DATE: September 20, 2000

TO: Planning Commission

FROM: Gary Gillette, Planner
Community Development Department

FILE NO.: USE2000-00059- Conditional Use

PROPOSAL: A Conditional Use permit for a one time extraction of approximately 3,225 cubic yards.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Access: Lawson Creek Road

Existing Land Use: Vacant

Surrounding Land Use: North - Lawson Creek Road/Residential
South - Douglas Highway
East - Lawson Creek Road/Residential
West - Lawson Creek/Residential

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The applicant requests a Conditional Use permit to allow a one time extraction of approximately 3,225 cubic yards of material from a currently vacant site. The extraction of material will allow the site to be prepared for future development.

The project includes the removal of vegetation on a portion of the property, removal of an existing derelict trailer, construction of a two tiered rockery wall, removal of material, fill with non frost susceptible material, and grading for positive drainage. No building project is associated with the work on the site.

BACKGROUND

The proposed project is a one time extraction of material for the purpose of preparing the site for future development or sale. The applicant indicates the project duration will be approximately four to five weeks from start to finish. This schedule assumes relatively dry weather for the duration of the project. It is the applicant=s intent to begin the project this fall. If weather does not permit completion this fall the project will be suspended until spring. The removed material will be deposited at an approved site. No processing or sale of material will take place on the site.

A major removal of material from a site, which is not in conjunction with a specific building project, is required to seek approval under the sand and gravel section of the CBJ Land Use Code (49.65.200). Some of the provisions of the code do not apply to this specific project as it is a one time extraction over a relatively short period of time.

ANALYSIS

Project Site - The proposed project is located on a currently vacant parcel of land at the corner of Douglas Highway and Lawson Creek Road. The site is adjacent to Lawson Creek. The site slopes down from Douglas Highway toward Lawson Creek Road. Three sides of the site are adjacent to roads while the fourth side borders Lawson Creek.

The proximity of the proposed project to Lawson Creek may require review and permit issuance by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The primary contact for this review is out of the office for the month of September. To date the alternate contact has not been reached but messages have been exchanged. Regardless of the issuance of the Conditional Use permit by CBJ, the applicant would need to follow the stipulations, if any, rendered by ADF&G. A condition is recommended to direct the applicant to consult with ADF&G on the project.

Project Design - The project of this permit includes removal of vegetation on a portion of the property, removal of an existing derelict trailer, construction of a two tiered rockery wall, removal of material, fill with non frost susceptible material, and grading for positive drainage. The work is being performed in anticipation of future development although no specific project has been identified at this time and the owner may sell the property once the grading is completed.

The project includes a silt fence and straw bale barriers which would be placed to capture and filter particulate from site runoff during the construction period. Once final grading is completed the site would be vegetated with hydro seeding to eliminate erosion.

The CBJ Engineering Department has reviewed the proposed project. Terry Brenner, CBJ Engineer, has commented on the project and recommended a number of conditions. His memo is attached to this report.

Traffic - The proposed project is expected to generate a total of 170 round trips of dump trucks with material. The consultant engineer for the project estimates the daily traffic might reach 42 round trips at a maximum. Other traffic generated by the project would include typical construction equipment and worker=s vehicles. Rick Purves of Alaska DOT/PF reviewed the proposed project relative to truck traffic at the intersection of Lawson Creek Road and Douglas Highway. Due to the relatively short period of the project he did not consider the truck traffic as causing any particular problems. He did mention, however, that the contractor should control dust and clean the roadway, on a daily basis, of mud or debris as a result of the excavation activity and truck traffic.

Noise - The sounds of equipment and trucks performing the work of the project is the only noise anticipated during the project period. The applicant indicates the work would take place during the hours of 7:00 am to 5:00 pm six days per week. Due to the relatively short duration of the project, noise is determined to have minimal impact to the area.

Public Health or Safety - This conditional use permit is for the one time extraction of material, site grading, and the construction of a rockery retaining wall. The project requires a grading permit from the CBJ Engineering Department which will set conditions of design, inspection, and construction in accordance with engineering standards. For these reasons the project is not seen to be detrimental to the public health and safety.

Property Value or Neighborhood Harmony - The proposed project is to essentially prepare the site for future development. The site currently features a derelict trailer, piles of gravel, and does not drain properly. The grading project would resolve these issues and thereby be an enhancement for the neighborhood.

Conformity With Adopted Plans - The Comprehensive Plan identifies the project site as Medium Density Residential and the zoning district is in accordance with this designation. The applicant has not proposed a specific plan for the development of the property. Any future development would require Planning Commission or Community Development Department approval. The proposed grading work is a necessary activity for development of the property thus would be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.

Juneau Coastal Management Program - The proposed development was reviewed for compliance with CBJ '49.70.900, the Juneau Coastal Management Program. The proposed silt fence will be kept a minimum of 50 feet from the ordinary high water mark of Lawson Creek thus no enforceable policies of the JCMP apply to the proposed project.

Mandatory Conditions - Section 49.65.235 of the Land Use Ordinance sets mandatory conditions which shall apply to a sand and gravel extraction unless specifically waived by the Planning Commission. The Commission may not waive or modify any of the requirements of Section 49.65.235 except upon a finding that the requirement would serve no useful purpose.

