THE CITY AND BOROUGH OF JUNEAU, ALASKA
JUNE 7, 1999
MEETING NO. 99-18: The Regular meeting of the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly, held in the Assembly Chambers of the Municipal Building, was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Mayor Dennis Egan.
Assembly Present: Garrett, Kibby, MacKinnon, Powell, Egan, Hagevig, Muñoz and Koelsch
Assembly Absent: Perkins
A quorum was present.
Staff Present: Marian Miller, Municipal Clerk; Dave Palmer, City Manager; John Corso, City Attorney; Craig Duncan, Finance Director; Ernie Mueller, Public Works Director; John Kern, Transit Manager; Joan Wilkerson, Personnel Director; Cheryl Easterwood, CDD Director; Dave Miller, Airport Manager; Mike Doyle, Fire Chief; Dave Boddy, Div. Chief of Operations; Donna Pierce, Deputy Manager
MOTION - by Kibby, to approve the minutes of the Regular Meeting No. 99-12, held April 12, 1999, and he asked unanimous consent. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
MOTION - by Kibby, to approve the minutes of the Regular Meeting No. 99-13, held April 19, 1999, and he asked unanimous consent. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
SPECIAL ORDER OF BUSINESS
1. Capital Transit Employee Dennis Martin Honored.
Mayor Egan read the proclamation into the record. It was accepted by Mr. Martin.
2. Juneau Garden Club
Mayor Egan read the resolution proclaiming June 6 – 12 as Juneau Garden Club Appreciation Week into the record. Members of the Garden Club were present to accept the proclamation.
Mr. Palmer noted that Resolution 1993 was in the red folder and would be included with the Consent Agenda. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
Greg O’Claray, 5740 N. Douglas. Testified as a representative of District No. 1 MEBA, representing 300 CBJ employees and their families. He said it seemed apparent to him as a citizen, as well as a union representative, that the city was looking at major budget deficits or shortfalls in FY01 and FY02. He did not feel that the general public had been alerted to the alarm level they should be. He encouraged the Assembly to consider taking action soon and place before the voters the issue of a cruise ship passenger fee. The issue was placed before the voters by an initiative process two years ago and failed to be approved. He thought the Assembly should be looking very closely at revenue enhancement without putting the full burden of additional revenues that are needed to operate essential city services on the property tax owner.
Robert Garrison, testified in total opposition of the heli-hiking and huts that were being considered on Douglas Island. He said the island is easily accessible and a lot of people hike it. The ridges are wonderful and there is no need for helicopters. He hoped the helicopters would go someplace where people could not walk. He added to Mr. O’Claray’s testimony and said that in Seattle, every time you rent a car, it is 17-18% on the rental.
Mr. Kibby asked where on Douglas the heli-hiking was proposed. Mr. Garrison said the proposals were Mt. Meek and Ben Stewart. There were indications of huts in those places and eventually they would like to take over the whole island with hut-to-hut hikes.
Ms. Muñoz said she had received a lot of calls on this issue and she spoke with the City Attorney about the process with this particular application and who makes the decision. She was told that the Eaglecrest Manager would rule on this application and that denial of the permit could be appealed to the Eaglecrest Board; there is no recourse of appeal by a citizen to that board. Mr. Garrison said that Ben Stewart was State land and Mt. Meek was on Forest Service property and so it would only be a stepping stone.
Ms. Hagevig asked if the Trail Mix organization had been involved in the discussions. Mr. Garrison said they had to ride the fence and could not say yes or no because they promote trails. Ms. Hagevig said that Trail Mix was responsible for trail management in the borough and was set up by the Assembly to oversee the process. She presumed there would be some interaction between Trail Mix and the Eaglecrest Board before any definitive final plans were made. Ms. Hagevig asked if, to his knowledge, they had even discussed it. Mr. Garrison did not think so at this point in time, but it was a general feeling of all his hiking friends to say no way.
Mr. Powell, as the liaison to the Eaglecrest Board, knew that it had been in front of that board. They were putting it through a process and he was not certain that a decision from that board could not be appealed. Mr. Garrison said that would require a change to the administrative code and he did not know who was responsible for that code. Mr. Corso said the Eaglecrest regulations were adopted by the Eaglecrest Board and were subject to review by the Assembly, the same as any other regulations. His reading of the regulations in their present status was that the ski area manager was the one who issues permits such as these. Mr. Perkins clarified that the Assembly was the last administrative remedy in the process. Mr. Corso said that if the decision were made by a board or commission it would be appealable, but if the decision were made by staff, it is not.
Mr. Powell clarified that Mr. Garrison was against having helicopters and the hut system on the whole island of Douglas. Mr. Garrison asked who controls the administrative code and he said the meaning of the words "harass wildlife" in the code would have to be changed in order to run helicopters up there.
Ms. Muñoz clarified with Mr. Corso that under the current situation, if the manager makes a decision in the affirmative, it could not be appealed to the Eaglecrest Board, but if it is the board that makes the decision, then the Assembly could hear a decision as an appeal. Mr. Corso said yes, the ski area’s denial of a permit could be appealed by the applicant to the board. That decision by the board, and any other decision by the board whether it is in favor of the permit or against it, could be appealed to the Assembly. Ms. Muñoz asked how the Assembly would know whether it was the board or the manager that made the decision. Mr. Corso said the way he read the regulations, it would go to the ski area manager and would only get to the board if there were a denial.
