MINUTES
PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING
CITY AND BOROUGH OF JUNEAU
Johan Dybdahl, Chairman
REGULAR MEETING
January 23, 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 Gladisziewski; Marshal Kendziorek, Mark Pusich, Merrill Sanford; Jody Vick

Commissioners absent: None

A quorum was present.

Staff present: Cheryl Easterwood, CDD Director; Oscar Graham, Principal Planner; Sylvia Kreel, CDD Planner; Teri Camry, CDD Planner; Heather Marlow, CDD Planner

Other CBJ staff present: Joe Graham, Harbor Master; John Stone, CBJ Engineering; Tim Montgomery, CBJ Engineering; Rory Watt, CBJ Engineering

II. APPROVAL OF MINUTES

January 9, 2001 - Regular Meeting - Regular Meeting

Motion - by Mr. Pusich to approve the minutes of the January 9, 2001 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 was one item 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. Kendziorek to approve the Consent Agenda that included USE2000-00082 as listed below. There being no objection, it was so ordered.

USE2000-00082

A Conditional Use permit to allow an expansion of a dock which is used for cargo transportation.

Location: 02681 CHANNEL DRIVE

Applicant: CHANNEL CONSTRUCTION, INC.

Staff Recommendation: That the Planning Commission adopt the director's analysis and findings and grant the requested Conditional Use permit allowing the expansion of a dock, which is used, for cargo transfer subject to the following Conditions:

  1. Non-creosote Pilings. No pentachlorophenol preservatives may be used on pilings and wooden structures in marine waters. Any other preservative on pilings and wooden structures, including creosote, must be applied by pressure injection.
  2. Disturbance of tidelands must be kept to the minimum necessary to practicably accomplish the work. Operation of machinery and equipment on tidelands must be limited to the smallest area practicable. Entry of fines and suspendable material into the ocean must be kept to the minimum practicable.
  3. Reasonable precautions and controls must be used to prevent incidental and accidental discharge of petroleum products.
  4. Material such as absorbent pads and booms must be available on-site, and must be used to contain and cleanup any petroleum product spilled.
  5. Lighting shall be mounted and shielded so as to not project across the channel or onto Egan Express. Lights shall only be used during active use of the dock.
  6. The area between the electrical box and the right of way shall be landscaped.

VI. CONSIDERATION OF ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS - None

VII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS - None 

VIII. REGULAR AGENDA

CSP2000-00010

A City project review of the expansion of Douglas Harbor launching, mooring and parking facilities.

Location: 00120 SAVIKKO ROAD

Applicant: JOE GRAHAM

Mr. Allington disclosed that he preformed the traffic impact analysis on this project, although he did not consider there to be a conflict.

Staff report: Heather Marlow announced that the staff report before the Planning Commission included original material presented during this project's first hearing in December, 2000 as well additional details and conditions, which have been submitted by the applicant. Beginning with the project description, Ms. Marlow outlined topics that required further work. The project is proposed on a new master plan, No. 8A, which has updated Master Plan No. 8. The plan depicts the areas of dredging and fill and where additional mooring and parking was to be provided. The plan proposes to fill the existing tidelands of the privately held properties, adjacent to Area 5. The Docks and Harbor Department proposes to fill the land and let the property owners retain the parcels, as they exist. The property lines of the existing lots will not be changed. Additionally, the applicant is considering the option of subdividing Parcel No. 4 (between Parcel Nos. 7 and 12 on the Douglas Harbor Master Plan No. 8A) and then transferring ownership to the upland owners of Parcel Nos. 8 and 9. Plans with and without the subdivision are presented to the Planning Commission since they are both under negotiation.

Ms. Marlow addressed the Commissioner's concerns as to the drainage by referring them to the Dredging and Confined Disposal Grading and Drainage Plan. The applicant proposes to develop a drainage collection system with oil/water separators to serve Area 1 and 5. The Drainage Plans will be further reviewed in the CBJ Building and Grading Permit process.

