DATE: February 5, 2001

TO: Planning Commission

FROM: Gary Gillette, Planner

Community Development Department

FILE NO.: USE2000-00076 - Conditional Use

PROPOSAL: A conditional use permit to construct a retail/residential building in a waterfront commercial zone.

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

Applicant: Jack Tripp

Property Owner: Timberwolf Ventures

Property Address: 428 South Franklin Street

Legal Description: Lot 11, Block 83, Tidelands Addition

Parcel Code Number: 1-C07-0-K83-006-0

Site Size: 2,804 Square Feet

Zoning: WC, Waterfront Commercial

Utilities: CBJ Water & Sewer

Access: South Franklin Street

Existing Land Use: Vacant

Surrounding Land Use: North - S. Franklin St./Commercial & Residential

South - Gastineau Channel

East - Commercial & Residential

West - Vacant

 

 

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The applicant proposes to develop a two-story frame building of approximately 4,100 square feet. The first floor would provide retail space while the second floor would feature a two-bedroom apartment. The project features a waterside deck of approximately 400 square feet, which ultimately may become a part of a public seawalk along the waterfront.

BACKGROUND

At its regular public meeting of June 27, 2000, the Planning Commission approved a conditional use permit for the construction of a similar building on the subject parcel. At that time the overall development project, as presented by the applicant, included a second building with a number of shared facilities including a parking/shuttle system, loading space, waterfront amenity, and seawalk. The current proposal is to develop one building, parking/shuttle system and a seawalk element. Due to the changes to the original project, staff determined that a new conditional use permit was appropriate.

At the June 27, 2000 meeting, the Board of Adjustment approved a variance to allow the side yard setbacks to be reduced from 10 feet to zero with the provision that five feet be retained on the upper floor where adjacent to the neighboring building. This allowed retention of four apartments on the second floor of the neighboring building. The proposed building is designed with the second floor setting back five feet from the adjacent building thus in accord with the variance previously granted.

In accordance with the CBJ Land Use Ordinance, a conditional use permit, approved by the Planning Commission, is required for the proposed development in a waterfront commercial zoning district.

The applicant seeks a variance to allow the parking for the retail use to be calculated with the PD-1 reduction and to provide the parking at the Rock Dump served with a shuttle (VAR2001-00004). Further, the applicant seeks a variance to the number of parking spaces for the residential unit (VAR2000-00047). If not approved, the applicant seeks a variance to allow residential parking at the Rock Dump (VAR2000-00049). These variances will be the subject of separate staff reports.

ANALYSIS

Project Site – The proposed site of the project is located on South Franklin Street. The lot fronts on South Franklin Street and borders Gastineau Channel. The site is relatively flat at the front but drops off at the channel. The plan is to develop the building on pilings along with a small deck on the water side.

Project Design - The proposed project would consist of a two-story frame building and a wood dock supported on steel pilings. The South Franklin Street elevation of the building is located within the Downtown Historic District thus, requires review for conformance with the Historic District Guidelines and Standards (see below).

Parking and Circulation - The proposed project is located in the PD-2 parking district. This provision of the CBJ Land Use Code allows the required parking to be reduced by 30 percent. Further, the Land Use Code requires the parking to be located on the lot of the project or within 500 feet distance for commercial uses and within 100 feet for residential uses.

The proposed building features 2,337 square feet of retail on the first floor, a two-bedroom apartment on the second floor, and a shared utility room of 117 square feet. In cases of shared space, one-half of the area would be allotted to each use for parking calculations. The parking requirement for the proposed building is as follows:

Retail: 2,337 square feet / 200 = 11.7 x .7 = 8 parking spaces

Utility: 58.5 square feet / 200 = .3 x .7 = .2 parking spaces

Apartment: Two-Bedroom = 1.5 x .7 = 1 parking space

TOTAL PARKING REQUIRED = 9 spaces

The applicant proposes to reduce the number of parking to the PD-1 standard and to locate the parking a distance greater than 500 feet from the site. These issues will be addressed in the variance staff report (VAR2001-00004). The applicant further proposes to reduce the residential parking requirement to zero (VAR2000-00047). If this variance is not approved the applicant proposes to provide the parking at the Rock Dump which requires a variance to distance to parking (VAR2000-00049).

Historic District Design Review -The Downtown Historic District boundary cuts across the front (S. Franklin St.) 20 feet of the proposed project site. Therefore, this front portion of the building is governed by the Downtown Historic District Standards (Title 4, Chapter 80). The standards provide that certain exceptions may be made as follows:

  • EXCEPTIONS. 4 CBJAC 080.040 states; "The Planning Commission may, in special cases make exceptions to the design standards provided the alternative does not distract from the character of the district. In such cases, the Commission’s findings must include written justification for granting such exceptions."
  • The intent and purpose of the Downtown Historic District Standards is found in the general guidelines at 4 CBJAC 808.010(e) which states:

  • "Contemporary design for alterations and additions to existing properties shall not be discouraged when such alterations or additions do not destroy the historical character of the structure. The same will hold true of new construction, that is contemporary design shall not be discouraged if it does no

    violate the historic district as a whole. Design proposals for both new construction and alterations to existing structures must be compatible with the size, scale, color, material, and character of the property, the immediately surrounding structures, and those in the historic district."

