DATE:                 February 19, 2002

TO:                      Planning Commission

FROM:               Nathan Bishop, Planner
                            Community Development Department

FILE NO.:          USE2002-00008 - Conditional Use

PROPOSAL: Replace and move an existing 79ft cellular phone tower with a new 100’ self supporting monopole antenna support structure.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Applicant:                         Roland O’Shea, NEW HORIZONS TELECOM INC. (Attachment "A") 

Property Owner:              Wes Carson, Juneau/Douglas Telco

Property Address:            8503 Valley Blvd., Juneau

Legal Description:             Lot 1, Block A, Sunset Acres Subdivision

Parcel Code Number:       5-B24-0-160-001-0

Site Size:                          11,685 Square Feet

Zoning:                             D5, Single Family & Duplex Residential

Utilities:                            CBJ Water and Sewer Services

Access:                            Valley Boulevard

Existing Land Use:            Utility

Surrounding Land Use:     Residential

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The applicant requests a modification of a Conditional Use permit for the development of a new 100’ self support monopole antenna support structure. The new structure will be moved from its existing location, to a point closer to the switching station (Attachment "B").

 

BACKGROUND

On May 22, 1997 the Planning Commission granted a Conditional Use permit for the existing tower on this location. The site is a residential building lot that has been used for telecommunications utility purposes since 1981. There is a 690-square-foot switching structure on the fenced site.

 

ANALYSIS

Project Site – The site is adjacent to Mendenhall Loop Road. A number of large evergreen trees surround the existing pole, the new location is approximately 20 feet closer to the switching structure. The existing pole is largely obscured from view by trees on the adjoining properties and the road right-of-way (Attachments C & D).

A number of utility poles of various height are in the vicinity of this site.

Project Design – The new pole would resemble a metal power pole, however the diameter would be greater, and it would be painted brown. The total height of the new structure, including antennas mounted on top of the pole, would be about 100 feet (Attachment E).

Traffic – Little to no change in traffic is expected as a result of this proposal.

Parking and Circulation – The site provides for parking and maneuvering of service vehicles. The site plan indicates that the pole would not interfere with these functions.

Noise – The equipment will not generate noise.

Public Health or Safety –We are not aware of any impacts on public health or safety that would result from the proposed structure. All proposals for changes to radio wave emissions must go through a review by the FAA and the FCC. This proposal is currently being reviewed, however when I discussed this project with Jack Schommer, the reviewer for the FAA, he stated that they have no concerns with the proposed project.

Property Value or Neighborhood Harmony –We do not believe the proposed structure will significantly impact community property values or neighborhood harmony. This site has been used as a communication switching center since 1981, and has had a cellular tower since 1997. The visual impact caused by moving the tower and raising it is expected to be minimal as the trees will still provide a visual barrier (Attachment F).

Conformity With Adopted Plans –There are no plans with which the proposed structure would be of conflict.

Juneau Coastal Management Program –JCMP provisions have been evaluated and do not apply to this use.

 

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. The Use is listed at CBJ §49.25.300, Section 18.300 for the D5 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.

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

No. We have found no evidence to indicate that the proposed antennas and support column would endanger the public health or safety, provided the structural integrity of the facility is maintained, and that it is operated in compliance with applicable federal regulations, including FCC standards.

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

No. We have found no evidence to indicate that the proposed antennas and support structure would substantially decrease the value of, or be out of harmony with the neighboring area.

6. Will the proposed development not be in general conformity with the land use plan, thoroughfare plan, or other officially adopted plans?

No. The proposed facility appears to be in conformity with the land use plan, thoroughfare plan, and other officially adopted plans.

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

          The JCMP has been reviewed and it was determined there is no applicable codes.

 

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 100-foot-tall antenna support column and antennas as proposed. The approval is subject to the following conditions:

  1. The applicant /owner shall operate the facility in compliance with applicable state and federal standards regarding radio wave emissions
  2. The applicant/owner shall obtain all necessary permits from the City & Borough of Juneau.