DATE: September 20, 2000
TO: Planning Commission
FROM: Sylvia A. Kreel, Planner
Community Development Department
FILE NO.: USE2000-00040- Conditional Use
PROPOSAL: Conditional Use Permit to operate a resort facility in the D-1 zoning district.
Applicant: Daniel Malick & Kristine Trott
Property Owner: Daniel Malick & Kristine Trott
Property Address: 19200 Williwaw Way
Legal Description: Lot 2A and Lot 1A USS 377
Parcel Code Number: 8-B37-0-105-010-1, 8-B37-0-105-011-1,
Site Size: Approximately 5.15 acres
Zoning: D-1, Single-Family/Duplex Residential
Utilities: Private Water and On-Site Sewer
Access: Williwaw Way
Existing Land Use: Residential, with a one-bedroom short-term rental cabin.
Surrounding Land Use: North - D-1, Single-Family/Duplex Residential
South - D-1, Single-Family/Duplex Residential
East - North Tee Harbor
West - D-1, Single-Family/Duplex Residential, CBJ Park
The applicant requests a Conditional Use permit for the development of a commercial resort facility. The project includes the following components which are labeled on the site Plan:
The primary use of the facilities would be for short-term rental on a daily or weekly basis to visitors to the Juneau area. The accommodations would provide guests with easy access to the water and to the CBJ park. While these are amenities for the guests, the applicant has indicated that they will not be providing any kind of organized trips from their facility. The applicants will not be renting kayaks or providing fishing trips or hikes through the park. Guests may choose to arrange for their own such trips.
As a secondary use the applicant would like to also make the lodge building available for meeting space. The applicant has indicated that the space could accommodate a maximum of 20 people for an effective meeting. Additionally, the subject property is large. It is possible that the property would be used from time to time for events such as weddings, family reunions, retreats and the like. The applicants anticipate approximately 30 people for such events.
The operation is proposed as a seasonal business open May 1 to October 1. The applicants have indicated their intent to rent the bunkhouse/ lodge building out as a single-family residence during the remainder of the year.
The applicants currently have two lots. The southern lot is 3.38 acres in size. It contains the applicants residence, plus the one bedroom cabin which is labeled on the site plan as the "cedar bungalow". The northern lot is 1.78 acres in size. It is occupied by a building labeled on the site plan as the "log lodge". This structure was originally built as a single-family residence. No additions are necessary to use it as the bunkhouse-style lodge. The lodge has two bedrooms each with sleeping capacity for 5 people, plus a common room with kitchen area which has an additional pull out futon for 2. A loft area on the second floor will be used as a television room. The 4 tent sites and bathroom/shower building are not currently constructed, but would be built on this northern lot, north of the bunkhouse.
The property is oriented toward North Tee Harbor. North Tee Harbor is approximately 2,500 feet deep by approximately 700 feet wide. It is lined with residential lots, a few of which include small short-term rental facilities. The subject property has approximately 1,300 feet of beachfront along the east property line. The majority of the west property line borders CBJ park property.
Access to the site is currently provided by an approximately 1,300-foot long, 12-foot wide driveway which extends from the terminus of Williwaw Way. A portion of the drive traverses CBJ park property. When the area was originally subdivided, a CBJ right-of-way was dedicated to CBJ but was not constructed. Due to the topography, it was more practical to locate the driveway on CBJ parkland just west of the right-of-way. In 1992 the CBJ assembly agreed to grant an easement to the applicants for the use of CBJ parkland for access to their site. The driveway was constructed by the applicants. Pedestrian use of the driveway to access the park is available to the public. The Malicks and their guests are the only ones permitted drive on the easement at this time. There is a cul-de-sac at the southern end of the driveway that is partially on CBJ property and partially on the applicants property.
The property is zoned D-1, Single-Family/Duplex Residential. The applicants are permitted to have a single-family residence on each lot. In addition, the applicants are permitted to have accommodations for up to 3 short-term (daily or weekly) renters on each lot, provided the owner or operator of the property also resides on the same lot.
