MINUTES
PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING
CITY AND BOROUGH OF JUNEAU
Johan Dybdahl, Chairman
REGULAR MEETING
January 9, 2001

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

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, CDD Director; Katharine Heumann, CDD Planner; Heather Marlow, CDD Planner

Other CBJ staff present: Bob Millard, CBJ Engineering; Tim Montgomery, CBJ Engineering

II. APPROVAL OF MINUTES

November 30, 2000 - Special Meeting and December 12, 2000 - Regular Meeting

Motion: by Mr. Kendziorek to approve the minutes of the November 30, 2000 special meeting and the December 12, 2000 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 - None

V. CONSENT AGENDA

Mr. Dybdahl announced that there were two items on the Consent Agenda and he inquired if there was any member from the public who wished to testify. No one wished to comment, and there were no questions from commissioners.

Motion - by Mr. Bavard to approve the Consent Agenda that included CSP1999-00005 and CSP2000-00015 as listed below. There being no objection, it was so ordered.

CSP1999-00005
A City lease to sublease a portion of the Gun Club Lease for a site for an indoor shooting range.

  • Location: MONTANA CREEK ROAD
    Applicant: ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF FISH & GAME
  • CSP2000-00015
    Renew City lease for Juneau Gun Club trap shooting facility.

  • Location: MONTANA CREEK ROAD
    Applicant: ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF FISH & GAME
  • Staff Recommendation: That the Planning Commission recommend to the Assembly on whether to renew the lease for the Juneau Gun Club and the request of the Department of Fish and Game to lease a portion of the site for an indoor shooting facility.

    The director and the Lands Division recommend that the Juneau Gun Club lease be renewed for an additional 25-year term and that a portion of the site be leased to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for an indoor shooting facility for a 25-year term at no cost subject to the following advisory and conditions:

    Advisory: The indoor shooting facility will require a conditional use permit under CBJ 49.25.300 Section 6.100.

    Conditions:

    1. Any removal of trees within the existing forested buffer on the lease site during the term of the lease must be approved by the Planning Commission.
    2. A caretaker will be maintained on site for the duration of the lease for safety and security.
    3. Use of the site for high-powered rifle activity will be reviewed by the Lands Division every five years OR upon proposal of subdivision of lands within 1/4 mile of the site.

    VI. CONSIDERATION OF ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS - None 

    VII. unfinished business - None

     VIII. regular agenda

    Mr. Dybdahl announced that the two items on the Regular Agenda would be considered together. They are as follows:

    CSP2000-00013
    A City project to mine and process rock and soil fill materials.

  • Location: LOWER FISH CREEK ROAD
    Applicant: CITY & BOROUGH OF JUNEAU
  • CSP2000-00072
    A Conditional Use permit to mine and process rock and soil fill materials.

  • Location: LOWER FISH CREEK ROAD
    Applicant: CITY & BOROUGH OF JUNEAU
  • Staff report: Ms. Marlow reviewed the two permits: a City/State Project Review and a Conditional Use permit to reopen a rock extraction site at 3/4 mile Fish Creek Road. The CBJ Engineering Department plans to dedicate material extractions for public works projects over the next 10 years. Actual use of the site may be completed in three months, depending on the demand for the material. The quarry operation involves clearing, grubbing, drilling, blasting, excavation, sorting and crushing of soil and rock for construction purposes. The quarry site was first opened in the 1970's and was used during the construction of Fish Creek Road and the reconstruction of the Douglas Bridge. Ms. Marlow stated that the proposal meets complies with the requirements and intent of the CBJ Land Use Code.

    As well, the application satisfies the six required Findings necessary for issuance of conditional use permits. Additionally, the director recommends two additional Findings, they are Nos. 8 and 9:

    1. Has the Planning Commission considered the provisions stipulated for the development in CBJ 49.65.230? This finding acknowledges that the Commission reviewed required items such as hours and times of operation, screening, and measures to protect the public from dangers of operation. In some areas, conditions were deemed necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare.
    2. Upon review of the city project development request, does the Planning Commission recommend to the Assembly that the project be approved? The Commission considered the general provisions of adopted CBJ plans subject to this area and the specific development provisions of the CBJ Land Use Code for the gravel extraction use and recommends approval of the city project to the Assembly.

