DATE: March 5, 2001

TO: Planning Commission

FROM: Gary Gillette, Planner
Community Development Department

FILE NO.: USE2001- 00009 - Conditional Use
CSP2001- 00003 – City Project Review

PROPOSAL: A Conditional Use permit and City Project Review for a building of approximately 27,000 square feet for use in winter as an indoor ice rink and in summer as a multi-purpose facility in a D-18 residential zoning district.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Applicant: CBJ Engineering

Property Owner: City and Borough of Juneau

Property Address: 121 Savikko Road

Legal Description: ATS 14

Parcel Code Number: 2-D04-0-T32-007-0

Site Size: 19.98 Acres

Zoning: D-18, Multifamily

Utilities: CBJ Water & Sewer

Access: Savikko Road

Existing Land Use: Park

Surrounding Land Use: North - Public Harbor

South - Residential

East - Public Park

West - Public Park

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The applicant proposes to construct a new building at Savikko Park to house an ice skating rink to be operated during the winter months. During the summer the facility will be used for multiple sports activities including basketball, tennis, in-line skating, and special events. Kim Kiefer, CBJ Parks and Recreation Director, indicates there is not much request for indoor facilities in summer. She anticipates that summer use of the facility would be light as most folks are engaged in outdoor activities. Further, she indicated that Savikko Park is experiencing less use for softball, especially on weekends, due to games being scheduled at Dimond Park. A fourth ball field will be ready at Dimond Park next season that should reduce further the use of Savikko Park for softball.

BACKGROUND

At its regular public meeting on November 24, 1998 the Planning Commission approved a City Project Review (CSP1998-00014) and a Conditional Use permit (USE1998-00060) for the proposed project. Those permits elapsed on May 24, 2000. Further, there have been some modifications to the overall project, thus the current review. 

ANALYSIS

Project Site – Savikko Park currently hosts a mix of recreational uses. The proposed indoor recreation facility would be sited in an area of Savikko Park that currently contains outdoor basketball and tennis courts. The basketball and tennis courts would be accommodated inside the building as a summer use. A service driveway would connect Savviko Park Road to the facility. This driveway would not be open to general access but only for emergency, disabled access, and equipment drop-off. At other times the driveway would be barricaded with removable bollards. The applicant does not propose construction of new parking spaces as part of the project.

Project Design - The proposed project would construct a building of approximately 27,000 square feet. The building would be a steel frame structure with gable roof. The applicant indicates that the style of the building is intended to be reminiscent of historic mining structures. The proposed materials are corrugated metal siding and roofing.

Given the location of the proposed building it seems appropriate to incorporate design elements of the historic Treadwell Mine buildings. In past years, structures at Savikko Park were designed as an interpretation of historic mining buildings. These buildings are restrooms and picnic shelters. In more recent years a new restroom was added at the park and it made architectural reference to the earlier structures with the use of an open truss roofed entry. Architectural references to these earlier structures would also be appropriate.

The historic Treadwell Mine buildings were typically constructed with horizontal wood siding and wood or metal roofing. Further, the massing and shape of the historic mining buildings were quite different than that proposed. One significant difference is the slope of the roof. Typically an 8/12 slope was used on historic mining buildings. Also it was typical to have high windows, changes in roof levels, roof overhangs, and various building appendages. These elements offer relief to long sides of buildings and present a more interesting massing. The proposed facility is typical of a modern day metal clad warehouse building, which is box-like in massing and has no identifiable architectural detailing. The slope of the roof is such that rain and snow will fall onto users at the main entry to the building.

Currently Proposed Treadwell Arena

Incorporating massing and detail references to the existing structures and/or historic mining buildings would improve the overall aesthetics of the proposed building. This could be accomplished with relatively minor changes. The previously approved design provided a more interesting design with steeper roof pitch, high windows, and building appendages. While it is true changes may increase the overall cost of the facility, this is a public building which will serve the community for many years to come. It would benefit greatly from an effort to improve the outward appearance and be a more welcome addition to the neighborhood.

Previously Approved Treadwell Arena

Traffic - The proposed project is to be located within an existing park property. The Savikko Park/Sandy Beach/Douglas Harbor area offers opportunities for a variety of uses. Most of the current facilities attract users primarily during the summer months. The proposed facility would displace the existing basketball and tennis courts, but provide indoor space for these activities in the summer. Given Kim Kiefer’s comments in the project description above, it seems that the anticipated summer use of the building would be relatively light compared to other uses.