The Commission heard testimony expressing concerns for the proximity of the proposed retaining walls to existing pilings and structures of the upland property. Further discussion with the CBJ Engineering, CDD learned that some of the pilings are treated while others are not. The untreated pilings are in various stages of decay and it is unknown what affects the retaining wall will have upon them. Treated pilings are not considered to be affected by retaining walls and examples of this circumstance abound in the downtown area. The applicant proposes to document the condition of the private piles adjacent to Area 5 prior to issuance of the CBJ Building permit.

Since this project was last reviewed, the applicant has continued negotiations with the affected property owners to the west of Area 5.

Although the Harbor Department has jurisdiction over harbor facilities, property acquisitions and leasing, a Condition stipulating that property issues be finalized before construction begins is included. CDD staff has not been involved in these discussions; similarly, they are not involved when private developers acquire property. It is the responsibility of the two parties to come to terms with each other.

Ms. Marlow added that if the applicant proposes significant changes to Master Plan No. 8, the director may request that the plan be brought before the Planning Commission for additional review.

The project is compatible with the Land Use Code. The project will provide needed moorage, better provide for parking, circulation and launching demands and several sources of existing water contamination will be eliminated. Staff determined that the Douglas Harbor Master Plan leaves the upland property owners with expanded options for use and development of their property.

Staff recommendation: That the Planning Commission adopt the director's analysis and findings and recommend approval of Douglas Harbor Master Plan 8A to the Assembly. The approval is subject to the following conditions:

  1. With the development of each project area, the applicant shall provide adequate lighting for primary traffic corridors and parking areas. Light fixtures shall be shielded, or incorporate a similarly effective design, to eliminate glare and to focus light shed on travel areas.
  2. Prior to obtaining a CBJ building or grading permit for Phase I, the applicant shall finalize the arrangements necessary for use of the private property with the property owners adjacent to Area 5.
  3. Prior to obtaining a CBJ building or grading permit for Phase II, the applicant shall submit plans for Community Development staff approval of the following items: typical road sections through the project area, striping details, parking lot layout with accessible spaces, crosswalks, signs, lighting and fixtures, street furniture, public buildings, waste containers, landscaping and vegetative cover.
  4. All trucks hauling material to or from the site shall have a tailgate, cover or similarly effective mechanism to contain material. Hauling to or from the site is prohibited between the hours of 7-8 AM and 4-6 PM.
  5. The applicant shall be responsible for controlling dust and debris caused by loading, off-loading, truck hauling and other aspects of the operation. The applicant shall control dust by dampening road surfaces and operating areas and shall take other measures as needed to assure that no dust impacts occur off site. The applicant shall also be responsible for cleaning up and disposing of any litter generated by the project, including material that is lost from trucks.

Mr. Pusich noted that eight recommendations were presented to the Planning Commission on December 12, and now only five are offered. Ms. Marlow said that several conditions in the original staff report were not directly tied to provisions of the Land Use Code; hence Planning Commission review was not required.

Mr. Pusich asked if the noise issue would come up during the site grading and review with the Engineering Department? Ms. Marlow indicated that exceptions to the noise standard are at the discretion of the CBJ Manager.

Mr. Bavard raised the letter by the Douglas Front Street Upland Owners Association, dated January 23, 2001, which was distributed prior to the meeting. Item No. 2 requested zoning relief to remedy their property's non-conformance to setbacks. Ms. Marlow stated that it would be inappropriate for the Harbor and Docks Board to negotiate this point with the property owners, because this is the purview of the Planning Commission and the Assembly.

Public Testimony:

David Koko, 826 2nd Street, Douglas, has lived uphill from the proposed project for 22 years. Although Mr. Koko is a longtime employee of the CBJ Harbor Department, he appears as a neighbor and not in his professional capacity. Mr. Koko is concerned by light pollution and he requests that the light poles be lowered. Mr. Koko also reports that the residential side streets receive a tremendous amount of trailer, truck and tour bus traffic flowing out from Savikko Road. With the proposed entrance and exit of the parking lot on the causeway, Front Street to Bradley Street to Third Street will become a thoroughfare. Because the number of kids and pets that populate the area, this will be a danger. Finally, Mr. Koko asks if paving and drainage for Bradley and First Street are considered in the proposal. This is warranted given the increase in traffic that Mr. Koko foresees. He also suggests that Bradley Street be made a one-way going downhill. This will discourage departing traffic from utilizing the residential neighborhood in favor of Savikko Road to Third Street.