    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 rock quarry to mine and process rock and soil fill material for a 10-year period. The approval is subject to the following conditions:

    1. A strip of land at the existing topographic level, and not less than fifteen feet in width, shall be retained at the periphery of the site wherever the site abuts a public way. This periphery strip shall not be altered except as authorized for access points. This section does not alter the applicant's duty to maintain subadjacent support.
    2. If the bank of any extraction area within the permit area is above the high water line or water table, it shall be left upon termination of associated extraction operations with a slope no greater than the angle of repose for unconsolidated material of the kind composing it, or such other angle as the commission may prescribe. If extraction operations cause ponding or retained water in the excavated area, the slope of the submerged working face shall not exceed a slope of 3:1 from the edge of the usual water line to a water depth of seven feet. This ratio may not be exceeded during extraction operations unless casual or easy access to the site is prevented by a fence, natural barriers, or both.
    3. All vehicles hauling from this site shall contain material with tailgates, covers or other similarly effective methods.
    4. The applicant shall submit a signage plan for approval to the Community Development Department. Signs shall be posted by the applicant to prohibit public access to the area; to alert the public of the presence of blasting and heavy machinery activities; to prohibit shooting; to limit the travel speed of haul vehicles to 20 mph; and to prohibit the use of compression brakes on Fish Creek Road.
    5. The hours of operation are Monday through Saturday 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Truck hauling from the site is prohibited on winter weekends, official holidays and during Christmas Break for public schools when Eaglecrest Ski Area is operating. The hours of operation may be modified for special needs projects per the director's discretion.
    6. The Douglas Harbor Expansion Project will entail fill activities subject to tidal influences and the project is considered a special needs project by definition. The permissible hours of quarry operations related to the Douglas Harbor Expansion Project are 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week when low tide construction activities (e.g. fill placement along face of fill areas, construction of new boat launch ramp, and similar activities) are occuring. This condition may be modified per the director's discretion.
    7. The quarry permit shall expire 10 years after the date of approval.
    8. Individual mining plans approved by the applicant shall implement the conditions of this permit. The CBJ Engineering and Community Development Departments shall review and condition the hours and routes of hauling traffic so as to avoid or minimize congestion, safety concerns and similar conflicts.
    9. The applicant shall be responsible for cleaning mud and debris tracked onto public roads from the quarry site.
    10. The applicant shall incorporate the following noise control measures:
    1. Limit truck speeds within the quarry, along the quarry access road and on Fish Creek Road to 20 mph maximum. Truck traffic on other public roads shall conform to posted speed limits.
    2. Locate rock crushing and related processing in the southeast corner of the site, approximately 2,000 feet from private residences along Nine Mile Creek.
    3. Limit blasting operations to maximum 10,000 cubic yard blasts and provide written notification to all residents situated within 2,000 feet of the quarry prior to each blast.
    4. Post a public notice sign on North Douglas Highway advertising blasting operations 24 hours prior to the activity.
    5. Blasting operations shall be limited to weekdays between the hours of 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
    6. Hauling vehicles shall be prohibited from using compression brakes on Fish Creek Road.

    11. Where there are conflicts between the Conditions of this permit and extraction contracts, the Conditions of this permit shall control.

    Ms. Marlow then announced that two changes have been made to the Conditions: First, she received an e-mail from Mr. Jim Heumann, P.E. of Peratrovich, Nottingham and Drage, Inc. proposing new language be substituted for Condition No. 6. This Condition now states:

    1. The Douglas Harbor Expansion Project will entail fill activities subject to tidal influences and the project is considered a special needs project by definition. The permissible hours of quarry operations related to the Douglas Harbor Expansion Project are 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week when low tide construction activities (e.g. fill placement along face of fill areas, construction of new boat launch ramp, and similar activities) are occurring. This condition may be modified per the director's discretion.

    The purpose of the replacement is to address the possibility that low tide construction activities could be required for more than one several week period, over several months, to accomplish the necessary low tide construction tasks.

    The second change was made to Condition 10 C, 10 D and 10 E, in that the word "operation" was removed from the phrase, "blasting operation." This was done to clarify that staff did not intend to regulate the operator ability to prepare for blasting activities during these circumstances.

    Mr. Bavard asked if there would be crushing on Sunday. Ms. Marlow stated that the operations on Sunday allowed for crushing.

    Mr. Pusich inquired of Analysis item No. 2 where the applicant would be required to perform noise measurements during the typical quarry operations to document and monitor noise levels. It appeared to Mr. Pusich that this was stated as a recommendation that was overlooked and not included as a Condition.

    Ms. Easterwood stated that the applicant had proposed to conduct noise monitoring, and if they found that there was a problem then they would take steps to rectify the situation. Noise monitoring was not included as a Condition because it was included in the project proposal itself.

