PARKS AND RECREATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE
December 15, 1998
Floyd Dryden Middle School Library
The meeting was called to order at 7:03 p.m. by Dan King, Chair.
Members Present: Dan King, Nancy Waterman, Alex Lukshin, Glen Alt, Jim King, Katherine Gouyton
Members Absent: Tim Kelly, Paul Grossi, Ken Dean
Staff Present: Kim Kiefer-Parks and Recreation Director, Bob Grochow-Parks and Landscape Superintendent, Cristi Herren-Recreation Superintendent, Monique Hickey-Secretary
Ex-Officio: No members present
Brad Davis, 8451 Kimberly. He was present to discuss the Treadwell Ditch trail and how it could be improved to better accommodate snowmobilers. He has spoken to James King of Trail Mix, Inc. and Bill Garry of State Parks about this. As a member of the local snowmobile association, he feels that the trails they are allowed to ride on are inadequate. They are interested in connecting Mt. Jumbo and the Dan Moller trails so that snowmobilers do not have to trailer the machines from place to place, instead hed like to see the canyons tied together. He feels that there needs to be a bigger parking lot near the water tower on Blueberry Hill. There should also be an 8 ft. wide, 100 yd. trail that connects to the Treadwell Ditch to allow for a piece of equipment, such as a truck full of gravel. The way it is now, when snowmobilers use the Dan Moller trail, they have to use the parking lot on Pioneer Avenue which is between two houses. He feels that the lot is not big enough for the trucks and trailers, and feels that it being in a residential area is an issue. He feels that its a matter of time before the Dan Moller trail is taken away from snowmobilers, similar to Dredge Lake being taken away from 4-wheelers. He would like to see this project moved to an action item, stating that snowmobilers are limited to Dan Moller and Spaulding Meadows, and he feels that its time they are allowed more access.
Dan King asked if cost was talked about when he spoke with James King. Brad replied that no dollar amount was discussed, but that James thought a large chunk of the funding would have to be used for the parking lot and the access trail to the ditch. He also commented on the possibility of receiving money from the State, as well as federal money. He stated that between manpower from Trail Mix, as well as from the snowmobile community, he believes the project could happen quickly and efficiently.
Robert Garrison, Box 20155. He was present to discuss the impact 4-wheelers have made on Bessie and Davis creeks. He stated that 4-wheelers go beyond the posted Forest Service Border, and tear up the delicate meadows which may lead to erosion. He asked the PRAC to somehow try to resolve this problem.
The minutes were unanimously approved.
The minutes were unanimously approved.
John Kern of the CBJ Public Works Department stated that Capital Transit has been turning buses around at the intersection of Treadwell and St. Anns in Douglas since service began in 1971, and since then, they have been looking for a way to create a turnaround. Buses turn up Treadwell from St. Anns and then back into the short end of St. Anns that serves as an entrance to the Treadwell Mining area. Traffic, snow, ice, parked cars and pedestrians are constant factors, and backing a bus is not a recommended practice anywhere. The already existing project to rebuild St. Anns will generate a lot of waste material that can be used for the bus turnaround, and is, therefore, creating an opportunity to proceed with the bus turnaround project. It is in front of the PRAC because the project will effect the historical ruins nearby, and the Planning Commission will be looking towards the PRAC for advice.
In addition to the proposed bus turnaround, additional parking on St. Anns and a driveway that would lead to the Treadwell Ice Arena is proposed. The parking would be located a quarter to a half mile from the beginning of the road (above field #4 at Savikko Park). The driveway would only be for drop off and emergency vehicles. Both the bus turnaround and the additional parking projects are scheduled for next summer.
Bob Grochow, Parks and Landscape Superintendent, stated that the turnaround would be built on CBJ land, which is designated as park land. The turnaround would extend to the old cave-in area. The project was reviewed to protect mining ruins, and recreational water value. The area of the turnaround contains no ruins, but the fill slope to provide for the cul de sac will extend out quite a ways. The old 300-stamp mill consisted of two long concrete foundations, 10 ft. x 10 ft. x 300 ft. long. The cul de sac fill would cover the rear concrete foundation. This area is listed in a Treadwell Mine Historical brochure and is a stop on the tour.
Dan King asked if the turnaround was part of the existing project to rebuild St. Anns. John Kern replied that it could be accomplished as one project and is proposed for next summer. Dan asked if the cul de sac could be redesigned so that its not too close to the mill ruins. John replied that a 100-foot diameter turnaround is the preferred size for buses and the tightest they could go would be an 80-foot diameter.
Alex Lukshin asked if this would be limited to Capital Transit buses or would Greyline use the turnaround too. John replied that it would be considered a public right of way. The turnaround would have to be kept open. The parking spaces in the middle of the turnaround would be proposed as no parking from November 1 to April 1, allowing for snow plowing. He stated that the inside is too small for tour buses to park. Nancy Waterman added that some sort of parking would be beneficial since this could be a wonderful winter destination.
