MINUTES
PLANNING COMMISSION
CITY AND BOROUGH OF JUNEAU
REGULAR MEETING
June 12, 2001
 

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

I. ROLL CALL

Commissioners present: Mike Bavard, Johan Dybdahl, Maria Gladisziewski, Marshal Kendziorek, Mark Pusich, Merrill Sanford, Jody Vick

Commissioners absent: Roger Allington, Dan Bruce

A quorum was present.

Staff present: Cheryl Easterwood, Director of Community Development; Oscar Graham, CDD Planning Supervisor; Gary Gillette, CDD Planner; Tim Maguire, CDD Planner; Teri Camery, CDD Planner

Other CBJ staff present:

II. APPROVAL OF MINUTES

March 20, 2001 - Special Meeting

May 22, 2001 – Regular Meeting

Motion by Mr. Kendziorek to approve the minutes of the March 20, 2001 Special meeting as amended and to approve the minutes of the May 22, 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

V. CONSENT AGENDA

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

Motion: by Mr. Pusich to approve the Consent Agenda that included VAR2001-00016 and CSP2000-00005 (as listed below). There was no objection and it was so ordered.

VAR2001-00016

A Variance to construct a trail in the Eagle Beach State Recreation Area within the 50-foot riparian setback.

Location: 28-MILE GLACIER HIGHWAY
Applicant: STATE OF ALASKA DNR-DOT

Staff recommendation: That the Board of Adjustment adopt the director’s analysis and findings and grant the requested Variance, which would allow construction of a trail along Eagle River within the 50-foot riparian setback, with the following Condition:

  1. Trail construction on old roadbeds and paths within the 50-foot riparian setback shall not impact additional riparian vegetation, and the footprint of the trail shall not be expanded toward the waterside, pursuant to CBJ §49.70.950 (f).


CSP2001-00005

Planning Commission review of a state project for improvements to Eagle Beach campground/recreation area.

Location: 28-MILE GLACIER HIGHWAY
Applicant: STATE OF ALASKA DNR-DOT

Staff recommendation: That the Planning Commission adopt the director’s analysis and findings and approve the Eagle Beach Recreation project as described in the project description and attached drawings with the following Conditions:

  1. Pursuant to CBJ Code §49.70.310 (4), prior to the issuance of a grading permit, primary day use and walk-in day use areas shall be moved 50 feet from the ordinary high water mark of Eagle River. Because the river is tidally influenced, the ordinary high water mark shall be measured according to the mean high water elevation of 15.4 feet. This elevation shall be surveyed prior to construction to establish the setback.
  2. Pursuant to CBJ Code §49.70.310 (4), prior to the issuance of a grading permit, a variance for construction of the trail within the 50-foot riparian setback of Eagle River must be granted by the Planning Commission.
  3. The barren rock area of the bank near the primary day use and entrance area shall be re-vegetated to 50 percent cover or greater within two growing seasons with locally occurring species, pursuant to CBJ Code §49.70.950 (f), unless storm conditions dictate that such recovery is not possible.
  4. The eroding area of the Saturday Creek bank shall be transplanted with saplings and bushes removed from the new bridge construction with 80 percent cover on level areas and, 50 percent cover with locally occurring species on the bank to mean high water within one growing season, pursuant to CBJ Code §49.70.950 (f).
  5. Trail construction on old roadbeds and paths within the 50-foot riparian setback shall not impact additional riparian vegetation, and the footprint of the trail shall not be expanded toward the waterside, pursuant to CBJ Code §49.70.950 (f).


VI. CONSIDERATION OF ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS -
None

VII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS - None

VIII. REGULAR AGENDA

SUB2001-00002

A request to vacate a portion of Gastineau Avenue at Ewing Way along Lot 8A and Lot 10 Pacific Coast Subdivision.

Location: 00345 GASTINEAU AVE
Applicant: CHANNEL VIEW INC

Staff report: Tim Maguire reviewed the staff report for the Planning Commission. He noted that right of ways are dedicated to the public for public purposes such as access and utilities. The heart of a vacation question is whether the right of way should be retained for public uses or whether it can be released for private development. In the case of Gastineau Avenue, the question is whether the right of way is needed for the planned improvements to the roadway and associated utilities. The question can now be answered as the roadway improvement plans have been finalized and no portion of the right of way is needed. However, adjustments to the vacation boundary must be made to accommodate the utilities and possible future improvements. CBJ staff met with utility interests and modifications to the site plan was made.

