DATE:             February 19, 2002

TO:                  Planning Commission

FROM:           Monique Wheeler, Planner
                        Community Development Department

FILE NO.:      USE2002-00004 - Allowable Use

PROPOSAL:  An Allowable Use permit to construct a 50’ radio antenna.

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

Applicant:                     Gastineau Broadcasting Corporation

Property Owner:           State of Alaska, Department of Transportation and Public Facilities

Property Address:        South Douglas Highway, State Route 296110

Legal Description:        Douglas Highway Right-of-way

Site Size:                     3’ x 4’ Transclosure (fiberglass box containing radio transmitter), 50’ wooden pole

Zoning:                        D-18, Multi-family

Utilities:                        CBJ Water and Sewer

Access:                       South Douglas Highway

Existing Land Use:       State owned Right-of-way

Surrounding Land Use: Northeast - Douglas Hwy; Cemetery
                                    Southwest - Cemetery
                                    Southeast - Douglas Hwy; Residential
                                    Northwest - Cemetery

 

PROJECT DESCRIPTION & BACKGROUND

The applicant requests an allowable use permit for the instillation of a 50’ high, low power radio transmitter in the right-of-way on Douglas Highway (Attachment A). The right-of-way is owned by the State of Alaska, and the applicant has applied for and received a Major Utilities Permit from Alaska’s Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (Permit Number 3-296110-01-107).

Gastineau Broadcasting Corporation is a non-profit educational organization that will operate the antenna to broadcast educational and arts programming to downtown Juneau and Douglas. The antenna will broadcast a radio signal at the frequency of 94.1 Megahertz and a power of 100 watts. Current estimates project the antenna will be erected and broadcasting begun by June of 2002.

The antenna will broadcast radio programming classified as "community-radio." The station’s format will be educational and arts programming including jazz music. The station’s call letters are KBJZ and a FCC license has been obtained for broadcasting after the antenna is permitted and constructed.

Table §49.25.400, Dimensional Standards limits the height of structures in the D-18 zone to 35’. However, CBJ§ §49.25.420 (c) (1) provides an exception to this height restriction for antenna, telecommunication and electrical transmission towers and other similar structures or facilities. CBJ§49.25.300, 18.200, the Table of Permissible Uses stipulates that towers and antenna 35 to 50’ in height receive an allowable use permit for operation in areas zoned D-18, multi-family.

 

ANALYSIS

Project Site – The antenna and radio broadcast transmitter will be located 31’ from the centerline of Douglas Highway, 175’ west of Crow Hill Drive. State of Alaska, Department of Transportation and Public Facilities identifies the location as State Route 296110, South Douglas Highway, route mileage 1.503. Since the antenna will be located 31’ from the roadway’s centerline, the facility is not anticipated to affect traffic on the highway. A transmitter enclosure, measuring 3’x 4’ will be located next to the proposed antenna. This is a green fiberglass box approximately 3’ tall which will protect and enclose the antenna transmitter (see attachment b).

Utilities located in public right-of-ways are required to obtain a utility permit from the State of Alaska, Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (Alaska DOT&PF). Gastineau Broadcasting Corporation applied for and received permit number 3-296110-01-107 in December of 2001 from the Alaska DOT&PF’s Southeast Region to place the antenna in the South Douglas Highway right-of-way.

The antenna will be on the northwestern side of the highway adjacent to an existing cemetery. There is sufficient distance between the antenna and the nearest intersection to mitigate any traffic conflict with vehicles turning onto Crow Hill Drive.

Project Design – Described as a 2 bay FM antenna, JAMPRO-Omni Directional, the antenna will be mounted on a wooden pole, 50’ in height and approximately 22" inches in diameter. The pole is made of Western Red Cedar and purchased from AEL&P. Part of the pole will be driven into the ground below, and the structure’s height will be restricted to 50’ above the roadbed. A 10 foot embedment will secure the antenna structure in the ground. Specifically, the antenna will operate with one circuit, at a voltage of 120/240 on one phase. A 3’x 4’ transclosure box (a green fiberglass container) will contain the antenna’s transmitter, installed next to the wooden pole on which the antenna resides.

Traffic – The antenna is not anticipated to generate any traffic, as it will require no human support to operate under regular conditions. Although the structure is in the South Douglas Highway right-of-way, it will be located very near to the roadway’s edge and out of the path of vehicular traffic.

Exterior Lighting – Federal Aviation Administration regulations prohibit painting or lighting of the tower.

Juneau Coastal Management Program - The proposed development was reviewed for compliance with CBJ §49.70.900, the Juneau Coastal Management Program. The analysis reveals that the proposal complies with the enforceable policies of the JCMP and there is no known conflict with the proposal and the requirements of the JCMP.

CBJ§49.70.310 prohibits development in areas designated as sensitive habitat. Section (2) specifies no development within 300 feet of an eagle nest on public land and section (3) specifies no development within fifty feet of an eagle nest on private land. There are no eagle’s nests within 300 feet of the proposed antenna. This determination was made after review of mapped eagle’s nest locations provided by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Therefore, this project complies with the requirements of CBJ§49.70.310.

 

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. We find the application contains the information necessary to conduct a full review of the proposed operations. The application submittal by the applicant, including the appropriate fees, substantially conforms to the requirements of CBJ Chapter 49.15.

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 as an allowable use at CBJ §49.25.300 section 18.200, Towers and antennas 35 to 50 feet, for the D-18, multi-family 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" on February 15th and 25th, 2001. A Public Notice sign was posted on the site at least 14 days prior to the meeting and notice was mailed to owners of record of all property within 500 feet of the subject property on February 11, 2002.

As required by CBJ§49.15.330 (d)(4), relevant portions of this application were sent via electronic mail to interested agencies.

4. Are conditions necessary for approval of the requested allowable use permit?

No. Based on the preceding staff analysis, it is found that conditions are not necessary for approval of the requested permit.

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.

 

RECOMMENDATION

It is recommended that the Planning Commission adopt the director's analysis and findings and grant the requested allowable use permit. The permit would allow the development of a radio antenna for the Gastineau Broadcasting Corporation.