DATE: March 6, 2001

TO: Planning Commission

FROM: Teri Camery, Planner
Community Development Department

FILE NO.: SUB2001-00004

PROPOSAL: A Plat Amendment to remove the right-of-way status of Lot 16C, U.S. Survey 3055

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

Applicant: Cynthia Johnson
CBJ Lands and Resources Department

Property Owner: City and Borough of Juneau

Property Address: between 17395 and 17415 Point Lena Loop Road

Legal Description: USS 3055 L 16 C

Parcel Code No.: 8-B35-0-101-013-1

Site Size: 13,068 square feet

Zoning: D-3 Single-Family/Duplex Residential

Utilities: none/not applicable

Access: Point Lena Loop Road

Existing Land Use: trail leading to Lena Cove

Surrounding Land Use: North – Lena Cove

South – Point Lena Loop Road

East - D-3 residential

West - D-3 residential

BACKGROUND

This plat amendment would remove the right-of-way status of this parcel owned by CBJ. The parcel is vacant and includes a trail that leads to Lena Cove (see vicinity map and Attachment A). There is no parking at the site.

The parcel was originally deeded as a tract of land to CBJ from the State as part of the CBJ land selections. It was not designated as a right-of-way at that time. The right-of-way designation resulted from a platting error at a later date. In 1985, the city’s parcel and adjacent parcels were re-platted so the city’s parcel would conform with the actual location of the footpath. When the parcel was re-platted it was labeled as a right-of-way, when it was actually just a parcel of land with a trail on it. The CBJ Lands and Resource Department is requesting Planning Commission review to officially remove the right-of-way designation. The plat amendment process has been chosen instead of the right-of-way vacation process because the right-of-way results from platting error and again, the land is actually just a vacant city parcel. As CBJ Land Surveyor Terry Brenner notes, splitting the lot in half between adjacent properties is not necessary in this case because the lot is not a dedicated right-of-way and therefore normal vacation requirements do not apply (see Attachment C).

The plat amendment is one stage of a land exchange between CBJ and the neighboring property owner. Removal of the right-of-way status would allow CBJ to convey the .3 acre parcel to the adjacent owner, Arthur Kimball. With additional compensation, Kimball would then convey a 4.5 acre parcel just north of Amalga Harbor to the City. This property, with its broad beach, is the one privately owned parcel dividing the City’s Smith/Butts Park (soon to be renamed Amalga Meadows Park). This property has been targeted for acquisition for many years, and is a high priority for the CBJ Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee. The Planning Commission provided conceptual approval for the land exchange on September 28, 1999. Other groups and committees, including the Assembly, have also provided approval. (For more information see Attachment B.)

ANALYSIS

The city’s Lena Point parcel leads to a high cliff commonly referred to as "Rocky Point," which overlooks Lena Cove. The trail then leads down a steep path to a rocky beach. The Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee held a public hearing in July 1999 regarding exchange of the parcel for other lands. The PRAC decided in favor of the land exchange due to the greater public benefit of acquiring the 4.5 acre Amalga Harbor parcel and the other recreation opportunities currently available in the Lena Cove area. While the Rocky Point trail does receive some use, particularly from surrounding neighbors, access to Lena Cove is available from other nearby locations. Beach access to Lena Cove is already provided at the U.S. Forest Service Lena Cove picnic area east of the parcel, which includes a broad sandy beach. Access is also available west of the parcel at CBJ’s Lena Point Park, which includes the whole tip of the peninsula. Staff has received no public opposition to removal of the right-of-way status of the city’s parcel.

JCMP REVIEW

No enforceable provisions of the JCMP apply to the development.

FINDINGS

Staff finds no adverse impacts associated with removing the right-of-way status of this parcel, as adequate public access to Lena Cove is available on other sites. Removal of the right-of-way status will facilitate acquisition of property with much greater recreational value to the public north of Amalga Harbor.

STAFF RECOMMENDATION

Staff recommends that the Planning Commission grant the proposed plat amendment, which would allow removal of right-of-way status on USS 3055, Lot 16C, Beach Access, with one condition:

1) That this plat amendment be incorporated into a plat for the combination of Lot 16C, the CBJ property and 17C, the Kimball property, into one parcel.