DATE: February 6, 2002

TO: Planning Commission

FROM: Oscar Graham, Planner

Community Development Department

FILE NO.: USE2001-00042

PROPOSAL: An Allowable Use Permit and Hillside Development Endorsement for the construction of a 15,600 square foot tourist oriented retail commercial building.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Applicant:                    Walsh Services

Property Owner:          Steve Landvik

Property Address:        425 So. Franklin Street, Juneau

Legal Description:         Juneau Townsite Addition, Block 1, Lot 1A, 7A Subdivision

Parcel Code Number:    1-C07-0-101-001-1

Site Size:                       8,400 square feet 

Zoning:                         Mixed Use

Utilities:                        CBJ Water and Sewer Services

Access:                        South Franklin Street

Existing Land Use:       Vacant

Surrounding Land Use: North - Gastineau Avenue/Residential
                                    South - South Franklin Street
                                    East - Tourist Oriented Retail
                                    West - Tourist Oriented Retail

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The applicant requests an allowable use permit and hillside development endorsement for the construction of a of a 15600 square foot tourist oriented retail structure. The building will be two floors, each with a gross floor area of 6700 square feet and a mezzanine on the first floor comprising 2200 square feet. This produces a total gross floor area of 15,600 square feet. The structure will occupy the entire South Franklin Street frontage. The first floor will be divided into three sub-spaces that will be leased to retail operators. Common facilities will include a stairway, elevator, bathrooms and equipment spaces. The mezzanine floor and the upper floor will be divided into sub-spaces for storage use by the main floor lessees. (Attachment A: Application)

The lot is sloped, at present. There is an area of flat land about 30 feet deep along the South Franklin frontage. To make space for the building, the sloped area will be excavated about 60 feet further into the hillside. A sheet pile retaining wall will be driven to contain the earth to the rear and sides of the building. This wall will retain the hillside so that a second wall, made of reinforced concrete can be built in front of it. The concrete wall is integral to the building but will also extend about six feet above the ground on the rear side of the development to capture material that might be expected from a mass-wasting or landslide event.

The sheet pile wall will be reinforced with rock anchors. This will be done by drilling bore holes through the wall to bedrock behind the wall. The rock anchors will be inserted into the boreholes and grouted into place. There will be a space between the sheet pile wall and the concrete wall of approximately one foot. That space will be filled with gravel to accommodate drainage from the hillside and there will be steel ties between the two walls. (Attachment B: Site Plan and Elevations)

The applicant is also requesting authorization of a shared/joint use parking plan which would be accomplished in conjunction with the Channel View Apartments. The plan is discussed in greater detail under the analysis below and in accompanying staff reports addressing related use permits and variances also before the commission.

BACKGROUND

This building will occupy Lot 1A, Block 1, Townsite Addition to the City of Juneau. The site is within 500 feet of the Channel View Apartments’ parking deck. The lot came into existence as the result of the recent vacation and relocation of Rodenberg Way and the incorporation of additional land from NE above the property. As consolidated, Lot 1A has 8400 square feet. The front lot line is the South Franklin Street ROW. The "right" lot line is the Boroff Way staircase and sidewalk.

The proposal is made in conjunction with two other use permits and three variances.

USE2002-00002 - would modify the Channel View Apartment Allowable Use Permit (USE2000-00055) by modifying the shared parking plan to accommodate the 14 parking spaces proposed under the subject proposal.

USE2001-00043 - requests a conditional use permit for construction of the TLB structure in a landslide hazard zone.

VAR2001-00027 – requests a variance to reduce the number of parking spaces to 40% of the required standard.

VAR2001-00029 – requests a variance to eliminate the requirement of an onsite loading space.

VAR2002-00002 - has been requested to remove an adjacent property (Alaska Fur Gallery) from participation in a shared parking plan which reserved 15 commercial parking spaces on the Channel View Apartment parking structure.

ALLOWABLE USE PERMIT

ANALYSIS

Project Site – The proposed development would occur on a vacant site at 425 South Franklin. The site slopes steeply at approximately 50% from the Rodenburg Way right of way to South Franklin Street. Hillside development issues are discussed in the next section of this report. Some grading of the site has taken place previously in anticipation of the project. The site is currently vegetated with grasses.

Project Design – The proposed development is significantly larger than many of the surrounding structures. The applicant has attempted to reduce the visual impact by applying treatments designed to address historic standards and bulk. Compliance with Historic District Design Standards are discussed below.