No Public Testimony
THE PRAC MADE A MOTION TO VISIT THE BUS TURNAROUND AREA AND THE ADDITIONAL PARKING ON ST. ANNS BEFORE MAKING A RECOMMENDATION. MOTION PASSED.
Kim Kiefer explained that USS Lot 0 is one of the ten recommended parcels of land the city would like to acquire based on the 1996 Parks and Recreation Comprehensive Plan. The owners of Lot 0 have come forward stating that they would be interested in exchanging Lot 0 for parcel #0131 on Lena Point as well as parcel #0004 on Huffman Harbor. Kim told the PRAC that she is asking them to approve the conceptual idea of looking into an exchange that includes park property in exchange for Lot 0.
John Taber, P.O. Box 210768. He is a year-round resident and owner of Lot 2 at Huffman Harbor, which is the adjoining property to parcel #0004. He stated that he neither supports nor opposes the exchange, but he wants public record of his concerns regarding access rights to the, now, public beach. The beach is the only way for neighbors to access their property. He stated that its crucial that there be some prior understanding and agreement that residents will have continued access to the beach, regardless of tide levels.
Bob Frampton, P.O. Box 22149. He is the owner of Lot 11 at Huffman Harbor. He too wants public record requesting to have continued access across parcel #0004. He isnt against the exchange, but isnt necessarily for it either. He wants guaranteed continued access, as well as this transferring to any future property owner of this parcel.
Frank Homan, 124 W. Sixth Street. He is the owner of Lots 4 and 5 at Huffman Harbor. He stated that he has no objection to the exchange. However, he too is concerned about continued access across parcel #0004. He also wanted the PRAC to know that the property owners of Huffman Harbor have met, and that lots of information is being exchanged regarding this.
Dan King asked what the general feeling of the neighborhood was. Frank responded that he didnt want to speak for everyone, but that most people do not object to the exchange.
End of Public Testimony
Dan King asked Cristi Herren how the Rocky Point Beach access was categorized in the 1998 Beach Access Parcel Survey, and Cristi responded that it was recommended to be retained.
Jim King stated that it sounds like the area should perhaps be best retained as public space since all of the neighbors use it and there is not a problem with vandalism, which is sometimes related to having public space. It seems to be working okay the way it is. However, it would be nice to have USS 0 since it was a top 10 priority in the Parks and Recreation Comprehensive Plan and serves a major recreation use. Kim Kiefer reiterated that the Huizers and Kimballs stated that in order to exchange USS Lot 0, it was critical they get parcel #0004 at Huffman Harbor and parcel #0131 at Lena Point.
Nancy Waterman stated that acquiring Lot 0 is a priority since the rest of the land surrounding it is public property, with the Smith/Butts property recently being acquired. Her first preference would be to exchange something other than park property. However, the owners expressed a strong opinion to see the Huffman and Rocky Point as specific pieces in the exchange. She stated that every beach parcel is important to maintain, especially those places that continue to be solitary spaces. As the population increases, Lena Point Park, Lena Cove and Lena Park will take up increased pressure when the interior is developed. Its important for those places to provide high impact opportunity, but we also need to continue to provide solitary opportunities, emphasizing that both have equal value in maintaining as public property. She feels that proper funding to sign and brush out the path has not been available, and we need to tell people where to put their footprints so that land owners arent offended. There are two other public beach access routes at Lena Point, but they are not as wide, nor have as good of a view.
It was noted that the PRAC has heard endorsement from the Huffman Harbor neighborhood, but not from the Lena Point neighbors.
Kay Gouyton stated that the PRAC should not consider parting with the Rocky Point parcel. Again, Kim Kiefer responded that the owners of Lot 0 has specifically stated that in order to exchange Lot 0, they are interested in parcel #0004 at Huffman Harbor and parcel #0131 at Lena Point.
Jim King asked if there was a way to build around the CBJ property at Huffman Harbor instead of going through private property, and was told that in order to reach the beach, you have to cross the lot.
Jim King stated that he thought Ed Huizer was trying to clean up a sloppy land pattern, and was interested in straightening out land ownership so that people knew what they have. He wants everyone to buy in, but residents dont want to have their property tax doubled. Waterfront taxes are too high, and there is no sewer, water or fire protection.
THE PRAC MADE A MOTION TO DEFER UNTIL THEY TALK TO THE HUIZERS AND THE KIMBALLS BEFORE MAKING A RECOMMENDATION. MOTION CARRIED 4-2.