Mr. Kendziorek noted that Condition No. 1 addresses lighting and requires focused lighting to alleviate light pollution.

Corey Wall, 513 5th Street, Douglas, noted that the Douglas Boat Harbor has three primary user groups: boaters, recreational facility users and neighbors who use Savikko Road to access the beach or Treadwell. Mr. Wall stated that the Douglas Harbor expansion plan serves the needs of boaters and recreational facility users but is a detriment to the neighbors/pedestrian users. Specifically, Mr. Wall believed that the landscaping plan was completely inadequate and lacked any pedestrian amenities. Mr. Wall displayed photos of the area and in contrast, provided examples of developments in other areas to illustrate possible alternatives. He recommended that 30 parking spots be deleted from the project and in exchange, more land be dedicated to landscaping and pedestrian amenities. Mr. Wall proposes that the group be given a chance to talk about alternatives to the plan proposed by the Board. Mr. Wall noted that while his testimony dealt with Phase II of the project, he wanted the Planning Commission to know that the Docks and Harbor Board had not contacted the Douglas Advisory Group.

Mr. Kendziorek asked if Mr. Wall had counted up what would be the net change in the number of parking spaces if his plan were implemented. Mr. Wall stated that his plan met the CBJ requirements for parking spaces and he demonstrated that on his illustration.

Mr. Allington asked if Mr. Wall's plan met the requirements for both the harbor and the ball field and that he had counted parking spaces correctly. As he understood it, Mr. Wall indicated that his plan satisfies both Parks and Recreation and Douglas Boat Harbor requirements. Furthermore, Mr. Wall was confident that his adding was also accurate.

Ed Bond, 104 Bradley, Douglas, is a non-resident property owner but is concerned nonetheless. He supports Mr. Koko's comments and is concerned by the impact of light pollution onto the residential neighborhood. Traffic flow is also his concern to him. He hoped that access to Dock Street were limited to foot traffic which would force traffic to Savikko Road and Third Street. If that is not done, then additional curbs, gutters, sidewalks and paving must be added to improve Bradley Street so that it may accommodate the increase in traffic.

Mr. Vick asked if the Bradley Street residents had ever requested an LID to get the streets paved. Mr. Bond did not know.

Dale E. Henkins, Box 240261, Douglas, is a member of the newly formed group, The Front Street Upland Owners Association. In reference to Ms. Marlow's comments that some of the decisions would be left with the Harbor Department to carry out prior to the issuance of the grading permits. Mr. Henkins asked that the Planning Commission not do that to the residents and he explained why. At the December 12, 2000 meeting, Mr. Graham stated that he would clear up all of the property issues. Mr. Henkins said that no negotiations have occurred whatsoever. The upland owners did not have any information. No letters came, no news of property appraisals came. Mr. Henkins complained that as a property owner, it is uncomfortable having to deal with local government when they won't communicate with the affected property owners. Therefore, if decisions have to be made, he hoped the Harbor Department didn't make them.

Property owners sent a communication to Joe Graham on December 22, 2000 and a revision of that letter was submitted tonight, which deleted items not pertinent to the Planning Commission review process.

  1. The CBJ shall be responsible for the installation of water, sewer and electrical lateral as well as the necessary stubbing in to the property lines of the newly developed tideland lots.
  1. A new zone shall be formed to include just the affected five upland properties and their tideland lots. The following zoning particulars shall become a part of the property deed:
  • a. Zero-foot setback regulations from lot sidelines, and five-foot setback from and back lot lines.

    b. As regards any and all development made on affected properties, 50% of parking required will be satisfied by adjacent public parking.

    c. This new zone shall be designated, and remain Waterfront Industrial.

    1. CBJ will pay any and all fees related to title/transfer and/or changes for the newly developed tideland lots.
    2. CBJ shall put in place Jersey barrier walls on property lines between harbor parking lot and newly developed tideland lots. However the developed tideland owners will have the right to adjust this Jersey barrier when lot access is needed.
    3. Front Street drainage shall be addressed and resolved.