Mandatory condition 1) requires a strip of land at the existing topography and not less than 15 feet wide be retained at the periphery of the site wherever the site abuts a public way. The intent of this condition is to provide a visual buffer to the project to protect the public interest when the project is in operation for a long period of time, typically ten to fifteen years. Due to the nature of the proposed project which is a one time extraction for the purposes of site preparation this particular condition would serve no useful purpose.

Mandatory condition 2) requires that the bank of any extraction above high water or water table be left with a slope no greater than the angle of repose for unconsolidated material of the same type. In this particular project a rockery retaining wall would be constructed along a portion of the perimeter of the property. This wall would be designed and constructed to standard engineering practices. Other areas of the project would be graded to a slope which would be equal or less than the angle of repose for similar material. Thus this condition would serve no useful purpose for the retaining wall portion and in the other incidences is met.

Guarantee - Section 49.65.240 requires a performance bond or other guarantee to cover the cost of site restoration, completion of the project and the performance of other work required. The intent of this section is to provide the CBJ financial resources to restore a site after gravel extraction takes place if the owner fails to do so. For this particular project which is a one time extraction the CBJ Engineering Department recommends a $10,000 bond to assure the erosion/sediment controls are kept in place for the duration of the project and until the hydro seeding has time to take hold.

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 '49.15.330 (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. 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 conform to the requirements of CBJ code Chapter 49.15.

    2. Is the proposed use appropriate according to the Land Use Ordinance?

    Yes. The requested permit is appropriate according to the Land Use Ordinance. Section 49.65.200 indicates that extraction of materials may be authorized by the Planning Commission in any district under the conditional use permit process.

    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

    (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?

    No. The project requires a grading permit with conditions regarding design, inspection, and construction in accordance with engineering standards. For these reasons the project is not seen to be detrimental to the public health and safety.

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

    No. The project would prepare the site for future development. The site currently features a derelict trailer, piles of gravel, and does not drain properly. The grading project would resolve these issues. For these reasons the proposed development would 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. The Comprehensive Plan identifies the project site as Medium Density Residential and the zoning district is in accordance with this designation. No specific plan has been identified at this time. Future development would require Planning Commission or Community Development Department approval. The proposed grading work is a necessary activity for development of the property thus would be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.

    7. 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.

    8. Will the proposed development comply with the mandatory conditions of Section 49.65.235 or be waived due to no useful purpose?

    Yes. Due to the nature of the project which is a one time extraction for the purposes of site preparation, mandatory condition 1) which requires a perimeter buffer would serve no useful purpose. Further, mandatory condition 2) which requires an angle of repose consistent with similar material is met in some instances and would serve no useful purpose in the areas where a retaining wall is to be constructed. Thus the project would meet the mandatory conditions or be waived because they serve no useful purpose for this specific project.

  • 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 removal of approximately 3,225 cubic yards of material and grading of the site for future development.

    Further, it is recommended that the Planning Commission waive the mandatory conditions in Section 49.65.235 of the Land Use Ordinance as this project is a one time extraction for the purposes of site preparation and the conditions would serve no useful purpose.

    The approval is subject to the following conditions:

  • 1. Prior to commencing work on the site, the applicant shall obtain a CBJ grading permit for the site grading and retaining wall construction.

    2. Prior to commencing work on the site, the applicant shall obtain approval from CBJ Engineering Department for the design and location of erosion control devices.

    3. Prior to commencing work on the site, the applicant shall have in place all required erosion control devices.

    4. All stumps, vegetated overburden, and other removed material shall be disposed of or placed in an approved location for the type of material removed.

    5. The applicant shall be responsible for controlling dust caused by excavation, truck hauling, and other aspects of the operation. The applicant shall control dust by dampening road surfaces and operation areas and shall take other measures as needed to control dust impacts off site.

    6. The applicant shall be responsible for daily clean-up of the public roadways caused by truck hauling or other activities associated with the construction of the project.

    7. The excavation activities shall be limited to the hours from 7:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Saturday.

    8. All cut and fill slopes are to be protected from erosion as soon as the slopes are cut to grade. Hydro seeding will be acceptable if slopes are completed during the specified dates (April 15 to August 15 unless otherwise approved). Slope protection during other dates shall be done with appropriate matting until hydro seeding is approved.

    9. Prior to the issuance of a grading permit, a bond in the amount of $10,000 shall be posted to assure the erosion/sediment controls are kept in place and maintained.

    10. Prior to construction of the rockery retaining wall, the applicant shall relocate the existing 6-inch water main along the southerly side of the site. The note on Sheet 2 of 4 of the plans submitted with the application indicates the water main to be relocated by the CBJ Water Department. It should be noted that to date the CBJ has not acknowledged responsibility for the relocation. The applicant is responsible for resolving this issue with the CBJ Public Works Department.

    11. The applicant shall have the construction of the rockery retaining wall inspected by a licensed civil engineer and provide certification to the CBJ Engineering Department that the wall was constructed in accordance with the design plan and details.

    12. Prior to commencing work on the site, the applicant shall consult with Alaska Fish and Game to determine if stipulations and/or a special permit is required due to the proximity of the work to Lawson Creek.

    13. The applicant shall install the silt fencing no closer than 50 feet as measured to the ordinary high water mark of Lawson Creek.