Kim Kiefer reported that in the fall of 1997 the Assembly Lands Committee asked staff to investigate options for developing a park in the West Juneau area. Only one parcel met the selection criteria and was potentially available for purchase. The approximately 2.5 acre parcel is located at the end of Foster Avenue. Both the Assembly Lands Committee and the Planning Commission approved the concept of the land exchange. A neighborhood park in this area was a priority in the 1996 Parks and Recreation Comprehensive Plan, and we have been actively looking for a piece of property in West Juneau. The park will not include ballfields or parking lots, it will be more like Chicken Yard, serving a neighborhood, and, therefore, not promoting a lot of vehicular traffic. We are now asking the neighbors what they would like to see in the park, as well as what they do not want to see in the park.
Larry Johansen, 2916 Simpson Avenue. He thinks the park is a good idea, however, he would like better access to the park from the Simpson Avenue side. He stated that the Simpson side of the neighborhood is growing quickly, and that there are more people on the Simpson side than the Foster side. He would also like to see plenty of play equipment for toddlers.
Terry Brown, 3038 Nowell Avenue. He stated that he is not opposed to the park, but he is concerned about how access will be permitted from Nowell Avenue or Peters Lane. He would like to see the neighborhood involved in the planning process. He also mentioned that his section of Nowell Avenue is unpaved and creates a lot of dust when cars drive by, therefore, it may create a problem if the park becomes a high density area.
Karen Laufer, 2765 John Street. She is concerned about access to the park from Peters Lane. She does not want vehicular access, only bike or feet access. She would like to see perhaps a basketball hoop or tennis court, play set for small children, and maybe an area to flood for ice skating. She would also be interested in year-round lighting at the park so it could be used in winter, as well as summer.
Dan King asked if she would be opposed to a shelter and picnic areas. Karen replied that that would be fine.
Peter Jones, 21064 Foster Avenue. He is the closest resident to the potential park site. He is in favor of the park, but is concerned that since there will not be a parking lot, people will be parking in front of his house. He is also concerned about the trees that will be taken down to build a play area, and also people hanging out in the park late at night. He is pleased to hear that it will be a neighborhood park and not a full-fledged park with ballfields. He believes the park is a good idea, but long-term effects such as the Cordova intersection need to be considered. He also feels that the site is one of the last nice greenbelts left on Douglas.
Glenda Miller, 2985 Foster Avenue. She has concerns regarding security issues and young adults using the park in the evening. If there is an outdoor ice skating rink, she is concerned that people would come with cars and they will have to park on the streets. She likes the idea of the park being a pedestrian park. She asked what the plans were for working with the neighborhood. She feels that it must be a give and take situation since there are a lot of people with small children, but there are also adults without children living in this area. She has never been involved with something like this and hopes that it will be a positive thing. She asked if an excerpt from the Parks and Recreation Comprehensive Plan could be mailed describing the differences between a neighborhood park versus other types of parks.
Kim Kiefer responded that there will be many more meetings for neighborhood participation, including meetings solely to discuss the West Juneau park.
Kimberly King, 3136 Pioneer Avenue. She likes the idea of a park. She is interested in a park where people walk to it, not drive. She likes the idea of basketball and ice skating, but is concerned that it would bring in people driving to it. She would like to keep it to the neighborhood. She encourages future meetings and for them to be held on Douglas.
End of Public Testimony
Kim Kiefer replied that there are two properties, one owned by the Catholic Church and one owned by Sally Thibodeau. The Catholic Churchs property was selected based on the natural bench feature on the property. We need to look into a possible trail to be built across Sallys property, as well as looking into potential water easement concerns.
Nancy Waterman also noted that the land trade with the Catholic Church has not been finalized, and that the PRAC is open to suggestions for another piece of property where the West Juneau park could be built.
THE PRAC MADE A MOTION TO CONTINUE WORKING ON THE CONCEPT OF A NEIGHBORHOOD PARK IN THE WEST JUNEAU AREA, AND FOR STAFF TO WORK CLOSELY WITH THE NEIGHBORS. THE MOTION PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.
The PRAC made a motion to send Susan Favro of the Tourism Advisory Committee a letter requesting a joint meeting between the PRAC and TAC to discuss ways in which they can support each other. Motion passed unanimously.
At the PRAC meeting in November, Jim King brought up the issue of having a Park Planner. There was discussion about how that position would be funded, including coordinating with State Parks and the Forest Service, applying for various grants, and using some of the money from the Smith/Butts project. There was a request to ask Dave Palmer, City Manager, to make sure that the new hire in the Community Development Department have park planning experience. It was also suggested that the PRAC send some kind of "official" request to the Assembly stating the PRACs interest in having a Park Planner.
Dan King appointed Alex Lukshin as the PRAC liaison to the Youth Activity Board. Kay Gouyton was appointed PRAC liaison to the Museum History Grant Board.
PRAC meetings will now be held on the first Tuesday of each month in the Assembly Chambers at City Hall from 6:00-9:00 p.m.
Kim also informed the PRAC that the Proposition 3 Priority List was on the Agenda for the Assembly meeting set for Monday, December 21, 1998.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 p.m.