Staff recommendation: That the Planning Commission adopt the director's findings and approve the request to vacate that portion of the Gastineau Avenue right of way, lying between Lot 8A, and 10, Block 2, Pacific Coast Addition and the proposed roadway for Gastineau Avenue subject to the following Conditions:

  1. That the southeast boundary of the proposed street vacation be adjusted to retain 10 feet of right of way along the centerline of the storm drain line being proposed from Gastineau Avenue down Ewing Way as part of the overall improvement project for Gastineau Avenue.
  2. That the northeast boundary of the proposed street vacation common with the roadway be adjusted so that a 5-foot wide strip of right of way remains on the downward side of the proposed limits of the constructed roadway improvements for Gastineau Avenue.
  3. That the CBJ Engineering Department approves the final vacation boundaries prior to plat recording.
  4. That the necessary easements be provided for existing utilities; that utility lines and poles be relocated or upgrading, as necessary, to provide required separation distances from existing or proposed structures; and that the appropriate utility companies approve the relocation, upgrades, and easements prior to plat recording.
  5. That the plat accompanying the right of way vacation not be recorded until such time that a building or grading permit has been issued for the proposed construction of the 22-unit apartment complex.

Mr. Kendziorek noticed that only one party signed the vacation application: the Ewing Way Association, Steve Landvik, General Partner. Yet Finding No. 1 states, "the majority of owners of the front footage of the street "signed the application. Mr. Maguire explained that the request to vacate is signed by the property owners who front the right of way. In this case, all of the adjoining property owners were notified but they are not required to sign a petition.

Mr. Bavard asked what would happen to the vacation if the 22-unit apartment building project failed. Would the vacation proceed or would the application die along with the project. Mr. Maguire replied that the vacation must occur before the applicant can construct his project. However, Condition No. 5 stipulates that the right of way vacation not be recorded until such time that a building or grading permit has been issued for the apartment building.

Mr. Kendziorek shared Mr. Bavard's interest in this issue. He asked if the vacated land revert to the CBJ or does the applicant keep it? Mr. Maguire indicated that there is no mechanism available after the vacation is platted and recorded to have it revert back to CBJ ownership. He added that the operative question is whether or not there is a public need for a particular right of way. If the CBJ does not need to retain it then it can be vacated.

Mr. Sanford asked how much right of way remains on Gastineau Avenue following this vacation. Mr. Maguire said that including the land that the CBJ acquires as a part of this action; there is approximately 29 feet at the narrowest point, to 50 feet at the other end of the property.

Mr. Bavard noted that this vacation is needed to accommodate a specific large-scale project. If, for whatever reason, the development were downsized and a smaller project that didn't require the vacated land resulted, and then the CBJ loses. He questioned the sensibility of vacating land before a specific project is definite. Mr. Maguire explained CBJ's practice that prior to issuance of a Building permit, ownership must be established. Hence, the right of way is vacated prior to issuance of a Building permit and construction of the final project.

Public testimony:

Steve Landvik, is the applicant. He added before money is loaned for a new construction project, the lender must be able to secure the loan with land as collateral. No investor would lend money under the circumstances that commissioners described.

Doug Larson, said he was a party in the appeal of Mr. Landvik's approval on a previous 4-plex. He is baffled by the street vacation that is now before the Planning Commission. 18 years ago Mr. Larson received a letter from the CBJ attorney advising that his house protruded over the street right of way and that he had five years to cut off his living room in order to be in compliance. Mr. Larson applied for and was denied a vacation by the Planning Commission. He appealed to the Assembly where the hearing officer explained that under no circumstances was public land ever vacated for private use. In the end, the City's case failed because the City lacked documentation that proved it even owned the street. Today, Mr. Larson feels that a double standard is at work. He disliked the notion that vacating the right of way would be done to benefit Mr. Landvik's project. The project, a 22-unit apartment building would significantly impact everyone who lives on Gastineau Avenue.

