwood announced that staff had completed the wording for Finding No. 5 and she hoped it would be a good basis for the Planning Commission to adopt. If it were acceptable, Ms. Easterwood suggested adopting Findings from the October 4th memorandum and Finding No. 5 from October 10th memorandum.

Commission Action:

Motion – by Mr. Kendziorek to adopt the Findings from the October 4th memorandum, with the substitution for Finding No. 5 as written on October 10th.

Ms. Gladziszewski asked to make a friendly amendment, suggesting the wording, "All the input from professionals indicate that it is possible that the plant can be operated compatibly with the neighboring properties…"

Mr. Kendziorek accepted it as a friendly amendment with the addition of the word, "possible."

There being no objections, it was so ordered.

Mr. Dybdahl addressed the Findings of USE 2000-00040, the resort at Tee Harbor, which was held over from the September 26th Regular Meeting.

Commission Action:

Motion: by Mr. Bruce that the Planning Commission adopt the Findings on USE2000-00040 as proposed in the Memorandum dated October 10, 2000.

Mr. Bavard thanked CDD Planner, Sylvia Kreel for her hard work on developing the Findings so quickly after returning from vacation.

There was no objection to the Motion, and so the Findings were adopted.

IX. BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT - None

X. OTHER BUSINESS

Mr. Allington asked what was the status on the situation that Mr. Richard Young brought up during Public Testimony on Non-Agenda Items. Ms. Easterwood described that Mr. Madsen did apply for a building permit for a single-family house on a lot, which is behind the new hotel. Staff spent a lot of time on that permit looking at the question, is it one lot or is it two lots? Greg Chaney did about seven hours of research and then he shared his research with the Law Department, which determined that it was two lots. Today, Mr. Chaney had faxed Mr. Young a three-page letter explaining how that conclusion was reached.

Mr. Allington asked if that letter could be provided to the Planning Commission for the next meeting. Ms. Easterwood indicated that Mr. Young might wish to appeal the decision and it would be more appropriate to hold the letter until then.

Mr. Kendziorek asked about the skybridge connecting the two buildings and did that connect the two buildings? Ms. Easterwood stated that although there is a walkway, the buildings continue to function independently.

Mr. Kendziorek asked if the commercial operation was using the duplex for industrial or commercial activities? Ms. Easterwood said there had been some use of the duplex for parking or storage of materials, and she didn’t think that the activity was going on now. CDD Enforcement has been active on this case and Mr. Madsen has been compliant.

Mr. Sanford raised the issue of the wooden fence that had been constructed during the final phase of construction. There is a functional chain link fence and there is also the old wood fence that has been painted in an irregular fashion. Ms. Marlow stated that the requirement to have a fence predates this problem. The fencing is meant to be a buffer between commercial and residential development, unfortunately, the conditions were not specific as to what was appropriate.

Mr. Bruce stated that under the law, this was called a "spite fence."

Mr. Kendziorek stated it was his understanding that the Coastal Management Program is that it is implemented through zoning laws. As such, zoning has a huge impact on that program. He suggested that each time a zone change request be reviewed, that it be analyzed as to how the changes shall impact the Coastal Management Program. He thought that this should be standard operating procedure in these situations. Ms. Easterwood agreed.

Ms. Gladziszewski commented that at her first Planning Commission meeting, they approved the asphalt plant unanimously at a location on four blocks away. Recently the asphalt plant struggled for a short-term permit. What was the difference? Was it an issue of problematic notice? Or, did the Planning Commission take more time with the second permit to find out more information? The consensus was that the location was the major difference.

Ms. Easterwood commented on the issue of Public Notice. CDD was looking at the challenge of public notice to find ways to improve the amount of notice to interested property owners.

Mr. Bruce suggested that proof of notice be included in procedure and that the documentation be provided in the packet for Planning Commissioners.

X DIRECTOR'S REPORT - None

  1. REPORT OF REGULAR AND SPECIAL COMMITTEES -
  2. Mr. Bruce reported that the Public Works Committed met and discussed the issue of sustainability being criteria for CIP projects both in terms of economic development in relation to the Comprehensive Plan.
  3. PLANNING COMMISSION COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS

Mr. Dybdahl thanked fellow commissioners for standing in for him during his absence.

Mr. Vick stated that his term was drawing to a close, but that he was interested in serving for another term.

Mr. Kendziorek asked Ms. Marlow if the rezone issue was removed or tabled. Ms. Marlow said the applicants had tabled the issue since they needed time to discuss CDD’s recommendations.

Mr. Bavard mentioned that a sign noticing the agenda outside Assembly Chambers would be helpful for the public. He also asked that CDD email Commissioners when an agenda item is removed.

Mr. Allington suggested that a criteria for residential collectors is needed. He also announced that he would be attending an upcoming traffic meeting of the Riverside Drive area as a private citizen. The basic problem is that subdivisions have been allowed to occur and grow without looking at the bigger picture.

Turning to the hotel project, Mr. Allington thought that if someone develops a commercial enterprise on a street, then they ought to be required to at least pave half the street and put in sidewalks. Also, if a developer of a sizeable subdivision seeks approval, they should be required to create an LID before they subdivide. This will avoid the problem of the property owners voting on it since it is in place from the beginning.

Mr. Dybdahl commented on the issue of requiring more and more things from developers has a flip side that can sometimes result in overly dense subdivisions.

Mr. Allington responded that the things that developers are not asked to put in, the CBJ must later put them in without any mechanism to pay for the improvements. Mr. Vick responded by saying the improvements are paid with LIDs. He didn't think it was necessary to pay for improvements before he built his house, however.

Ms. Marlow said that CDD had submitted a funding grant application for the Riverside Drive corridor to take a look what is going to be developed there in the future, what the issues are now and what a long-term plan should be. Mr. Bruce stated that when the Riverside Drive corridor came up in a Public Works committee meeting, he was surprised at the intense opposition to punching Riverside Drive through to the Back Loop.

  1. ADJOURNMENT

Motion by Mr. Pusich to adjourn.

There being no other business and no objection, Chair Dybdahl adjourned the meeting at 10:35 p.m.