DATE: February 7, 2001

TO: Planning Commission

FROM: Katharine Heumann, Planner

Community Development Department

FILE NO.: USE2001-00001

PROPOSAL: A Conditional Use permit for an electrical substation (major utility) on a lot.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Applicant: AEL&P

Property Owner: AJT Mining Properties, Inc.

Property Address: South Franklin Street and Thane Road

Legal Description: AELP-AJT L 1

Parcel Code Number: 1-C10-0-I07-008-1

Site Size: 9.18 Acres

Zoning: Mixed Use

Utilities: CBJ Water

Access: Thane Road

Existing Land Use: Vacant

Surrounding Land Use: North - A-J Mine Ruins, Mixed Use

South - Thane Road

East - Vacant, Mixed Use

West - Vacant, Mixed Use

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The applicant requests a Conditional Use permit for the development of an electrical substation on a vacant lot on Thane Road The substation will provide A.E.L.P with the capability to provide shore-power to the South Franklin cruise ship dock and will improve electrical service to the community of Juneau. Utilizing this excess hydroelectric power will allow the cruise ships to turn off their own heating and electrical generators and thereby reduce air emissions while in port. A more detailed description of this proposal is included in the attached letter from Cory Hildebrand, VP-Energy Resource Development, AEL&P, dated November 6, 2000 (See Attachment A). Construction of the substation is scheduled to occur between March 1 and May 1, 2001. The proposal includes a fence, lighting, parking, and electrical equipment as shown on the site plan, Attachment B.

BACKGROUND

The Thane Road site was one prioritized for the substation for several reasons. The need for power to the cruise ships is the priority reason for the substation and this site provides the proximity to the cruise ship dock. A.E.L.P is the owner of the property; thus the need to acquire additional property did not exist. And, finally, the cost of running electrical conductor from the station to the boats is diminished by the close proximity of the substation to the dock. (See Vicinity Map).

Project Site -

The proposed site is located above Thane Road. The parcel slopes upward from Thane Road. The building will be constructed on a leveled site on the hillside. The access to the site is via an access driveway from Thane Road. Space will be developed at the side and front of the building for parking and circulation for maintenance vehicles. Most of the site preparation is complete, however final drainage review will be necessary to assure adequate completion.

Project Design -

The gated and fenced area will be 70 feet by 38 feet. Within the gate will be a transformer, circuit switcher and circuit breakers. The conductors to the cruise ship dock will be underground. The substation is designed to comply with the National Electric Safety Code, which includes safe length and height clearance from potential hazards. Lighting will consist of High-Pressure Sodium Vapor lights directed toward the center of the substation from the fence corner post. Equipment color will be a typical industrial gray, stainless steel, or green fiberglass. The fence is to be 8’ tall with the last foot made of barbed wire. "Danger, High Voltage" signs will be hung every 8’ around the fence. Forest green privacy slats are planned to be installed in the entire fence.

Traffic, Parking and Circulation -

The only traffic associated with the substation will be the occasional maintenance vehicle. The site plan shows space for parking for two maintenance vehicles. Vehicles will access the substation via a driveway from Thane Road. No significant impact to Thane Road traffic will occur with this development.

NoiseNo noise is expected to be associated with the electrical substation.

Public Health or SafetyThe substation will be fenced with 8’ high fencing topped by barbed wire. "Danger, High Voltage" signs will be hung every eight feet around the fence. Spill containment will be provided for equipment containing oil. Constructing the building into the existing slope will help to minimize any visual impacts to neighboring areas.

Property Value or Neighborhood Harmony This is a small structure on a very large tract of land. There are no nearby neighbors and the traffic generated by this project will be insignificant. Constructing the building into the existing slope will help to minimize any visual impacts to the Thane Road area.

Conformity With Adopted Plans -

The Juneau Comprehensive Plan is a long-range plan intended to guide the growth and development of the community. The proposed project is key to providing sufficient power to the cruise ships. This will allow them to more compatibly berth in our harbor. The project is consistent with Policy 4.8 of the Comprehensive Plan that states:

  • It is the policy of the CBJ to encourage the provision of an adequate supply of hydroelectric power to provide for the continued growth and development of the community.
  • In addition, Policy 4.5 of the Comprehensive Plan addresses this proposal in the following policy:

  • It is the policy of the CBJ to plan for the timely and efficient provision of an appropriate level of public facilities and services in all developed and developing areas of the CBJ.
  • Juneau Coastal Management Program -

    A review of the enforceable policies of the JCMP revealed that none are applicable to the proposed project.

    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. We find 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.

    2. 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 17.200 for the MU, Mixed Use 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.

    1. Will the proposed development materially endanger the public health or safety?
    2. No. The proposed project will meet the National Electric Safety Code and will provide safe ingress and egress from Thane Road. A fence and signage will provide the public with notice of high voltage. Therefore, it is determined that the proposed development will not materially endanger the public health or safety.
    3. Will the proposed development substantially decrease the value of or be out of harmony with property in the neighboring area?
    4. No. The proposed project will be of small scope and will be sited to minimize visual impacts to neighboring areas. No discernable noise is expected from the substation operation. Additionally, efforts will be made to minimize disturbance to naturally occurring vegetation, and new vegetation will be incorporated to rehabilitate areas disturbed by construction activities. However, final drainage plans will be subject to review and approval by CBJ Engineering. Therefore, it is determined that the proposed development will not substantially decrease the value of or be out of harmony with property in the neighboring area.
    5. Will the proposed development be in general conformity with the land use plan, thoroughfare plan, or other officially adopted plans?
  • Yes. The proposed project is consistent with Policy 4.8 of the Juneau Comprehensive Plan. Therefore, it is found that the proposed development is in general conformity with land use 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.

  • RECOMMENDATION

    We recommend 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 an electrical substation on a vacant lot near the Franklin Street Dock on Thane Road. The approval is subject to the following conditions:

    1. A final drainage plan shall be reviewed and approved by CBJ Engineering Dept.