Nancy Waterman, 227 Gastineau Avenue, believes that public rights of way are very important and a thorough investigation should be completed prior to any vacation. She suggested as an alternative to a simple vacation, couldn’t the uphill owners and downhill owners cooperate to move the right of way rather than vacating it? Essentially, the downhill owner would buy some property to turn it into a right of way further uphill. The intent would be the retention of a right of way wide enough to accommodate any imaginable road function. She notes that with the reconstruction of Gastineau Avenue, there is a temporary second access to Thane Road via the old mill site. Perhaps in the future a permanent the secondary access would be desirable. Perhaps the day may come when an uphill right of way might be utilized for a future turn-around or additional street-side parking. She asked that staff and the Commission carefully think about the long-term potential public needs in the area before the vacation is granted.

Mr. Kendziorek asked if there were houses on the uphill side. Ms. Waterman indicated that the land was undeveloped. Mr. Maguire stated that it was owned by the AJT, the holding company for AEL&P.

Page Bridges, 334 Carroll Way, states that she is disappointed that a 22-unit apartment is planned for her quaint neighborhood, but she trusts that Mr. Landvik will do a good job building it. She doesn't oppose the vacation for the apartment building. Ms. Bridges said that the uphill land on Gastineau is unsuitable for development and she hopes that it will be left natural for the benefit of everyone. She urged the Planning Commission to address the parking situation and she suggested that the City look at alternatives to a commercial parking lot in her neighborhood. Perhaps the City might stipulate that people must park at the Rock Dump and they must use a shuttle. This idea would save residents and tourists alike the eyesore of congested parking lot. If that isn't possible, Ms. Bridges suggested mitigating the visual impact of the parking lot with landscaping. Ms. Bridges was available to consult with the applicant on this item.

Steven Sorensen, 6903 Sunny Drive, is employed with Simpson, Tillinghast, Sorenson and Longenbaugh and he is the attorney for Channel View. He states that the CBJ has complete authority to vacate right of ways if they determine that the right of way no longer serves a public purpose and that a public purpose can be served by the vacation. Mr. Sorenson noted that staff determined that the right of way was not required for the improvements to Gastineau Avenue. Further, the land has 5-foot setbacks that could accommodate any future sidewalks on the downhill side or future improvements that were not contemplated with the reconstruction of Gastineau Avenue. The purpose of acquiring this parcel is not limited to parking. A catchment basin required by the Hillside Endorsement will also be installed on the parcel. Not only will the basin protect the proposed apartment building but other structures will also benefit. He urged the Planning Commission to support the street vacation.

Public testimony was closed and Chair Dybdahl called for a Motion.

Planning Commission action:

MOTION: by Mr. Kendziorek that the Planning Commission adopt SUB2001-00002 with staff's findings, analysis and recommendations.

Mr. Kendziorek asked staff to address some of the suggestions made during public testimony. Mr. Maguire addressed the turn-around near the end of Gastineau Avenue. The reconstruction designer team looked at turn-around points farther down, past Ewing Way. Due to the steepness of the uphill slope, the team proposed to go up into the hillside. In the end, the idea proved to be cost prohibitive.

Mr. Bavard spoke in support of the Motion. He thought that some issues such as pushing Gastineau Avenue through to Thane Road are outside of the scope of the street vacation under consideration. Several years ago, it would have been premature to consider this request but today, it is timely. He also liked the idea of leaving a five-foot setback for future improvements such as a sidewalk.

Roll call vote:

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

Chair Dybdahl announced that the next two items, USE2000-00055 and USE2000-00057 were related and the Commission would hear them together.

USE2000-00055

An Allowable Use permit and hillside development endorsement for a 22-unit apartment building with associated parking and a parking lot to serve off site commercial use.

Location: 00345 GASTINEAU AVE
Applicant: CHANNEL VIEW INC

Staff report: CDD Planner Gary Gillette first reviewed the Allowable Use permit (USE2000-00055) for the Planning Commission. The project includes construction of a parking deck and a 5-story steel framed building on Gastineau Avenue. The parking deck would provide parking for the proposed apartment building as well as a portion of three retail/residential buildings on South Franklin Street.