Historic District Design Standards

The proposed development is within the Juneau Downtown Historic District.

Title 04 of the CBJ Administrative Code 080.010(e) establishes that new construction shall not be discouraged if it does not violate the historical character of the surrounding buildings or the historical district as a whole. Design proposals must be compatible with the size, scale, color, material, and character of the property, the immediately surrounding structures and those in the historic district.

The design was reviewed by staff and the Historic Resources Advisory Committee. Overall, the design is consistent with size, scale, and most architectural features. Several Historical District Design Standards were not met:

    1. Façade—Design Standards in the Downtown Historic District call for storefronts flush to the sidewalk edge to present a uniform frontage. The angled recessed entryways with double doors were an item that did not meet historic standards. Recessed entries are acceptable with a single door and deeper entrance.
    2. Awning—the standard for an awning is not more than 12" at the front face with no signage, and a balcony with fencing has been added. This feature also does not meet historic standards, and is a significant detraction from the purpose of a consistent awning feature throughout the district. Awnings should be lower to the sidewalk and extend far enough to be effective in shielding the sidewalk from the rain. The proposed balcony is far higher than the district norm and is not in keeping with historic standards.
    3. Second story windows with arched sills are not within design standards. Design standard details double hung windows with wooden sash. The proposed second floor windows on the building side also do not meet design standards and should be changed to double hung.
    4. Siding appears to conform to standards, material and color are not described, but should be lapped wood siding with paint or opaque stain.

The applicant has prepared a response to the above issues, which is included as an attachment to this report. (Attachment C: Applicants Response to Historic District Comments From CDD/HRAC, January 14, 2002)

Traffic – Traffic generated by this retail use is anticipated to be largely pedestrian based. Employees will access the facility from the Channel View Parking Structure located approximately 500 feet north of the site.

Parking and Circulation - Section §49.40.210 establishes the minimum space and dimensional standards for parking and offloading. The table of minimum parking standards identifies the requirement for retail commercial at 1 space per 200 square feet of gross floor area. Therefore, the standard requirement for a 15,600 square foot retail commercial structure is 78 spaces.

Only the main floor will be utilized for retail activity and the same employees who staff the retail outlets will provide stocking functions on the mezzanine and second floor storage areas. These areas are not anticipated to generate parking demand. The applicant has requested that the mezzanine and second floor be eliminated from the gross floor area for the purpose of calculating the final parking requirement. This request is considered a part of the rationale for variance (VAR2001-00027). By subtracting the 2200 square feet of the mezzanine and the 6700 square feet of the second floor the gross floor area utilized for calculating the parking requirement would be 6700 square feet. The standard parking requirement for the retail commercial gross floor area is 34 spaces.

The subject property is located in Parking District 2 (PD-2) which provides for a reduction to 70% of the standard requirement or 23.4 spaces. The applicant is requesting a reduction to the Parking District 1 (PD-1) standard which provides for a reduction to 40 percent of the standard or 14 spaces. With approval of the Channel View Allowable Use Modification (USE2000-00055) these spaces would be provided at the Channel View Apartments parking structure located approximately 495 feet north of the subject property.

In addition, to the reduction in parking spaces requested the applicant has also requested that the requirement of an onsite loading space be eliminated. Discussion with the Alaska Department of Transportation indicates that elimination of the loading space requirement should be accompanied by a permit condition requiring the applicant to obtain permission from DOTPF during loading periods.

Vegetative Cover - The CBJ Land Use Code requires developments in the Mixed Use zoning district to maintain 5% of the site in vegetative cover. The proposed project site is 8420 square feet in size. The building, sheet piling and debris catchment wall will cover all but approximately 975 square feet of the site. The area that is not covered with structural development will be maintained in vegetative cover. This area will be approximately 10% of the overall lot area.

Exterior Lighting – No exterior lighting is proposed at this time. Typically lighting is determined as the project is further developed for building permits. CDD staff should review the particular exterior lighting planned for the project so that it does not cause glare to adjacent properties or roadways.

Signs - A separate permit process per CBJ §49.45, Signs, requires that all signs proposed by the development be submitted to CDD staff for review and approval.

Juneau Coastal Management Program - The proposed development was reviewed for compliance with CBJ §49.70.900, the Juneau Coastal Management Program. The above analysis reveals that no enforceable policies of the JCMP apply to the proposed project.