CBJ is the largest landowner adjacent to the subject property. On August 1, 2000 the CBJ Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee (PRAC) reviewed the project to determine if there would be any impact on the park resulting from the proposed development. Concerns addressed by the PRAC are incorporated in a letter from Kim Kiefer, Parks and Recreation director. (ATTACHMENT 3)
In 1999 the applicants received a permit from the US Army Corps of Engineers to install a 90-ft by 12.5-ft dock to be connected perpendicularly to a 100-ft by 5-ft floating dock on state tidelands adjacent to their property. Like other docks on state tidelands, it is available for use by the public. Under the current permit it is permissible for the dock to be used by guests at the resort facility. However, the applicants may not lease it out with out receiving a tidelands lease form the Alaska Division of Natural Resources.
Based on the information the applicants submitted regarding their proposed development, the "Resort" designation in the Table of Permissible Uses seems most appropriate. "Resort" is defined in the CBJ Land Use Code as follows:
It is listed in Section 49.25.300.23.000.100 under Visitor-Oriented, Recreational Facilities.
In the D-1 zone a resort is a Conditional Use. A conditional use is one which may or may not be considered appropriate in a particular zone. It is dependent on the particular features and design and operation of the use. In addition, it is dependent on the particular location of the proposed use. The following elements are considered when evaluating an application for a conditional use permit:
Additionally, conditions may be placed on the project in order to meet the approval criteria.
Project Site As noted above, the total site includes 2 lots with approximately 5.15 acres. There is approximately 1,300 linear feet of waterfront. The lot depth ranges from 90-feet to 360-feet. The Property slopes up from the beach to the west property line. The site is bordered on the west by CBJ parkland.
Project Design The project has been designed to have low environmental and visual impact. The project makes use of existing structures on the site; the lodge/bunkhouse and the bungalow are already existing. Approximately 320 square feet of brush and small trees will have to be cleared to accommodate the tent platforms. However these will be low scale structures, approximately a foot or two off the ground. Additionally, a shower, bathroom facility will be constructed. As noted in the application this will be a small-scale building with a footprint of 60 square feet. No major vegetation will be removed. The site is visible from the cove and the residences located around the cove. However, the project will look substantially the same as it currently does. The parking is dispersed through out the site so as to minimize visual impacts.
The majority of the guests will arrive via personal car, taxi or shuttle. It is possible that someone will arrive via other mean, such as boat of floatplane.
The applicants have indicated that they do not intend to rent kayaks or other boats or provide horseback riding or organized hikes or other organized recreational tours. However, should others wish to provide such a service from the applicants site it may be possible.
Parking and Circulation The Land use Code does not specify the number of parking spaces needed for a resort. Other uses which are similar to the proposed use have the following parking requirements:
Single family residence: 2 spaces per unit
Motel: 1 space per unit
Hotel: 1 space per 4 units
Rooming house, boarding house and group home: 1 space per 3 people.
Churches, auditoriums and similar enclosed places of assembly: 1 space per 4 seats.
As far as parking needs are concerned, if we consider the tent spaces and the bungalow comparable to a motel, and the bunk house comparable to the boarding house, then a total of 9 parking spaces would be needed for the resort (1 for each tent site, 1 for the bungalow, 4 for the bunkhouse). An additional 2 spaces are needed for the applicants residence. The applicants show dispersed parking around the site. There are 2 spaces adjacent to the bungalow, 4 by the bunkhouse, and at least 2 by the applicants residence. There is space for approximately 10 additional cars in an overflow area below the residence. This will easily provide for the 3 additional required spaces and allow for the occasional need for overflow parking. The site plan shows parking on CBJ parkland. However, these spaces are not needed and have been eliminated from the plans. Parking on the city parkland is expressly prohibited in the easement.
