DATE:      August 7, 2001

TO:           Planning Commission

FROM:    Chris Beanes, Planner
                  Community Development Department

FILE NO.: USE2001-00029 - Conditional Use

PROPOSAL: A Conditional use permit review for a 576 square foot efficiency apartment over an existing detached garage

GENERAL INFORMATION

Applicant:                 Christopher Alton

Property Owner:         Christopher Alton

Property Address:       4380 Bauer Lane

Legal Description:       Bauer Lot 2

Parcel Code Number: 7-B10-0-108-003-0

Site Size:                    9,975 Square Feet

Zoning:                      D5 - Single Family/Duplex Residential

Utilities:                    CBJ Water & Sewer

Access:                    Bauer Lane

Existing Land Use:   Residential

Surrounding Land Use: North - Residential
                                    South - Residential
                                    East - Residential
                                    West - Residential


PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The applicant requests a conditional use permit for the development of a 576 square foot accessory apartment above a detached garage in the D-5 Zone. The lot currently has a single-family dwelling unit.


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

There are 2 separate previous applications for an accessory apartment within the detached garage and house. The concurrent review approvals for USE1998-00071 and VAR1998-00056 were necessary for the proposal of an accessory apartment in a detached garage. Subsequently, USE1998-00071 was approved for the accessory apartment, however VAR1998-00056 was denied for an accessory apartment to be located in a detached garage. The applicant chose to withdraw their request for the proposed accessory apartment in the detached garage. The applicant, through review of USE1999-00021 received approval for an accessory apartment in an existing single family residence. However, the applicant did not end up building the apartment in the house.

Since previous accessory apartment regulations didn’t allow accessory apartments in detached garages, the variance procedure was required for such requests. However, accessory apartment regulations were amended April 2, 2001 to allow (through conditional use review) an accessory apartment to be considered in a detached garage in the D-5 zone. The current incarnation is to revisit conversion of a portion of the second floor of the existing garage into an efficiency apartment, without the variance requirement.

Project Site – Portions of the site are steep with a natural slope. The access road is a dedicated right-of-way, however it was never constructed to CBJ standards, and is not paved.

Project Design - The applicant has proposed conversion of an existing space in a garage into an accessory apartment. It appears that the garage was built so that this conversion could take place in the future. There will be no change to the exterior of the garage, all modifications will take place on the interior.

Parking and Circulation - 2 spaces are required for the principal dwelling unit, as well as 2 for the accessory apartment. The applicant has shown the required 4 spaces on the site on both existing driveways and garage.

Property Value or Harmony –The intent of the single entrance requirement is to minimize the appearance of second dwelling units and thereby preserve the character of single family neighborhoods and neighborhood harmony. The applicant has shown an entrance to the accessory apartment on the west side of the existing garage. Since the second entrance will not be visible from the street, this requirement is met. In addition, the detached garage is existing, and no alterations will occur on the exterior of the building.


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 development 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 evidence is found to indicate that an accessory apartment located in the existing detached garage will substantially decrease the value or be out of harmony with the property in the neighborhood.

6. Will the proposed development not 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. No 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 conditional use permit. The permit would allow the development of a 576 square foot efficiency apartment above a detached garage in the D-5 Zone.