  • In reviewing proposals for development in the district the following specific design standards must be met or excepted by the Commission for a project to be approved.

  • Height Standard: 4 CBJAC 080.050(a) states; "Building height requirements are broken down into four subdistricts, comprising thirty-five foot, thirty-eight foot, forty-five foot and fifty-five foot height restriction areas. The location of these subdistricts is shown on the height standard map."
  • A portion of the subject property is within the Downtown Historic District while the balance is outside the district. The height limit within the Downtown Historic District for this particular property is 38 feet. The height limit within the WC, Waterfront Commercial zoning district is 35 feet. The height of the proposed building as measured to the top of the parapet wall is approximately 25 feet thus meeting both the Downtown Historic District Standards and WC, Waterfront Commercial zoning district height limit. Thus this standard is met.

  • Setback Standard: 4 CBJAC 080.050(b) states: "Front and side setbacks for new construction or additions shall maintain the visual continuity of the streetscape."
  • The intent of this standard is to maintain the visual continuity of the Historic District streetscape. The building is proposed to have a five foot setback on the upper floor. However, there will be constructed a false wall such that the facade of the building as seen from the street would appear to span from property line to property line thereby maintaining the visual continuity of the streetscape. Thus this standard is met.

  • Roof Standard: 4 CBJAC 080.050(c) states; "New construction or alterations to existing structures shall respect the original roof form, and shall create the appearance of a horizontal parapet wall from the street. Mechanical equipment and other appurtenances located on the roof must be adequately screened so as to not be visible from the street level."
  • The proposed project features a horizontal appearing parapet as seen from the street. Thus, this standard is met.

  • Retail Storefront Standard; 4 CBJAC 080.060(a) states; "Alterations to the facade of a building at the first floor level shall conform as nearly as possible to the original design of the building if that building is on a major street and if the original building employed a typical storefront type of facade. A proposed change of use in itself shall not justify an exception and shall require that the building employ mitigating elements to satisfy this guideline. New construction on a major street shall also utilize the elements and proportions of a typical storefront facade at street level."
  • Storefronts in the Downtown Historic District typically are comprised of large window elements with small recessed entrances featuring clerestory windows above. Generally, the facade of the proposed building meets the design intent except that the proposed material is prefinished aluminum mullions. This material is not typical of downtown buildings however the Commission has discussed this in previous reviews. It determined that the material would not detract from the character of the district provided the material closely resembles the scale, color, and texture of painted wood. Thus this standard is met upon a finding by the Commission that the aluminum storefront does not distract from the character of the district.

  • Window Standard: 4 CBJAC 080.060(b) states; "Windows in new construction shall conform in outward appearance to the style, materials, proportions and placement of windows typical of the historic district. If an existing structure is altered, the replacement windows shall match as nearly as possible the dimensions and subdivisions of those original to the structure. The suggested material for windows, including all elements associated with the exterior fenestration such as the trim, sash, frame, sill, and transom, is wood. Windows of other materials and styles are not acceptable, unless they are found to match in size, proportion, color and detail the wood sash typical of the historic district."
  • The proposed upper story windows are shown as double-hung of vinyl construction. While vinyl is not a typical window material of the Historic District it has been found in the past to be acceptable in second story applications where it is not at street level and matches in size, proportion, color and detail similar to a wood sash. Thus, this standard is met.

  • Architectural Standard: 4 CBJAC 080.060(c) states; "The original architectural details such as moldings, cornices, brackets, columns, and pilasters, of a building shall be maintained in good repair. If they must be replaced for maintenance purposes or during the course of minor alterations, they should be replaced as nearly as possible with elements of the same type and of similar or compatible materials. If substantial replacement is required due to deterioration or a major alteration to the building, the elements shall conform in dimension and detail to those on the original structure. In the case of new construction, architectural details shall be suitable to the building itself and shall conform in dimension and detail with precedents found on comparable buildings or within the district."
  • The proposed building features decorative cornice work, pilasters, brackets, and other detail elements which appear to conform in dimension and detail with those found on buildings within the district. Thus, this standard is met.

