DATE:               August 20, 2001

TO:                    Planning Commission

FROM:             Greg Chaney, Planner
                           Community Development Department

FILE NO.:         USE2001-00030

PROPOSAL: A conditional use permit for a 12-guest bed and breakfast.


GENERAL INFORMATION

Applicant:                Roy & Elva Buehler

Property Owner:      Roy & Elva Buehler

Property Address:   10520 Glacier Highway

Legal Description:   USS 2386, Block B, Lot 5

Parcel Code No.:    4-B22-0-105-001-0

Site Size:                30,928 Square Feet

Zoning:                   D1 - Single-Family / Duplex Residential

Utilities:                  CBJ Water, On Site Sewer

Access:                  Glacier Highway

Existing Land Use: Vacant

Surrounding Land Use:  North - D1(T)D10 Residential Transitional to Multifamily
                                    South - D1(T)D10 Residential Transitional to Multifamily
                                    East - D1(T)D10 Residential Transitional to Multifamily
                                    West - D1(T)D10 Residential Transitional to Multifamily, Glacier Highway

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The applicant requests a Conditional Use permit to allow development of a Bed and Breakfast facility. This facility would be accessory to a single-family residence and would accommodate a maximum of 12 guests.


BACKGROUND

The applicant wishes to construct a two story single-family home at 10520 Glacier Highway. The second story of this house will contain four bedrooms to be rented out to guests as a Bed and Breakfast. On the ground floor will be a bedroom for the owner/operator, kitchen, dining room, office and two-car garage. It is anticipated that most of the time, there will be two guests per room for a total of eight guests. Occasionally there may be three guests in a room, which in unusual circumstances could lead to an occupancy of twelve guests.

Access to the site is provided through a shared driveway, which fronts on Glacier Highway. Parking for the owner will be provided by four parking spaces in the garage, and two spaces in front of the garage. Four parking spaces have been designated adjacent to the driveway for guest parking. This brings the site total to ten parking spaces.

CBJ water service is available to the lot however public sewer service has not been installed in this area. All sewer needs in the region are provided through private septic systems.


ANALYSIS

Project Site – The subject lot is 30,928 square feet and is currently vacant. Glacier Highway borders the lowest portion of the lot. A gentle slope extends from Glacier Highway and levels out where a building pad has been prepared. A driveway currently exists which provides access to the lot from the south. This driveway enters a CBJ lot designated for assess purposes and shares combined access to Glacier Highway with other lots in the vicinity (Attachments 1,2 &3).

To the north and west is a developed subdivision consisting of single-family residences. This subdivision, USS 2386 Lot A, was created in 1961 but was not developed until recently. The applicant’s lot is the largest lot in the subdivision but all lots in the subdivision are smaller than would be allowed in the current D-1 (T) D-10 zoning district. Under current D-1 (T) D-10 zoning, the region is designated primarily for single-family residences but if public sewer service is provided in the future, the region could be rezoned to multi-family residential with 10 dwelling units per acre.

Hamilton Street provides access for existing residences in this subdivision. Although the subject lot was created through the same subdivision, Hamilton Street can not be accessed from the applicant’s lot. As a result, the applicant’s lot shares a rear property line with three other developed lots but traffic from the proposed Bed and Breakfast will not impact Hamilton Street.

Project Design – The development will consist of a two story building. This building will have approximately 2,750 square feet of living space and a four car garage. Four bedrooms will be located on the second story for guests along with a common room (Attachment 4). The applicant has indicated that on most occasions, eight guests will be the maximum anticipated. This would occur when four couples were lodged at the facility. In order to maintain flexibility, the applicant wishes to have a maximum occupancy of twelve guests to accommodate the rare instance when four groups of three might wish to stay at the Bed and Breakfast. Since travelers usually share rooms in pairs and maximum occupancy is rarely sustained in any lodging facility, six to eight guest is probably more representative of projected occupant load.

On the first story will be an owner/operator’s bedroom, office, kitchen, entry and dining room (Attachment 5). Exterior lighting will be consistent with a single-family residence, consisting of porch lights over garage and exterior doors. The building contains many windows, some of which will face the adjacent developed residential properties (Attachments 6,7,8 & 9).

Traffic – Traffic is not anticipated to be substantially out of character with a residential neighborhood and can be accommodated on Glacier Highway. A church shares the existing driveway to Glacier Highway. Since church functions tend to occur at off peak hours, sharing of this driveway is anticipated to be manageable.

Parking and Circulation – Four parking spaces will be provided in the applicant’s garage. These will be arranged in two rows of two cars each. Access to the garage will be provided through two large garage doors. Additionally the applicant has shown two additional spaces in front of the garage door for a total of six parking spaces for the owner/operator’s use. Four guest parking spaces will be arranged at an angle to the driveway. This brings the site total to ten spaces. Per CBJ§49.40.210, Parking Table, a single-family residence requires two spaces and a boarding house requires one space for each three guests. Therefore, the proposed facility requires two spaces for the residential use and four spaces for the Bed and Breakfast use. Ten spaces will be provided which exceeds the minimum requirement. Parking spaces have been shown on the applicant’s site plan with the dimensions of 9’x16’ however the CBJ minimum parking space size is 8.5’x17’. There appears to be enough space on site to adjust the parking space size to meet the 17’ minimum (Attachment 3).

The proposed parking layout will allow for vehicles to turn around on the lot without backing down the driveway. Back out parking is not allowed for commercial uses and the proposed layout provides the minimum isle width to accommodate vehicles executing a three point turn to exit the driveway facing forward.