    Mr. Pusich followed up by asking whether or not a private developer would be afforded the same option? As an example, Mr. Pusich referred to the small mine permit and the asphalt plant that the Planning Commission considered recently. In each situation, noise monitoring had been rigorously examined and standards were included as Conditions for the permits. Ms. Easterwood said that CDD views all actions that a proponent describes in the project description to be a mandatory part of the project. So, if a private developer indicates that they would be monitoring noise then that would become a requirement for the project. The examples that Mr. Pusich had in mind were quite different from the project under review. For example, the small mine project was proposed to operate for two years, 22 hours a day and for seven days a week, whereas, the Fish Creek project is proposed to last for three months and with very limited hours. Because the noise characteristics of these two projects are expected to be quite different, CDD determined that this situation did not merit the same type of attention to noise monitoring.

    Mr. Pusich turned his inquiry to the notification requirements. He thought that a specified time for advance notification to the neighbors should be stated. In the past, some type of door flyer was provided to the nearby properties at some point prior to each blast.

    Mr. Kendziorek asked if a radius of 2000 feet was an adequate distance encompass all of the affected residences? Ms. Marlow indicated that 2000 feet is considered adequate.

    Ms. Gladziszewski asked which residences are included in the 2000-foot perimeter? Ms. Marlow referred Commissioners to attachment No. 5, which shows that there are six residences affected with the 2000 feet zone.

    Mr. Sanford asked if the blasting operations would pose any kind of threat to the airport flight paths?

    Bob Millard, from CBJ Engineering stepped forward to respond to questions of the Planning Commission. Mr. Millard said that much has been done to limit fly rock and noise within the blasting specifications. For example, if they use the appropriate material with stemming the drill hole then fly rock and noise are minimized. As an added security precaution, the applicant will notify the airport tower prior to blasting. Also, Mr. Millard or a blasting consultant prior to detonation must approve each blasting plan. This is required, he emphasized, and these measures should eliminate any concerns.

    Mr. Pusich asked Mr. Millard how long would it take for the 9,000 cubic yards of material to be extracted? Mr. Millard said the Douglas Harbor Project is priority for the rock quarry project. He thought that there would be 68,000 cubic yards of dredge material and at least that much in rock needed for the rock embankment and riprap. There may be some usable material left in the quarry but then again, it may all be used up after these projects are competed.

    Referring to Condition No. 2, Mr. Allington stated his concerns about angles of repose becoming unstable if a trespasser strays into the area and walks on the slope prior to reclamation. Mr. Millard said that current nature of the site includes drop-offs from previous mining operations. Those hazardous areas will be mined first so that the hazards will be removed which will make the quarry level basically flat. After that, the quarry floor will be dropped 10 feet. If after mining concludes, the applicant has not dealt with the 10-foot drop-offs then fill material will be imported to create a 3:1 slope.

    Mr. Sanford asked if there had been feedback from the Stabber's Point quarry project in terms of noise problems. Mr. Millard noted that CBJ Engineering took baseline noise readings on the project site. At the road, even with a 5,000-yard shot, the highest noise reading was only 70 dBAs. With the rock crusher operating away from the road and at a higher elevation, it registered 55 to 60 dBAs at the road. Noise readings were also taken at the Hegg residence during a blast and the Heggs were quite satisfied by the tolerable noise level.

    Ms. Easterwood added that CDD received a letter from the Heggs indicating that they were pleasantly surprised by the noise output. They also stated that if the noise continued at that level then the continued expansion of the Stabber's Point operation would not be a detriment to their neighborhood.

    Mr. Bavard noted that the crusher seemed to be the major concern of the quarries in the Juneau area. This was due to the fact that crushing is constant. He asked Mr. Millard if they anticipated crushing on weekends? Because crushing was not going to be necessary to process all of the material coming out of the pit, Mr. Millard didn't think that it would be necessary to crush on weekends. In fact, CBJ Engineering could address that with each individual mining plan so that crushing was restricted to weekdays.

    Mr. Bavard said that he raised this issue out of concern for noise impacts on the neighboring homes. Mr. Millard stated that the applicant intended to take noise readings so that the impact on the closest resident could be identified. If a problem were found to exist, noise mitigation strategies would be employed.

    Mr. Dybdahl asked if there were any members of the public interested in testifying on this issue. Seeing none, public testimony was closed.

    Commission Action:

    Motion: by Mr. Kendziorek that the Planning Commission adopt staff's analysis, findings and recommendations, including the substitution for Condition No. 6 with language received in the email received January 9, 2001; and the deletion of the word "operation" made to Condition No. 10C, 10D and 10E and grant USE2000-00013 and CSP2000-00072.

    Mr. Allington asked if a time frame for when Condition No. 10C should be carried out.

    Mr. Kendziorek agreed that provide written notification to all residents situated within 2,000 feet of the quarry should be carried out.

    Mr. Pusich suggested that Condition 10C be amended to state: written notification be provided to residents situated within 2,000 feet 24 hours prior to each blast.

    Mr. Kendziorek accepted that as a friendly amendment.