HILLSIDE DEVELOPMENT ENDORSEMENT

BACKGROUND

The proposed project meets the criteria requiring a hillside development endorsement. The CBJ Land Use Code contains the following provisions regarding hillside development:

Article II. Hillside Development

§49.70.200 PURPOSES. The purposes of this article are:

(1) To ensure that hillside development provides erosion and drainage control to protect adjoining parcels;

(2) To protect waterways from sedimentation and pollution;

(3) To minimize injury or damage to people or property from natural or artificial hazards in hillside development; and

(4) To minimize any adverse aesthetic impact of hillside development.

§49.70.250 STANDARDS FOR APPROVAL. Hillside development shall meet minimum standards regarding roads, weather, sediment and peak discharge.

§49.70.260 CRITERIA. The Commission shall consider the extent to which development meets the criteria regarding soil erosion, existing vegetation, contours, time of exposure and soil retention, replanting, drainage, foundations, very steep slopes, soil retention features, and wet weather periods.

§49.70.270 CONDITIONS ON APPROVAL. The Commission may place conditions upon a hillside development endorsement as necessary or desirable to ensure the spirit of this chapter will be implemented in the manner indicated in the application. Fulfillment of conditions shall be certified by the engineer.

ANALYSIS

The applicant has submitted information regarding slope stability, topography, site development plans, and other information that is the basis for 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.

§49.70.250 STANDARDS FOR APPROVAL - The Standards for Approval address roads, weather, sediment, peak discharge and other issues. The following analysis and comments are based upon the applicant’s information and review, and recommendations by the CBJ Engineering Department.

1. Roads: No roads will be constructed with this project. A portion of the Boroff Way stairs will need to be removed and replaced to accommodate the wall construction. The reconstruction of this stairway will be permitted and constructed in accordance with a separate permit and will meet requirements of CBJ Standard Engineering Details.

2. Weather: The endorsement and grading permit will contain a requirement that sheet pile installation and site grading/excavation may be halted at the Engineer’s discretion, during periods of very wet soil conditions.

3. Sediment: The submitted plan did not show details of sediment control devices however the engineers recommendation in their letter dated January 25, 2002 is to install cutoff ditches and a sump/catch basin to retain sediment from entering the storm drain system. Seeding of exposed slopes will be required to minimize erosion.

4. Peak Discharge: No peak discharge information was submitted with the application. The applicant’s engineer will need to submit data confirming the storm drain system in Franklin Street is adequate to accommodate the anticipated extra runoff.

§49.70.260 CRITERIA - The commission shall consider the extent to which the development meets the following criteria:

(1) Soil Erosion. Soil disturbance and soil erosion shall be minimized and the effects thereof mitigated.

All exposed soil that is subject to erosion must be covered with matting or vegetation as soon as possible to protect the adjacent properties and minimize sediment from entering the storm drainage system.

(2) Existing Vegetation. Depletion of existing vegetation shall be minimized.

No existing vegetation will remain on the site upon completion of the site grading. Approximately 975 square feet of the site, between Rodenburg Way and the building, will be regraded and vegetated.

(3) Contours. The developer shall recontour the finished grade to natural-appearing contours which are at or below thirty percent or the natural angle of repose for the soil type, whichever is lower, and which will hold vegetation.

As stated above, the only visible site grading will be the 1.5:1 slope behind the building wall. The remaining portion of the site will be utilized with the proposed structure.

(4) Time of Exposure and Soil Retention. The developer shall minimize the period of time that soil is exposed and shall employ mats, silt blocks or other retention features to maximize soil retention.

The erosion control plan is included with the engineer’s soil report and requires disturbed soils to be seeded and fertilized as soon as the site grading is complete. The building permit will include conditions to assure disturbed soil and fill slopes are protected as soon as they are completed or if uncompleted slopes will be exposed longer than two weeks.

(5) Replanting. The developer shall mat, where necessary, and plant all exposed soil in grass or other soil-retaining vegetation and shall maintain the vegetation for one full growing season after planting.

Soil matting and seeding will be required as stated in items #(2) and #(4) above. A seeding bond will be required to assure covering and replanting, as necessary, for a period of one year after a full growing season.

(6) Drainage. The developer shall minimize disturbance to the natural course of streams and drainage ways. Where disturbance is unavoidable, the developer shall provide a drainage system or structures which will minimize the possibility of sedimentation and soil erosion on-site and downstream and which will maintain or enhance the general stream characteristics, spawning quality, and other habitat features of the stream and its receiving waters. Where possible, development shall be designed so lot lines follow natural drainage ways.