The driveway into the site is 12 feet wide. It is insufficient for two-way traffic. However, there are several areas that can accommodate a pull off spot with little or no improvements. Development and maintenance of these spots is critical to the function of the one-way drive. These pullouts may be on CBJ parkland. Exact locations of the pullouts should be evaluated for adequate sight distance. The applicants should coordinate with the CBJ Community Development, Engineering and Parks and Recreation Departments. (See Condition 1)
Traffic - The number of parking spaces required is based on the anticipated number of vehicles on the site. Nine parking spaces are required for the resort facility. The conclusion can be drawn that at full capacity, 9 vehicles associated with the resort facility will be traveling along Cohen Drive to the Highway. The Institute of Transportation Engineers Trip Generation manual has estimates for average trips for motels and hotels. However none of the categories really fit the proposed use. Considering typical visitor activities and the distance from the subject property to the activities, staff has estimated that the average daily trip per each vehicle to be 4 trips. This allows for two trips out from the site and two trips in to the site. At maximum capacity this would result in 36 trips, 18 in and 18 out, generated by the overnight resort facilities. The traffic associated with the resort will likely be dispersed throughout the day. While not paved, Staff finds that Cohen Drive can accommodate these additional 36 trips per day. The Trip Generation manual estimates daily trips for a single-family residence at 9.55 trips per day. It is likely that this is a high estimate given the proximity of the area to services.
Noise The noise associated with this development will be primarily human voices. At maximum capacity, there will be 28 short-term renters at the facility. Voices may be heard by those who live across the cove. However, the nature of short-term accommodations is that the majority of the people spend their time away from the location enjoying off-site activities. It is likely that the only time all the guests would be on the site at once would be at night.
There are related activities that have the potential to create significantly more noise. Floatplane pick up and drop off is one such activity. Additionally, hosting of events, such as a wedding, retreats, re-unions and the like, have the potential to generate a much greater amount of noise. While events such as these are permitted on private property, it is likely that an individual will have one, maybe two events each year. Most do not even host that. The frequency of such events on a commercial scale could be substantially higher.
Exterior Lighting The applicant has not indicated what type of exterior lighting, if any will be provided on the site. All lighting provided should be shielded so as to not create a visual impact for residents across the cove. (See Condition 2)
Public Health or Safety Access into the site has been evaluated by Randy Waters, Capital City Fire Marshal, (ATTACHMENT 4). Mr. Waters observed the site and drove a 3,500-gallon tender truck along the access road and around the cul-de-sac at the driveway terminus in order to test maneuverability. Mr. Waters has indicated that fire access and turnaround are possible, however, marginal. Mr. Waters stressed the importance of maintaining the access free of parked cars or other obstructions, such as rocks, trees and other vegetation. There is a large rock at the end of the turnaround area. Removal of the rock will significantly help maneuverability of fire trucks. (See Condition 3). The applicants have a cistern that provides drinking water for the site. Provision of a coupling devise to allow a fire truck to connect to the cistern would further improve the fire suppression capabilities. (See Condition 4). Further, the Fire Marshal indicated that the existing access and turn around are sufficient for fire suppression for the proposed level of activity during non-winter months only. Expansion of the business beyond the proposed months of operation, May 1 to October 1, or beyond the proposed scope, would require improvements to the existing entry road. (See Condition 5 and 6)
Mr. Waters has determined that the one way drive is sufficient for fire suppression purposes. Staff finds that provided the applicant provides turn outs in appropriate locations, the one lane driveway will function adequately for the limited amount of traffic which would be anticipated by the overnight guest use. However, staff finds that use of the driveway for more intense activity levels will create a safety problem. The potential for this safety problem can be reduced through a restriction of the development (See condition 7).
Property Value or Neighborhood Harmony On July 18, 2000 staff attended a neighborhood association meeting hosted and organized by the Cohen Drive Neighborhood Association. At that meeting and in letters included in this packet (Attachment 11) neighbors indicated their reasons for living in the area. They include the quiet, peacefulness, and beauty of the vistas. People indicated that they have chosen to live "out the road" in order to be somewhat removed from commercial establishments and to maintain a certain quality of life. The area is residential in nature and the neighborhood has had an expectation that it would remain that way. Tangible elements which effect property value and neighborhood harmony include factors such as noise, pollution, traffic, crowding and visual impacts. On a limited scale, however, the proposal will generate the traffic, noise, pollution, crowding and visual impacts comparable to what would be created by residential uses or a Bed and Breakfast.
