PARKS AND RECREATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Meeting Minutes

September 7, 1999

Assembly Chambers

6:00-9:00 p.m.

The meeting was called to order at 6:03 p.m. by Ken Dean, Acting Chair.

  1. ROLL CALL
  2. Members Present: Jeff Wilson, Joan Herbage OíKeefe, Lynn Bartlett, Ken Dean, Jim

    King, Alex Lukshin arrived at 6:05 p.m., Kay Gouyton arrived at

    6:08 p.m., Paul Grossi arrived at 7:00 p.m.

    Members Absent: Dan King

    Staff Present: Kimberly Kiefer, Parks and Recreation Director, Bob Grochow, Parks and Recreation Superintendent, Monique Hickey, Secretary

    Ex-Officio: John Favro, U.S. Forest Service

  3. PUBLIC TESTIMONY ON NON-AGENDA ITEMS
  4. No public testimony on non-agenda items.

  5. APPROVAL OF AGENDA
  6. Agenda was approved.

  7. APPROVAL OF MEETING MINUTES
    1. July 6, 1999

Minutes were approved pending following changes: Alex Lukshin stated that he thinks itís important that the record shows that Huffman Harbor residents are currently using Lot #0004 as if it were their own property. He stated that if one was to walk on the property now, one would think it was private property, not public. Change will be added to Mr. Taberís public testimony. Jim King corrected Action Item C. Parks and Recreation Projects to read "James stated that his #1 recommendation is to create a separated path from the Mendenhall Visitorís Center to Egan Drive" instead of "James stated that the #1 recommendation is to create a separated path from the Mendenhall Visitorís Center to the Back Loop bridge".

V.   ACTION ITEMS
    1. Douglas Harbor Master Plan

Joe Graham, CBJ Port Director, was scheduled to attend the meeting to answer questions from the PRAC, but Joe had the flu and was unable to attend. Kim Kiefer read a memo from Mr. Graham outlining the project. PRAC members had the following questions and concerns with the proposed Douglas Harbor Master Plan:

B.  Savikko Park Safety Report

Kim Kiefer stated that as a result of the July 14, 1999 Assembly Lands Committee meeting, she was directed to address safety and security issues for the Savikko Park/Treadwell Mine Historic area. She gathered information from the Juneau Police Department, Juneau Fire Department, and requested an assessment of the forest conditions which was conducted by Craig Lindh. During the period of 7/1/97-7/1/99, there were 7 EMS calls for the Savikko Park area. During the period of 1/12/98-7/13/99 there were 43 JPD complaints filed for the Savikko Park area. Of the 43 calls, 2 were specifically for the Treadwell trail area, 8 for general Sandy Beach area, 2 for the ballfields, 12 for the parking lot, 8 for the beach, 10 for the picnic shelters, and 1 for the restrooms. Taking this documented information, along with Craig Lindhís forest assessment, Kim recommended the following items be completed in the Savikko Park/Treadwell Mine Historic area:

    1. Cut the cottonwood that is adjacent to the shelter
    2. Clear the trail routes to a height of 8í
    3. Complete, at least, twice a year inspections of the trees
    4. Sign the trails and wooded area outlining appropriate uses, i.e. no motorized uses, no firing of firearms etc.

Public Testimony

William Dunn, 11435 Glacier Highway. Mr. Dunn stated that he is dismayed to see the assault on vegetation and the attitude towards the "dirty cottonwoods". He believes that cutting/thinning trees in the area will change the feel of the place and believes that it will appear obvious that someone has been in there with a chainsaw. In Mr. Lindhís assessment he states, "If the picnic shelter is approaching the end of its useful life, a replacement structure could be located away from this cottonwood, thereby reducing the hazard without removing the tree", and Mr. Dunn commented that he doesnít know how many years is left of the shelterís life, but he supports saving the trees whenever possible. He acknowledges that some branches are hanging over the trail and need to be cut, but he is concerned about Kim Kieferís recommendation to clear the trail route to a height of 8í. He believes that human impingement would be unmistakable. Mr. Dunn supports Kimís recommendation to complete inspections of the trees at least twice a year. He also supports Kimís recommendation to sign the trails and wooded area outlining appropriate uses, but he hopes that the signs are done with good taste in that they get the message across with minimal negative contrast to the natural experience. He stated that he would like to compliment the PRAC and the Director as they stood in considerable contrast to the Assembly Lands Committee.

Rick Urion, 118 5th Street. Mr. Urion stated that his property adjoins the property in question, and that he was present to support cutting and thinning trees in this area. He is concerned with the number of police reports documented since he knows that many times he could have called the police, but took care of issues himself. For instance, he stated that he has been chasing campers away for years. At the PRAC meeting on July 6, 1999, he felt that the neighbors were characterized as self-serving, anti-park people. He stated that they are self-serving people and public hearings are meant for the public to tell their self-serving views and that this isnít a bad thing. He feels frustrated that since this issue has been raised, it has created a case of the government knowing whatís best and that the neighbors are just a bunch of dummies. He feels that the government sees the issue as a chore and will do whatever it takes to get out of doing it. As far the neighbors being characterized as anti-park people, he thinks thatís absurd. He stated that the area is their neighborhood and that no one uses and looks at it as much as they do and they want to make it a better place by cutting down a lot of trees. The neighbors have hired their own forester and the report should be available within a week. Due to lack of preserving the historical area, he feels that you could walk through the area and never see the history since it is so overgrown. He concluded by saying, "Weíre not going to go away and weíre asking for some trees to be cut".