    Ms. Gladziszewski commented with regard to Condition No. 5. If the intent was to prohibit truck hauling when Eaglecrest is operating, perhaps the wording should be changed to read, "in the winter, when Eaglecrest is operating." Her point being that it would be pointless prohibiting activities in the winter when Eaglecrest is not open. But she agreed that in the winter, when there are skiiers, the road is icy and dangerous and she didn't want truck hauling to compound the problem.

    Mr. Allington noted that the Conditions as they are currently written, allow truck hauling on the road in the winter, on weekdays when Eaglecrest is operating.

    Mr. Bavard didn't favor prohibiting truck hauling because the quarry site is not very far up the road, situated well before the first hills are encountered on Fish Creek Road. Furthermore, he noted that the road is very well sanded in the winter.

    Mr. Bruce agreed with Mr. Bavard, that the turn-off is only 300 or 400 yards from the first big hill. He added that the first big hill is a favorite accident site.

    Mr. Pusich added that there is excellent site distance at the location of the quarry.

    No action was taken with regard to Condition No. 5.

    Mr. Bavard spoke in favor of the motion, stating that the community has a pressing need for quarry rock.

    ROLL CALL VOTE:

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

    Nays: None

    The motion passes unanimously, 9 - 0.

    IX. board of adjustment - None 

    X. other business - None

    XI. director's report

    Ms. Easterwood reminded the Planning Commission of the upcoming Committee of the Whole meeting to be held on Tuesday, January 16, 2001, at the request of Assemblyman John MacKinnon. 6:00 p.m. was established as the starting time. The history, role and limitations of the Planning Commission would be the topic for discussion.

    Ms. Easterwood announced that the Community Development budget allowed for one commissioner to attend the American Planning Association's convention in New Orleans on March 10 - 14, 2001. Ms. Easterwood noted that Mr. Dybdahl was first in line to attend. There would also be an opportunity for training for an American Planning Association event in Anchorage February 16th; however, no money for travel was budgeted.

    Ms. Easterwood updated the Planning Commission on the status of appeals currently in the process. The Mallick appeal should be before the Assembly in late February, while the asphalt plant appeal begins Thursday, January 11th with the pre-hearing conference.

    XII. report of regular and special committees

    Mr. Sanford reported that the Lands Committee had met and discussed the possibility of purchasing excess lands nearby Faith Lutheran Church to be used for ball fields or library site and open spaces. There are also plans to salvage firewood from the H&H site above Fred Meyer. The Lands Division has divided the area up into six sections and then the firewood salvage rights will let to individuals who are expected to sell.

    Mr. Bruce reported that the Public Works Committee met to reclassify the CIP list. Upcoming on the Agenda for the Planning Commission will be the South Franklin Street/Marine Way improvements. Many CIP projects will get underway shortly. 

    XIII. planning commission questions and comments

    Mr. Bruce asked what the current status of the Totem Creek Golf Course was. There had been no change since the last report given at the December 12, 2000 meeting, Ms. Easterwood reported. Three out of six submissions for information have been turned in to CDD and meetings with the applicant are on going.

    Mr. Bruce also asked what the status of the Parking Plan was. Ms. Easterwood said that one aspect of the Plan, the "Fee In Lieu of " ordinance was slated for tonight’s agenda; however, the City Manager tabled it. He was concerned that if this element is adopted before the whole parking strategy is adopted, then the parking problem may be exacerbated. Discussions with Mr. Palmer are continuing and Ms. Easterwood hoped to have the ordinance on the January 23, 2001 Agenda.

    Mr. Vick asked if the City could withdraw a permit after it had been issued. Ms. Easterwood stated that there was no authority to do that, however, if the permit is not effectuated within 18 months of issue, then the permit expires.

    Mr. Sanford commended the Juneau Gun Club for its efforts spent on Juneau’s youth. He wanted to see more constructive programs for youth that are along the lines of the gun safety courses and training lessons that the Juneau Gun Club hosts. Mr. Sanford also had a complaint about a fence built in a CBJ right-of-way. Ms. Easterwood asked him to call the office with the information.

    Mr. Allington asked about encroachments on Franklin St. between 5th and 6th Street. He wondered if there was an encroachment ordinance that allowed encroachments within the public right-of-way under certain conditions. He wanted to see a copy of that ordinance for future reference.

    Mr. Bruce asked for an opinion from CDD and the Law Department that pertains to the US Supreme Court's decision that overturned the Army Corps of Engineers in a land use case in the state of Illinois. He thought that this precedent might have significant impacts on Juneau's land use decisions.

    XIV. adjournment

    Motion: by Mr. Kendziorek to adjourn.

    Without objection, Chair Dybdahl adjourned the meeting at 7:51 p.m.