DATE: October 3, 2001
TO: Planning Commission
FROM: Tim Maguire, Planner
Community Development Department
FILE NO.: USE2001-00033
PROPOSAL: A conditional use permit to amend the existing convenience store use with the addition of gasoline sales.
Applicant: No Creek Jack, Inc.
Property Owner: Coogan General, LLC
Property Address: 9951 Stephen Richards Drive, Juneau
Legal Description: USS 2100 FR
Parcel Code Number: 5-B21-0-131-000-0
Site Size: Approximately .4 Acres
Zoning: D-15 Multifamily
Utilities: CBJ Water & Sewer
Access: Stephen Richards Drive
Existing Land Use: Convenience store (retail, package store, and laundromat).
Surrounding Land Use: North - Glacierview Mobile Home Park
South - Mobile Home Park
East - Vacant, Duck Creek
West - Mobile Home Park
The applicant requests an amendment to the existing conditional use permit for the convenience store use (Duck Creek Market) with the addition of fuel service. The proposal includes 2 fuel pumps located at the front (north side) of the building. In addition, a canopy is proposed over the pumps and a 6,000-gallon fuel storage tank is shown on the west-side of the building. The site plan also indicates two-way traffic circulation utilizing the two existing driveway entrances on either site of the site.
During a revision of the Comprehensive Plan in the late 80’s this site was identified as an area appropriate for neighborhood commercial use. To implement the Plan, the site was designated as a convenience store overlay district. Although the underlying zoning remained residential, this overlay district allows limited retail commercial use if a conditional use permit is obtained.
On August 4, 1989 the Planning Commission denied a request for a conditional use permit to establish a convenience store at this site. On October 14, 1989 the Assembly overturned the decision of the Planning Commission an approved the conditional use permit, with conditions. The applicants are now requesting a modification to the existing conditional use permit to allow fuel service to be added to the existing convenience store uses (retail, package store, and laundromat).
This site is one of four sites identified in the CBJ as a convenience store use overlay district. In the creation of these overlay districts, a set of specific development guidelines were adopted, including a list of uses allowed and specific design standards. Fuel service is one of the uses that can be considered in a convenience store proposal. The Planning Commission is currently reviewing modifications to the standards for development in these overlay districts. Fuel service was a use being considered for removal from the list of allowed uses. However, in the most recent Committee of the Whole deliberations, this use was retained.
This facility has operated for 12 years at this site in general compliance with the permit. The applicant believes there is demand for this use based on requests from customers and the trend toward combining of these uses in the CBJ and nationwide.
Project Site - This is a .4 acre parcel located within the Sprucewood Mobile Home Park. This building was originally used as a Laundromat, and various other uses, associated with the mobile home park. When the original conditional use permit was approved, a lease was granted to the applicant for use of the site as a convenience store. Access to the site is in conjunction with two of the existing driveway entrances to the park.
Drainage – The majority of the runoff from this site drains towards the front of the lot and into the storm drainage system in the Stephen Richards Memorial Drive right of way. Most of this runoff flows to the west toward the Mendenhall River. However, a smaller portion of the site drains to the east, into nearby Duck Creek. Drainage from the site is a concern because fuel service can introduce contaminants such as oil and gas into the drainage system (See Attachment A). The area surrounding the gas pumps and tank does not drain towards Duck Creek. Staff will recommend that construction plans be reviewed to insure this drainage pattern is retained and that runoff be treated with some form of oil/water separation.
Traffic – A traffic analysis was completed with the original conditional use permit request for a convenience store at this site. The report concluded that the surrounding road system and driveway access could handle the vehicle traffic generated by this new use. However, because of the existing pedestrian use of the area and the attraction of the new use, it was determined there would be a need for pedestrian improvements. Sidewalks and a crosswalk were constructed in Stephen Richards Memorial Drive as part of the project. Since that time the CBJ completed a reconstruction project for Steven Richards Memorial Drive upgrading and widening the roadway and sidewalks. In addition, DOT/PF recently completed a safety improvement project in this area with the signalization of the Mendenhall Loop Road and Stephen Richards Memorial Drive intersection.