At issue in the past has been Gastineau Avenue's ability to handle traffic. In 1998, the applicant hired USKH to conduct a traffic analysis in anticipation of development of a 12-unit apartment building and parking for three retail and residential buildings on South Franklin Street. USKH concluded that Gastineau Avenue had sufficient capacity to accommodate the increase in traffic that the proposed development would generate. There are two major differences in the applicant's proposal today and that of 1998. The 1998 project included 19 apartment units and three commercial buildings (Alaska Fur Gallery I, II and the H&H Building) while today's project includes 29 apartment units, two commercial buildings (Alaska Fur Gallery I and II) and one residential space from the H&H Building. USKH expected that the total trips generated by the 1998 project were 517 car trips per day with 56 during the afternoon peak. Today's project anticipates 499 car trips per day with 51 during the afternoon peak.

If VAR2001-00009 is approved by the Board of Adjustment, the parking requirement for the South Franklin buildings would be 20 retail and residential parking spaces for the Alaska Fur Gallery I, II and the H&H Building with 16 spaces required for the Channel View apartment building. The total required parking spaces are 36. The applicant felt that this was excessive because many residential parking spaces are vacant during working hours and could be utilized by retail users. The applicant contracted Murray Walsh to survey of similar multi-family housing developments in the downtown area in order to establish use patterns. His objective was to substantiate the extent of parking vacancy during the daytime and early evening to make a case for shared parking between commercial and residential users. Mr. Gillette referred commissioners to the Land Use Code provisions cited in the staff report that deal with shared parking spaces. Based upon Mr. Walsh's analysis, it is assumed that during the day the full retail spaces (16) are needed but only one-half of the residential spaces (10) would be needed. The total is 26 parking spaces. During the evening hours, all residential spaces (20) would be needed but only one-half of the retail spaces (8) for a total of 28 spaces. Based upon Mr. Walsh’s analysis, the applicant’s proposal supplies 28 parking spaces where 36 are required.

Mr. Gillette noted that this project meets the criteria requiring a hillside development endorsement and the staff report contains a point-by-point analysis of the hillside review. Channel View, Inc. submitted information regarding slope stability, topography, site development plans and other information that is the basis of the hillside development review. Detailed information on some aspects of the project will be required for final review and issuance of a building/grading permit. The Allowable Use permit contains Conditions that fully address these items, Mr. Gillette explained.

Shared Parking

Staff recommendation:

That the Planning Commission adopt the director's analysis regarding parking needs of the proposed development and allow 50% shared use of 28 parking spaces. This parking shall be used for the residential users of the 22-unit apartment building, the retail and residential users of the Alaska Fur Gallery I & II buildings and the residential use for the H&H Building.

Allowable Use and Hillside Endorsement

Staff recommendation: That the Planning Commission adopt the director's analysis and findings and grant the requested allowable use permit and hillside development endorsement. The permit would allow development of a 22-unit apartment building with associated parking and a parking lot to serve off site retail/residential uses. The approval is subject to the following Conditions:

  1. Prior to site grading and after issuance of the Hillside Development Endorsement, a building/grading permit shall be obtained from the CBJ Building Division. The grading permit will review grading/drainage and retaining wall plans for specific design and details.
  2. The applicant shall retain a civil engineer to inspect the slope rockery features during installation and to certify compliance with the approved plan.
  3. Prior to any site grading, all necessary drainage easements shall be obtained and recorded.
  4. A bond in the amount of $100,000.00 shall be submitted to guarantee restoration of any damage to the street and utilities that might occur as a result of the work of the project. The bond will also guarantee replanting of vegetation as required.
  5. Prior to issuance of a building permit, the applicant shall demonstrate that a deed restriction has been recorded with the State Recorders Office on the subject property, to reserve 20 parking spaces to be allotted to meet the land use code requirements for the retail/residential use of the Alaska Fur Gallery I & II buildings and the residential use of the H&H Building. Further, half of these spaces shall be made available to the Channel View Apartment building in accordance with the shared parking concept approved by the Planning Commission.
  6. Prior to issuance of a building permit, the applicant shall submit to CDD staff, for review and approval, exterior lighting specifications to show that installed luminaires will not cause glare to adjacent properties or roadways.
  7. Prior to issuance of a building or grading permit, the applicant shall obtain a street vacation for a portion of Gastineau Avenue (SUB2001-0002) approved by the Planning Commission. Further, the applicant shall submit a plat, which shall be approved by CDD for recording.