As discussed, the traffic generated by the overnight guests will be approximately 36 trips throughout the course of the day for 5 months of the year. It would be hard to make a finding that this would be considered sufficient enough to significantly effect property values.
Noise will mostly impact those residents that live in the North Tee Harbor cove. There is no heavy equipment or machinery associated with this development. Noises will be primarily human voices. The closest residence to the site is located approximately 400 feet away. The majority of the residences are 700 or more feet away. Staff does not find that the noises generated by the overnight guests 400 or more feet away would be sufficient to significantly impact property value or neighborhood harmony.
The structures are at a scale comparable to or smaller than residential uses in the area. Staff finds that there will not be any visual impacts sufficient to significantly impact property value or neighborhood harmony.
However, there is the potential to use this site to host larger gatherings such as special events, weddings, retreats, and the like. Events such as these have the potential to increase the traffic on the road, the noise and visual aspects to a level which exceeds levels associated with a residential setting. However, the ability to impact property value and neighborhood harmony will depend on the frequency of such events. An individual hosting a large event once or twice a summer, at their residence is unlikely to effect property values or impact neighborhood harmony. People have an expectation that such events will happen occasionally on their neighbors property. However, hosting of events more frequently would soon become a problem for the neighborhood. The same is true for this application. If the applicants were to host, or rent out their property for the hosting of an event catering to those other than their overnight guests it would bring in many more cars to the neighborhood and increase the noise. At a certain frequency, it would impact property values and neighborhood harmony.
The applicants have noted the possibility of using the lodge/bunkhouse as a meeting room for up to approximately 20 people. The common room is approximately 370 square feet. This space limitation will restrict the use of the space by larger groups.
Additionally, use of the site as a pick up or drop off destination for tours, such as fishing trips, kayak tours or horseback riding, has the potential to significantly increase the traffic generated and the level of activity on the site if these tours are available to non-overnight guests.
The applicants have not specifically stated their interest in all of these activities. However, staffs intent is to set a limit through conditions so that the scale of activity is controlled so as to not have a significant impact on property value or neighborhood harmony. As such, staff recommends that the total number of users on the site be limited by the total number of possible overnight guests. Staff recommends that the total number of commercial users of the site, overnight guests or otherwise, be limited to 28 people, with the exception of twice a year. (See Condition 7). The number 28 is based on the ability to sleep 12 people in the bunkhouse, 4 in the bungalow and 3 on each of the 4 tent sites. This number allows the applicants the flexibility to provide meeting or gathering space for small numbers of people. But this will, in turn, effect the ability to provide accommodations for overnight guests concurrently. However, staff finds that limitation on the number of daily users is necessary to limit the potential for impact.
Water and Sewer The subject property has a private sewer and water system. CBJ does not regulate private systems. Both septic and water are regulated by the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Different permits and facilities are required for commercial verses residential development. Prior to operation the applicants will need to acquire the appropriate permits from DEC.
Conformity With Adopted Plans - The subject property is shown on sub-area map 2B in the CBJ Comprehensive Plan with a land classification of RDR, Rural Dispersed Residential. RDR is defined in the Comprehensive Plan as follows:
Additionally, Policy 2.1.2 states:
Implementation 2.12.7 states:
Staff finds that the proposal is consistent with the RDR land use classification. As well it is consistent with other applicable aspects of the Comprehensive Plan noted, provided that limitations are established to help ensure that the use is compatible with the surrounding residential neighborhood. (See conditions included in Recommendation).
Title 49 encompasses the Land Use Regulations. Section 49.05.100 Purpose and Intent lists the following several purposes of title 49.
Staff finds that the proposed project will meet these purposes provided that conditions are included that put specific limitations on the scale of the project. (See Conditions included in Recommendation).