    Mr. Henkins believes that the Harbor Department should be treated like any other contractor and they must lie out their electrical, water, sewer and access plans. Mr. Henkins feared that if the CBJ did not bear the cost for this item, the residents might be forced to form an LID to pay for these improvements. Mr. Henkins feels that these considerations are justified because these five lots in particular are so massively impacted by the harbor expansion project and by recent zoning changes.

    Mr. Henkins asked that either the Conditional Use permit or the grading permit be not issued until all of the details pertaining to the filling under the properties have been worked out. He cautions that the upland property owners are wary of the momentum that this project has taken and they want to be certain that the best construction methods are adhered to.

    Deanna Seagle, a resident of Douglas, spoke in support of the comments made by Corey Wells. She prefers his plan to that proposed by the Harbor Department and further suggests that skateboarders, rollerbladers and baby strollers are accommodated when the pedestrian amenities are being considered. Ms. Seagle also supported the low lighting idea so that the peaceful nightscape is not disturbed. As it stands this area is Juneau's premier public beach park and it is important that the "park" not be lost in the process of expanding the harbor.

    William D. League, Box 240329, Douglas, is a property owner on Front Street who also serves on the Douglas Advisory Board. He completely supports the comments of Mr. Henkins and Mr. Wall. As an upland property owner, he dreads the introduction of cars with their boom boxes parked in full sight and sound of his large picture windows. Mr. League stated that turning Bradley Street into a one-way would have a minimal impact for him although he does not support closing off Dock Street to traffic.

    In closing, Mr. League restates the need for consideration on the zoning issues for the upland property owners. He acknowledges staff's comments that their zoning concerns were not related to the harbor expansion, however it needs to be considered. Mr. League also wants the Harbor Department to be responsible to install the electric. With regard to the suggestion that Bradley Street or the adjacent area request an LID, Mr. League states that the Harbor Department is doing the development and they should bear the cost for improvements.

    Mr. Sanford asked if the Douglas Advisory Board had any imput into this project. Mr. League stated that one week earlier, Mr. Graham attended a meeting to report on progress. In the past, Mr. Graham and Ms. Kieffer of the CBJ Parks and Recreation Department had attended several meetings with status updates. The Douglas Neighborhood Association is one year old and so the organization that carries weight is the Douglas Advisory Board. If there are things that need to be addressed, Mr. Graham ought to brief that group.

    Jeff Sauer, 720 4th Street, Douglas, lives about a block away from the proposed parking lot and he also keeps a boat in the Douglas Harbor. Mr. Sauer hopes that the character of the harbor is retained throughout the expansion project. He supports the inclusion of as much green areas as possible. He is also concerned with plans to utilize the contaminated materials from the Steamship Dock locale. He reports that scoters, buffleheads, mallards, and mergansers frequent the Douglas Harbor and he is concerned that their habitat is protected. Even though an oil/water separator is included in the plan, all systems eventually fail and in the end, the waterfowl of the intertidal zone will be harmed. He supports another destination for the contaminated soil.

    Mr. Kendziorek requested that the applicant, Joe Graham, Harbor Director for the CBJ come forward to address questions of the Planning Commission.

    Mr. Kendziorek recollection from the December 12, 2000 meeting was that the Harbor Director would report back on his negotiations with the property owners. Yet, testimony indicates that no negotiations have occurred.

    Joe Graham, CBJ Port Director, indicated that property negotiations were not the purview of the Planning Commission. He acknowledged that there were concerns expressed about property lines. In that regard, the proposal has been adjusted and that the Harbor Department was no longer interested in purchasing any of the submerged tidelands. This is in the interest of keeping the property lines straight.

    Mr. Kendziorek raised Mr. Wall's suggestion to change the Savikko Road parking configuration so that additional landscaping could be accommodated. Mr. Graham noted that after a series of public hearings in the past 18 months, most comments focused on increasing parking. Mr. Graham acknowledged that the current plan for landscaping is minimal, but it is in response to the demand for parking that had been voiced at numerous public meetings. The original plans, which incorporated more green space, were modified in response to the demand for increased parking.