During the winter, traffic to the site is much less than summer. It is anticipated that the proposed facility would generate more wintertime traffic. However, the winter use will likely be significantly less than the existing summer use.

Michael Lukshin of DOT/PF responded to the applicant’s request for a review of traffic impacts as a result of the proposed project (attached). He indicated that the anticipated traffic would be at off peak hours and would not cause a traffic problem. Based on the anticipated pattern of use for the proposed building and Mr. Lukshin’s review, it appears that the traffic generated by the proposed project would be adequately accommodated on the existing road system.

Parking - The CBJ Land Use Code does not identify a parking requirement for a mixed-use recreation facility. The code does provide that parking requirements may be based on similar use facilities. The parking calculation for the proposed building is most similar to that used for a swimming pool. That is, it is based on the anticipated use of the facility. The parking requirement would be one space per four users.

The use of the facility for the ice rink would likely generate the greatest number of users. It is anticipated that there would be team hockey use as well as open skating. The hockey use would generate an occupant load as follows: two hockey teams of 16 persons each plus one or two coaches per team. This equals a total of 36+/- persons on the ice at one time. Often team’s arrival for games overlap such that there might be as many as 72+/- persons directly related to hockey play. The drawings of the proposed facility indicate bleachers for 250 observers. Assuming the maximum number of observers and two teams the total users of the building for hockey events would be about 322 users.

For free skating periods it is somewhat difficult to anticipate a greatest load for the building. The building code uses 50 square feet per person in open assembly areas similar to this facility. The rink area is approximately 17,000 square feet thus an occupant load would be 340. In reality this number seems high when visualizing that many people on the rink at one time. Further, it seems unlikely the bleachers would be utilized much during open skating time but by skaters taking breaks or a few parents. Given this situation it seems that the occupant load provided by the building code for the rink itself would be a reasonable number to figure parking.

Therefore, using the higher of the above scenarios (340 persons), the parking requirement of 1 per 4 users would yield a requirement of would be 85 spaces, four of which would need to be disabled accessible. Currently at Savikko Park there are approximately 190 parking spaces of which 7 are disabled accessible. This does not include the adjacent harbor spaces.

Based on historical research Savikko Park has been used for recreational purposes at least since the late 1950’s. This was prior to land use codes requiring any parking in Douglas. Therefore, no parking is required for the existing uses at the park. Thus, for the purpose of this review, the parking that exists may be utilized to meet the requirement for the proposed facility. Therefore the parking requirement of 85 spaces is met for the proposed Treadwell Arena.

Noise - The proposed facility would be a completely enclosed building. Noise generated would be primarily contained within the building. During the summer months the primary noise generation is from the softball fields. The proposed building would not likely increase the noise level of the park during this period. During the winter the park is generally used much less actively with little noise generation. Uses in the proposed building may create some increase to the winter ambient noise of the area. However, it is likely that the doors would be closed in winter thus containing the noise. The proposed hours of operation are until 10:00 p.m. during the week and 11:00 p.m. on the weekends. This is consistent with park use policies of the CBJ Parks and Recreation Department.

Exterior Lighting - General area lighting currently exists at Savikko Park. The applicant proposes to install new exterior lighting to illuminate the entrances to the building and to provide security. Specific luminaires have not been selected at this time. This lighting should be reviewed by the Community Development Department to assure it does not cause glare to the adjacent residential neighborhoods or onto roadways.

Public Health or Safety - The proposed facility would be constructed to comply with local building codes and provide sanitation facilities for users. The location of the building on the site offers safe access through the park property. Security lighting and other park lighting will offer protection for users during nighttime use.

Property Value or Neighborhood Harmony - The proposed project is within an existing park that has been in existence for many years. Savikko Park is a recreation service community park that is identified for facilities such as the proposed indoor recreation facility. The surrounding area is residential or harbor uses. The proposed use seems appropriate for a community park area. One comment received from a neighbor (see attached letter) claims the size of the building is inappropriate for the neighborhood. In the vicinity of the proposed building are larger apartment buildings up on the hillside above Savikko Park. The proposed building would be sited as close to the toe of the hillside as practical in order to have less impact on the overall park and the surrounding area. Given these factors it seems the proposed building would not be detrimental to the neighboring uses and development of the facility would not substantially decrease property values or be out of harmony with the existing neighborhood.