    Finishing Material Standard: 4 CBJAC 080.070(a) states; "Finishing materials used in repairing or partially replacing exterior walls should match as closely as possible the materials used on the existing buildings. Where appropriate to the rehabilitation of the building, finishing materials used in major alterations to a building should match as closely as possible the original material used on the building in dimension, texture, and finish. Recommended finishing materials for both new construction and alterations to existing structures are horizontal wood siding, such as shiplap, tongue and groove, clapboard siding, and smooth stucco finish. All buildings must be painted or finished with semi-transparent stain."

    The proposed exterior wall finishes include "Hardiplank" siding on the front of the upper level. The rear and side elevations would be clad in corrugated metal. While the recommended materials are wood siding the "Hardiplank" product is generally acceptable as a substitute provided that a smooth finish is specified and the siding exposure dimension is four to six inches. The "Hardiplank" raised grain product is not seen as compatible with the Downtown Historic District Standards.

    Since the building would be constructed to the property line on the west side no windows are allowed by the building code. The east elevation would be five feet from the property line but not visible from the street due to the false end walls. It is anticipated that the adjacent lot on the west side would be developed at some time in the future thus would not be seen. The proposal is to clad the east and west elevations with metal siding. The first 20 feet from S. Franklin Street is within the historic district and subject to the historic district standards. The metal siding is not seen as appropriate for the historic district. Typical materials for the district would be horizontal wood siding.

    A relatively small portion of the east and west elevations are actually in the historic district. The inclusion of the false end walls and the anticipation that future development is likely on the adjacent property would thereby block views of the metal siding. Given these situations, it appears that the use of corrugated metal siding on the east and west elevations would not distract from the character of the district.

    Thus, this standard is met provided smooth finished "Hardiplank" siding is used with a coverage of four or six inches and upon a finding by the Commission that the corrugated metal siding on the west and east elevations does not distract from the character of the district.

    Color Standard: 4 CBJAC 080.070(b) states; "All siding, wood trim, and window trim shall be finished with paint or a semi-transparent stain. All colors and the placement of color on the building should preserve or emphasize structural detailing. All colors and color combinations shall be subject to approval by the Design Review Board."

    The applicant has not proposed a color scheme at this time. Typically this would be done closer to the completion of the building. Therefore, it is recommended that the applicant provide a color rendering prior to issuance of a building for review and approval by CDD staff for compliance with the color standard.

    Canopy Standard: 4 CBJAC 080.070(c) states; "If canopies are removed during alteration, they must be replaced by canopies in accordance with the following design standards. Canopies must be provided in new construction as well, and where appropriate must allow for a horizontal continuation of the canopies on adjacent or contiguous buildings. Materials traditionally associated with "add-on" or temporary canopies or awnings, such as corrugated fiberglass, canvas, or aluminum are prohibited. Cantilevered concrete, with suitable finishing materials, or wood frame construction should be employed with suitable roofing materials such as asphalt. Canopies shall not follow the grade, but shall be hung horizontally and shall step up with changes in grade, so as to keep within the character of existing canopies in the historic district." 

    The proposed building will feature a horizontal sidewalk canopy on two ends of the building. The canopy standard only applies to the portion of the building that is within the Downtown Historic District. The proposed canopy would be constructed of wood and trimmed to coordinate with the rest of the building. The canopy appears to be consistent with the character of existing canopies in the historic district. Thus this standard is met.

    Color Standard: 4 CBJAC 080.070(b) states; "All siding, wood trim, and window trim shall be finished with paint or a semi-transparent stain. All colors and the placement of color on the building should preserve or emphasize structural detailing. All colors and color combinations shall be subject to approval by the Design Review Board."

    The applicant has not proposed a color scheme at this time. Typically this would be done closer to the completion of the building. Therefore, it is recommended that the applicant provide a color rendering prior to issuance of a building permit for review and approval by CDD staff for compliance with the color standard.

    Signs: The CBJ Land Use Code states; "All sign proposals for buildings in the historic district require approval by the design review board and a permit form the community development department. The board will review plans for dimensions, placement, subject matter, lettering styles, color, materials, legibility and appropriateness of style to the character of the historic district."

    The applicant has not proposed signs for the building at this time. Signs require a separate permit and would be reviewed and approved by CDD staff for compliance with Downtown Historic District Standards.

    Exterior Lighting - The applicant has not proposed any exterior lighting at this time. Typically specific lighting fixtures are selected closer to the construction process. The CDD Regulations provide that exterior lighting not cause glare onto adjacent properties or roadways. It is recommended that the specific lighting fixtures be reviewed and approved by CDD staff prior to installation.

    Public Health or Safety - The proposed building and dock structure is required to obtain appropriate building permits and will be inspected during construction to assure that life safety provisions are met. The facility will be served with public sewer and water, thus meeting public health standards.

    Property Value or Neighborhood Harmony - The proposed building will be consistent with other uses and is similar in scope and scale with other development in the neighborhood.