Noise – The proposed facility is for overnight guest lodging. The applicant has not expressed a desire to host large events or gatherings. Bed and Breakfasts commonly generate noise similar in character to single-family residences. The only noise related complaints this office has received related to operational Bed and Breakfasts is when they host large events (such as parties, weddings or retreats) and when they exceed maximum occupancy. Since the applicant has not indicated that they intend to offer such services, noise is not anticipated to exceed that found in a typical residential neighborhood.

Public Health or Safety – The only public health concern which has come to Staff’s attention related to this project is the possibility that the proposed facility would overburden an on site septic system. If the Bed and Breakfast experienced its requested 12 guest maximum capacity for an extended period, this could significantly burden a septic system designed for residential use. Therefore staff will require a letter from a licensed Alaskan Civil Engineer which will evaluate the proposed septic system’s suitability for the proposed operation. If the system installed can not accommodate the projected load, the Bed and Breakfast’s maximum occupancy will be reduced match the septic system’s rated capacity.

Property Value or Neighborhood Harmony – The CBJ Assessor’s Office indicated that Bed and Breakfasts do not have a history in Juneau of reducing adjacent property values. A single-family residence of the same size could be built on the applicant’s lot without a Conditional Use permit. Impacts to adjacent views would be the same. Traffic for this facility will not travel on Hamilton Street, which provides access to most adjacent residential properties. Noise is not anticipated to be significantly greater than would be generated from a large single-family residence. Adjacent residents have expressed concern about a loss of privacy resulting from the proposed development (Attachments 10, 11, 12, 13&14). Therefore, staff is recommending that a six foot or higher, sight obscuring fence be erected by the applicant between the applicant’s property and developed properties to the northwest. It is further recommended that the applicant plant sight obscuring evergreen trees along this property line to provide a long term visual buffer.

Conformity With Adopted Plans – The proposed Bed and Breakfast is within an area designated as Rural Dispersed Residential in the Comprehensive Plan. Uses in these areas "may include small-scale, visitor oriented, seasonal recreational facilities." The CBJ Land Use Code implements the Comprehensive Plan through zoning and regulations. The proposed Bed and Breakfast is located in an area which is designated as D-1, single-family residential, which may transition to D-10, multifamily residential if public sewer is provided to the region. D-1 zoning is mainly intended to accommodate single-family development at a density of one dwelling per acre.

Bed and Breakfasts may be allowed in a D-1 zoning district if a Conditional Use permit is approved by the Planning Commission per CBJ§49.25.300, the Table of Permissible Uses 1.600. Considering the above, applicant’s application is found to be in conformity with CBJ’s adopted plans.


JCMP REVIEW

The proposed development was reviewed for compliance with CBJ§49.70.900, the Juneau Coastal Management Program. The analysis reveals that provisions of the program do not apply to this request.


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; and,

3. Whether the development 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 1.600 for the D-1 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. Notice was provided in the Juneau Empire under "Your Municipality" which ran on Friday, August 17, 2001. A Public Notice was posted on the site at least 14 days prior to the meeting, and notice was mailed to adjacent property owners within 500 feet of the subject property.

4. Will the proposed development materially endanger the public health or safety?

No. The only concern for Public Safety identified during Staff’s review was the possibility that the on site septic system might fail if it is not properly designed for this use. To address this concern, a condition has been incorporated into this report which requires the applicant to submit a letter from a certified Alaskan Civil Engineer stating that the proposed septic system is properly designed to accommodate the proposed development. If the septic system has a lower capacity than that requested by the applicant for the proposed Bed and Breakfast, the maximum occupancy of the facility will be reduced to match the septic system’s capacity.

5. Will the proposed development substantially decrease the value of or be out of harmony with property in the neighboring area?

No. Staff has not received any information, which indicates that the proposed Bed and Breakfast would reduce adjacent property values. A single-family residence of the same size could be built on the applicant’s lot without a Conditional Use permit. Traffic and noise generated from the proposed Bed and Breakfast are not anticipated to be significantly greater than could be generated from a large single-family residence.

Adjacent residences have expressed concern about a loss of privacy resulting from the proposed development. Therefore staff is recommending that a six foot, or higher, sight obscuring fence be erected by the applicant between the applicant’s property and developed properties to the northwest. It is further recommended that the applicant plant sight obscuring evergreen trees along this property line to help provide a long term visual buffer.

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

No. The proposed Bed and Breakfast is within an area designated as Rural Dispersed Residential in the Comprehensive Plan. Uses in these areas "may include small-scale, visitor oriented, seasonal recreational facilities." The property is zoned D-1 (T) D-10, single-family residential, which may transition to multifamily if public sewer becomes available in the area. A Bed and Breakfast is allowed with a Conditional Use permit if approved by the Planning Commission. Therefore, the application is in conformity with officially adopted plans of the City and Borough of Juneau.

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

Not Applicable. Based on the preceding staff analysis, it is found that no provisions of the Juneau Coastal Management Program apply to the proposed development.


RECOMMENDATION

It is recommended 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 twelve-guest Bed and Breakfast. The approval is subject to the following conditions:

  1. Prior to operation, the applicant shall submit a letter to CBJ Planning Staff from a certified Alaskan Civil Engineer stating the proposed septic system is properly designed to accommodate a twelve (12) guest Bed and Breakfast. If the proposed septic system has a lower capacity than a twelve (12) guest Bed and Breakfast, the maximum occupancy of the facility will be reduced to match the proposed septic system’s capacity.
  2. Prior to operation, the applicant shall install, where appropriate, a six foot (or higher) sight obscuring fence between the applicant’s property and developed properties to the northwest. It is further recommended that the applicant plant sight obscuring evergreen trees along this property line to help provide a long term visual buffer.
  3. The permit is for a twelve (12) person Bed and Breakfast facility and does not include events or functions for more than 12 guests.