Ms. Muñoz requested an Assembly working session with the Eaglecrest Board and the Manager. She thought there needed to be a good understanding of what was happening and what was before the Eaglecrest Board and where they were intending to go with this application. Mayor Egan directed the Lands Committee to come back to the Assembly with a recommendation if there was one. Mr. Kibby agreed. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
Murray Walsh, 2974 Foster Avenue, testified as the current Chairman of Alaskans for Better Access. They recommended, in an effort to have the people of Juneau take a more direct hand in addressing this issue, that there be a vote on the matter in the upcoming municipal election to ask the voters the question of whether or not Juneau’s access should be improved, specifically by means of a road. He suggested the ballot question simply be "Do you support road access to Juneau?" yes or no. DOT’s poll samples have not been very large and they have shown the community to be split on the issue. If there were a campaign on the issue, with open debate, the public would become more informed and the public would be more interested in voting on the matter. Their group takes their title seriously and if the community votes for a road, then the city could move forward together to work for a road. If the community votes against it, then the group would work for some other access improvement that would not involve a road, or very much road. Currently, the actual feelings of the city population was a mystery. Ordinarily transportation decisions should be made by the community leadership, but in this case it is such a fundamental issue that it deserves an election. They request that the Assembly have the appropriate instrument drafted so that action could be taken soon.
Lt. Russ Hardy, US Naval Forces, Alaska, 1707 Beach Avenue. On behalf of Captain Allen Heckner, the Commanding Officer of the USS Juneau, who would be conducting a port visit to her namesake, Friday, June 11 through Tuesday June 15th, he cordially invited the Assembly to a reception, Friday evening at 1730 to 1900 with spouses. During the USS Juneau’s visit, they would be participating in the reception, a wreath laying ceremony at the USS Juneau Memorial Saturday morning at 1000, which would be open to the public. Participation would also include the Ladies Auxiliary and Veterans of Foreign Wars. On Monday, June 14th, members of the crew would also participate with the local organization Trial Mix in a hiking renovation project. The USS Juneau would be open for tours from Saturday, June 12th through Monday, June 14th from 1000 to 1600 daily and would be moored at the Coast Guard Station, behind the Buoy Deck.
Joyce Levine, P.O. Box 21705, Juneau. She said that due to the high number of tourists that ride on Capital Transit buses, the buses become overcrowded at times, thus denying passage on buses to those residents who live year round in Juneau. Capital Transit was being turned into a summer bus service for the tourists and she felt that was wrong. If tourism, which is a resource of the State of Alaska, is impacting Capital Transit, then the tourism industry needed to be responsible for their impacts to the residents of Juneau. Due to the state budget cuts, the city council has said there is no funding for half-hour bus service but she thought the CBJ should be more resourceful in looking for funding for that service. The bus drivers were concerned with overcrowding. Several times the drivers have suggested the idea of fare boxes on all buses. According to a study done in Anchorage, if the boxes were implemented, the city would increase income by at least five percent. It was her understanding that fare boxes were not ordered on the new buses soon to come to Juneau, even after the drivers suggested the idea. Perhaps through a maintenance grant or some sort of grant that is not personal service, the CBJ could find ways of arranging to have the fare boxes on every single bus through the federal government. She said many residents in Juneau have VIP passes and many of those people have disabilities. The CBJ has been paying the cost of the passes and she suggested that State Vocational Rehabilitation or the Federal Government could take on the cost. To add up those two figures, the five percent on the fare boxes and then no longer paying the VIP passes, the total income would be approximately $40-50,000 per year. Another way to solve the transit problem would be to require the cruise ship industry to provide buses, the same way Princess Tours has and she thanked Princess Tours for providing that service. Presently, there was a plan to change Marine Park into a staging area for the tour buses. The funding for those changes is afforded through the port fees from the cruise ships and part of that ordinance includes off-loading passengers from the boats. The city could change the way the ordinance was written so that the port fees could pay for the impacts that the tourism industry is having on Capital Transit. She asked why the CBJ was building a staging area for the cruise ship lines when CBJ residents do not fit on our own buses due to their overcrowding. She thought the Assembly needed to see things from a different perspective for the good of the community, instead of for the good of the cruise ship lines. She thought it was sad to see such a service for the community, Capital Transit, being handed over to the tourism industry.
Ms. Hagevig asked for clarification on the fare boxes. Ms. Levine said the boxes told exactly how much the person getting on the bus put in. If a person only put in $.75, the bus driver could see that and require the correct fare. Ms. Levine said that according to what she had been told, the funding for that could have been paid for through the federal government. She thought they needed to be on the older buses that were also in service right now, aside from the newer ones. She went on to say that the buses in Anchorage have the boxes and they have been amazed at the difference.
