DATE: April 17, 2001

TO: Planning Commission

FROM: Teri Camery, Planner
Community Development Department

FILE NO.: USE2001-00014 Conditional Use

PROPOSAL: A Conditional Use permit to allow a 25.5’ x 40’ boiler building near the Princess Dock site to allow ships to turn off oil-fired boilers while in port

GENERAL INFORMATION

Applicant: PN&D for Princess Cruises

Property Owner: Franklin Dock Enterprises

Property Address: 900 Thane Road

Legal Description: Franklin Dock Enterprises 2L, 3A

Parcel Code Number: 1-C10-0-K83-004-0

Site Size: 136,317 square feet

Zoning: Waterfront Industrial

Utilities: CBJ Water and Sewer

Access: Thane Road

Existing Land Use: vacant/occasional use as barge loading facility

Surrounding Land Use: Northeast - Thane Road

Southwest - Gastineau Channel

Northwest - Princess Dock

Southeast - Alaska Marine Lines Yard/Rock Dump

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The applicant has proposed the development of a 25.5’ x 40’ boiler building with a height of 25 feet, to be constructed near Princess Dock, between the Princess Dock and the rock dump. The boiler will produce and supply steam to Princess cruise ships. This development would allow ships to turn off oil-fired boilers while in port. The building will be located in the northwest corner of the lot, the closest area to the Princess dock, to facilitate a simple steam connection (see Attachments B and C, site plans). The building will house an electric-fired boiler and associated transfer equipment. It will contain one small office for use by the operator, who will be present only when ships connect and disconnect to the steam system and for occasional maintenance. The building will utilize water from an existing water service at the site and deliver steam condensation through existing sewer service.

BACKGROUND

The project is the second element of the Princess Cruise Lines proposal to use local power resources while in port. Cruise ships need both electric and steam generation to replace the diesel generators and diesel boilers, which produce more pollution. On December 29, 2000, the Planning Commission granted a Conditional Use permit for an electrical substation on the lot across from Thane Road from the Princess Dock and the boiler building site. The substation provides electricity. The boiler building is needed to complete the project and provide steam. Diesel generators and boilers are expected to be phased out from use on cruise ships within the next five years, so operation of the boiler building is expected to be temporary.

ANALYSIS

This development is classified as a major utility and requires a Conditional Use permit according to the Table of Permissible Uses, CBJ 49.25.300.17.200.

Project Site-
Access to the site is from Thane Road. An access road leads to Princess facilities on the right and the project site on the left. The site is gated with no trespassing signs. No additional access will be necessary for construction and use of the boiler building. The lot is currently vacant and used occasionally as a barge loading facility. The proposed building will be situated as close to the Princess dock as possible. It will be adjacent to an existing utility easement and ten feet from the property line for compliance with setbacks.

Project Design -
The building shall be a pre-engineered metal building with gray exterior siding and a red roof. The building is designed to match the exterior of the adjacent AEL&P warehouse and look like an old mining building (see Attachment D).

Parking and Circulation -
There will be no occupants in the building except for maintenance and daily connection and disconnection. Space for an operator to park is located at the south end of the building.

Noise -
There was concern about the noise impacts to passengers as they leave the cruise ships and the impacts to Douglas residents from noise that may travel across water. As such, the applicant completed a noise analysis of the project through an Anchorage consulting firm (see noise analysis, Attachment F). The building will house an electric-fired boiler, which is uncommon. Electric boilers should be significantly quieter than standard combustion boilers because there is no burner and no fan. However, because no data was available on sound levels for this type of boiler, the noise analysis has assumed noise levels for a comparably sized combustion boiler.

According to the April 17, 2001 analysis, prepared by Earl Mullins, PE, the greatest noise levels will occur when the blowdown tank uses high pressure reverse flow to remove scale from pipe surfaces (see analysis, Attachment F). This is reported at 100 decibels inside the building, and will operate twice a day for three minutes each time. The applicant letter indicates states that the blowdown tank will also create a high level of noise when the system is disconnected, which takes twenty minutes (see Attachment A, p. 2). The analysis lists five building structure recommendations to reduce noise impacts, which the applicant has adopted in the building design (see wall section, Attachment E).

After implementation of these design features, noise impacts at the most severe times are estimated at 43 DBA at a distance of 160 feet, where ship passengers will be unloading. The windows as designed reduce the initial 100 dBA inside the building to 70 dBA, which is then further reduced with a distance equation. The report notes that this is equivalent to the noise from a new car at idle, heard from a distance of 15 feet. Noise levels are predicted at less than 20 decibels on the shore of Douglas Island.
The recommendations of the acoustical consultant have been incorporated as permit conditions.

Vegetative Cover-
A staff site visit indicates ample vegetative cover to meet Code requirements of five percent of the lot.

Exterior Lighting -
Exterior lighting will be minimal, consisting of one lamp above each of the two exterior doors, which shall be directed to the doors. No additional lighting is planned for the site.

Public Health or Safety -
Staff finds no impacts to public health or safety.

Property Value or Neighborhood Harmony –
T
he project is designed to match a nearby warehouse, with colors and design similar to historic mining buildings. The surrounding area, with the exception of the Princess Dock, is industrial. As such, staff finds no adverse impacts to property value or neighboring harmony.

Juneau Coastal Management Program -
The projected has been reviewed for compliance with the JCMP and staff has 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.

  1. Whether the development as proposed will comply with the other requirements of this chapter.
  2. 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 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. 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 conforms to the requirements of CBJ Code Chapter 49.15

    2. Is the proposed use appropriate according to the Table of Permissible Uses?
    Yes. The proposed use is allowed with a Conditional Use permit according to the Table of Permissible Uses, 49.25.300.17.200.

    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 13th, 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 boiler building will be gated and secured. Staff finds no evidence that the proposed development will 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?
    No. The proposed development is designed to blend with neighboring structures and mimic the design of historic mining buildings. If recommendations from the acoustical analysis are followed, maximum noise levels will be 43 dBA at 160 feet and 20 dBA at Douglas Island. 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. Specifically, the project supports Policy 2.10 of the Comprehensive Plan, which reads, "It is the policy of the City and Borough of Juneau to plan and support development of an attractive setting, facilities, and other services to enhance the state capital." The project creates a service that provides cleaner energy to cruise lines.

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

Not applicable. Staff review indicates that no enforceable provisions of the JCMP apply to this project.

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 25.5’ x 40’ boiler building at 900 Thane Road to produce and supply steam to cruise ships. The approval is subject to the following conditions:

  1. The structure shall be a conventional metal building with a layer of 5/8" gypsum board on the inside of the framing with at least R-11 batt insulation. The roof shall be similarly constructed.
  2. The structure shall use silencers or long 180 degree lined ducts for all ventilation openings. Untreated louvers or vents shall not be allowed.
  3. Windows shall be dual-glazed, with the maximum amount of airspace between panes and dissimilar glass. Recommended specifications are dual glazing with 3/16" glass, " minimum airspace, and 1/8" glass or a similar configuration to achieve STC 30 or higher. Standard thermal pane windows also meet this requirement.
  4. Doors shall be insulated metal or solid core wood, with full perimeter gasketing, including the door bottom. Use Pemko S-88 for heads and jambs, and Pemko 315 or similar for door bottoms. Brush type seals cannot be used. Louvers are not permitted in the doors.
  5. The inside of the structure shall be treated with sound absorption. A fiberglass tile such as Armstrong Nubby or duct liner board in a direct mounting is suggested, assuming ~70% ceiling coverage. Covering ~50% of the two adjoining walls is also suggested.