DATE: April 3, 2001

TO: Planning Commission

FROM: Heather Marlow, Planner
Community Development Department

FILE NO.: MAP2001-00001

PROPOSAL: A zone change from RR, Rural Reserve to GC, General Commercial for approximately 17 acres.


Applicant: Joseph R. and Aletha W. Henri, and Alaska Travel Adventures, Inc.

Property Owner: Joseph R. and Aletha W. Henri, and Alaska Travel Adventures, Inc.

Property Address: Not Assigned

Legal Description: Lot 1 and Lot 2, Salmon Falls Overlook Subdivision

Parcel Code No.: 7-B09-0-102-014-0, 7-B09-0104-008-4

Site Size: Approximately 17 Acres

Zoning: Rural Reserve

Utilities: CBJ Water and Sewer

Access: Glacier Highway, Salmon Creek Lane

Existing Land Use: Former gravel quarry, Gold Creek Salmon Bake

Surrounding Land Use: North – Vacant Rural Reserve

South – Bartlett Memorial Hospital

East - Vacant Rural Reserve

West - General Commercial Development


The applicant (Mr. Henri) submitted a minor subdivision request, SUB2000-00049, in November 2000, to create a new lot and to expand the boundaries of an existing lot in a rural reserve zone. A copy of the recorded plat, Lots 1 and 2 in Salmon Falls Overlook Subdivision, (see attachment B for reference.) The subdivision affected approximately 17 acres. The boundaries of Salmon Falls Overlook and this zone change request are the same. The applicant has requested that the subject area be rezoned, from RR, Rural Reserve to GC, General Commercial.

The rectangular zone change area is bisected, east to west, by Salmon Creek. For the discussion below, the north and south portions of the zone change are relative to Salmon Creek. Lot 1 occupies the majority of the zone change. The south portion of Lot 1 is a former rock quarry. Lot 2 was expanded to parallel Salmon Creek for approximately 300 feet on the south side. Lot 2 is occupied by Gold Creek Salmon Bake. The property owner of Lot 2 has signed this zone change request.

A platted right-of-way easement for the future extension of Salmon Creek Lane provides access to the south portion of Lot 1 and to Lot 2. The applicant owns, or has ownership interest, in two parcels that are currently zoned general commercial and abut the north portion of Lot 1 (see attachment C.) One of the parcels has frontage on Glacier Highway.

The applicant has stated a general intent to pursue development that will augment and compliment the various health care facilities in the vicinity of the zone change. These uses may include medical office buildings, multi-family residential and assisted living. With a zone change request, an applicant is not required to submit a development plan, or to declare potential land uses.


Land Use Code

Zone change requests are addressed in the Land Use Code at CBJ 49.75.110-130 as follows.

  • 49.75.110 INITIATION. A rezoning may be initiated by the director, the commission, or the assembly at any time during the year. A developer or property owner may initiate a request for rezoning in January or July only. Adequate public notice shall be provided by the director to inform the public that a rezoning has been initiated.
  • The rezoning was initiated by the property owners in January 2001. The director has provided adequate public notice by mailing notification to property owners in excess of a 500 foot radius from the site, requiring a public notice sign to be placed on-site 14 days prior to the meeting date, and advertising in the March 30, 2001 edition of the Juneau Empire.

  • 49.75.120 RESTRICTIONS ON REZONINGS. Rezoning requests covering less than two acres shall not be considered unless the rezoning constitutes an expansion of an existing zone. Rezoning requests which are substantially the same as a rezoning request rejected within the previous twelve months shall not be considered. A rezoning shall not allow uses which violate the land use maps of the comprehensive plan.
  • The rezone request is for a 17 acre expansion of the adjacent general commercial zoning. A similar request has not been heard within the previous twelve months. The Comprehensive Plan provides two land use designations for the subject area. The area that includes the north portion of Lot 1 and the additional area of Lot 2 (created with Salmon Falls Overlook Subdivision) is in a RD, Resource Development* designation. The area that is south of Lot 2 is designated as IPU, Institutional Public Use*. The director has determined that the request is appropriate to consider, as the subject parcel abuts an area designated and developed for general commercial and public institution uses.

  • 49.75.130. PROCEDURE. A rezoning shall follow the procedure for a major development permit except for the following:
    1. The commission decision for approval shall constitute only a recommendation to the assembly.
    2. As soon as possible after the commission’s recommendation, the assembly shall provide public notice and hold a public hearing on the proposed rezoning.
  • A rezoning shall be adopted by ordinance, and any conditions thereon shall be contained in the ordinance. Upon adoption of any such ordinance, the director shall cause the official zoning map to be changed in accordance therewith.
  • Comprehensive Plan

    The Plan provides land use designations for the vicinity on the Sub-area 5 map (see attachment D). The zone change area is designated for Resource Development and Institutional Public Use. The urban service boundary* follows the division between the land use designations.