Cheryl Hull, 9210 Gee Street, representing Southeast Alaska Independent Living (SAIL). She testified that she received four phone calls over the past week from people with disabilities who had been unable to get on the accessible buses because of overcrowded conditions. People in wheel chairs are sitting at the hospital or at medical appointments waiting for another bus to come along. Care-a-Van requires 24-hour notice and sometimes you can get there and sometimes you cannot. She has been bumped off Care-a-Van for other people to get rides so she understands the problem. There are no accessible taxis so the city needs to look at what can be done to accommodate the people in this community who live here year round and need to use that bus service to get around. There are people who are able to wheel themselves onto the buses and lock themselves into the chair space, but there is no room. She could understand how people would not want to pay $20 to see the glacier and would rather pay $1.25, but there needed to be better service for the community. She did not have any suggestions but said she would be willing to work with anyone on it and they would see what they could do out at SAIL, but they needed to work hand in hand with the city. She said it cost her $18 to come in from the valley to be at this meeting. People do not have that kind of money if they are not working, if they are unable to work or if they are living off Social Security or SSDI.
Mayor Egan announced that the For-Hire regulations were an adopted set of regulations and there was an information item on the agenda. Four people had signed up to testify and there normally would not be public testimony on Manager Information items. He said, without objection from the Assembly, the testimony would be allowed under Public Participation on Non-Agenda Items.
Gary Allen, 6590 Glacier Highway, asked for clarification if the For-Hire regulations had already been passed. He understood it was up for passage this evening.
Mayor Egan informed him that they had not been adopted, but the item on the agenda was only information that the Manager was providing the Assembly. If the Assembly does not intervene within 30 days, the regulations would be adopted.
Mr. Allen said the cover letter dated June 3rd stated that if the Assembly had no objection, the regulations would become effective in 30 days. He said he and a number of other concerned parties hoped this would not happen. They felt there were a lot of flaws and he asked if everyone received the letter he faxed out over the weekend with some of his concerns. He said he only had one day to review this as he had been out of town. There seemed to be some serious flaws for the taxi industry and not for the other industries. More was taken away and more restrictions were put on the taxis. He referred to page 24, the marking system, it states that a taxi shall be equipped with an illuminated roof light which would contain the single word "Taxi" on the front of the sign and may contain a phone number on the back. He said his company had been in business for four years and almost all of his top lights say Alaska Taxi and Tours, which is his company name. Capital Cab’s top light says Capital Cab, Taku Taxi says Taku Taxi. It seemed the objective was to make sure there was no mistaking between companies; they all had different color schemes, uniform markings and he could not understand this. With regard to the restrictions in lettering, three of the companies in town would not meet those restrictions. He did not understand the timing of the permit renewals whereas the nature of their business, and especially tour operators, is to put on vehicles and drivers in the April to June period. According to the regulations, they would suffer severe penalties for doing that. If they were not operating until June, they would have to have insurance on their vehicles in November and carry that through the duration, until the summer, or they could pay a $400 late registration fee for a vehicle, and $500 for a driver that wanted to get a permit. In the past, they had done both of these by going into the Clerk’s Office with all the information, paying the fee and either adding or subtracting a vehicle or driver. He did not understand the reason that should be changed when it is the nature of the business that a large percentage of drivers and vehicles start in the April to June period. Non-taxi companies are entirely in this time frame and he suggested why not make the regulations fit the business climate rather than imposing severe penalties on the operators. He had not been able to get an answer from anyone as to why that was put in to penalize people that way. That is their business climate and that is how they have to operate so he suggested doing it all year long, like it has always been done. He felt there was a lot of stuff under taxicabs where they were treated much differently than other businesses for some reason. They hold a permit with the city but it seems like the permit process should work in their favor and not against them, if there is no reason. The taxi companies are paying over 50 percent of the proposed increases. Dispatching was changing and along with the increased costs, the taxi companies were the only companies that would have no recourse to send that cost down the line to the customer because also included in the regulations was what their rates would be, which was basically where his rate was at and where it had been for four years. He encouraged the Assembly not to pass the regulations and to send them out for a little more work.
Shane Williams, P.O. Box 211245, Auke Bay. He said 37 different people stood out in front of the Municipal Building last year, for hours, to express their extreme dismay and concern with the fact that the city would not enforce anything concerning the shuttles. The explanation to them then was that the administration and the cost for enforcement through the administration was too costly. Currently, there were 11 different vehicles operating as cabs, unregulated, between 7-15 passenger vehicles. The document that they represented has less than 20 lines of any type of discretion toward those types of vehicles at all. That is it, they can go where they want, do what they want and all they have to do is determine their stops. They pick up when they want to, they set up time calls and they operate like a cab. That was the main crux of getting to this point here so aggravatedly. They sit here now and the simple matter of requiring them to follow a route and schedule is being determined on the basis that Mr. Palmer says it cannot be done, they cannot do it because it is too expensive. Mr. Williams said it was done in other cities and he asked why it could not be done here. They were unable to add up the amount of cost to their industry for the past two years. Something has to be done specifically in this area.
Gardener Doane, P.O. Box 22746, Juneau, Alaska testified that he had been in the cab business for ten years, and in the community of Juneau for 19 years. He enjoyed working in the industry but sees the business going down the tubes. The shuttle industry has not been regulated like it should be and the new regulations coming out need more work; it is a quick fix but it will kill the industry. He read number two on page 25 with regards to markings. He said he gives a good tour but he needs the word "tour" on his vehicle for the people to understand that he is a cab or a good tour guide. If that were taken away, his income would suffer. Some companies have the word "tour" in their insignia so they would be allowed to continue to say tour on their vehicle. If he is parked next to that vehicle on the street, he would be put at a disadvantage. He is a taxi driver but he needs the summer income that is generated by the tourist industry to continue to live and work in this town. He said this was very important to him and several other people in the community. He is very proud of this community and has received letters to the editor from people who have been in his cab and to the Chamber of Commerce about his tours.