    Mr. Allington asked if there were funding constraints upon this project. Mr. Graham stated that Phase I, which costs approximately $3 million dollars from Proposition 3 sales tax revenues $2 million dollars from Docks and Harbors Board reserves (which exhausts those reserves) and about $400,000 from the State of Alaska (which is federal pass through monies.) for the launch ramp construction.

    Mr. Pusich asked if Mr. Graham had seen the January 23, 2001 letter from the Douglas Front Street Upland Owners Association. Mr. Graham had seen the previous letter, dated January 22, 2001. Mr. Graham said that the terms incorporate the current position of four out of five of the property owners. Mr. Graham agrees with most of the points stated, however, he hadn't a chance to fully review the others.

    Mr. Pusich raised the issue of traffic flow on Bradley and Front Streets and he asked if it would be feasible to eliminate the parking lot exit onto Dock Street? Mr. Graham strongly recommended against doing so, adding that any restrictions would increase the impacts onto another area.

    Ms. Gladziszewski asked staff to comment on what occurred at the December 12, 2001 meeting. She also recollected that the Harbor Director would report back to the Planning Commission on the status of property negotiations. Ms. Gladziszewski asked what jurisdiction did the Planning Commission have over the property negotiations? If they indeed had no jurisdiction, what recourse did the property owners have?

    Ms. Easterwood recalled that at the last Planning Commission meeting, considerable concerns were expressed about the how the lots would be impacted by this proposal. Land use concerns related to the usability of the remnant lots were also expressed. Ms. Easterwood expected that there would be continuing communication with the property owners as well. In response to the Commission's concerns, the applicant has amended the project considerably. No longer is there the issue of acquisition but instead filling the property and leaving it in the ownership of the existing owners.

    Ms. Gladziszewski asked for clarification on who has jurisdiction of the negotiations with the property owners? Doesn't the Assembly have a role? Ms. Easterwood stated that the Harbor Board was the entity taking part in negotiations with the property owners.

    Mr. Bavard noted that traffic problems had been raised in testimony. What process would be involved if it were decided to make Bradley Street one-way? Mrs. Easterwood stated that both the Engineering and Public Works Department would be involved in making that determination.

    Mr. Allington noted that 30 to 40 foot luminaires were commonly used, had CBJ engineers considered more "pedestrian" scale poles for this project? Mr. Graham stated that light pollution has been a concern by the project engineers although a final decision had been now been reached.

    Mr. Pusich asked what date would this project be advertised? Mr. Graham indicated that the project would be advertised immediately, as the process allowed.

    Mr. Dybdahl noted that the only negotiations that are occurring are for filling in the submerged lots. Mr. Graham stated that he is also negotiating compensation for the loss of waterfront access as well.

    Mr. Vick asked if the Army Corps of Engineers permit that was received for filling the tidelands extended to the filling in under the old pilings of the Front Street properties?

    Dick Somerville, P.E. of Peratovich, Nottingham & Drage, Inc. the engineer for the Harbor Board, stated that the Corps permits only extended to the retaining wall; however, it would require only a minor modification to the permit.

    Mr. Graham noted that the issue of retaining walls is an active discussion. Originally, a riprap type retaining wall had been proposed to property owners. They had countered with a number of other types of walls ranging from concrete foundation walls to actually filling in under the properties. Once a decision is made, the Corps permit modification will be made.

    Mr. Pusich asked how the applicant could know if there were a failure in the system that encased the contaminated fill? Will the system be monitored for leaching? Mr. Graham stated that the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) was interested in that as well. A monitoring system is in place and the project meets DEC's guidelines. He added that because of the delays to the funding of Phase II, and because of the need to commence dredging at the downtown wharf, the Harbor Department is also looking at alternative disposal options.

    Mr. Sanford asked Mr. Graham to clarify whether or not the CBJ will be putting in electric, water and sewer along the frontage of the lots owned by the Douglas Front Street Upland Owners Association? Mr. Graham said owners had requested that, and the Harbor Department intend on putting utilities in that area. He adds that an obligation to fulfill the request may exist since the Harbor Department is treated the same as any other contractor.