    The Plan provides guidance and consideration for Sub-area 5 on pages 162-166. With respect to this request, we note:

    1. Provide for additional low and medium density residential development in areas with access to arterial roadways* and to municipal sewer and water services.

    In addition to other land uses, rural reserve zoning allows for low-density residential development*. General commercial zoning would facilitate 18 dwelling units per acre. This density is consistent with the definition of medium density residential*. The north portion of the zone change area may be accessible from Glacier Highway, an arterial road. The south portion of the zone change could be accessed from Hospital Drive, a collector road, and Salmon Creek Lane, a local street. The travel distance to Glacier Highway from the former rock quarry, on the south portion of Lot 1, is approximately 4/10ths of a mile. For public sewer and water access, the applicant could install private lines or extend public service mains.

    The Plan also provides the following applicable policies:

    Policy 2.3 It is the policy of the CBJ to promote compact urban development within and adjacent to existing urban areas to insure efficient utilization of land resources and facilitate economic provision of urban facilities and services.

    Policy 4.12 It is the policy of the CBJ to promote quality medical and social services in the CBJ.

    Hazard Area

    A portion of the subject area is within the potential floodplain, or indunation area, of Salmon Creek Dam (see attachment E) for map and comments provided by Alaska Electric Light & Power (AEL&P). The potential floodplain is specific to a failure of the dam. As stated in thecomments, Salmon Creek Dam is anticipated to be stable even under severe earthquake and flood loading. The failure of the Salmon Creek Dam is highly unlikely. However, precautionary measures such as emergency planning and preparedness are necessary.

    In the subject zone change area, Salmon Creek is within a natural "V" shape canyon with relatively steep topography on both sides. In the zone change area, the width of the mapped indunation lines are approximately 375-400 feet. In general terms, Salmon Creek is in the middle of the indunation lines in the subject area. AEL&P discourages "residential or 24-hour a day live-in medical care type of development in the floodplain, but supports any development outside of the floodplain." The majority of the zone change area is outside of the floodplain. As development in the area occurs, consideration of the floodplain will be reviewed for applicability and emergency preparedness.


    The south portion of the zone change can be accessed from Salmon Creek Lane. Hospital Drive connects Salmon Creek Lane and Glacier Highway. The Salmon Creek intersection on Egan Drive is approximately one block south of the Hospital Drive/Glacier Highway intersection. Due to the short distance between these intersections and the traffic volume through this area, there are several road deficiencies that relate to capacity and facility design. The State of Alaska, Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT) has commented on this proposal (see attachment F). Depending upon the intensity of additional development, these deficiencies may be aggravated. With major development applications, a traffic analysis may be required.

    The north portion of the zone change can be accessed from Glacier Highway, on two other parcels that Mr. Henri either owns or has ownership interest in. Both of these parcels are zoned general commercial. The north portion of the zone change area has several flat bench areas that are separated by both steep and moderate slopes. While staff has not been presented with a professional engineering analysis, it would appear to be feasible to access and develop portions of the north area from Glacier Highway. To develop the entire north portion, a bridge would need to be constructed over Salmon Creek.

    The CBJ Land Use Code prohibits access to commercial zones through residential zones. For this reason, access to the proposed zone change area could not be on Wire Street or Greenwood Avenue.

    Staff has been presented with the question of whether the Blackerby Ridge trail crosses the zone change area. Using tools in the field to measure distance and bearing, staff has confirmed that the trail does not cross into the zone change area.


    There are significant differences in the types of land uses that would be permissible, or permittable, with the proposed zone change. A comparative analysis of the land use differences, and similarities, can be conducted by reviewing the table of permissible uses (see attachment G).

    As a general summary, we note that in rural reserve zoning the following uses would not be allowed, whereas they would be in general commercial: group homes, sales and services, offices, educational/religious/social uses, restaurants, and institutional residence or care facilities.


    The zone change request was reviewed for compliance with the Juneau Coastal Management Plan. Provisions of the JCMP apply to development in coastal, tributary and habitat areas. Provisions of the JCMP do not apply to land use zoning. 


    After review of the application materials, the CBJ Land Use Code and the CBJ Comprehensive Plan, the Director makes the following findings:

    1. The request meets the submittal requirements and the rezoning initiation, restriction and procedural requirements of the CBJ Land Use Code.
    2. The request conforms with the land use designations and policies of the CBJ Comprehensive Plan.
    3. The request does not create or aggravate safety concerns related to Salmon Creek Dam. 


    We recommend that the Planning Commission adopt the director’s analysis and findings and forward a recommendation of approval to the Assembly to change the zoning of the subject area from RR, rural reserve, to GC, general commercial.