Mr. Garrett pointed out that there was nothing in the code that says he could not use the word tour on his markings; only that the drivers had to inform the city that they were going to do that. Mr. Doane said that Capital Cab has no vehicles that they own. Every driver owns their own vehicles so they are an independent contractor. They understand the same color code, but the individual person should be allowed to advertise their wares. The way he read the new regulations, they said any other markings on the vehicle would be disallowed.
Jeff King, 3000 Glacier Highway, concurred with all the prior testimony. He said if the regulations go in as they are right now, the owner of the company that he drives for has said that the company could not continue; Mr. King would be out of work. He said there was a 2600% increase on the cost of doing business and the shuttle drivers did not have to pay for any of that. Princess Tours and the big boats that come in make millions of dollars every day and they have to pay less than half of the increase in the regulations; the cab drivers are taking the bulk of the changes. He said he makes less than $20,000 a year and he has to pay $2,000 just for insurance. With every inspection, he has to pay $1,000 minimum, just to get his car passed through. This was their livelihood and every single year there is a change and the taxis have to pay more.
MOTION - by Garrett, to adopt the Consent Agenda, as amended by the Manager, including Resolution 1993, and he asked unanimous consent. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
Mayor Egan thanked Mr. Corso for putting resolution 1993 together; there had already been interest from legislators.
A. Ordinances for Introduction
1. Ordinance No. 99-19
AN ORDINANCE REPEALING AND REENACTING TITLE 19, THE BUILDING REGULATIONS OF THE CITY AND BOROUGH OF JUNEAU CODE.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended that this ordinance be introduced and set for public hearing at the next regular meeting.2. Ordinance No. 98-17 (AN)
AN ORDINANCE APPROPRIATING TO THE MANAGER THE SUM OF $12,000 FOR A GRANT TO THE PERSEVERANCE THEATRE. SUCH FUNDS PROVIDED BY THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SOUTHEAST ALASKA ECONOMIC RELIEF FUNDS (SAEF).
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended that this ordinance be introduced and set for public hearing at the next regular meeting.
B. Transfer Request:
1. Transfer No. T-666: Transfers $40,000 from the airport Revolving Capital Reserve Account (CIP A345-33) to Wetlands Fill Jordan Creek Dredge Pond.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended that this transfer be approved.
C. Bid Award:
1. Contract No. E99-154: "H" Street Sewer
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended award to Glacier State Contractors, Inc. in the amount bid, for a total award of $55,675.00.2. Contract No. E99-354: Savikko Park Fields 3 & 4 Improvements.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended award to Channel Construction, Inc. in the amount bid for the Base bid and the Additive Alternate, for a total award of $113,869.85.3. Contract No. E99-355: 1999 Dimond Park Site Improvements.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended award of this project to Channel Construction, Inc. in the amount bid, for a total award of $83,257.25.
4. Contract No. E99-360: East End Improvements & Compass Rose Expansion.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended award of this project to SECON, Inc. in the amount bid for the Base Bid and all three Additive Alternates, for a total award of $632,896.50.5. Bid No. 99-200: Electrical Contract
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended award to Juneau Electric on the basis of having the lowest responsive bid price for all four bid items, for a total award of $73,850.00.
E. Liquor Licenses:
Viking Restaurant & Lounge
Auke Bay Inn
Viking Lounge & Restaurant
Beverage Dispensary – Tourism
Bergmann & Grubstake House
Oriental Express Restaurant
Valentine’s Coffee House
Gold Creek Brewery
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended the Assembly adopt the Human Resources Committee recommendations from its June 7 meeting regarding its right to protest to the licenses as reported.
Ms. Muñoz noted that the Human Resources Committee recommended that the transfers be approved for the Viking Restaurant and Lounge, and the Canton House, and to approve the Two-year renewals for Auke Bay Inn, The Viking Lounge and Restaurant, Oriental Express, Valentine’s Coffee House, Gold Creek Brewery and K&L Distributors. They recommended protest of the Sandbar Inc., and the Bergman and Grub Steak House based on outstanding tax debt.
Resolution No. 1993
A RESOLUTION URGING THE STATE OF ALASKA REDRESS INEQUITIES IN THE FUNDING OF MUNICIPAL LAW ENFORCEMENT.
Administrative Report: Attached as a red folder item. The Manager recommended that this resolution be adopted.
R E C E S S
7:55 p.m. – 8:10 p.m.
1. Ordinance No. 99-22
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING TITLE 49, THE PLANNING AND ZONING CODE, TO DISESTABLISH THE DESIGN REVIEW BOARD AND ELIMINATE THE DESIGN REVIEW PROCESS.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended that this ordinance be adopted. Mr. Palmer noted that on page 2 of the ordinance, subsection B) Membership, that it be amended to eliminate the deletions that are included there and delete the verbiage starting on line 10 in italics.
Mr. Kibby referred to the recommendation of the CDD and the Planning Commission, and he clarified that the Manager still recommended adoption of the ordinance. Mr. Palmer said yes and that his recommendation was based on the frustration he had seen by the Assembly in terms of the red tape involved in processing building permits. The Assembly directed staff to get better and speed things along and he felt that at least shrinking the size of the Design Review District would do that.