    Mr. Allington asked if there were to be a "stub out," would be subject to negotiation with the property owners. Mr. Graham believed that it would be a general negotiated item rather than a specific item.

    Mr. League commented that if filling in under the property takes place, that a Condition should be added to require that the accumulated organic debris be removed prior.

    Commission Action:

    Motion: by Mr. Vick that the Planning Commission accept staff's analysis, findings and recommendations, and adopt CSP2000-00010, including Conditions 1 through 5 as stated in the staff report of January 16, 2001.

    Mr. Pusich offered a friendly amendment stating that CBJ Engineering and Public Works Departments examine the feasibility of turning Bradley Street into a one-way street.

    While he would accept the amendment, Mr. Vick noted that there might be negative unintended and negative consequences created by turning Bradley into a one-way street.

    Mr. Bruce stated that the Public Works Committee meetings examined the speed bumps on Riverside Drive and learned that there were unintended impacts imposed on the nearby streets. This supports Mr. Graham's assertion that when a restriction is imposed on one area; problems are going to arise in some other area. Mr. Bruce said the idea needed much more study and he was reluctant to proceed.

    Mr. Pusich clarified that he wanted CBJ to look at the feasibility, safety, and all of the issues at this time only.

    Mr. Allington clarified that the intent was to make Bradley Street one-way in the direction toward the harbor.

    Mr. Bruce asked staff if this study is recommended, would that result in Phase I not going out to bid? Ms. Easterwood said depending on the wording of the Condition; this would not impact Phase I. She suggested wording that was acceptable to both Mr. Pusich and Mr. Vick.

    Mr. Pusich’s amendment adding Condition No. 6 states: "prior to issuance of a grading permit for phase II, the applicant shall consider traffic circulation, and in particular, one-way traffic in the vicinity of Bradley Street."

    Mr. Kendziorek recommends that more time be given investigating the options for parking and pedestrian amenities along the waterside of Savikko Road. As well, what would the ramifications and impacts be on available parking?

    Mr. Bruce congratulated Mr. Wall on his presentation and for assisting in coming up with a solution rather than just a problem. However, he notes that public testimony had been obtained which revealed a substantial desire for parking and the plans are underway.

    Mr. Kendziorek stated that this friendly amendment is not a requirement but during the Phase II planning that the Harbor Department look into pedestrian amenities. Mr. Vick accepted the friendly amendment adding Condition No. 7.

    Mr. Bavard suggested that another condition state that debris on the tidelands be removed prior to filling in.

    Mr. Pusich agreed with the idea, adding that standard methods of construction require the removal of unwanted debris.

    Ms. Easterwood suggested that CBJ Engineering staff come forward to explain what the plans are. She also noted that this provision is outside of the Land Use Code and it is, therefore and inappropriate Condition for the Planning Commission.

    Dick Somerville, came forward to answer engineering questions. He stated that all organic materials would be removed from the area that is to be filled. He also reiterated that current plans would not fill under the pile-supported structures on private tidelands.

    Mr. Dybdahl clarified that if filing in under the pile supported private tidelands were negotiated then the logs and debris would be removed. Mr. Somerville agreed.

    Mr. Bavard withdrew his amendment.

    Mr. Allington asked what impact, if any would a Condition requiring 15-foot high lighting standards.

    Mr. Somerville did not recommend that Condition adding that they are looking at a number of options including low-level lighting.

    Mr. Allington suggested that Condition No. 1 is amended by adding, "Lighting standards along the seawall should be a maximum of 15-feet in height."

    Mr. Vick accepted that as a friendly amendment.

    Mr. Bavard supports the motion, noting that the project will be a tremendous improvement to the community.

    Mr. Allington supports searching out options for additional greenery, however, just meeting statutory standards has never provided adequate parking. It creates other problems such as the spillover parking impacting neighboring streets.

    ROLL CALL VOTE:

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

    Nays: None

    The motion passes unanimously, 9 - 0.

    Mr. Dybdahl called a ten-minute recess at 8:45 p.m. 

    USE2000-00079

    A Conditional Use permit to remodel the lower level of a single-family home into a one-bedroom 600-square foot accessory apartment.