Conformity with Adopted Plans - The Juneau Comprehensive Plan designates Savikko Park as a recreation service park. The Juneau Parks and Recreation Comprehensive Plan defines recreation service parks as those designed and developed for active recreation and programmed use. Types of parks within this designation include mini-parks, neighborhood parks, community parks, and special use areas. Savikko Park is identified in the Parks and Recreation Comprehensive Plan as a community park. Further, the Parks and Recreation Comprehensive Plan defines community parks as those of larger area providing active and structured recreation for adults and youth. It also goes on to say that indoor recreation facilities may also be appropriate in a community park setting.

Juneau Coastal Management Program (JCMP) - The proposed project was reviewed for compliance with the JCMP. It was found that no provisions of the JCMP apply to the proposed project.

CBJ Capital Improvement Project - The proposed project would be funded through a combination of public and private sources. Full funding for the proposed project is not in place yet. The intent is to construct the project in phases as funding allows. The first phase would be the shell of the building. The facility will be owned and maintained by the CBJ. It is intended that the facility would be operated by an appropriate non-profit organization. The CBJ Parks and Recreation Department are working out the details of this arrangement.

Various groups within the community have discussed an ice skating facility for many years. The proposed facility will fill a need identified in the community and will complement the recreation services park at Savikko Park. The proposed project is identified in the FY 2001-2006 Capital Improvement Program.

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. The application contains the information necessary to conduct a full review of the proposed project. 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 requested permit is appropriate for the D-18, multi-family residential zoning district according to the Table of Permissible Uses. The permit is listed at CBJ ?49.25.300 section 6.120.

    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 16, 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 proposed project will be required to comply with local building codes, will provide adequate sanitation facilities, and will provide safe access and security for users. Given these provisions it is found that the proposed development will not materially 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 proposed project is within an existing park that has been in existence for many years and offers a variety of recreational opportunities. The proposed project is consistent with expectations of a recreation service community park. Public comment was received at the time of this report but there was not evidence presented to indicate the development of the facility would substantially decrease property values or be out of harmony with the existing neighborhood. Thus, it is found that the proposed development will not substantially decrease the value of or be out of harmony with neighboring property.

    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 designates Savikko Park as a recreation service park. The Juneau Parks and Recreation Comprehensive Plan defines recreation service parks as those designed and developed for active recreation and programmed use. Savikko Park is identified in the Parks and Recreation Comprehensive Plan as a community park with a recreation service designation. The FY 2001-2006 Capital Improvement Program identifies the proposed project for funding beginning in fiscal year 2001. Given these, the proposed project appears to be in general conformity with the Juneau Comprehensive Plan and the Juneau Parks and Recreation Comprehensive Plan and the CIP. The CBJ Assembly has adopted both plans and the CIP.

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

    Not Applicable. Based on the above analysis it has been determined that no provisions of the JCMP are applicable to the proposed project.

  • RECOMMENDATION

    USE2001-00009 - It is recommended that the Planning Commission adopt the director's analysis and findings and grant the requested Conditional Use permit as identified above. The approval would allow the development of the Treadwell Arena, a building of approximately 27,000 square feet for use in winter as an indoor ice rink and in summer as a multi-purpose facility for tennis, basketball, in-line skating and special events. The approval is subject to the following condition:

    1. Prior to issuance of a final building permit, the applicant shall submit to the Community Development Department, for final approval, specifications of proposed exterior lighting such that glare will not be caused onto adjacent properties or roadways.

    CSP2001-00003 – It is recommended that the Planning Commission adopt the director's analysis and findings and approve the city project review as identified above. The approval would allow the development of the Treadwell Arena, a building of approximately 27,000 square feet for use in winter as an indoor ice rink and in summer as a multi-purpose facility for tennis, basketball, in-line skating and special events. The approval is subject to the following condition:

  • 1. The Assembly is encouraged to authorize design changes to the building which would incorporate features and architectural references to the existing structures of Savikko Park and/or the historic mining buildings of the Treadwell Mine and thereby set an example of good quality design worthy of a public building.