DATE:             June 19, 2001

TO:                  Planning Commission

FROM:           Teri Camery, Planner
                        Community Development Department

FILE NO.:      USE2001-00021

PROPOSAL: A Conditional Use permit for a 650 square foot one-story addition that will project 5 feet into the 25 foot rear setback adjacent to the Tongass National Forest Mendenhall Campground.


GENERAL INFORMATION

Applicant:                   Douglas Badilla

Property Owner:        Douglas Badilla

Property Address:      1067 Arctic Circle

Legal Description:      Brigadoon Estates 2 Block A, Lot 17B

Parcel Code Number: 4-B29-0-128-005-2

Site Size:                     6,600 square feet

Zoning:                       D-5- Single-Family/ Duplex Residential

Utilities:                      CBJ Water & Sewer

Access:                       Arctic Circle

Existing Land Use:       single family dwelling

Surrounding Land Use: North - single-family dwelling
                                    South - single-family dwelling
                                    East - USFS Tongass National Forest Mendenhall Campground
                                    West - Arctic Circle


PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The applicant requests a Conditional use permit for a 650 square foot one-story addition that will project 5 feet into the 25 foot rear setback on the east side of the lot adjacent to the Tongass National Forest Mendenhall Campground (Attachment A, site plan). The addition includes a ten- foot wide deck at ground level ten feet from the rear setback, which is allowed per CBJ Code §49.25.430 (4) (c). At 6,600 square feet, the lot is undersized by 400 square feet for the D-5 Zone and legally non-conforming under a previous version of the Code for a common-wall development. The home has a living area of 1,336 square feet. The addition is needed because six people will be living in the home, including one person with accessible needs (Attachment D, letter).


BACKGROUND

The rear setback in the D-5 Zone is 20 feet. However, the rear property line is adjacent to Forest Service land which is zoned RR, Rural Reserve. According to the CBJ Table of Dimensional Standards, §49.25.400, footnote three, where one district abuts another the greater of the two setbacks is required for both uses on the common property line. Therefore the rear setback of this lot must comply with the rear setback requirement for Rural Reserve, which is 25 feet.


ANALYSIS

Because the rear property line is adjacent to the Forest Service Campground which is classified as public open space, the applicant may apply to allow a structure within the setback through the Conditional Use process. CBJ Code §49.25.430(4)(N) states:

The commission…may allow structural projections into required side and rear setbacks if the affected yard is adjacent to publicly-owned land which has been placed in a park, open space, or similarly restrictive land management classification; provided such projections are minimized and are necessary to prevent substantial hardship to the applicant. The commission may deny such requests if it finds that the addition would result in excessive blockage of views, excessive restriction of light and air, or other deleterious impacts.

Necessity and Substantial Hardship

At 1,336 square feet the home is too small to accommodate six people and accommodate the necessary remodeling and adjustments for a person with accessible needs. The 650 square foot addition will add three bedrooms, a master bathroom and a second smaller bathroom (Attachment B). The applicant notes that purchasing a new home meeting these specifications would be prohibitively expensive (Attachment D). The proposed development meets the minimum needs of this large family, and is necessary to prevent substantial hardship to the applicant through a costly move to a large house.

Blockage of Views

The proposed addition is one story and will be approximately four feet less than the height of the main building, in the rear of the lot (Attachment C). The rear of the lot is bordered by a dense spruce forest which extends all the way to Mendenhall Campground at the edge of Mendenhall Lake. The rear addition will not block the views of adjacent homes. On a recent site visit, staff noted that residential development is not visible from any campsite, even campsites facing the direction of development, due the broad range of thick spruce. Staff finds no impacts to views. The Forest Service has no objection to the proposal (see letter, Attachment E).

Excessive Restriction of Light and Air

The addition is one story with the minimal area necessary to accommodate family needs. It is designed to blend in with the existing home in the rear of the lot. Staff finds no evidence that the development will result in excessive restriction of light and air.

Property Value or Neighborhood Harmony

Lots are well-separated in this quiet, heavily forested neighborhood. While the applicant’s home is quite small, other homes in this area are significantly larger. The development falls within the character and amenities of existing homes, and due to its location in the rear and its lower height than the main building, staff believes it will blend in with minimal notice and impact.


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 '49.15.300 (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 full review of the proposed operations. The application submittal by the applicant, including the appropriate fees, substantially conforms to the requirements of CBJ Chapter §49.15.

2. Is the proposed use appropriate according to the Table of Permissible Uses?

Yes. The requested permit is appropriate according to the Table of Permissible Uses. A single-family dwelling, and an addition deemed to be a part of one, is allowed according to CBJ §49.25.300, Section 1.100 for the D-5 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.

4. 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. Due the minimal size and height of the development and the character of the neighborhood, the development will not substantially decrease the value of or be out of harmony with property in the neighboring area.

6. Will the proposed development not be in general conformity with the land use plan, thoroughfare plan, or other officially adopted plans?

Yes. Staff finds the proposed development to be in general conformity with the land use plan and other officially adopted plans.

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

          Not applicable.


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 650 square foot one-story addition projecting 5 feet into the rear setback at 1067 Arctic Circle.