The impact to traffic with the addition of fuel service was evaluated with the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT/PF) (See Attachment B). Analysis of traffic generation rates for the existing and proposed uses showed that the number of trips to the site would increase by approximately 8%. The reason this figure is low is because studies have shown that many trips to a convenience store are combination trips and not generated by the fuel service alone. Also, the number of trips generated is directly related to the number of pumps provided. It is DOT/PF ‘s opinion that this increase in traffic is not significant. In addition, the two nearby intersections of Riverside Drive and Mendenhall Loop Road with Stephen Richards Memorial Drive are operating at acceptable levels of service and will not be affected by the introduction of the fuel service.
Parking and Circulation – The site plan indicates 21 parking spaces, which met the parking requirements at the time of approval. Although, the site plan shows this number of parking stalls, many of the spaces go unused because the typical length of stay at a convenience store very short. Four of the original parking spaces shown on the site plan are parallel parking spaces along the front of the building. These spaces will be displaced when the fuel pumps are constructed. However, the stalls associated with the gas pumps will provide equivalent parking spaces.
The site plan submitted with the original conditional use permit request, showed a one-way loop circulation with the entrance at the east driveway and the exit at the west driveway. It appears that this circulation pattern did not take hold and both the east and west entrances are used to enter or exist the site.
Two-way traffic in the front of the building probably hasn’t been a problem because the main traffic flow enters and exits the east driveway. However, the circulation pattern bears looking at again, because much more traffic with traverse the front of the building with the addition of gas service.
Our recommendation is that a one-way loop be re-established for use of the gas pumps. One-way circulation would only be for the front of the building, with the entrance to the gas pumps from the east and exiting at to the west. Two-way traffic can remain for the east driveway.
There are a number of factors that constrict this area. The area between the building and the street right of way line is narrower than originally thought. This results in narrower aisle widths between parking spaces. Landscaping which was thought to be on-site is actually in the right of way and should be relocated behind the front property line. Space will need to be retained between the building and the traveled way for protection.
Staff would recommend that this one-way access be defined with striping, signs, and curbing and that plans be provided for Engineering Department approval.
Lighting – The proposal to have a canopy over the fuel pumps has the potential to impact surrounding properties with the glare from additional lighting. Canopies commonly include the lighting for the fuel distribution area. It will be critical that lighting be limited in intensity, and that lighting be shielded and directed away from the surrounding residential area. Staff will recommend that a lighting plan that meets these objectives be submitted with the building permit.
Landscaping – A landscaping plan was also approved for the original development. No landscaping was shown for the west side of the building. However, with the addition of the fuel tank, landscaping will be important for this area. The applicant has agreed to do substantial landscaping around the tank and the plan is shown on Attachment C.
As noted above, because of an error in locating the front property line, the landscaping was placed in the right of way. Staff recommends that this landscaping be relocated inside the front property line at this time. If the right of way is needed in the future, and the landscaping must be moved, there may be conflicts with an established fuel service operation.
Noise – Because of the small increase in traffic predicted, a significant increase in noise is also not anticipated.
Public Health or Safety – The primary health or safety issue with this proposal is the storage and distribution of the flammable liquids associated with the addition of fuel service. This proposal has been reviewed by the CBJ Fire Marshal who indicates the proposal can be approved if the fire code is adhered to (See Attachment D). The fire code requires a number of safety measures to be incorporated for the storage of flammable liquids and fuel distribution. Safety features include such items as:
In addition, fuel distribution operation will require submittal of a Spill Prevention Control and Containment (SPCC) plan. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires these SPCC plans. The title of the plan explains its purpose.
Property Value or Neighborhood Harmony - Adjoining lands in this area are zoned multifamily residential and have been developed with mobile home parks. As noted above, this site has been used commercial activities associated with the Sprucewood Mobile Home Park development . The current use, a convenience store, has coexisted in the neighborhood without major problems for the past 12 years.
The convenience store was developed under the standards set forth in the Use Code for this type of use. The building is one-story, has limited signage, and went through design review process.
In addition, frontage and access is off of a major collector street. All the surrounding mobile home development access internal driveways and not directly onto Stephen Richards Memorial Drive.
Impacts from the addition of the fuel service have been discussed above. The projected increase in traffic is not expected to be significant. Safety issues are addressed with fire code protections that must be incorporated into the project. The applicant has proposed substantial screening for the proposed tank on the west side of the building. This proposal also proposes to add fuel pumps and a canopy in the front of the building, which will encroach 15 feet into the required minimum 20-foot front yard setback. To minimize impact of this encroachment the applicant has agreed to reduce the clearance under the canopy to 14 feet and reduce the width of the leading edge from 2 feet to 1 foot. In addition, staff would recommend the length be reduced from 34 feet to 30 feet. A separate application has been filed for a variance to reduce this setback requirement, VAR20001-00024.
