Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee

December 5, 2000

Minutes

Municipal Building - Assembly Chambers

6PM

  1. Roll Call

The meeting was called to order at 6PM.

Members Present:  Alex Lukshin, Jim King, Joan Herbage-O'Keefe, Lynn Bartlett, Ken Dean and Jim Scholz

Members Absent:  Jeff Wilson

Staff Present:  Kim Kiefer, Bob Grochow and Diane Mastin

  1. Public Testimony of Non-Agenda Items - None
  2. Approval of Agenda - Approved
  3. Approval of Minutes - Unanimously approved
  4. Action Items
    1. Commercial Use Permit Requests
      1. Treadwell Historical Loop Trail - Kim Kiefer reviewed the request submitted by Gastineau Guiding included in the packet.  She also mentioned the trail survey was sent out to Juneauites and they recommended Treadwell as a good site for commercial use.   Also the Trails Working Group had just reconvened after discontinuing their meetings for the summer.  The groups responsibility is to review trails found on city, state and federal lands in Juneau.  The group doesn't expect to have any recommendations until at least spring.  The Directors recommendation is to listen to public comment before deciding.

The following testimony was given:

Kirby Day - 1302 Tarn Court

Mr. Day is the Director of Operations for Princess.  Currently Princess does not have any ships that dock on the weekends.  He supports the request because of the results of the survey, minimal impact and that the Trails Working Group plans to review.

Lisle Hebert - 510 Kennedy

Mr. Hebert is the manager of the Nickelodeon Theater which tells the story of gold town.  The Treadwell tour if approved will have this film viewed as part of the tour.  He suggests the tour be given a permit and review the impact next year.  Tourism provides jobs for many locals.

Lisa Blacker - 3261 Nowell Ave.

She supports tourism but doesn't approve this permit because this trail is so easily accessible to town.  She uses this trail everyday and is concerned about heavy use.

Bob Janes - 309 E Street

Mr. Janes is the owner of Gastineau Guiding and is a member of the Trails Working Group.  He has no issues with postponing a decision by the Board until the Trails Working Group makes recommendations.  He mentioned that he had done a tour previously for two years at Treadwell but gave it up because of the reaction from the Douglas residents.

Debra Craig - 3251 Nowell Ave

Ms. Craig who is involved with economic development is concerned that public land is being used for gain and profit.  She believes less impact on trails is needed and that there is a different experience when groups are out there.

Larry Johansen - 2916 Simpson Ave

Mr. Johansen also has a permit at Outer Point.  He emphasized that the Treadwell has an incredible historical story connected with Juneau and the mines.  He would like to see interpretive signs and the local schools brought there.  He recommends a decision not be determined tonight.

Rick Urion - 118 Fifth St.

Mr. Urion's property abuts the trail.  He stated that most people don't realize that Juneau wouldn't exist without mining and we should share this knowledge.  Tour is on the lower trails and most locals use the upper trails for running.  He looks forward to more tree cutting in the area.

Dennis Harris - P.O. Box 21214

Mr. Harris did a tour last year for people whose relative worked in the mine and they thought it should be preserved and dedicated to those people.  He believes commercial enterprises should have to purchase land instead of using public lands.

Gordon Stockdale - 321 W. 12 St.

Rie Munoz recently celebrated the area.  The Humane Society leaves the area alone.  Mr. Stockdale suggested that the Board think very carefully the door that might be open before making their decision.  He is deeply concerned about making it commercialized.

David Summers - 2204 Raven Rd

Mr. Summers has worked in the cruise business for many years and he personally feels there is less impact on the environment, it's safer and cleaner tours that are guided.  Visitors are going to come whether they are guided or not.

Mark Regan - 907 Third St

Mr. Regan supports Gastineau Guiding because there probably isn't a better place for information.  He also stated that parking would be better because they would be using a bus.  Mining is real tourism.

Paul Desloover - 6677 Sherry St.

Survey done prior to trail being improved.  Brotherhood Bridge is used more by tourists and locals because of  improvements and that's what is going to happen at Treadwell.  The cross-country team uses the upper and lower trails and he would hate to see the runners and walkers restricted because of the tours.  Locals should have priority.