Tony Yorba, 9340 North Douglas HWY., chair of the Design Review Board (DRB). All the technicalities of design review aside, he said the fundamental question was whether there was a need for public input into the physical appearance of the community. Also, is there a need to protect private property owners who invest in their own buildings from undesirable or detractive adjacent developments. He felt that in the case of public input, the plywood palace was one of the main reasons why design review started in the first place. There were no public amenities, no landscaping and no ability to integrate the parking in with the building and clearly no intent to add any design to the building. The DEC building was another example of which was improved from the original design as a result of the design review process. In the case of private land owners, the Skatepark was a marked improvement over the original design achieved by the DRB. The adjacent land owners complained about noise issues that had not ever come before the DRB before, but in the context of that project, they were not addressed in the Planning Commission or any other facet of city government. The DOT trailers on Glacier Highway came through the DRB and at least pushed the State into cleaning them up. Small changes but the only place for those things to happen is in design review. Some reasons against design review are that it is too cumbersome. He gave an example of the Land Use Ordinance, the Building Codes, and the Design Review regs. Another issue was that staff had been unwilling to work with the applicants and to that he said on tonight’s Agenda there were 11 items. They started at 5:10 and the meeting was over just after 6:00; most of the items were on the Consent Agenda. He referred to a recent Planning Commission packet and said that currently the Planning Commission had 150 items on their "to do" list, 11 of them were design review. He did not know how they expected to speed up the permit process by shoving these projects into the docket of the Planning Commission. Another complaint was that the DRB was not responsive to people. To that he said it was an informal setting, similar to the Assembly’s work sessions. He said it was ironic that earlier tonight the Garden Club was given an award for their contributions to the beauty and economy of Juneau. The DRB was where they encouraged, fostered, and implemented the landscaping requirements in the city. Without the design review regulations outside the Historic District, there were no requirements for landscaping.
Mr. Garrett said there were many buildings in this town that had been through design review that no one would ever nominate on their list of beautiful structures. He said it seemed to him that we would be arguing for stricter design standards to get us to a higher level. He would like to either do away with it or get much tougher with it, but he felt hey were stuck in the middle and it was not working too well for anyone.
Mr. Yorba agreed the design review regs were weak, but they were very prescriptive and strong in the Historic District, where there was consensus in that area. Outside the Historic District, there was more subjective type language in areas where there was not consensus as to a type of style. The Planning Commission deals with compatible use and is very prescriptive. Design review was established to be much more of a give and take. To get stronger, that would have to be changed with something much more prescriptive; that seemed a decision for a different body.
Ms. Hagevig appreciated all the time Mr. Yorba had spent over the years going through the various evolutions of the issue. She said she started dealing with this the second month she was on the Planning Commission and that was seven years ago; still there was no resolution. She took very seriously the letter from Mr. Dybdahl requesting yet one more meetings and she said she intended to honor that request. However, she remembered that the last meeting with the Planning Commission and the Assembly on this issue was less than productive. She asked Mr. Yorba if he was convinced that another meeting would help reach some sort of reasonable conclusion and did he feel that it would be a more productive engagement of the three different groups.
Mr. Yorba said if the Assembly did not think there was a place for public input in the way the community looks, or a place to protect the interest of the individual land owner from an undesirable building that may meet all other zoning ordinances, if it’s yes to those things, then yes, a meeting would be productive. If it is no to those things, then it would be like arguing about the mines. He said the way design review is explained could be improved, the graphics could be updated and it could be made easier and more beneficial to the community, but the will has to be there to follow through on it.
Ms. Hagevig asked if he felt that some of the persons who felt adversely affected by this process in the community ought to have a place at the table and be a part of the discussion. Mr. Yorba said if people have had a bad experience, those things should be addressed; the process needed to be made user friendly.
Mr. Powell asked what would be lost if there were no DRB as this community moves to more denser concentration of residential and business, more mixed-use development. Mr. Yorba said there would be the loss of the ability to get that peer review, the direct contact with various professional members of the community, to look at the project and very quickly get down to the nuts and bolts of how to make it better.
Mr. Powell said that one of the complaints against design review was that it was another process that had to be gone through and would cost a developer more money. He asked what was the longest that a developer had to wait for the design review process to take its course. Mr. Yorba said it takes time; it could easily take months if people were fighting back and forth, but typically it took four weeks. Once it gets in line there would be a week for staff to review it and then possibly two weeks before it is presented to the DRB; the board usually meets twice a month, and then it is a done deal. He could only think of two or three times when an item had to be continued. People don’t think they have to go through design review and then when they find out they think that design review held them up for another month. He said to visualize the entire process, those things could be staggered and happening at the same time and there would be no hold up; it is the simplest permit to get.
Mr. Powell leaned heavily toward the Chair of the Planning Commission’s recommendation, however, there had been people on the Assembly who had been fighting this issue for a long time. If more time was going to be spent, they wanted to have something productive come out of it and he agreed that involving developers would be a good idea.
Ms. Muñoz asked Mr. Yorba if he had a chance to look at the Seattle design guidelines. Mr. Yorba said he reviewed them but had not read them. Ms. Muñoz said they contained a lot of information and she suggested that if there was a meeting between the Planning Commission, the DRB and the Assembly, it would be very helpful to focus on some of that information. Mr. Yorba pointed out that they were put together by professionals and the Assembly could not expect to have a meeting and come up with new design review regs. It would take a concerted effort to bring them up to the 90’s and to make them more clear and he felt that would require hiring an outside consultant to help write them.
