PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING
CITY AND BOROUGH OF JUNEAU
Johan Dybdahl, Chair
January 8, 2002
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: Mike Bavard, Johan Dybdahl, Maria Gladziszewski, Marshal Kendziorek, Mark Pusich, Merrill Sanford, Jody Vick
Commissioners absent: Dan Bruce
A quorum was present.
Staff present: Dale Pernula, Director, CDD; Tim Maguire, CDD Planner; Monique Wheeler, CDD Planner
II. APPROVAL OF MINUTES -
November 27, 2001 - Regular Meeting
MOTION - by Mr. Kendziorek to approve the minutes of November 27, 2001 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
Chair Dybdahl announced that there was one item on the Consent Agenda and he inquired if there was any public comment. No one from the public wished to comment; however, Mr. Kendziorek had a question and he requested that this item be moved to the Regular Agenda.
VI. CONSIDERATION OF ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS
VII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
VIII. REGULAR AGENDA
The following items were moved from the Consent Agenda:
An Allowable Use permit to change the use of an 11,900 square foot manufacturing building to a warehouse facility.
Location: 0101 MT ROBERTS ST
Applicant: CITY & BOROUGH OF JUNEAU ENGINEERING
Mr. Kendziorek stated that a staff report wasnít necessary as he had a question pertaining a letter from AJ Associates. The letter raised questions surrounding equity of requirements for the landscaping and care and maintenance of the building. He asked staff to comment on the contents of Mr. Stoops's letter.
Monique Wheeler, CDD Planner came forward to address the landscaping of the IHH Building. The project was required to post a bond, which was returned in full following an inspection of the landscaping implementation. The current code requires a 5% vegetative cover for Industrial zones. Ms. Wheeler reports that her observations made during a site visit revealed evidence of shrubs and trees. Hence the Code was met.
Mr. Kendziorek asked how the vegetative cover of the CBJ's building compared to the private buildings. Ms. Wheeler indicated that there wasn't much cover at all. For example, the AML Building and the Alaska Litho Buildings have virtually no vegetative cover so the CBJ building has more.
Planning Commission action:
MOTION: by Mr. Kendziorek that the Planning Commission approve USE2001-00050 along with staff's analysis, findings and recommendations.
There was no objection to the Motion and it was so ordered.
IX. BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT - None
X. OTHER BUSINESS - None
XI. DIRECTOR'S REPORT
A Ordinance (Serial No.: 2001-14) to amend the land use code to allow an alternative subdivision roadway standard called a Local Access Street, to require sidewalk in residential subdivision, and other related text changes.
Applicant: CITY & BOROUGH OF JUNEAU
Staff report: Mr. Pernula introduced a proposed Ordinance that would change the text of the subdivision ordinance with respect to street standards. In particular, this change would affect CBJ streets in low-density zones and low access streets such as D1, RR and D3. The highest density is about 12,000 square feet for lot area. Currently these zones are required to have a 28-foot wide street with curbs. The proposal calls for a 22-foot wide paved surface with shoulders on either side plus a sidewalk.
CDD Planner Tim Maguire explained the effects of the ordinance with a Power Point presentation. He defined the boundaries of the Urban Service Boundaries and the proposed extension of the boundaries. He explained that the new ordinance proposes an optional roadway standard for developers to use. Aimed at the low density zones, this standard replaces the curb and gutter storm drainage requirement with grassy Swales. In addition, one sidewalk is required and the actual paved roadway is 22-feet wide with two-foot shoulders on either side. The developers requested this change because it is a cost saving measure lowering the expense of development and it conforms to the type development taking place in the lower density areas (D-3, D-1 and Rural Reserve). This roadway option will not be available in higher density zone districts in the Borough.
Mr. Maguire explained that the sidewalk requirement was added to conform to language from the Area Wide Transportation Plan (here after referred to as AWTP). The AWTP recommends sidewalks but allows the Planning Commission's discretion as to whether one or two sidewalks are required or what other options may exist.
Mr. Kendziorek asked if now was the time for the Commission to exercise its discretion by looking at options or by requiring "not two sidewalks." Mr. Maguire explained that as it is proposed, the Ordinance requires two sidewalks for all subdivision within the Urban Road Standard but there is language in the AWTP that talks about having discretion with that requirement. Page 3, Line 16 and Page 8, Line 16 both discuss the circumstances required for the Commission's discretion regarding sidewalks. Mr. Maguire added that currently sidewalks are required in Downtown, Douglas and in commercial subdivisions. The draft Ordinance expands the requirement to other residential areas.
Mr. Pusich asked staff to explain how sidewalks and drainage systems were handled with various subdivisions in the Borough. Terry Brenner, CBJ Engineering illustrated examples with the PowerPoint. The first example was the T&H Subdivision where the roadway was 28-feet without sidewalks.
Mr. Sanford noted that the T&H Subdivision was a newer development. Why were sidewalks not required for one or both sides? Mr. Brenner stated that currently, sidewalks are not required anywhere except Downtown, Douglas and in commercial subdivisions.
The next slide demonstrated Julep Street with its 26-foot roadway and grassy swales utilized for drainage. Slides of Garnet Street, Simpson Street and Blueberry Hills were all used to illustrate elements of the draft Ordinance.
Mr. Sanford noted that Simpson Street was so congested with cars in the evening that a fire truck would never get through. Mr. Brenner agreed, adding that the proposed roadway option was aimed at low-density areas.
Mr. Kendziorek asked what impacts cars parking on the grassy swales would have on the integrity of the drainage? Mr. Brenner said that the grass would easily tolerate infrequent parking. Again, since this option would be available in low-density neighborhoods, parking pressures would be minimal.
