DATE:             February 19, 2002

TO:                  Planning Commission

FROM:           Greg Chaney, Planner
                         Community Development Department

FILE NO.:       USE2002-00006 Conditional Use

PROPOSAL:   A Conditional Use permit to construct 10,360 square foot building to house the State Bureau of Alaska Vital Statistics records storage facility.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Applicant:                             Dirk Lovig

Property Owner:                  Dirk Lovig

Property Address:                544 Commercial Boulevard, Juneau, AK

Legal Description:                Glacier Industrial, Lot 3 A

Parcel Code Number:          5-B12-0-130-005-0

Site Size:                             25,452 Square Feet

Zoning:                                Industrial (I)

Utilities:                               Public Water and Sewer

Access:                               Commerical Boulevard and Anka Street

Existing Land Use:              Outdoor storage of construction materials.

Surrounding Land Use:       North - Anka Street, Industrial
                                          South - Commercial Boulevard, Industrial
                                          East - Lot 4, Industrial
                                          West - Lot 2A, Industrial

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The applicant requests a conditional use permit for the development of a one-story building designed for long-term records storage. Total area for the building is approximately 10,360 square feet. This building is being constructed for occupancy by the State of Alaska, Bureau of Vital Statistics.

 

BACKGROUND

The building has been designed to accommodate the needs of a records storage service. A central component of the structure will be a 3,050 square foot vault for documents. Access to the vault will be restricted and the building has incorporated several fire prevention measures. It is anticipated that eighteen staff members will be working full time at the facility. Members of the public will come to the facility to access official records but this visitation is not anticipated to exceed four customers at any given time. The average number of customers visiting the facility at one time is expected to be significantly lower.

 

ANALYSIS

Project Site – The lot has an area of approximately 25,452 square feet. It is a double frontage lot located between Anka Street and Commercial Boulevard. At its closest point, the lot is more than 300 feet south of Lemon Creek.

Project Design – A parking lot will stretch across the western portion of the lot while the main building will be located along the lot’s eastern half. Access to the parking lot will be available from both Anka Street and Commercial Boulevard. The applicant has proposed a total of 36 parking spaces with a 12’x17’ loading zone. Landscaping will be provided on over 3,000 square feet of the lot while only 2,545 square feet of vegetative cover are required.

Traffic – Traffic generated by this facility is not anticipated to be problematic. Since all records which come to the facility must be in standard document format, most vehicles visiting the site are regular automobiles. Currently delivery vans are the largest vehicles that access the Bureau of Vital Statistics offices. No large truck traffic is anticipated in connection with this facility once construction is completed.

Parking and Circulation – Thirty six parking spaces have been shown on the preferred site plan by the applicant. Due to the relatively low number of on site visitors, the applicant has requested that the parking requirement for this facility be calculated at the "Non-Customer Service Office" rate of one space required per 300 square feet of floor space. The applicant has provided documentation from John Tomaro and based on observation of the Vital Statistics office, a maximum of four customers have visited the office at any one time in the past three months. Average customer volume has been much lower. Given this modest customer load, calculating parking requirements based on a ratio of one parking space per 300 square feet of office space seems appropriate. For a building of 10,360 square feet, 35 parking spaces would be required. Since 36 parking spaces have been proposed, this requirement will be met.

Due to the unique nature of the facility, a substandard loading zone has been proposed. Minimum size for a loading zone is 12’x30’ but the applicant has shown a loading zone of 12’x17’. Due to the substandard size of the proposed loading area, the applicant has applied for a variance to the loading zone length requirement. This issue is being considered under VAR2002-00004 which is being heard at the same time as this Conditional Use application. If VAR2002-00004 is not approved, an alternative site plan has been submitted which would meet the 12’x30’ loading zone requirement. In order to meet the full loading zone requirement, the building size would have to be reduced. Whatever the outcome of VAR2002-00004, this Conditional Use application can be approved.

Noise – Significant offsite noise is not anticipated to be generated from this proposal. Since most activities associated with this operation will take place inside the building, the only offsite noise will be from vehicles visiting the site. This level of noise is well below the threshold for concern in an industrial zoning district.

Public Health or Safety – No aspects of this proposal are anticipated to pose any risk to public health or safety.

