DATE:     September 18, 2001

TO:           Planning Commission

FROM:    Teri Camery, Planner
                 Community Development Department

FILE NO.: USE2001-00027- Allowable Use

PROPOSAL: An allowable use permit for a 2,276 square foot building as the second building of an existing  daycare center.


GENERAL INFORMATION

Applicant:                         Dan S. Winkelman

Property Owner:              John & Susan Deloach

Property Address:            9315 Glacier Highway

Legal Description:            Mendenhall Acres, BL 41, Lot 4-5 FR

Parcel Code Number:      5-B16-0-114-003-0

Site Size:                          38,959 Square Feet

Zoning:                            LC - Light Commercial

Utilities:                           CBJ Water & Sewer

Access:                           Glacier Highway

Existing Land Use:         day care center

Surrounding Land Use:North-Valley Paint Center
                                   South-Professional Plaza
                                   East-Glacier Highway
                                   West-residential/LC zone


PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The applicant requests an allowable use permit for the development of 2,276 square foot, 12 foot high second building as part of the existing Bright Beginnings day care center. With an area of 2,953 square feet in the existing building, the total area of the development is 5,229 square feet, in addition to an outdoor play area. The proposed building includes two 800-900 square foot classrooms, washrooms, an office, and a lobby (See Attachments A-D). Construction of a new driveway within an undeveloped right-of-way, which requires a separate allowable use permit (USE 2001-00028), is being reviewed in a second application, also up for consideration at this Planning Commission meeting.

The current Bright Beginnings day care and preschool cares for children aged six weeks through ten years. If the proposed plans are approved, the original building would house primarily infants and toddlers. The new structure would care for preschool, pre-kindergarten, and school-age children. Proposed hours of operation are 7:00 am to 6:00 pm Monday through Friday (Attachment D). The center will be staffed by 16 employees, with a maximum occupancy of 40 children in the existing building and 47 children in the proposed building (Attachment E).


BACKGROUND

The Allowable Use Permit for the original and existing day care center was approved at the January 25, 2000 Planning Commission meeting as USE2000-00001. The permit was approved with the condition that the applicant would reconstruct the on-site driveway to a minimum 20 foot width to accommodate 2 lanes of traffic and emergency access, in conjunction with the DOT Glacier Highway Project in 2001. The applicant completed this requirement in early August 2001. Prior to this date, traffic to the site was routed through the Valley Paint lot. However, to expand and link the driveway to the proposed second building in the rear of the lot, a separate permit for a driveway in the right-of-way is required, according to CBJ Table of Permissible Uses 49.25.400 Section 17.310.


ANALYSIS

The site is located in a Light Commercial (LC) zone. A childcare center is defined as a building or portion thereof used for the purpose of caring for 13 or more children under the age of 12, any of whom are non-resident. A childcare center (7.310) is a listed use in the Table of Permissible Uses, 49.25.400. This use requires an Allowable Use permit in the LC zone.

Project Site -

The site currently includes the existing day care building, a small parking lot in front of that building, and a small outside play area. The site is bordered by large pine trees and/or dense brush. Duck Creek bisects the property parallel to the east property line. The site is bordered by an undeveloped right-of-way and Professional Plaza to the south, Valley Paint to the north, Tongass Park Subdivision to the west, and Glacier Highway to the east.

Traffic -

With the condition placed on the original conditional use permit, the applicant has developed a sufficient driveway for entering and exiting the site. Expanding the driveway to meet the proposed building in the rear requires a separate allowable use permit as noted. Glacier Highway is a designated collector roadway, which has been newly improved. As traffic level is appropriate for this roadway, DOT has no concerns with the proposed development and recently approved reconstruction of the driveway within the DOT right-of-way. The new development is anticipated to generate 100 additional trips per day with peak periods spread from 7 am to 9 am and 4 pm to 6 pm. The current development also generates 100 trips per day, which brings the total to 200 trips (Attachment E).

Parking and Circulation -

The CBJ Land Use Code provides parking requirements for various land uses. When a specific use is not identified, direction is provided to use the parking requirement for the most similar land use. As we have previously identified in similar care center reviews, a comparable use is not provided in the Code. Therefore we must evaluate each development according to its specific factors. We do know from our experience that parking demand for care centers generates rapid parking space turnover and requires efficient site circulation.

Staff has identified some safety concerns with the traffic pattern of the rear parking lot. Specifically, spaces labeled "Parking Stall 1" and "Parking Stall 2" are spaced awkwardly and inhibit smooth circulation and visibility in the area near the front door of the building which will be used primarily for dropping off and picking up children. We will recommend as a condition that these spaces be removed entirely, and that the area in front of the building, except for Accessible Space A, be marked with a sign stating "Loading Area: Temporary Parking Only", or a similar message. We will recommend that those two parking spaces be added to the front parking area as marked on Attachment A. The applicant has accepted this recommendation.

In addition, accessible space B is not needed, as in this situation we would require only one accessible space with each building. To maximize limited parking, we will recommend as a condition that this space revert to a regular parking space. Accessible space A is located in the best location, in closest proximity to the building. However the user of the space will be backing up towards the loading area with children. To address this issue, we will recommend a condition that the applicant will place a sign in front of the parking space reading, "Caution! Children unloading behind vehicle" or a similar cautionary message.

