DATE:            July 3, 2001

TO:                 Planning Commission

FROM:          Teri Camery, Planner
                       Community Development Department

FILE NO.:     USE2001-00023 Conditional Use

PROPOSAL: A Conditional use permit to approve a one bedroom 600 square foot apartment over a detached garage in the D-5 zone.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Applicant:                   Steve Burnett

Property Owner:         Steve Burnett

Property Address:       8488 Thunder Mountain Road

Legal Description:       Thunder Mountain, Lot 18

Parcel Code Number: 5-B24-0-156-007-0

Site Size:                    13, 996 square feet

Zoning:                      D5 - Single Family / Duplex Residential

Utilities:                     CBJ Sewer and Water

Access:                     Thunder Mountain Road

Existing Land Use:     residential

Surrounding Land Use: North - Thunder Mountain Road
                                    South - residential
                                    East - residential
                                    West - residential

 

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The applicant requests a conditional use permit for the development of a one-bedroom, 600 square foot accessory apartment above a detached garage in the D-5 Zone. The lot currently has a storage shed and trailer in deteriorating condition (Attachment A). The applicant intends to first build a detached garage with an upper office and apartment, then remove the trailer and shed and construct a new residence (Attachment B, site plan, and Attachment D, applicant letter).
 

ANALYSIS

According to CBJ Code §49.25.510(e)(2)(B)(iv), a detached accessory apartment in the D-5 zone requires a Conditional Use permit. In addition to the standard evaluation of a Conditional Use permit, the development must meet the specific requirements of the accessory apartment ordinance listed in CBJ §49.25.510(e)(2)(C) i through vii. Briefly, these requirements include:

  1. the development must meet all setback requirements;
  2. the building footprint may not exceed maximum lot coverage;
  3. the development may not violate vegetative cover requirements;
  4. the development meets the parking standards for a residential structure containing two dwelling units;
  5. the building is serviced by public water and sewer;
  6. the building complies with Title 19 building code;

vii   the building, except as necessary to accommodate residents with disabilities, has no more than one entrance facing the street.

Staff has evaluated each of these criteria individually and found that the development meets each of these requirements, including setbacks, building footprint, parking, vegetative cover, and apartment size (Attachments A and B).

In regards to criteria (vii), staff notes that the proposed apartment entrance faces the street just as the home entrance does. However, because it is a separate building as part of a detached garage, and the code specifies a singular building, this requirement is met. If the garage were attached to the home, it would be part of the same building and two entrances facing the street would not be allowed according to code.

Property Value or Neighborhood Harmony

The intent behind the single street entrance requirement is to minimize the appearance of second dwelling units and thereby preserve the character of single family neighborhoods and neighborhood harmony. However, this small neighborhood has a total of six zero-lot developments and a trailer park at the end, in addition to a plumbing store and laundromat, all developed under an earlier version of the code. Staff believes that the visual impact of a second front entrance in this neighborhood would be minimal, and the increased density from an accessory apartment would blend in easily.

In addition, the home across the street and directly to the east has a large two car garage to the front of the lot, forward of the home. The applicant’s proposal uses a similar site design which is again compatible with existing development in the area.
 

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. The permit is listed at CBJ §49.25.300, Section 1.130 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 develop will materially endanger 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. Property in the neighboring area includes a large number of zero-lot developments, as well as a trailer park and commercial developments. Other homes in the area have placed large garages to the front of their lots. No evidence indicates that the proposed accessory apartment above a detached garage will substantially decrease the value of or be out of harmony with the neighboring area.                  

  1. 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, particularly the Comprehensive Plan, Policy 5.1 which states:

It is the policy of the CBJ to facilitate availability of sufficient land with adequate public facilities and services for a range of housing types and densities to enable the public and private sectors to provide housing opportunities for all CBJ residents.

        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 one-bedroom, 600 square foot accessory apartment above a detached garage in the D-5 Zone.