Mr. Gillette proposed an addition, Condition No. 8:

  1. Prior to commencement of any work on the project, the applicant shall contact the contractor of the Gastineau Avenue Reconstruction Project for the purpose of coordinating construction related traffic on the street, such that the progress of the Gastineau Avenue Project is not hampered or delayed.

 USE2000-00057

A Conditional Use permit to construct a 22-unit apartment building and associated parking in a designated hazard zone.

Location: 00345 GASTINEAU AVE
Applicant: CHANNEL VIEW INC

Staff report: Mr. Gillette stated that the Conditional Use permit would allow development in a designated hazard zone. In response to the hazard, the applicant proposes to construct a protective debris catchment wall that is 6-feett high by 135-feet long. The wall will be constructed of steel "H" piles, pre-cast concrete panels and topped by a concrete cap. According to Baxendall and Associates, such a wall would withstand impacts of 662 pounds per square foot and the hydrostatic pressures of a debris flow. Baxendall and Associates also prepared the site hazard analysis for the subject property with Terry Brenner, of the CBJ Engineering Department generally concurring.

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 22-unit apartment building and parking deck. The approval is subject to the following Condition:

  1. Prior to issuance of a building permit the applicant shall submit structural computations and design details for the debris catchment wall. The wall shall be designed to withstand debris flow impact loading of 662 pounds per square foot and the calculated hydrostatic pressure as recommended by the report prepared by Baxandall Associates (date stamped February 5, 2001). Further, the applicant shall construct the debris catchment structure to meet the design parameters as approved.

Mr. Kendziorek referenced USE2000-00055 and asked Mr. Gillette to fully explain what was meant by "the issue of installing anchors within the public right of way has yet to be completely resolved." Mr. Gillette explained that the debris catchment wall is to be constructed on the property owner's side of the new property line. The new property line is contingent upon a street vacation. The wall itself will be on private property, but in order to meet the required load capacity, anchors must be installed into rock under the right of way. CBJ Engineering conditioned the Hillside Endorsement with a $100,000 bond that guarantees the restoration of any damage to street utilities that may occur during the anchoring process.

Mr. Bavard also had a question pertaining to Condition No. 2 of USE2000-00055. What qualifications must the inspecting civil engineer have? Mr. Gillette said that it's a standard practice for a developer of certain types of projects to have an engineer on site conducting inspections. The developer pays a fee for inspections by civil engineers.

Mr. Pusich referred to Standards for Approval No. 3 of the Hillside Endorsement. The item requires that the applicant report the location and details of sediment control devices prior to issuance of a building/grading permit. Was this a Condition? Mr. Gillette agreed that this item could be added as a Condition.

Public testimony:

Dan Austin, is the President of St. Vincent de Paul Society and Channel View, Inc. Mr. Austin explained that Channel View, Inc. is a non-profit 501(3) (c) corporation. Its Board of Directors includes representatives of major social services agencies in Juneau including, St. Vincent de Paul, Juneau Alliance for Mental Health, the AWARE Shelter, SAGA and Juneau Youth Services. The group organized to develop affordable and low-income housing to individuals in the community. The project is a commercial low-income housing project designed to provide affordable housing to the people served by the various groups. Mr. Austin predicts that the occupants will be a diverse population group. Perhaps half of the residents will be recipients of support from a social service agency. He adds that they will be the most qualified individuals from the programs.

Steve Landvik is the applicant. Mr. Landvik states that for the past several years, he has worked together with Channel View trying to make the project a reality. He was available to answer any questions that the Commission had.

Mr. Sanford asked if the proposed structure would be lower than the green apartments that exist now. Mr. Landvik said that the buildings would be about the same height.

Mr. Pusich asked about the drainage route of the building. Mr. Landvik said that the building's foundation drainage would be routed over to Ewing Way. There is a manhole associated with the drainage close to Terry Hickok's driveway.