    Location: 9362 NORTHLAND STREET

    Applicant: DIANE L. ALDRIGHETTE

    Staff report: Teri Camery reviewed the request for the Planning Commission. The proposal meets all Code requirements including the square footage of the apartment, lot size, parking and setbacks. As well, the proposal complies with the building code. The Community Development Department did receive a letter from Karen Allen, a neighbor who opposes the issuance of the Conditional Use permit. Ms. Allen feels that an accessory apartment would change the character of the single-family neighborhood and lower property values. Reference is also made to 9366 Northland Street, a rented home, as an example of the detrimental effects of renting. Ms. Camery visited the home and did find an accumulation of trash in the front yard. She notes that this is a problem with the specific renter at 9366 Northland and not with rentals in general.

    Ms. Camery researched the issue of property value impacts but did not find evidence that accessory apartments did in fact, lower property values. CBJ appraiser, Ozzy Orsborn states that he has never known property values in surrounding neighborhoods to decline following the development of accessory apartments. The accessory apartment ordinance is written to preserve the character of single-family neighborhoods. Ms. Camery notes that the applicant's apartment will be developed without any alteration to the outside of the home.

    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 an accessory apartment at 9362 Northland Street.

    Mr. Bavard noted that the property is zoned D-5 and asked if there could be a duplex on the lot rather than a single-family home. Ms. Camery agreed, so long as it met lot size requirements.

    Mr. Kendziorek asked if there were any other accessory apartments in the general neighborhood. Ms. Camery stated that one existed on Turn Street. On a site visit, she found no visible evidence of an apartment at that home, therefore no visible impacts to the neighborhood.

    Diane Aldrighette, 9362 Northland Street, is the applicant. Ms. Aldrighette states that the home was purchased for its potential to develop an accessory apartment. The apartment would completely blend with the only visible indicator being an apartment number on the outside of the house. She also observed from Ms. Nelson's letter that she didn't seem know that other accessory apartments existed in the surrounding neighborhood.

    Red Housler, is a resident of the neighborhood and the house next door to Ms. Aldrighette's home concerns him. Mr. Housler distributed a photograph to illustrate the eyesore. He can't stand what is happening at 9366 Northland Street and he feels that allowing an apartment next door to it would allow the problem to spread.

    Mr. Kendziorek asked if he had ever seen problems with the way Ms. Aldrighette keeps her property. Mr. Housler stated that there have never been problems.

    Tim Hanson, is also a resident of the neighborhood. Mr. Hanson is concerned by the increase in vehicular traffic and he also supports Mr. Housler's comments. As long as Ms. Aldrighette is an owner-occupant a problem won't likely develop; however, if she sells her home, the problem could progress.

    Joe Smith, 1881 E Irvington #106, Tucson, AZ is a friend of the applicant. Mr. Smith testifies that when he owned a home in Juneau in the past, his neighbor also had a problem with debris in his yard. The owner of the house was a neat guy who happened to feel that it was his right to make a mess in his front yard. The point is that people assume that anyone who rents and apartment is a potential threat to the neighborhood when the problem could just as easily be created by a property owner and not a renter. Ms. Aldrighette has complied with all CBJ requirements and he urged the Planning Commission to approve her request.

    Public testimony was closed.

    Motion - by Mr. Kendziorek to accept staff's analysis, findings and recommendations and approve USE2000-00079.

    Mr. Kendziorek spoke in support of the motion. He supports accessory apartments but is he also appreciates the complaints about sloppy neighbors. In this case, Ms. Aldrighette has not shown that she is a problem.

    Mr. Bavard agrees with Mr. Kendziorek adding that speeding traffic and trash in the yard are enforcement issues.

    Mr. Bruce also supports the motion. He urged the neighbors to contact Mike Tagaban from the JPD and he would issue a citation because the problem is an enforcement issue.

    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

    Mrs. Easterwood reports that several issues were discovered at the last minute, which regrettably resulted in the continuation of many items from tonight's agenda.

