DATE: December 13, 2000

TO: Planning Commission

FROM: Katharine Heumann, Planner
Community Development Department

FILE NO.: CSP2000-00015, CSP1999-00005

PROPOSAL: A City Project Review to renew a city lease for Juneau Gun Club trap shooting facility and a City lease to sublease a portion of the Gun Club Lease for a site for an Indoor Shooting Range.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Applicant: Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Property Owner: City and Borough of Juneau

Property Address: Montana Creek Road

Legal Description: Lease Hold, USS 1536

Parcel Code No.: 4-B29-0-140-001-0

Site Size: 21.5 acres

Zoning: RR, Rural Reserve

Utilities: No public utilities

Access: Montana Creek Road

Existing Land Use: Trap Range

Surrounding Land Use: North – Vacant, RR

South – Montana Creek Road

East - Vacant, D-1, Residential

West - Vacant, RR

 

 

BACKGROUND

A trap shooting facility on Montana Creek Road has been operated by the Juneau Gun Club since 1977. Prior to the city selecting the land in 1980 as part of its municipal land entitlement, the USFS had issued a special use permit to the City and Borough of Juneau which in turn leased the site to the Juneau Gun Club. The Montana Creek land selection includes the trap range, the community garden, the rifle range, and the archery range.

The Juneau Gun Club’s 25-year lease will expire April 2, 2002. In addition, the Gun Club is planning to make some repairs and improvements that will require bank financing. A long- term lease is required for the financing. As a result, in order to stay on target, the Gun Club is requesting a lease renewal for 25 years under the same terms and conditions as the current lease.

In addition, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has received funding for the construction of an indoor shooting range to replace the range in a local school. The preferred site for the facility is part of the lease site adjacent to the trap shooting facility. ADF&G and the Juneau Gun Club have agreed upon an area suitable for the indoor range where the indoor range and trap facility would complement each other. The proximity to each other would allow for shared parking, security with a caretaker, and a wider range of shooting opportunities at one location.

A sub-lease of a portion of the site has been agreed upon by both parties. The possible future addition of an indoor shooting facility can result in an overall higher caliber operation for the education and practice opportunities for local shooters.

Project Description:

The Juneau Gun Club is situated on a 21.5 acre site on Montana Creek Road. The adjacent land uses include the Glacier Lands gravel operation, the Community Garden, and vacant federal and CBJ public lands. The trap shooting facility consists of 5 shooting stations, a clubhouse, caretaker residence and parking lot. The facility is set back and screened from the road.

Trap shooting is generally held on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, and Sundays and involves low-power shotguns. However, special training sessions often occur for the Boy Scouts, 4H, hunter safety training, the university, and other community groups, involving higher powered rifles. A broad range of community members utilize the area for practice, educational and training. Use of the higher powered rifles raises some concern with the proximity of Residential Zoned land.

The property to the east of the site is a 64-acre parcel zoned D-1, Residential. Currently, this area is used for a gravel pit. There is a large stand of old-growth timber buffering the existing trap shooting range from the adjoining privately owned land. This forested area serves as an excellent buffer for both safety and sound. This buffer, or the equivalent, is extremely important to retain in

the future. Any future plans or modifications to the buffer area on the lease site must address the adequate buffering of this use from the Residential area.

Also, a caretaker is traditionally housed on the site for security purposes for property stored on the site. The presence of this person is seen as a deterrent for vandalism and inappropriate use of the site and plans are to continue to house a caretaker on site. In addition, the caretaker on the premises reduces risks and potential problems and is important to retain for the life of the lease.

 

JCMP REVIEW

This proposal was reviewed for consistency with the Juneau Coastal Management Plan and no policies of the plan were found to apply.

FINDINGS

One of the duties of the Planning Commission is to review city development projects and recommend approval or denial to the Assembly. Per CBJ '49.10.170(c), the commission review of city projects is directed as follows:

  • The report and recommendation of the Commission shall be based upon the provisions of this title, the comprehensive plan and the capital improvements program.
  • Land Use Code

    The applicable provisions of the Land Use Code are contained at CBJ 49.25.300 Section 6 and CBJ '49.70, the Juneau Coastal Management Plan (JCMP). The JCMP review is provided above.

    Comprehensive Plan

    The project is consistent with the provisions of the CBJ Comprehensive Plan. Policy 4.16 states, in part:

  • It is the policy of the CBJ to continue providing quality dispersed outdoor recreational opportunities, and to acquire and develop sufficient local parks and recreational facilities in locations convenient to all areas of the CBJ. Places given priority for new facilities include rapidly developing areas and currently developed areas which lack adequate park
  • The Juneau Gun Club’s trap shooting facility has been an asset to the community for the last 23 years. There have been no unusual problems with the operation of the facility. Records show no complaints from the public to the CBJ regarding the Trap Shooting area. There are no apparent reasons to not extend the lease or to not allow the indoor shooting facility to be located on a portion of the site. A conditional use permit for the indoor facility will be required under 49.25.300 Section 6.100.

    However, the proximity to lands with a Residential zoning designation is cause for attention to buffering and supervision of the site as mentioned above.

    STAFF RECOMMENDATION

    The Planning Commission is requested to make a recommendation to the Assembly on whether to renew the lease for the Juneau Gun Club and the request of the Department of Fish and Game to lease a portion of the site for an indoor shooting facility.

    The director and the Lands Division recommend that the Juneau Gun Club lease be renewed for an additional 25 year term and that a portion of the site be leased to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for an indoor shooting facility for a 25 year term at no cost subject to the following advisory and conditions:

    Advisory: The indoor shooting facility will require a conditional use permit under CBJ 49.25.300 Section 6.100.

    Conditions:

    1. Any removal of trees within the existing forested buffer on the lease site during the term of the lease must be approved by the Planning Commission.

    2. A caretaker will be maintained on site for the duration of the lease for safety and security.

    3. Use of the site for high-powered rifle activity will be reviewed by the Lands Division every five years OR upon proposal of subdivision of lands within mile of the site.