All surface and subsurface runoff will be drained to the storm drain in Franklin Street.

(7) Foundations. The developer shall ensure that buildings will be constructed on geologically safe terrain.

The building is proposed to be constructed with a concrete footing on the existing compacted soils as shown on the engineer’s plan. Soils investigations indicate the soils are suitable for the proposed building. If differing conditions are discovered during excavation, the applicant’s engineer will make appropriate recommendations for increasing the soil bearing capacity.

(8) Very Steep Slopes. The developer shall minimize excavation on slopes over thirty percent.

The majority of this site has been graded to a 1.5:1 slope during the 2000 construction season. It has been vegetated and appears to be stable at that rate of slope. The majority of the material on this site will be removed to accommodate the structure with a small area behind the building that will be graded and vegetated in a similar fashion as the existing slope.

(9) Soil Retention Features. The developer shall minimize the use of constructed retention features. Where used, their visual impact shall be minimized through the use of natural aggregate or wood, variation of facade, replanted terraces, and the like.

Steel sheet piling will be driven along three sides of the site before soil excavation occurs. As excavation progresses, rock anchor tie-backs will be drilled into the rear portion of the hillside and will be attached to the sheet piling for additional support. Upon completion of the excavation, a concrete retaining wall will be constructed and the rock anchors extended and connected to the concrete wall. The steel sheet piling is to remain in place except for those installed within the Boroff Way right-of-way which will be removed after the concrete wall is completed.

The concrete wall at the rear of the building will extend five-feet above the surface and will be designed to be a soil retention feature in the event of a mass wasting occurrence. This wall shall be designed and constructed to the criteria specified in a Geophysical Hazard Investigation Report dated December 18, 1997 by R&M Engineering, Inc.

(10) Wet weather periods. The developer shall minimize exposure of soil during the periods of September 1st through November 30th and March 1st through May 1st.

The applicant has not submitted a written construction schedule, however there is a concern that the sheet pile and rock anchor installation may disturb the adjacent soils during wet weather periods. A similar construction during 2000 on the adjacent lot required construction to cease during extreme wet weather conditions and provide continuous inspection during the sheet pile installation. Similar conditions need to be placed on this project. The building permit conditions will required the applicant to include a construction schedule and will require it to be periodically reviewed to verify the schedule is being met.

§49.70.270 CONDITIONS OF APPROVAL The following are Engineering Department proposed requirements for the Hillside Endorsement.

   1.    A building/grading permit will be required prior to site grading after issuance of the Hillside Endorsement.

  1. The applicant shall retain a civil engineer to inspect the installation of the sheet pile retaining walls, the rock anchors, the concrete retaining wall and to monitor the adjacent buildings and property for any horizontal and vertical movement during the construction. Inspection for slope movement shall also be done one week after completion of the concrete wall. Inspection reports are to be submitted to the CBJ on a daily basis. If ground movement is observed, the applicant’s engineer shall take immediate action to cease the work and make recommendations for corrective action.
  2. All necessary rock anchor easements, hold harmless agreements, and right-of-way permits need to be obtained prior to any site grading.
  1. We recommend that the applicant submit proof of insurance in an amount of at least $1,000,000 to guarantee restoration of any damage, or claims resulting from damage, to adjacent buildings, street, and utilities.
  2. The applicant shall submit a bond in the amount of $50,000 to guarantee revegetation, removal of sheet piling within the right-of-way, and reconstruction of the public stairs within the Boroff Way right-of-way.

 

ALLOWABLE USE and HILLSIDE ENDORSEMENT

FINDINGS

CBJ §49.15.320 (e), Decision, states that the Planning Commission shall consider the Allowable Use permit application and shall review the Community Development Director's recommendation with respect to:

1. Whether the application is complete;

2. Whether the requested permit is appropriate according to the Table of Permissible Uses;

3. Whether the development as proposed will comply with the other requirements of this chapter; and,

4. Whether conditions are necessary for approval.

The commission shall approve the application and grant the permit unless it finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, that one or more of the criteria have not been met. In either case the commission shall adopt written findings setting forth the basis for its decision.