Troy Mayer, 8555 Forest Lane, testified on behalf of Northern Lights Development, Inc. They were against the DRB for a number of reasons. He said people spend a lot of money in purchasing property and put a lot of time and effort into engineering and designing a building to suit their property, then they have to go through design review and the Permit Review process. Today he had a DRB meeting at 5:00 with a client and tomorrow was the Planning Commission. Today at 3:00 they got a phone call saying that they would be before the DRB on the 21st instead of today. That is another delay and he and the owners were not happy. There were a number of issues with regards to the standards that were not working because they were not the same for everyone. Buildings were being put in that were larger than what was suited for certain lots and they were being pushed right up to the setbacks. The vegetational growth goes from 15 down to 7, but if there is a hump put in, there is 15 feet of vegetational growth because there is a hump put in. He referred to a number of commercial buildings in the Costco area, one directly across from Costco that has T1-11 siding, or one on the other side which was a nice steel buildings, but as you drive in as a customer, the building is too big for the lot and they were allowed to put vegetation into the right-of-ways. He felt that the DRB let that happen and it was not fair to other people.
Mr. Koelsch asked how long it would take to meet again with the DRB and Mr. Mayer said it would be on the 21st, another two weeks.
Patty Zimmerman, 911 1st Street in Douglas. She said she was very interested in historic preservation of her own street, the most historic street in downtown Douglas. She recently proposed a plan to Ms. Muñoz for a volunteer planting of 4-12,000 roses next spring, in the spring of 2000. She had been doing a tremendous amount of research since she took a graduate course in Organizational Theory and Design. The academic statistics are in good design in institutions and structural design of organizations; good design in neighborhoods leads to good behavior. Poor design and poor planning leads to poor behavior and she pointed out that there were a number of examples to support this. She was glad that Mr. Garrett was looking for higher standards and she said looking at the plan tonight, on page four, they were removing the "avoid buildings, signs and other structures which will be graceless, dominated by long, uninterrupted lines or otherwise aesthetically offensive". She said she objected and that she did not want graceless structures put up. She would hope that Mr. Garrett would strive to keep grace in the DRB as grace was key to good behavior. She referred to line 17 and the elimination of "traffic does not have to be a consideration" and said contractors would not want some out of town people to come in and block the thoroughfare. She objected to eliminating green spaces for the reasons previously mentioned, good design, good behavior, good cities, less cost for the police, more beauty, everyone is happy and it’s nice. She read Mr. Dybdahl’s letter and suggested that the Assembly follow Ms. Hagevig's leadership.
Dennis Harris, 525 Distin Avenue, testified that he was very concerned with the renewed effort to get rid of design review. In his opinion, the problems with design review were 1) it was not strong enough; and 2) people did not understand the process. He felt there was a way to fix both things. If it was broke, they ought to fix it and not just throw it out. He said he was very fortunate to attend the State Transportation Conference in December to hear a marvelous speaker who should come to Juneau and help write a new design review ordinance; he could also probably help write a new Planning and Zoning code. The gentleman does a visual preference survey which actually includes graphics, examples of what ought to be built and what is unacceptable in the code itself. That way, contractors can know far in advance of starting a design what is acceptable and what is not. People look at the current code and it is written in architect jargon and is very vague. There were many buildings in this town that had been greatly improved from their original design as a result of the design review process. He said a code needed to be passed that would create the kind of community we want to live in 50-100 years from now. Money and effort should be put into coming up with new design review codes, with a good process that involves a lot of visual preference and that the community takes part in. He suggested a large community workshop format involving people with all kinds of interest in the community, including the residents.
Mr. Garrett said he reviewed the sample software that Mr. Harris referred to and it is was amazing how it could help people visualize. Mr. Harris said it allowed the use of computer tools to take photographs of a current site and to show people examples and find out what people like and don’t. Even the highway engineers did not like the highways they designed. Mr. Garrett suggested he provide that access to the CDD.
Larry Spencer, 336 Highland Drive. He had the first project to come before the DRB, the Senate Building, and he felt he brought a sense of history to the discussion. He said he attended the 1986 Crow Hill Homeowners Association meeting, when they voted to request design review be expanded to include Douglas because they had a condominium complex that he built that they were proud of, and they felt their property values were diminished by a variety of multi family developments that were thrown up around them. He has worked as a consultant to a variety of clients that build buildings in this town and he went through the design review process with them. He has worked extensively with the DRB and he found the process to be helpful, refreshing and interesting. The peer review process is right with contractors, developers, realtors and architects; staff had been batting 50/50, but he felt now they were at about 100%. Generally, he felt it was a good process and he did not know why this continued to come up on a perennial basis. Rather than killing the board, he felt the Assembly should be working more closely with it to build it as a better process. He said he had been to the Planning Commission numerous times in the past six months to participate in the parking decisions and it had never gotten onto the Planning Commission agenda. When it did, they just passed it on to the Assembly without making any changes because they did not feel that the Assembly listened to them. He did not think the Planning Commission had the time to deal with the extra agenda items. They were already bogged down performing a valuable function and they did not have the time to concentrate on that level of detail. He felt the DRB works well and it ought to be improved and not abolished.