Conformity With Adopted Plans - The Comprehensive Plan designates this area a neighborhood commercial . A convenience store including fuel service, is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan, current zoning, and permitted uses on the parcel.
In addition, the proposal meets the intent of the following Plan policy:
POLICY 5.7. IT IS THE POLICY OF THE CBJ TO ALLOW LIMITED COMMERCIAL USES IN NEW NEIGHBORHOODS AND IN APPROPRIATE AREAS IN EXISTING NEIGHBORHOODS.
5.7.1. Maintain provisions in the Land Use Code for neighborhood commercial developments such as convenience grocery stores, which include standards and limitations governing allowable uses, traffic, buffering, hours of operation.
5.7.2. Maintain and improve design review procedures to assure that proposals for neighborhood commercial development are evaluated in regard to site design, building placement, parking, landscaping, exterior lighting, and other factors related to surrounding properties, land uses and public facilities.
Juneau Coastal Management Program - The proposed development was reviewed for compliance with §CBJ 49.70.900, the Juneau Coastal Management Program (JCMP). The analysis has revealed that the following provisions of the JCMP, Section §49.70.950 © (7) dealing with water quality apply to the development proposal. This proposal is consistent with the JCMP with the provision of the some form of oil/water separation for the site runoff and provision of a spill prevention
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 it’s 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 a full review of the proposed operations. The application submitted by the applicant, including the appropriate fees, substantially conform to the requirements of CBJ code Chapters 49.15
2. Is the proposed use appropriate according to the Table of Permissible Uses?.
Yes. The proposed use is appropriate according to the Table of Permissible Uses. The use is listed at CBJ§49.25.300, Sections 2.110 for the D-15 Multifamily 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 except the gas pumps and canopy as proposed do not meet the minimum front yard setback requirement. A variance has been applied for VAR2001-00024.
4. Will the proposed development materially endanger the public health or safety?
No. Based on the preceding analysis which included the review of the Fire Marshall, required fire code protections, and traffic impacts, no evidence was found to indicate 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. Based on the preceding analysis that discussed surrounding development, previous and permitted uses of this site, predicted noise levels, and traffic impacts, no evidence was found to indicate that the proposed development will substantially decrease the value of, or be out of harmony with, property in the neighboring area.
6. Will the proposed development be in general conformity with the land use plan and other officially adopted plans?
Yes. Because of the Comprehensive Plan and subsequent zoning designation for this parcel, and the previous and permitted use of this property, it is found that the proposed development is in general conformity with the Comprehensive Plan.
7. Will the proposed development comply with the Juneau Coastal Management Program?
Yes. Based on the preceding analysis and the proposed conditions of approval dealing with water quality, we find that the proposed development will comply with the Juneau Coastal Management Program.
We recommend that the Planning Commission adopt the director's findings and grant the requested Conditional Use permit. The permit would allow the addition of fuel service to the existing convenience store use. The approval is subject to the following conditions:
1. That the applicant submit a drainage plan for the site with the building permit for approval by the CBJ Engineering Department. And that the plan must insure that run from the fuel pumps and tank sites continue to drain away from Duck Creek and that runoff be treated with some form of oil/water separation.
2.That the applicant establish one-way circulation for the gasoline pumps, with traffic entering from the east and existing to the west. That this one-way access be defined with striping, signs, and curbing where necessary. The plan should be submitted with the building permit for approval by the CBJ Engineering Department.
3.That the applicant screen the proposed fuel tank as shown on the Attachment C, and that the existing landscaping on the front of the lot be relocated to back of the front property line. All landscaping should be completed or bonded for prior to any occupancy permit.
4.That the clearance under the canopy to be reduced to 14 feet, the height of the leading edge of the canopy reduced from 2 feet to 1 foot, and that the length canopy be reduced from 34 feet to 30 feet.
5. That the applicant submit a lighting plan with the building permit for approval by the Community Development Department. The plan must insure that lighting intensity will be limited, and that lighting be shielded and directed away from the surrounding residential area.
6. That the applicants submit building plans for the canopy that insure consistency with color and design of the adjoining building. These plans shall be approved by the CDD with the building permit.