Property Value or Neighborhood Harmony – This property is surrounded by industrial uses. No exterior lighting plan was submitted with the applicant’s application. Considering the potential for exterior lighting to shed glare off site, staff is recommending a condition that prior to issuance of a building permit, the applicant must submit an exterior lighting plan. Staff will only approve this lighting plan if it shows that glare from exterior lighting fixtures will be shielded from adjacent properties. In consideration of the above condition, operation of a records storage facility is not anticipated to disrupt adjacent properties in any way.

Conformity With Adopted Plans – The use proposed for this structure was found to be similar to a "Post Office" as listed under the Land Use Code’s, Table of Permissible Uses 15.100. This determination was made by the Planning Commission during its regularly scheduled meeting of January 22, 2002.

Under the Comprehensive Plan this location had been designated "Resource Development" and was subsequently given the zoning designation of "Industrial". Locating a "Post Office" in this region is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and current zoning (with approval of a Conditional Use Permit).

Juneau Coastal Management Program – Under Chapter 3, Water Quality Section of the Juneau Comprehensive Plan, Lemon Creek is listed as an impaired water body. It is also recognized as an anadromous stream in Appendix B of the same document. The proposed operation is not anticipated to be a source of pollution. Since the property is located over 300 feet from Lemon Creek and is connected to public water and sewer services, no aspects of the Juneau Coastal Management Program are known to apply to this proposal.

 

FINDINGS

CBJ '49.15.330 (e)(1), Review of Director's Determinations, states that the Planning Commission shall review the director's report to consider:

1. Whether the application is complete; and,

2. Whether the proposed use is appropriate according to the Table of Permissible Uses;

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

The commission shall adopt the director's determination on the three items above unless it finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the director's determination was in error, and states its reasoning for each finding with particularity.

CBJ '49.15.330 (f), Commission Determinations, states that even if the commission adopts the director's determination, it may nonetheless deny or condition the permit if it concludes, based upon its own independent review of the information submitted at the public hearing, that the development will more probably than not:

1. Materially endanger the public health or safety;

2. Substantially decrease the value of or be out of harmony with property in the neighboring area; or,

3. Not be in general conformity with the comprehensive plan, thoroughfare plan, or other officially adopted plans.

Per CBJ '49.15.300 (e)(1)(A thru C), Review of Director's Determinations, the director makes the following findings on the proposed development:

1. Is the application for the requested conditional use permit complete?

Yes. We find the application contains the information necessary to conduct 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 proposed use appropriate according to the Table of Permissible Uses?

Yes. The requested permit is appropriate according to the Table of Permissible Uses. This proposal was reviewed by the Planning Commission on its meeting of January 25, 2002 and found to be similar to a "Post Office". The Conditional Use permit requirement is listed at CBJ §49.25.300, Section 15.100 for the Industrial 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. An advertising notice was provided in the Juneau Empire under "Your Municipality", which ran on February 15, 2002, and February 25, 2002.

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

4. Will the proposed development materially endanger the public health or safety?

No. Based on the preceding analysis, there has been no evidence provided which indicates that any aspect of this facility will endanger public health or safety.

5. Will the proposed development substantially decrease the value of or be out of harmony with property in the neighboring area?

No. If conditioned as recommended, based on the preceding analysis, no evidence was found which indicates that any aspect of this facility will substantially decrease the value of, or be out of harmony with, property in the neighboring area.

6. Will the proposed development be in general conformity with the land use plan, thoroughfare plan, or other officially adopted plans?

Yes. Because of the Comprehensive Plan and subsequent zoning designations for this parcel, it is found that the proposed development complies with the other requirements of this chapter and is in conformance with the Comprehensive Plan.

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

Yes. Based on the preceding analysis, we find that the proposed development will comply with the Juneau Coastal Management Program.

 

RECOMMENDATION

It is recommended that the Planning Commission adopt the director's analysis and findings and grant the requested conditional use permit. The permit would allow the development of a 10,360 square foot records storage facility. Approval is subject to the following condition:

1. Prior to issuance of a building permit, the applicant shall submit an exterior lighting plan. This lighting plan may only be approved if it shows that glare from exterior lighting fixtures will be shielded from adjacent properties.