Bruce Denton, 5100 Montana Creek Road. He testified that it was 1983-84 when the design review process was set up and at that time he testified that it would have to be watched closely. He felt the problem with design review was that it was a subjective process and that everyone had their own opinion about what something should look like. He felt that it was pretty evident that it didn’t work when looking at some of the most recent buildings that have come up on the rock dump and successfully gone through the process along side some of the buildings that have been done more tastefully. He felt the process should be eliminated outside the historic district.
Mr. Powell clarified he was for the proposal as it stood tonight. Mr. Denton said it was ironic that the most problems he had had as a developer or builder had been within the Historic District, but within the Historic District there at least was the opportunity to define what should happen. Anywhere else, who was to say whether something should be blue or green or if it should have plants in front of it that would be dead in a couple years because a person had to put them there and did not take care of them. Mr. Denton clarified he was still in the building business.
Dave Hanna, 11495 Mendenhall Loop Road. He testified that he had worked in and around the construction trades all his life and he was not sure which side to take. Previous testimony had raised good points, none could really be argued. He felt the key issues were that the way the process worked right now was subjective. He would hesitate to initiate programs that tell a person what they can and cannot build, as putting everyone in boxes does not stimulate new and innovative ideas. The process works pretty well most of the time, and for the most part that speaks of Ms. Easterwood’s staff. He felt that 90-95% of the things that go through the design review process could probably be done in-house by the CDD staff. Perhaps it would be in the best interest to do away with the Board as it stands right now, as proposed, but not do away with it forever. He thought it would be a good idea if they were retained as an appellant board so if staff and applicant could not come to an agreement, the board could act as a mediator. Currently there is a problem with the way the process works and what seem to be a minor inconvenience is a pretty heavy price to pay if it means two weeks out of a summer. He suggested that maybe the best way to get everyone to act on the situation would be to enact the ordinance as it was; that may get everyone working that much faster to bring together a new system that works.
Jim Williams, 412 H Street, Douglas. He testified that the process had not been fun, with all due respect to Mr. Yorba. When he started, he could build a building without an architect, now you have to have an architect. Economics dictates that if you build an ugly building, outside of one that can be leased to the State, people will not rent it and it will sit empty. He said he had never been able to get through the DRB clean. He had Mr. Yorba design a building and when they took it in, the City Planner did not like it. The word subjective is the only word that can describe the system. He hates vinyl siding and if he were on the board, he would not allow it. He hates canopies that are made of canvas so they would not be allowed either. He appreciated the DRB and said they were good people and their hearts were in the right place, but purple and yellow were his favorite colors and he did not think that would get past them.
Ms. Hagevig ask if they were able to have one more, large scale policy type meeting on this issue, would he, as a builder, be willing to participate. Mr. Williamson said he had been to "one more" about five times but he would come one more time. Ms. Hagevig felt there would not be the letter from Mr. Dybdahl if there were not the majority of the Planning Commission behind the thought process in that letter.
Mr. Powell asked if there was any way to get more quantitative about the issue. Mr. Williams said he could only go with his experiences and most projects, by the time they got to the design review, you’re already done with the banker, already have a tenant and the lease is signed and someone wants to add $15-20,000 to the project. There is no $15-20,000; the owners have dug every last dime out of their pocket because that was what the bank required. You spend all your money with the architect and he does not redesign the canopy for nothing; he had lost money fighting over issues.
Mr. Powell asked about time limitations and suggested that if it were not done in two weeks, it would out of the process. Mr. Williams said that he would just wait the two weeks and be stubborn and win.
MOTION - by Hagevig, that the Assembly postpone action on this ordinance and respond in the affirmative to the letter from Johan Dybdahl, the chairman of the Planning Commission and have in the very near future scheduled a meeting with all of the players at the table, including the Assembly, the Planning Commission, the Design Review Board and local contractors and anyone else that should be there. She left it up to Mr. MacKinnon to schedule it for a COW.
Mr. MacKinnon said he did not want to defer action as this was September of 1996 all over again. They were up to this point and the only difference between tonight and September of 1996, was that tonight there were a half a dozen people present supporting the proposed action to get rid of this board. He felt a lot of frustration because of feedback from the construction community expressing their intense frustration about what they had to go through and that it was just another hoop to go through. Currently it is not the same building environment as it was 20 years ago when you did not have to hire an architect, you could draw up the plans and get an engineer to stamp them and that was it. Today, according to the building code, an architect is required for a commercial building. Presumably, that would get some aesthetic elements into the building because that was one of the things that architects were trained to do. He did not know what would be gained by deferring because the problem with design review was that it was too subjective and the only way to get rid of that subjective quality would be to start from ground zero again. If the Planning Commission wanted to maintain some design review standards, then let them bring something that was quantified. Right now there are many features in the Land Use code that are quantified. A building has to maintain a certain percentage of the lot under vegetative cover; it does not say manicured landscape; it was up to the owner to maintain manicured landscaping or vegetative cover. A manicured landscape does make the building more attractive, and some people choose to do that. He wanted to take this up tonight and hopefully vote the ordinance in and abolish design review and pass the word to the Planning Commission that the Assembly respects their request, but chose this as the better route. They could bring back an ordinance if they had a strong desire to maintain certain design elements.