Mr. Pusich also wondered about the construction schedule. Mr. Landvik said the project would proceed in three phases. The debris catchment wall shall be constructed first, followed by the site work and rockery. This work should be complete by September 1st. The building and the parking deck construction are expected to continue through early next summer.

Mr. Pusich noted as well that the horizontal anchors would be installed prior to the utility work of Gastineau Avenue Reconstruction Project, Phase II. Mr. Landvik said that their work will be coordinated with that reconstruction project and he anticipates no conflict.

Stuart Cohen, 433 Gastineau Avenue, cited a traffic count taken on his street in September, 1997 for a traffic study completed in 1998. At that time there was 556 trips on the upper end of Gastineau. USKH's textbook estimate of capacity was 638 trips. He extrapolated that the addition of a 22-unit apartment building would result in an additional 499 trips. Mr. Cohen concludes that Gastineau Avenue will see its vehicular traffic double and he doesn't think that's fair to the neighborhood. He supports the project but suggests that the building is provided access from another location. Two potential routes involve Ewing Way. Ewing Way once provided summer access to South Franklin Street until the road was cut off after AEL&P installed power boxes. The other access point was an open lot next to Ewing Way. Unfortunately, the Alaska Fur Gallery decided to build a retail building that served South Franklin. It is regrettable that the two potential access points were removed from consideration, one by the City and the other, by the applicant. He suggests that the City work with AEL&P to remove the electrical boxes on Ewing Way to reopen that street, or arrange with AEL&P to re-open the south access route to Thane Road.

Mr. Kendziorek asked staff if Mr. Cohen's analysis was correct. Would the apartment building increase the traffic flow to 1000 trips per day when the estimated capacity was 660? Mr. Gillette said that in 1998, USKH estimated that Gastineau Avenue had an additional capacity of 75 trips. This was after USKH factored in the proposed 19-unit apartment building, its associated residential traffic and retail parking traffic associated with several retail buildings on South Franklin Street. Mr. Gillette referred to the traffic table on page 3 of 13 in the staff report for USE2000-00055 for clarification. He noted that today’s project would result in fewer trips than what was proposed in 1998. Mr. Gillette noted that the CBJ's count of 556 trips on the upper end of Gastineau included the traffic of 2nd and Front Streets. This is in contrast to the count taken at the lower end where the numbers much lower. According to the USKH study, traffic would be below capacity following the occupancy of the proposed apartment building.

Mr. Cohen rebutted that most of Gastineau Avenue's residents live between 2nd Street and Decker Way. Although the residents of the far end won't be inconvenienced, the upper end residents would bear the brunt of the traffic strain. He also recalled that the USKH study stated that there is no real capacity figure available for a one-lane, two-way street. It is a unique situation where the technicians creatively arrived at a number.

Paige Bridges, 334 Carroll Way, agreed with Mr. Cohen's concerns about the increased traffic. She adds that the lower end residents will be greatly inconvenienced because they must also travel through the bottleneck of the upper end as they come and go from their Gastineau Avenue homes.

Doug Larson, applauded Mr. Cohen's depiction of the resident's perspective on the traffic issues. He emphasized that since the original study was completed, a 6-plex and a parking lot with 8-10 spaces has been added. The reconstruction plans do not call for a turn out for a car to pull off when confronted with an on-coming vehicle. By introducing even more traffic, the City is solving the problem on the backs of the property owners because the cars pull into yards so they can squeeze by each other on the street. At quitting time, when people return home from work, they encounter the retail workers heading out in the opposite direction. Being a single-lane road, there is a lot of backing up going on Gastineau Avenue. What's worse, Mr. Larson has seen angry arguments between drivers who won't back up confronting drivers who can't back up because there are multiple cars behind. None of the studies have taken this into consideration.

Public testimony was closed.

Mr. Bavard asked if these issues were discussed during the many public meetings leading up to the reconstruction project. For example, why didn't the plan incorporate pullouts? Mr. Gillette said that limited public right of ways hampered the reconstruction project. In fact, negotiations to obtain easements for the required retaining walls are ongoing in some cases. Pullouts were not designed because there was no place to put them. He adds that Gastineau Avenue is one-lane because the other lane is used for parking. The obvious solution to creating a two-way street is to abolish the parking lane.