Robert Reges - 226 St. Ann's Ave.

The trail is 40' from his back door.  He is in favor of the permit under two conditions.  Sunday mornings be kept for locals only and the fee dedicated to the trail being used.   Also mentioned that the diagonal cut isn't complete yet.

Jack Cadigan - 3199 Pioneer

Mr. Cadigan is a past member of the Board and so is familiar with the trails.  Treadwell is commercial in nature because of the activity of its history.  Balanced use of commercial vs. non-commercial can provide way to maintain all trails. 

Susan Bell - 3470 Richards Dr

  Ms. Bell supports commercial use.  She is a former employee and knows that the woods and trails are kept cleaner.  Guides educate visitors on trail etiquette.

Karl Bausler - 1501 Fifth St.

Mr. Bausler uses the trail for biking, hiking and dogs.  He would like to see limitations for use only on Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm.  He would also like to see limitations on group size.  He questions what the regulations for the future would be with regard to biking and dogs and under whose control.

Matt Whitman - 9180 N. Douglas

Nature is reclaiming the area.  Mr. Whitman is a past guide of the Treadwell area and Juneau is what it is today because of Treadwell.  If we are going to welcome tourists we need to welcome them.

Bud Simpson - 402 Alaska Belle Ct.

Mr. Simpson uses the trail everyday and has had friends take the tour.  He has heard a lot about the quality of the tours and supports commercial use.  We have an obligation to share with others.

Bob Engelbrecht - 1602 Laurie Lane

Mr. Engelbrecht is a regular user of the trail and he sends relatives on Gastineau's tours because of their tours.  The Forest Service has outfitters guiding throughout the world and it is an extension of the agency's mission.  He would like to see the same sort of standards adapted by the city.

Del Carnes - 2206 Radcliff Rd

Mr. Carnes is a former member of Board.  He is in favor of keeping this area for local residents and not allowing trips on weekends.

After much discussion, Alex Lukshin motioned the permit be approved for Monday through Friday between the hours of 9AM - 4PM, plus Sunday afternoon 1-4PM and nothing on Saturday.  The motion was approved 5 to 1.  It was also motioned that no commercial use be allowed on July 4.  The motion was approved 4-2.

The Board also requested that if the Trails Working Group came up with another decision the Board would like to be informed.

Request for Increase Commercial Use of Outer Point Permit - Kim Kiefer reviewed the request and current permit included in the December PRAC packet. 

Bob Janes - 309 E St.

During the summer of 2001 the tour trips will be stopping in Juneau on weekends.  Mr. Janes was unaware of this until recently.  He would like to accommodate the tourists.  He is requesting an increase of 9 people a day over last year.  He would have more trips but fewer people per trip.

The Board was very concerned about Mr. Janes violation of his permit, accepting more people than allowed.  They questioned his methods of keeping track of these numbers.

Kirby Day - 1302 Tarn Ct

While he was on the tourism board for 7 years there were virtually no negative comments against guided trips at Outer Point.  He supports the request because they are doing a great job and they are asking for a minimal increase.  Outer Point was one of the trails approved for commercial use in the survey.  Gastineau clients include others besides cruise ship passengers. 

Jeff White - 305 St. Ann's

Mr. White stated that less than 10% of Juneau's trails are used for commercial use.  Trails have been improved by Gastineau Guiding and CBJ and these improvements are because of  commercial use.

Del Carnes - 2206 Radcliff Rd

He has a problem with increasing operation on the weekends and Sunday afternoon in particular.  The numbers seem to increase each year which means less for local citizens.

Dennis Harris - P O Box 21214

Mr. Harris objects to Gastineau exceeding their permitted number of trips.  He recommends they purchase their own land.   He wants permit to stay the same as last year.

Jack Cadigan - 3199 Pioneer Ave

As a senior he is limited in his abilities to what trails he can use and he likes the board walkways which make it easier for him to walk.  He is supportive of wheelchair accessible trails.  This trail is a jewel to be shared with others and he likes to see people enjoy it.