Mr. Pusich asked if paved aprons were considered for residential driveway approaches. Paved aprons allow the grassy swales to continue through driveways. Mr. Brenner liked the idea of paved aprons rather than gravel, but requiring that would add to the development costs. Following up, Mr. Pusich envisioned a true maintenance chore if a gravel strip were required. Mr. Brenner explained that when neighborhoods and roadways are built it is often unknown where future driveways would be. To accommodate Mr. Pusich's idea, a separate Ordinance stipulating that future development of driveways will require paved aprons is necessary. He didn't think it was practicable.
Mr. Dybdahl asked for further input from the Planning Commission.
Mr. Vick pointed out that flexibility for developers was a positive step for the City to take.
Mr. Pusich opined that there are added costs to underground storm drainage systems because if the elevation wasn't favorable between each driveway curb cuts, an alternative way to catch drainage would have to be considered. Mr. Maguire explained that the development of driveways and the swales would be conformed.
Mr. Maguire added that the current 28-foot curb and gutter standard is required. This draft Ordinance is added as an option for developers to choose for the lower density zoning districts. He clarified that the only discretionary call asked of the Planning Commission pertained to the one or two sidewalks.
Mr. Kendziorek called attention to Page 8, Lines 20-24. He thought that the draft Ordinance language provided the discretion already.
Mr. Maguire said the Code was addressing a specific situation.
Mr. Vick noted that the topography was a necessary element before the discretion could be applied.
Mr. Kendziorek clarified that the existing language states, "topography and lot arrangement." He proposed that on Page 8, Line 19, the word "and" be changed to "or" for clarification.
Mr. Pusich said the flexibility of existing language was utilized with the Montana Creek development.
Mr. Pernula thought the Ordinance applied to situations where there is not access to lots on one side of the street. He recalled that the AWTP had language dealing with situations where alternate locations for pathways were better. The AWTP allowed for alternate placement of the pathways and he suggested a minor amendment to the draft Ordinance reflecting that.
Mr. Bavard was interested in hearing from developers.
Mr. Pernula explained that tonight's introduction was designed to get comments and direction from the Commission prior to its full public hearing.
Chair Dybdahl agreed with Mr. Bavard, that those interested would be afforded the opportunity for comment.
Kelly Corrigan, is a general contractor who owns All Seasons Subdivision and Contracting. Working with Mike Race and Terry Brenner, Mr. Corrigan has tried to develop changes that would be both pleasing to the eye and cost saving. He wanted to be sure that All Seasons subdivision would be included. He noted that there were times when homeowners do not want sidewalks or bike paths in front of their homes.
Mike Race, is the broker at Coldwell Banker Race Realty. His intent was to assist the City in developing a way for lots to be developed in a low cost fashion while protecting the environment and rural nature of low-density neighborhoods. He was pleased to see the process begin and he was curious to hear input.
Dennis Harris, 352 Distin, had two concerns with the direction of the draft Ordinance. He urged the City to refrain from calling the path a "bike path." It should be called a "sidewalk"or "multiple use path" for safety reasons. It is not safe for bikes or pedestrians to share the use of these amenities. If itís an access street, the cross section should be wider so that it can accommodate bikes and cars. As well, parking ought not to be allowed since bikes will be using the shoulder. He also urged that sidewalks be required for both sides of the street.
Mr. Dybdahl noted that this draft Ordinance would be advertised again. At that public meeting Public Testimony would be taken. Tonight, the Chair afforded those people present an opportunity to comment.
Mr. Pernula said that John Stone presented the idea primarily as a safety measure. Wide roads equate to fast traffic whereas narrowing the roadway is an accepted traffic-calming technique for residential streets.
Ms. Gladziszewski noted that there was a definition for "local access street," but there were none for "arterial collector" and "local." She also noted that on Page 9, Line 3 contained a misleading reference to zoning districts.
Mr. Bavard suggested that the developers impacted by the proposed Ordinance change be specifically notified to maximize public input.
Mr. Sanford stated his concerned that staff use caution especially when a development may one day be the access route to another development. Mr. Maguire emphasized that this would be for low-density areas but agreed that wordsmithing was in order for clarification so that if there was a potential for a bigger subdivision that the standard roadway is required.
Mr. Kendziorek noted that Page 6, Line 12 made reference to "access by Glacier Highway." Mr. Maguire explained that this was a hold over to the old Code and Service Areas. The staff report recommended replacing that language with "areas outside the Urban Service Area, this exception would apply." This will expand this to the more remote areas.
Mr. Pernula turned to another item in his report. He announced that Sam Kito, III has been hired as the new Transportation position within the Community Development Department.
XII. REPORT OF REGULAR AND SPECIAL COMMITTEES - None
XIII. PLANNING COMMISSION QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS
Mr. Bavard asked for an update on the golf course. Mr. Pernula deferred that detailed report to Oscar Graham who was not at tonight's meeting.
Mr. Vick reported that he received a letter from Channel Construction and he asked staff to respond. Mr. Pernula said that Mr. Tonsgardís letter was responded to by himself, John Stone of CBJ Engineering and John Corso the CBJ Attorney. Mr. Tonsgard alleged that CDD was delaying and holding up his s pending gravel extraction permit at Herbert River. Mr. Pernula received a response from Mr. Tonsgard and continues to help the applicant understand what submittals are required in order to proceed.
Mr. Bavard asked for a status report on the church issue. Mr. Pernula said heís heard from both the applicant, Juneau Christian Center and the residentís that theyíve come to an agreement. However, the applicant wanted to go farther to resolve their issues and they requested a delay. Mr. Pernula believes that the Variance request is close to a hearing.
MOTION: by Mr. Bavard to adjourn. There was no objection to the motion and Chair Dybdahl adjourned the meeting at 7:45 p.m.