    The Lands Committee met on January 22nd and residential parking permits was on their agenda. In the discussion and they were told that the Planning Commission would soon take up the issue of a Fee In Lieu Of ordinance as well as other elements of the Parking program. The Lands Committee therefore requested that the Planning Commission take up a discussion of the residential parking permits. Ms. Easterwood's intent is to bring the Fee In Lieu Of ordinance along with a review of Parking Study's recommendation to the Planning Commission.

    Ms. Easterwood stated CBJ Engineering has completed its Hillside review and CDD staff will be meeting to determine when the golf course can be scheduled for its next hearing before the Planning Commission.

    With regard to the Totem Creek Golf Course, Mr. Bruce asked if all of the applicant's work had now been completed. Ms. Easterwood indicated that Totem Creek was asked to prepare a map for the next meeting so that the Commission could take a closer look at the streamside buffers. As well, the proponents were asked to make an itemized recommendation for the bond amounts. All required submissions to CBJ Engineering have been made and what remains is for CDD staff's workload to be adjusted so that a hearing date could be set.

    Mr. Allington said that he had information from the State of Alaska that the road extension of North Douglas Highway was now in the CBJ's lap. Ms. Easterwood made inquiries and learned that nothing was pending with the CBJ. Mr. Allington had e-mailed Director Bob Doll for clarification.

    XII. REPORT OF REGULAR AND SPECIAL COMMITTEES

    Mr. Sanford reported that the Lands Committee met and discussed monitoring of Channel Landfill's incinerator. As a result, CBJ Engineering will look into that to insure that the scrubbers are operating normally. The Juneau Raptor Center is looking for a new home and potential sites were discussed. There is a 10-acre site along the Mendenhall River in the vicinity of Meadow Lane that they will try to acquire with the help of CBJ. A recycling program should be online at the landfill within the next two or three months.

    Mr. Pusich reported that the Wetlands Review Board met and heard a presentation on the Fish Creek Master Plan that Parks and Recreation Department is proposing. They are seeking to create a vision for the area that will encompass all of the opportunities such as recreation and estuary enhancement.  

    XIII. PLANNING COMMISSION QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS

    Mr. Bavard commented on the recent Committee of the Whole meeting and he commended Ms. Easterwood and the CDD staff on their efforts to reach out to despite the limited interest shown by the Assembly. Other commissioners concurred with Mr. Bavard.

    Mr. Sanford asked if there were any news on the situation on South Franklin Street with the sheetmetal reinforcement of the hillside.

    Heather Marlow reported that CBJ engineers are monitoring the site daily. They suspect what the problems are and they have reasons to believe that the problems will not get worse.

    Mr. Bruce asked if there had been a Condition placed on the permit that required bonding.

    Ms. Marlow stated that a Condition requiring a bond was a part of the Grading permit.

    Mr. Allington announced that the Department of Transportation planned an open house and presentation on January 24th at noon and again from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. The topic is proposed solutions to the 10th Street and Egan Drive intersection.

    Mr. Sanford commented that some issues arising out of the Douglas Harbor expansion project should have been resolved prior to being heard by the Planning Commission. Most notably, there was a serious lack of communication between the parties.

    Mr. Allington observed that typically, until a master plan is approved, there is no way of knowing for sure what properties must be acquired. It’s the classic chicken and the egg situation. He agreed, however, that the negotiations between the property owners and the Harbor Department should never have come to the Planning Commission.

    Ms. Gladziszewski said that it is difficult when someone testifies by saying, "I beg of you, please don't leave us with them." The difficulty lies in that the Planning Commission has no jurisdiction over that issue.

    Mr. Dybdahl noted that the Planning Commission was helpful by forcing the Harbor Department to state their intentions. As a result, the Harbor Department explored new options. Overall, the public good was well served by the process.

    Mr. Bavard stated that at the original hearing, Master Plan No. 8 created land use issues that were within the jurisdiction of the Planning Commission. Each commissioner had concerns by what that Master Plan would leave the property owners with.

    Mr. Allington observed that often, government agents who are involved in land acquisitions too often do not know what planning and zoning issues involve nor do they care. Property can be acquired with the homeowner totally unaware that they are left with unusable property.

     XIV. ADJOURNMENT

    Motion by Mr. Pusich to adjourn. Without objection, Chair Dybdahl adjourned the meeting at 9:30 p.m.