Per CBJ §49.15.320 (e)(1 thru 4), Decision, the director makes the following findings on the criteria for granting the requested allowable use approval:

1. Is the application for the requested Allowable Use permit complete?

Yes. The application contains the information necessary to conduct a full review of the proposed development and hillside endorsement. The application submittal by the applicant including the appropriate fees, substantially conform to the requirements of CBJ code Chapters §49.15 and §49.35.

2. Is the requested permit appropriate according to the Table of Permissible Uses?

Yes. The requested permit is appropriate according to the Table of Permissible Uses. The permit is listed at CBJ §49.25.300 section 2.200 (multi-family dwellings) and 10.100 (parking lot) for the Mixed Use zoning district.

3. Will the proposed development comply with the other requirements of this chapter?

Yes. The proposed development complies with the other requirements of this chapter.

Notice was provided in the Juneau Empire under Your Municipality which ran on February 1, and 11, 2002. A public notice sign was posted on the site at least fourteen days prior to the meeting and notice was mailed to owners of record of all property within 500 feet of the subject property.

4. Are conditions necessary for approval of the requested Allowable Use permit?

Yes. Based on the preceding staff analysis, it is found that conditions are necessary for approval of the requested permit. The conditions are listed in the following Recommendation.

Per CBJ §49.70.900 (b)(3), General Provisions, the director makes the following Juneau Coastal Management Program consistency determination:

5. Will the proposed development comply with the Juneau Coastal Management Program?

Not Applicable. Based on the preceding staff analysis, it is found that no provisions of the Juneau Coastal Management Program apply to the proposed development.

6. Has the Planning Commission considered the extent to which criteria for the hillside endorsement have been met?

Yes. Based on the review and recommendations of the CBJ Engineering Department regarding site drainage, soil erosion, soil retention, revegetation, and construction schedule, it appears that the criteria for the hillside endorsement are met provided the recommended conditions are implemented.

7. Have the conditions for joint use of parking facilities been met?

Yes. The parking is within 500 feet of the user facilities, it has been demonstrated that there is no substantial conflict between the day time and night time users, and a written instrument guaranteeing availability of the parking for the user facilities would be required prior to issuance of a building permit for the project. In addition the joint use plan was previously approved under USE2000-00055 which has been requested for modification to address the subject property.

RECOMMENDATION

Shared Parking

It is recommended that the Planning Commission adopt the director's analysis regarding parking needs of the proposed development and allow the required 14 spaces to be provided at the Channel View Apartments, Parking Structure. The parking shall be used for the residential users of the 22 unit apartment building, the residential users of the Alaska Fur Gallery I & II buildings and the H&H Building and the retail use associated with the TLB.

Allowable Use and Hillside Endorsement

It is recommended 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. A building/grading permit will be required prior to site grading after issuance of the Hillside Endorsement.
  2. The applicant shall retain a civil engineer to inspect the installation of the sheet pile retaining walls, the rock anchors, the concrete retaining wall and to monitor the adjacent buildings and property for any horizontal and vertical movement during the construction. Inspection for slope movement shall also be done one week after completion of the concrete wall. Inspection reports are to be submitted to the CBJ on a daily basis. If ground movement is observed, the applicant’s engineer shall take immediate action to cease the work and make recommendations for corrective action.
  3. All necessary rock anchor easements, hold harmless agreements, and right-of-way permits need to be obtained prior to any site grading.
  4. The applicant shall submit proof of insurance in an amount of at least $1,000,000 to guarantee restoration of any damage, or claims resulting from damage, to adjacent buildings, street, and utilities.
  5. The applicant shall submit a bond in the amount of $50,000 to guarantee revegetation, removal of sheet piling within the right-of-way, and reconstruction of the public stairs within the Boroff Way right-of-way.
  6. The applicant shall obtain a temporary use permit from DOTPF for periodic loading of merchandise from the street to the building. This condition is considered to apply on an ongoing operational basis.
  7. The applicant shall submit revised plans consistent with the recommendations set forth in this staff report for review by CDD/HRAC. The applicant shall demonstrate compliance with the Historic District Design Review Standards through CDD/HRAC approval prior to issuance of a building permit.
  8. 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 property occupied by the Channel View Apartments to reserve 14 parking spaces to be allotted to meet the land use code parking requirements for the retail use of the Trucano/Landvik Building.
  9. In order to assure that the required parking spaces are available for use in conjunction with the proposal, the TLB building permit shall not be issued until such time that the building permit for the Channel View Apartments/Parking Structure is issued and substantial construction initiated on the building structure.