DATE: June 6, 2001
TO: Planning Commission
FROM: Tim Maguire, Planner
Community Development
FILE NO.: SUB2001-00002

PROPOSAL: The owner of Lot 8A, and 10, Block 2, Pacific Coast Addition is requesting that the portion of the Gastineau Avenue right of way, lying between these properties and the proposed roadway for Gastineau Ave., be vacated.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Applicant: Channel View Inc.

Property Owner: Steve Landvik

Property Address: 345 Gastineau Avenue

Legal Description: Lots 8A & 10, Block 2, Pacific Coast Addition

Parcel Code Number: 1-C07-0-H02-008-1; -010-0

Site Size: Approximately 3,800 Square Feet of right of way

Zoning: MU, Mixed Use

Utilities: CBJ Water and Sewer Services

Access: Gastineau Avenue

Existing Land Use: Vacant

Surrounding Land Use: North Gastineau Avenue

South Retail/Residential

East Residential

West Residential

BACKGROUND

This request to vacate a portion of the Gastineau Avenue is in conjunction with a proposal by the applicant to construct a new 22 unit affordable housing complex on of Lot 8A, and 10, Block2, Pacific Coast Addition. Specifically, approval of this vacation request will allow a parking deck to be constructed in the area, which is now public right of way. This deck will provide the necessary parking for this project, parking for associated developments, and improved access to the site directly from Gastineau Avenue.

The 22-unit apartment proposal will be reviewed under separate permits (USE2000-00055, VAR20001-00009). In addition, the project is located in a severe or landslide hazard area, which must also be addressed under the conditional use permit procedure (USE2000-00057). The applicant proposes to address this hazard with construction of a debris catchment structure to be located near the edge of the roadway improvements planned for Gastineau Avenue. This structure would also be located in the area of the right of way proposed to be vacated by this action (See Attachment A).


Recently the Planning Commission reviewed and approved a city project to reconstruct Gastineau Avenue from 2nd Street to Ewing Way. The design for this project has been finalized and the bid for construction has been awarded.

PROCEDURE

Requests to vacate public right way are decided by the Planning Commission. If the requests is approved the applicant must submit an amended plat that reflect the inclusion of the vacated right of way into the adjoining properties.

ANALYSIS

Right of ways are dedicated to the public for public purposes, including access and utilities. The issue with this and any other vacation request is whether the right of way should be retained for public uses or whether it can be released for private development.

In the case of Gastineau Avenue, the question is whether this right of way is needed for the planned improvements to the roadway and associated utilities. This question can now be answered because the improvement plans for Gastineau Avenue have been finalized.

The plans for the roadway reconstruction show that no portion of this right of way subject to this vacation request will be utilized for planned roadway improvements. However, there are adjustments that need to be made to the vacation boundary to accommodate utilities and possible future roadway improvements. These revisions were suggested after review of the application with CBJ staff and the utility companies and are discussed in more detail below.

 

As noted above, this development proposal includes a debris catchment structure for mitigation of the geophysical hazards. Initially, this structure was to be located directly adjacent to the new roadway improvements. The right of way was proposed to be vacated up to the roadway, as well. However it has been recommended that this structure be offset five feet to allow for future sidewalk construction. Although the Gastineau Avenue reconstruction project does not show sidewalk on the downhill side in this segment of roadway, the option to add this feature will retained. The boundary for the right away vacation should also be adjusted accordingly.

Roadway improvements in this area include a new storm drain line that runs from above Gastineau Avenue down Ewing Way. To accommodate future maintenance of this utility, the southeast boundary of the proposed street vacation should be adjusted so as to retain 10 feet of right of way from the centerline of the storm drainpipe.

It appears from the latest site plan submittal (See Attachment A & B, dated 6/5/2001) that the adjustments described above have been made. The conditions for approval of the vacation request will still be included until staff reviews and approves the revised vacation boundaries.

Utility lines also cross the site of this proposed street vacation. The utility companies have not objected to the vacation if appropriate easements are provided which allows for continued maintenance of the utilities (See Attachment C). Utility lines and poles may also need to be relocated or upgrading to provide required separation distances from existing or proposed structures.

Vacation of the right of way will not be necessary if this proposed project does not take place. We will recommend that the plat accompanying the right of way vacation not be recorded until such time that a building permit has been issued for the proposed project (See Condition No. 7 of USE2000-00055).

The CBJ, Public Works and Engineering Department, including the project manager for the Gastineau Avenue reconstruction project, have reviewed this proposed street vacation and have no objection (See Attachment D).

JCMP REVIEW

The proposed development was reviewed for compliance with CBJ 49.70.900, the Juneau Coastal Management Program. The analysis reveals that the JCMP is not applicable to this development.

FINDINGS

After review of the application materials and the CBJ Land Use Code the director makes the following findings:

 

  1. The request meets the submittal requirements of the CBJ Land Use Code and A majority of the owners of the front footage of the street signed the application according to CBJ49.15.450(A)
  2. The director has published the street vacation request in the municipal advertisement of the Juneau Empire, sent property owner notices to abutting properties within a 500-foot radius of the site and verified that a public notice sign was posted on site. Public notice was provided in compliance with CBJ49.15.230, Public Notice.

3. There is a public need to retain portions of the right of way, which the applicant has requested to be vacated. The intent of the request, and the public needs for retaining portions of the right of way, can be accommodated with the proposed conditions of approval.

4. There is exiting use of the right of way for public utilities including electricity. These uses can be satisfactorily addressed if appropriate easements are retained.

RECOMMENDATION

We recommend that the Planning Commission adopt the director's findings and approve the request to vacate that portion of the Gastineau Avenue right of way, lying between Lot 8A, and 10, Block 2, Pacific Coast Addition and the proposed roadway for Gastineau Ave. subject to the following conditions:

  1. That the southeast boundary of the proposed street vacation be adjusted to retain 10 feet of right of way along the centerline of the storm drain line being proposed from Gastineau Avenue down Ewing Way as part of the overall improvement project for Gastineau Avenue.

2. That the northeast boundary of the proposed street vacation common with the roadway be adjusted so that a 5 foot wide strip of right of way remains on the downward side of the proposed limits of the constructed roadway improvements for Gastineau Avenue.

3. That the CBJ Engineering Department approve the final vacation boundaries prior to plat recording.

4. That the necessary easements be provided for existing utilities; that utility lines and poles be relocated or upgrading, as necessary, to provide required separation distances from existing or proposed structures; and that the appropriate utility companies approve the relocation, upgrades, and easements prior to plat recording.

5. That the plat accompanying the right of way vacation not be recorded until such time that a building or grading permit has been issued for the proposed construction of the 22-unit apartment complex.