Merry Ellefson- 8170 N. Douglas

Ms. Ellefson uses the trail 3-5 times per week.  She would like the permit denied until long range plans are defined.  Gastineau has broken their breach of trust for going beyond permit limits.

Wayne Carnes - 8170 N. Douglas

CBJ's first priority is to satisfy local residents.  Gastineau violated permit and CBJ should consider voiding or permit as last year.  CBJ should not allow violation of contract.  He found the old trail far superior.

Susan Bell - 3470 Richards Dr

Ms. Bell questioned whether this was a permit or contract.  She supports loop trails because you meet less people and she supports Gastineau for next year.

Matt Whitman - 9180 N. Douglas

Mr. Whitman helped build the trail with Saga and has been a guide for Gastineau since 94.  He stated that lives are richer when you share experience in nature and he wonders how you can ask people to save areas if they can't experience what these trails are like.  He suggests looking at total numbers.

Shiana Stevens - 412 Gastineau Ave

Tourists have shops and sidewalks.  She's afraid to ride her bike because she might hurt someone.  Gastineau shouldn't have tour.

Lonna Stevens - 412 Gastineau Ave

She respects all sides plus people have to make a living.  She doesn't go downtown in the summer or out to the glacier because of all the tourists.  She loves to see the seagulls after the ships leave.  She can't support more trips.

Robert Reges - 226 St. Ann's Ave

Mr. Reges believes the Board needs to sanction for non-compliance and encourage charge to go to the public needs to be subsidized for using trails.  He also stated CBJ should encourage private enterprise on private property and set the price for commercial use to reflect this.

Nancy Waterman - 227 Gastineau Ave

Ms. Waterman who use to be on the PRAC thinks its fortunate that there is funding to improve trails.  She would like the capacity determined for Outer Point.  Peterson Creek, which is on private property, is receiving an impact also.  Trails Working Group made a footnote that a trail be developed at Eagle Crest.  She wants to keep the allocation at current level and think about other areas.

Becky Cook - 276 N Douglas Hwy

Ms. Cook who worked for Gastineau for 6 years is a strong advocate for small groups.  When she worked for Gastineau she taught trail etiquette. While working for Gastineau there was never one complaint from locals about the tourists.  She would like a new trail for Gastineau and would like to see Outer Point left for the locals.

After much discussion, Alex Lukshin motioned that 18 trips on Saturday be allowed and 43 on Sunday and that a method be determined for reporting number of people and trips and if these numbers were exceeded the Director is to determine the consequences instead of the PRAC.  The vote was unanimously approved.

  1. Resolution In Support of Southeast Alaska Trail System

Kim met with the group trying to put together the trail system that will connect southeast by water, roads and trails.  She is requesting approval of the resolution so she can forward to the assembly.

Joan O'Keefe motioned in support of the Director forwarding the resolution to the assembly.  The vote was unanimously approved.

  1. Information Items - None
  2. Committee Reports - Lynn Bartlett mentioned the Passenger Fee Committee will be meeting on Friday, the 8th and a list of ideas on how to spend the money would be presented to the city manager.  Kim said the focus would be for trail improvements and she will be requesting equipment purchases for trail improvements instead of renting, bear proof garbage cans and a trail monitor.  Jim King would like the list given to the board at the next meeting.
  3. Chair Report - None
  4. Director Report

Dimond Park Feasibility Study - The Committee of the Whole met with the consultant.  Kim reported that positive comments came up and the school would be given partial use.  On January 21st there will be a public meeting to get feedback on proposals.

January PRAC meeting - Is scheduled for first day after New Year's day.  Board is considering a Noon meeting.  Will be determined later.

King & Dean's board terms end in January.  King is interested in continuing and Dean will let us know after he checks with spouse.

Land next to museum - Kim briefed the Board on a piece of property that recently sold that is next to museum.  Everyone assumed it belonged to museum.  Director questioned whether the city should try to acquire.  The vote was unanimous approved to acquire if possible.

Term Limits - The board doesn't see the need to instill term limits when there are vacant positions.

  1. Ex-Officio Reports - none
  2. Correspondence- Jim Preston Resignation
  3. Adjournment- Adjournment was at 9:30pm. 

Next meeting: January 2, 2001