    Conformity With Adopted Plans - The Juneau Comprehensive Plan identifies this area as appropriate for water related uses. Further, the Downtown Waterfront Study indicates the area is appropriate for specialty retail, tourist services and other similar uses. Residential uses are also listed as appropriate in the Downtown Waterfront Study. Thus, the proposed project is consistent with adopted plans.

    Juneau Coastal Management Program - The proposed project was reviewed for conformance with the JCMP as contained in the Land Use Code. The downtown waterfront area is a Special Waterfront Area under the JCMP. Section 49.70.960(b) of the Land Use Code identifies uses which are permissible in a Special Waterfront Area. The proposed project features retail on the first floor and an apartment on the second floor. Section 49.70.960(b)(O) allows gift shops, entertainment facilities, ticketing agencies, and other visitor industry services. Section 49.70.960(b)(S) allows residences. Relative to the proposed project it appears that the retail use and the apartment are allowed in the Special Waterfront Area. Thus, the project meets the JCMP provisions regarding permissible uses.

    Section 49.70.960(c)(6) requires waterfront development to incorporate a seawalk intended to provide a continuous pedestrian path along the downtown waterfront. The proposed project provides this opportunity with the construction of the deck structure. As other projects are developed along the waterfront this deck could be incorporated to meet this goal. Thus, the project meets the JCMP provisions regarding the seawalk.

    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,

    Planning Commission

    USE2000-00076

    February 5, 2001

    Page 9 of 11

    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:

  • 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 Chapters 49.15.

    1. Is the proposed use appropriate according to the Table of Permissible Uses?
  • Yes. The proposed use is appropriate according to the Table of Permissible Uses. The use is listed at CBJ 49.25.300 section 2.120 and 1.300 for the WC, Waterfront Commercial zoning district.

    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

    February 2, 2001. 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 building and dock structure will meet local building codes and will be inspected during construction to assure that life safety provisions are met. The facility will be served with public sewer and water. Thus, the proposed development will not 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 building will be consistent with other uses and is similar in scope and scale with other development in the neighborhood. No evidence has been presented to date that would indicate that the proposed development would 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 Juneau Comprehensive Plan identifies this area as appropriate for water related uses. Further, the Downtown Waterfront Study indicates the area is appropriate for specialty retail, tourist services and residential uses. Thus, the proposed project is consistent with adopted plans.

    7. Will the proposed development comply with the Juneau Coastal Management Program?

    Yes. The proposed project was reviewed for conformance with the JCMP as contained in the Land Use Code. It is determined that the project is consistent with provisions of the Special Waterfront Area under the JCMP. The proposed uses are identified in Section 49.70.960(b)(O) and Section 49.70.960(b)(S). Further the project meets Section 49.70.960(c)(6) requiring a seawalk. Thus, the proposed development complies with enforceable policies of the JCMP.

    1. Does the proposed project meet the purpose, general guidelines, and specific standards of the Community Development Department Regulations for development in the Downtown Historic District?
  • Yes. Upon a finding by the Commission that the aluminum storefront and corrugated metal siding on the east and west elevations do not detract from the character of the historic distrct it is found that the proposed project meets the Downtown Historic District Standards.
  • RECOMMENDATION

    Historic District Standards: It is recommended that the Planning Commission adopt the director’s analysis and find that the aluminum storefront and corrugated metal siding on the east and west elevations do not distract from the character of the downtown historic district.

    Conditional Use Permit: 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 development of a two story retail and residential building, a portion of which is in the downtown historic district. The approval is subject to the following conditions:

    1. The applicant shall provide commercial parking spaces calculated at the PD-2 reduction either on the property or within 500 feet of the site in an appropriate zoning district or, receive a variance from the Board of Adjustment to reduce the number of parking spaces and to allow an increase in distance to the required parking. If the Board of Adjustment approves a variance to allow parking greater than 500 feet from the site, i.e. at the Rock Dump served by a shuttle, and it is determined by the Community Development Department that the employees of the building who drive to work are not utilizing this park and ride system the owner will be deemed in violation of this Conditional Use permit.
  • 2. The applicant shall provide residential parking spaces calculated at the PD-2 reduction either on the property or within 100 feet of the site in an appropriate zoning district or, receive a variance from the Board of Adjustment to reduce the number of parking spaces and to allow an increase in distance to the required parking.

    3. The applicant shall use a smooth finish "Hardiplank" siding with an exposure of four to six inches.

    4. The applicant shall provide to Community Development Department staff, for review and approval, a color rendering indicating colors and color scheme which meets the Historic District color standard.

    5. Prior to the installation of any signs on the building, the applicant shall obtain a sign permit from the Community Development Department.

    6. Prior to the installation of exterior lighting the applicant shall submit to Community Development Department for review and approval the proposed light plan and luminaire specifications.