DATE: April 3, 2001

TO: Planning Commission

FROM: Teri Camery, Planner
Community Development Department

FILE NO.: USE2001-00011

PROPOSAL: A Conditional Use permit to allow a second story on top of an existing non- conforming building which is 3.62 ft. from the rear setback line.

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

Applicant: Robert W. King

Property Owner: Robert W. King

Property Address: 419 Kennedy Street

Legal Description: Juneau Block 119 Lot 2

Parcel Code Number: 1-C04-0-A19-002-0

Site Size: 4893 square feet

Zoning: D-5 single-family/ duplex residential

Utilities: CBJ Water and Sewer

Access: Kennedy Street

Existing Land Use: Residential

Surrounding Land Use: North - D-5 residential

South - Kennedy Street/residential

East - vacant private parcel/CBJ vacant land

West - Kennedy Street/residential

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The applicant requests a Conditional Use permit to allow a second story on top of an existing legally non-conforming building which is 3.62 feet from the rear setback line (see as-built survey, Attachment A). The proposed remodel would retain half of the existing 843 square feet structure consisting of the kitchen, living room, and bathroom, and replace a section of approximately 384 square feet that encloses two bedrooms. This section would be rebuilt within its existing footprint with an additional second story. The project would increase the size of the house to approximately 1,227 square feet. The new house would remain a two-bedroom home but have a second bathroom. (See Attachments C and D for detailed building plans, and Attachment B, applicant letter.)

BACKGROUND

The existing home was built in the 1950s and is currently a single-story, two-bedroom home with a living area of 843 square feet. The applicant has received approval from CBJ building staff to demolish the rear of the home and then reconstruct, per CBJ Code 49.30.500 (a) (See memo, Attachment H). The demolition and reconstruction provision of the Code allows the first story to be reconstructed within the existing building footprint and setbacks as part of the existing non-conforming development. The second story addition to this non-conforming building requires a Conditional Use permit, per CBJ Code 49.25.430 (4) (L), which reads:

The commission, through the conditional use permit process, may allow the addition of a second or third story atop an existing enclosed structure which projects into a required yard setback if the structure is either lawfully non-conforming or if a variance was previously granted for the structure. The commission may deny such request if it finds that the addition would result in excessive blockage of views, excessive restriction of light and air, or other deleterious impacts.

ANALYSIS

Project Site

The site is located on a slope in the historic Starr Hill neighborhood. The home lies in the far rear corner of the lot, at the end of a long flight of stairs. The applicant owns a fraction of the adjacent rear diagonal lot as the location for a fuel tank, and also owns the adjacent lot southwest of the subject property, which is vacant.

Project Design

The proposed remodel increases the living area of this small home to a size more consistent with neighboring homes. Two story homes are common in this neighborhood, and the design of the proposed structure is compatible with existing buildings in this historic area.

Blockage of Views

The lot behind the home and nearest to the proposed second story addition is up-slope and screened from view by a thick row of large spruce trees. As it will not be necessary to cut any of these trees for the proposed construction, the view from this lot will not be impacted. The proposed structure will have some impact on the view from the lot diagonally and to the rear of the subject property. However the proposed 364 square foot second story is small, and the significant slope of the property minimizes the impact of the height increase of the building. In addition, the windows of the home on that lot face forward toward the channel and do not have any windows directed toward the applicant’s property. The two lots on the other side of the property are owned by the applicant and CBJ, and both are vacant.

Restriction of Light and Air, and Other Deleterious Impacts

Because the 364 square foot second story is small and placed on a slope, staff has not found evidence of any significant restriction of light and air. Nor has staff found evidence of other deleterious impacts, including impacts to public health or safety, in the proposed development.

Juneau Coastal Management Program

Staff has reviewed the development and found that no enforceable provisions of the JCMP apply.

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.

4. 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 submitted 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 TPU allows a single-family dwelling in this zoning district. The proposed use is specifically allowed with a Conditional Use permit, per CBJ Code 49.25.430 (4) (L).

    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 Friday, March 30, 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?
  • No. No evidence indicates that the proposed development will 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. Two story homes are common in the neighborhood, and the design of the proposed structure is compatible with existing buildings in this historic area. The home to the immediate rear of the property is upslope from the applicant’s lot and screened from view by large spruce trees. The proposed structure will have some impact on the view from the lot diagonally and to the rear of the subject property. However the proposed 364 square foot second story is small, and the significant slope of the property minimizes the impact of the height increase of the building. Therefore, staff finds no evidence that the proposed development will 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 proposed development is in general conformity with the land use plan, thoroughfare plan, and other officially adopted plans. Specifically, the development promotes Policy 2.3 of the Juneau Comprehensive Plan which reads, "it is the policy of the CBJ to promote compact urban development within and adjacent to existing urban areas to insure efficient utilization of land resources and facilitate economic provision of urban facilities and services."

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

    Not applicable.

  • 8. Will the proposed development result in excessive blockage of views, excessive restriction of light and air, or other deleterious impacts?

    No. The home to the immediate rear of the property is upslope from the applicant’s lot and screened from view by large spruce trees. The proposed structure will have some impact on the view from the lot diagonally and to the rear of the subject property. However the proposed second story is small, and the slope of the property minimizes the impact of the height increase of the building. In addition the windows of the home on that lot face forward toward the channel and no windows are directed toward the applicant’s property. The small dimensions of the proposed structure minimize the restriction of light and air. Staff has found no evidence of other deleterious impacts.

  • 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 a second story on top of an existing non-conforming building, which is 3.62 feet from the rear setback line, at 419 Kennedy Street.