Juneau Coastal Management Program (JCMP)
In 1999 the applicants received a permit from the US Army Corps of Engineers for the installation of the dock. This element was found consistent with the JCMP at that time. In relation to the JCMP, the primary issue in reviewing docks is impact to the habitat and maintenance of navigation. The dock is located in state tidelands. Commercial or private use of state tidelands is an issue the state, Division of Natural Resources (DNR), regulates, not CBJ. DNR has determined that the use does not require additional permits or leases. The commercial lodge facility is not impacting any wetlands or any tidal areas. There are no provisions of the development that would require a permit from the US Army Corp of Engineers. However, the JCMP still applies. Applicable enforceable policies are as follows:
(2) To the extent feasible and prudent, coastal development shall be designed and operated to prevent adverse impact upon beaches and other physical shore features in the coastal zone.
(12) To the extent feasible and prudent, development shall not detract from the scenic qualities of the shorelines; shall be compatible with its surroundings and shall not significantly block scenic vistas.
The proposed project will have no impact on the beach. There will be no construction on the beach or in tidal areas. The tidal area is state tidelands and will remain available for public use. The cove is currently occupied by residences. The existing structures which are proposed to be part of the resort are at a scale comparable to or smaller than the existing residences in the area. The applicants are proposing 4 tent platforms. The tent platforms will be constructed just off the ground so as to not be visible. Due to the small scale of a typical tent and the limited number of proposed tent sites staff finds that they will not detract form the scenic quality of the shoreline. Scenic vistas will not be blocked.
Staff finds that the proposed project is consistent with the Juneau Coastal Management Plan.
CBJ §49.15.330 (e)(1), Review of Director's Determinations, states that the Planning Commission shall review the director's report to consider:
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:
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 §49.15.330 (e)(1)(A through C), Review of Director's Determinations, the director makes the following findings on the proposed development:
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 code Chapters 49.15.
2. Is the proposed use appropriate according to the Table of Permissible Uses?
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.
September 15, 2000. 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.
4. Will the proposed development materially endanger the 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. The scale of the development dramatically effects impacts to the property value or neighborhood harmony. As noted in the analysis, the short-term rental of the lodge / bunkhouse, the tent sites and the bungalow will likely have little effect on noise or traffic. There will be no impact on pollution. However, as the amount of activity rises, the potential for impact increases. As such, staff has included several conditions to limit the potential for significant impact to property value and neighborhood harmony. Subject to these conditions, staff finds that the proposed development will not 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. All applicable regulations of Title 49 will be met. As well, the intent of Title 49 and the Comprehensive plan will be met. As discussed in the analysis, staff finds that the proposed development will be in general conformity with the Land Use Code and the CBJ Comprehensive Plan provided that the scale of activity is limited through appropriate conditions.
7. Will the proposed development comply with the Juneau Coastal Management Program?
Yes. As discussed in the analysis, staff finds that the proposed development will be in conformance with the Juneau Coastal Management Program. Neither wetlands nor tidal areas will be impacted by the proposed development. As well, staff finds that the development will not impact the beach or scenic quality of the shoreline.
We recommend 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 resort facility in the D-1 zoning district as proposed. However, in order for the necessary findings to be made, staff finds the following conditions necessary and recommends that the project be approved subject to them. The conditions are intended to reduce the potential for impacts to public health and safety, and to prevent significant impact to property values or neighborhood harmony.
Use of the site by day (for meetings or otherwise) or overnight users shall not exceed a total of 28 people per day, with the exception of twice a year when larger events are permitted.
Attachment 1: Vicinity Map
Attachment 2: Site Plan
Attachment 3: Memorandum, Kim Kiefer, Director, CBJ Parks and Recreation Department
Attachment 4: Memorandum, Randy Waters, Fire Marshal, Capital City Fire and Rescue
Attachment 5: Development Permit Application
Attachment 6: Conditional Use Application
Attachment 7: Conditional Use Permit Request submittal from applicants
Attachment 8: E-mail of questions from staff with response from applicants
Attachment 9: Impact analysis provided by applicant
Attachment 10: Floor plan of the Lodge/bunkhouse building
Attachment 11: Public Comment