Mr. Sanford asked if eliminating some parking was contemplated to allow for pullouts. Mr. Gillette recalled that the limited rights of ways were the nemesis of the pullout plans.

Mr. Kendziorek thought that the best answer was to turn Gastineau into a one-way street with a connection to Franklin Street. Was there a way to permanently solve the traffic problem by acquiring land? Mr. Gillette indicated that obtaining right of ways through the AJT property from the end of Gastineau to Thane was considered. Unfortunately, the cost of constructing on the slope coupled with obtaining the land put the project out of reach. The estimate was $8 to $9 million dollars with no indications of a willing seller. While Ewing Way once was open to Franklin, CBJ doesn't support re-opening it. The road is extremely dangerous, difficult to maintain and it is closed in the winter. As well, the character of South Franklin is radically different from when Ewing Way was closed off. It would be a serious impediment to traffic flow and safety if Ewing Way traffic tumbled onto Franklin.

Mr. Kendziorek asked when or if the City approached AJT about acquiring property for a second access. Mr. Gillette said that while temporary access was granted, he understood that AJT had development plans for the property.

Ms. Gladziszewski asked if consideration had been given to creating pullouts by creating No Parking Zones on Gastineau. Mr. Gillette said that a parallel parking space is 22-feet and a pullout would require 44 to 66-feet. For every pullout, two to three parking spaces would be lost.

Mr. Pusich suggested that during certain times of the day, designated parking spots could turn into pullouts. It might be worth experimenting with the idea.

Chair Dybdahl announced that the Commission would address USE2000-00055 and USE2000-00057 separately and he called for a Motion.

USE2000-00055

Commission Action:

Motion: by Mr. Pusich to approve USE2000-00055, accepting staff's analysis, findings, and recommendations 1 through 7. In addition, Condition No. 8 that states: "the location and details of sediment control devices will be required prior to issuance of a building/grading permit for the project."

Mr. Kendziorek states that he hesitantly supports of the Motion and he finds the concerns of the residents extremely well founded. While it’s a good project, he wishes someone from the City would contact AJT to see if the temporary easement could be a permanent road.

Roll call vote:

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

USE2000-00057

Motion: by Mr. Bavard to approve USE2000-00057, accepting staff's analysis, findings and recommendations.

Mr. Bavard commented that its unfortunate that traffic continues to be a problem with Gastineau Avenue. He heard some ideas that were well worth investigating: contacting AJT about the potential of a permanent secondary access and peak hour pullouts. He supports the project and is sure it will enhance the MU, Mixed Use zone; however, Mr. Bavard doesn't like the idea of losing additional parking spaces.

Roll call vote:

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


Chair Dybdahl adjourned the Planning Commission and reconvened as the Board of Adjustment to hear the final item for the evening.


IX. BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT -

VAR2001-00009

A Variance to allow parking to be greater than 100 feet from a residential use.

Location: 00401 S FRANKLIN ST
Applicant: STEVE LANDVIK

Staff report: Gary Gillette briefed the Commission on this item as well. The applicant is constructing a two-story retail and residential building on South Franklin Street. A previous Variance allowed for the retail use parking be provided at the Rock Dump, served by a shuttle van. However, the Board of Adjustment did not approve the request to locate residential parking at the Rock Dump. The Commission concluded that 6000 feet away was excessive. The current proposal is to locate the sole required parking space approximately 450-feet away on the parking deck of the Channel View apartment building. Mr. Gillette states that the Variance meets the six criteria set out in CBJ §49.20.250.

Staff recommendation: That the Board of Adjustment adopt the director's findings and staff analysis which concludes that the grounds for Variances are met and therefore the Variance be granted subject to the following Condition:

  1. Prior to issuance of a temporary or final certificate of occupancy, the applicant shall provide to CDD a lease agreement between the owners of the H&H Building and the Channel View Apartment Building for one parking space for a minimum of 30 years.