The parking lot in front of the existing building has been expanded from the originally approved 7 spaces, to 13 spaces and 1 accessible space. With the condition of adding two more spaces to the lot to replace those removed from the rear, the number increases to 15 spaces and 1 accessible. With acceptance of our conditions, the rear parking area has 2 spaces and 1 accessible space. This brings the total number of parking spaces to 17 spaces and 2 accessible spaces. Three spaces in the front parking area are specifically designated for visitors and parents as part of the loading area by the door, the rest of the area will be for staff parking. The rear parking area is reserved for visitors.

With the new development, the total number of employees will be 16. Six of these employees are part-time. Two employees are known to carpool and four use the nearby bus stop. If all 16 employees drove their own vehicles and worked at the center all day, there would be only 1 regular space and 2 accessible spaces remaining. However since 6 employees are part-time and several use the bus stop and carpools, a conservative estimate would leave approximately 6 parking spaces open for visitors. The original allowable use permit allowed 7 parking spaces and 1 accessible space for a staff of 10 employees. We are not aware of any problems resulting from the previous parking arrangement, and the current proposal improves this ratio. With the conditions noted, we believe the proposed parking arrangement will meet the need of the center. CBJ Fire Marshal Randy Waters has reviewed and approved the plan for safe fire access.

CBJ Code 49.40.220(a) requires that the parking area be properly drained, lighted, and landscaped. Lighting plans are noted below. The Engineering Department has reviewed and approved drainage plans. To meet the landscape requirement, staff recommends a condition that will preserve the vegetation between Glacier Highway and the front parking lot, and to re-vegetate the northern edge of the first parking lot, which was originally used as access from Valley Paint. Re-vegetation at this site will also discourage uses from entering or exiting the lot from Valley Paint. The applicant will be also required to clearly mark parking spaces, per CBJ Code 49.40.220(b)(C).

Lastly, we will recommend a condition that the applicant is to construct a footpath between the buildings and parking lots to ensure that children and other individuals will not be walking along the driveway.


Exterior Lighting -
Both buildings and parking lots will be lit with exterior lights under the eaves of the buildings.


Juneau Coastal Management Program -
The proposed development was reviewed for compliance with CBJ 49.70.900, the Juneau Coastal Management Program. The analysis reveals that no enforceable provisions of the JCMP apply.


FINDINGS

CBJ 49.15.320 (e), Decision, states that the Planning Commission shall consider the allowable use permit application and shall review the Community Development Director's recommendation with respect to:

1. Whether the application is complete;

2. Whether the requested permit is appropriate according to the Table of Permissible Uses;

3. Whether the development as proposed will comply with the other requirements of this chapter; and,

4. Whether conditions are necessary for approval.

The commission shall approve the application and grant the permit unless it finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, that one or more of the criteria have not been met. In either case the commission shall adopt written findings setting forth the basis for its decision.

Per CBJ 49.15.320 (e)(1 thru 4), Decision, the director makes the following findings on the criteria for granting the requested allowable use approval:

1. Is the application for the requested allowable use permit complete?

Yes. We find the application contains the information necessary to conduct a 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 requested permit 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 7.310 for the LC 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. Are conditions necessary for approval of the requested allowable use permit?

Yes. Based on the preceding staff analysis, staff finds that conditions are necessary for approval of the requested permit.

Per CBJ 49.70.900 (b)(3), General Provisions, the director makes the following Juneau Coastal Management Program consistency determination:

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

Not Applicable. Based on the preceding staff analysis, we find that no enforceable provisions of the Juneau Coastal Management Program apply to the proposed development.


RECOMMENDATION

We recommend that the Planning Commission adopt the director's analysis and findings and grant the requested allowable use permit for a 2276 square foot day care center building in the rear of the lot at 9315 Glacier Highway, with the following conditions:

  1. The applicant shall construct a minimum 5 foot wide footpath, safely outside of the border of the driveway, between the two parking areas and two buildings, with a plan approved by the Community Development Department, prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy.
  2. The applicant shall clearly mark parking spaces and access aisles on site, prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy.
  3. The applicant shall place a safety sign in the front of the rear parking lot Accessible Space A which reads, "Caution! Children loading behind vehicle," or a similar cautionary message, prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy.
  4. The applicant shall place a sign visibly located in front of the rear building which reads, "Loading Area: Temporary Parking only," or a similar message, prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy.
  5. The applicant shall eliminate Parking Stalls 1 and 2 from the rear parking lot and change Accessible Space B into a regular parking space, prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy.
  6. The applicant shall add one additional parking space to the northwest corner and one parking space to the southeast corner of the front parking lot. The modified plan shall be submitted and approved prior to issuance of a Building Permit.
  7. The applicant shall preserve vegetation between Glacier Highway and the front parking lot for screening purposes. The applicant shall also re-vegetate the northern edge of the front parking lot at the former point of temporary access from the adjacent lot to prohibit future access from this location. The modified plan shall be submitted and approved prior to issuance of a Building Permit.