End of Public Testimony

It was noted that the city should have a definition of a "historical park" and how such an area should be preserved. Kim Kiefer stated that at this point in time her direction from the Assembly Lands Committee was to focus on the safety and security of the park. She stated that the big plan is to look at the entire area and work in conjunction with the Gastineau Historical Society and the City Museum in coming up with a master plan for the area and how it can be preserved and maintained. She also stated that the Assembly Lands Committee meets on September 22, 1999 at Noon in Room 211 of City Hall and she encouraged PRAC members to attend.

Jeff Wilson commented that the PRAC heard from two people tonight that are on opposite ends, and he sympathizes with both of them. He stated that he would like to know the definition of a historical park. Jeff noted that Kimís 4 recommendations do not address the concerns of the two gentlemen that testified this evening. He also questioned if the Lands Committee had to approve of her recommendations. Kim replied that she was only focussing on safety and security issues as directed by the Lands Committee and that they do not have to approve her recommendations since the recommendations are not outside of what they already do.

Joan Herbage OíKeefe stated that she supports Kimís recommendations and that she looks forward to working on the master plan. Jim King stated that all of our parks are precious to a broad range of users, and that the debate goes on everywhere there are parks. He appreciates the public input and feels that the PRAC is on the right track. Kay Gouyton asked Kim why her safety concerns were limited just to the forest. Kim replied that she looked at areas that Parks and Recreation has control over and that more safety concerns may arise later. The PRAC also suggested including their original recommendation to complete a master plan for the area. The PRAC did not make a formal motion, but directed Kim to move forward with the report to the Assembly Lands Committee.

C.  Re-Naming of the Smith/Butts Property

Suggestions: Amalga Park, Favorite Channel Park, and Favorite Park.

THE PRAC MADE A MOTION TO NAME THE PARK "FAVORITE PARK".

MOTION PASSED 6-1 (JEFF WILSON HAD TO LEAVE THE MEETING EARLY AND WAS NOT PRESENT TO VOTE).

VI.  INFORMATION ITEMS
    1. August 3, 1999 PRAC Meeting Notes (quorum not present)
VII.  COMMITTEE REPORTS

VIII. CHAIR REPORT

IX.    DIRECTOR REPORT

    1. Special PRAC Meetings: PRAC Retreat to discuss park issues including Marine Park Deckover, Fish Creek Park, and Favorite Park scheduled for Saturday, October 16, 1999 from 8:00 am Ė Noon, place TBD. Special PRAC meeting on Commercial Use Permit Applications scheduled for Tuesday, October 26, 1999 from 6:00-9:00 p.m., place TBD.
    2. Proposition 3/P&R Projects Update:

PRAC member asked if there was an update on the golf course. Kim replied that nothing has been approved for the golf course, but she believes they have applied for a conditional use permit.

Lynn Bartlett told Kim that she was approached by Little League with concerns that the facilities that kids from other towns play on are superior to our facilities in Juneau. She asked Kim if Little League could come forward with a proposal. This initiated a conversation that brought up the fact that in other cities Little League actually pays for and maintains their own fields whereas in Juneau they do not pay for field maintenance. It was also noted that in other cities there is a dedicated sales tax for Parks and Recreation programs. Kim stated that there will be an end-of-the season field meeting held on Wednesday, October 13, 1999 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Downtown Juneau Public Library.

Kim stated that the football field resurfacing was delayed due to the money that was appropriated.

Kim stated that she met with DOT last week and was informed that the By-Pass Park was delayed due to eagle nesting in the area that was discovered earlier in the project. She stated that itís essential to have the fieldwork done so that the topping can pack down over the winter.

    1. Huffman Harbor/USS 0 Exchange.

Kim stated that the Assembly Lands Committee approved the conceptual land exchange plan and it now goes to the Planning Commission and then it will go to the Assembly. It will come back to the PRAC when the specifics are ironed out.

X.  EX-OFFICIO REPORT

    John Favro was present to say that this meeting would be his last as the Forest Service Ex-Officio member since he is moving to Montana. Cindi Lagoudakis will be taking his place as ex-officio member for the U.S. Forest Service.

    By-Pass Park: The Forest Service is waiting for an environmental assessment on the new By-Pass Park. They are also waiting for the District Ranger to come up with his preferred alternative. The main goal is to have pedestrian traffic separate from vehicular traffic and to provide parking for 250 vehicles. A public meeting will probably be held in November.

    Don Moeller: The foundation is starting to give way on the Dan Moeller cabin. The Forest Service wanted to build a new cabin, but they were informed by their archeologist that the cabin has historical value.

    Mendenhall Campground: The are in the final phase of improvements to the Mendenhall Campground. Finishing phase includes rebuilding all of the campsites, new picnic tables and fire rings, installing 2 flush toilets and 2 shower buildings. It is hoped that by next spring it will be completed.

    Helicopter Landings on Ice Field: They are waiting for the results of the noise study that was done for the helicopter landings on the ice field. After they get the results back, they will continue to develop alternatives.

    Eagle Beach: Ken Dean asked John about Eagle Beach. John informed him that Eagle Beach is a State Parks project, but that the Forest Service supports the trail from the parking area to the day use area.

XI.  CORRESPONDENCE

XII. ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned at 8:02 p.m.