Public testimony:

Stuart Cohen, cited his previous testimony to support his opposition to the Variance request. As well, laws are made and should be upheld. While exceptions can be made because of a hardship, in this case the applicant knew about the obstacle before they developed the property and is precluded from claiming hardship. Mr. Cohen added to Ms. Gladziszewski's suggestion that some parking spaces could be utilized as pullouts during peak hours but only if all parking on Gastineau Avenue is dedicated to its residents. Instituting a residential permit parking system would be the desired solution.

Mr. Kendziorek asked staff for an update of the two parking ordinances. Ms. Easterwood said that the Fee In Lieu Of ordinance was held over by a work session of the Planning Commission and it would come back before them after the Transportation Planner is hired.

Dan Hayes, resident of Gastineau Avenue states that he is opposed to a 22-unit apartment building going up in his neighborhood. He cannot envision how the small roadway could support such an increase in traffic and population.

Public testimony was closed.


Board of Adjustment action:

Motion - by Mr. Bavard to approve VAR2001-00009, to accept staff's analysis, findings and recommendations.

Roll call vote:

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

Ms. Easterwood asked if the Commission wanted to have their ideas followed-up. She noted two ideas presented: staff contact AJT to explore the potential for keeping the secondary access from Gastineau to Thane permanent and converting parking spaces into pull-outs during peak hours.

Mr. Bavard suggested that the neighborhood association is contacted to see what their thoughts are regarding exchanging parking spaces for pullouts.

Mr. Pusich suggested that the Public Works Department call a neighborhood meeting following the completion of the reconstruction project. Public Works could benefit from input on where the pullouts should be located.

Mr. Vick thought that proceeding with the Residential Parking Permit plan would relieve much of the resident's traffic stress.

Ms. Gladziszewski reiterated that the parking to pullout idea applied only to peak hours. No over-night parking would be eliminated.

X. OTHER BUSINESS - None

XI. DIRECTOR’S REPORT

Ms. Easterwood announced that Gary Gillette has transferred from CDD to Engineering to work as a project architect. He leaves CDD after 11-years.

She called the commissioner’s attention to the two items on the Consent Agenda, which were passed smoothly. This was made possible after a lot of hard work and cooperation between CDD, DOT and Parks and Recreation staff. At the beginning, the projects had numerous points of disagreement but in the end, they were Consent Agenda items. All parties who worked on this project deserve the Planning Commission's appreciation.

XII. REPORT OF REGULAR AND SPECIAL COMMITTEES - None

XIII. PLANNING COMMISSION COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS

Mr. Bavard commented that the Eagle Beach enhancements will be a benefit to the community. With the addition of a caretaker, the security of the area will be improved and appreciated by everyone. In the past, Eagle Beach has been a trouble spot but it has been transformed into a wonderful extension of the park system.

Mr. Pusich had observations regarding the horse tour operation at Montana Creek to report to the Commission. Originally, the operation was permitted but surrounded by public controversy. He was on the trail recently and he noticed that the area is kept extremely tidy and there was very little perceptible impact on the trail. The operation is in its second year and he is pleased that all is going well.

Mr. Bavard asked about the Malick appeal and the Totem Creek Golf Course. Ms. Easterwood said she spoke to Mr. Malick but he didn't know when he'd be ready to proceed. Totem Creek contacted CDD in mid May stating that the application would be submitted at the end of May. While TCI board members are working hard to complete the application, nothing has been received yet.

Mr. Dybdahl heard that TCI is at work on the alluvial fan issue and the application will be ready in July.

Ms. Gladziszewski asked if CDD had ever discussed TCI with the publisher of the Juneau Empire. She had recently read the Editorial and was bothered by the point of view.

Chair Dybdahl reported that he received a call from the publisher following the publication of the Editorial. Mr. Dybdahl clarified several issues and was given an apology. The publisher regretted that he had not contacted a Planning Commissioner before writing the Editorial.

Mr. Sanford asked about the two logging concerns: Duran Construction and Tonsgard's activities at 28-mile. Mr. Gillette said the enforcement officer contacted Duran about the clearing and Duran plans to submit either a subdivision plan for approval or a PUD.

  1. ADJOURNMENT

There being no other business and no objection, Chairman Dybdahl adjourned the meeting at 8:45 p.m.