Mr. Kibby sided with Mr. MacKinnon and said he came on board in 1993 and at that time he and Mr. Clough were assigned to work with Murray Walsh. They spent weeks with different meetings, working through the issues. There was at least one meeting that he remembered with the Planning Commission and they showed as much frustration with the process as they did. The conclusion was that the regulations needed to be written and codified, in a manner that anyone could pick up the code and read what was required for design review. Currently, they were not throwing out the Land Use Ordinance, only the regs which were subjective and vague. They were not throwing out landscaping or traffic, all those requirements were still within the title. The DRB came back a few years ago with suggestions and he never heard a follow-up on how the implementations of those suggestions turned out. The Planning Commission was suggested to sit down and look at the subjective vagueness of the regulations and see how they could be codified. That was when there was a meeting with the Assembly, in 1996, and he said he could remember that they were at a point of where to start and how to do it. Everyone had spent many years to figure out how to come together on this and it has not happened. He would also like to vote this ordinance through and delete design review, but he wanted everyone to recognize that that would not do away with traffic, design standards, landscaping or vegetation, it was all still there, it was just the process of how design review implements the Title 49 requirements.
Mr. Powell thought there seemed to be enough people unhappy with this and that weighed heavy; the recommendation from the chair also weighed heavy. He asked if it would be possible to suspend, rather than doing away with or disestablishing it, in the title to suspend it outside of the historic district. The process and the board could be suspended for a period of a year, in which time it could be examined. He felt uncomfortable with just doing away with it completely and thought that this would then put the burden on the DRB in coming up with something better.
Ms. Muñoz supported the motion to defer.
AMENDMENT – by Hagevig, to used the word "postpone" rather than "defer" in her original motion.
Ms. Hagevig said she did not intend to eliminate the possibility of a vote tonight. She referred to Ms. Muñoz’ great example of the New Mexico situation where all the buildings tended to look alike and look southwestern. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. She said the reason for her motion was because a lot is required of the Planning Commission and if they have some rationale to bring before us, she was willing to listen one more time.
Mr. MacKinnon would add this to next Monday’s COW so that if the postponement passes, it could be taken up again on the 21st.
FRIENDLY AMENDMENT – by MacKinnon, to postpone until the 21st of June. Ms. Hagevig accepted the friendly amendment.
Mr. Kibby did not want to go into a meeting, full of emotions, just to deal with the facts. Everyone uses the words subjective and vague. He challenged staff and the DRB that when they sit down next week, including the Planning Commission, that they look at how they were going to change the subjectiveness and the vagueness and make the regs follow suit of some definable, binding legislation.
Mr. MacKinnon hoped that would be presented at the Monday COW. This had been around for a long time now and now, at the last minute, there was a delay with the letter from the Planning Commission.
Ayes: Muñoz, Powell, Garrett, Hagevig and Kibby
Nays: MacKinnon, Koelsch and Mayor Egan
motion carries 5:3
B R E A K
9:17 p.m. – 9:35 p.m.
MOTION – by Kibby, to adopt serial number 99-22, and he asked for unanimous consent.
Mr. Corso read the rule that pertained from the Mason Manual of Legislative Procedures. Objection was noted.
Ayes: MacKinnon, Garrett, Hagevig, Kibby, Koelsch and Mayor Egan
Nays: Muñoz and Powell
motion carries 6:2
AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE MANAGER TO EXECUTE A LEASE OF THE MAYFLOWER BUILDING AND GROUNDS TO THE JUNEAU MONTESSORI CENTER, INC., AND ESTABLISHING A PURCHASING CODE EXEMPTION FOR PROCUREMENT OF A HEATING SYSTEM FOR THE BUILDING.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended that this ordinance be adopted. Mr. Palmer noted that the maintenance that had been being provided, at $7,000, was a comfortable one. With a new system going in and not knowing what the maintenance might be on a new system, and the fact that there would be a new roof on the building, his recommendation would be to at least revisit the issue of how much support would be contributed toward the routine maintenance of the building. He also would like to see the same policies established for the Children Community Center. He referred to a memo in the packet which asked for additional considerations which included an additional four years on the lease, at either party’s option, making it a 10-year lease. It also asked that section 6 be deleted, the provision that talks about the amount of the lease. If the Assembly were to adopt both of those, it would be a 10-year lease at $2,000 per month. They had also asked for a provision saying, if they were unable to pay their $20,000 side of the heating system, the city would assist. He assumed that meant as a contingency, if they fell on hard times, that the city would indicate its intention to assist in those payments. It was his recommendation that the lease could always be opened at mutual consent, at any time.
Lach Zemp, 2921 Blueberry Hills Road. He said grace was not the key to good behavior, heat was and the federal government did not provide free heat. He agreed with everything that the Manager stated except that they were not asking that the rent for the first 11 months be forgiven, simply deferred or moved to the cost of the heating system. They would still be paying that money, it would just be going to the capital improvement for the building. In addition to that money, Montessori, as the tenant, was willing to contribute roughly $20,000 toward a significant CIP to the building in terms of the ability of any tenant to be able to stay in that building in a comfortable environment. The tenant was also willing to pay $2,000 a month, plus all the utilities, plus the snow plowing and all of the other things that go into that building, and there was a tenant that had contributed in the past seven years to significant repairs and upgrades to the building. The school has contributed to the community of Douglas and the community of Juneau. It is with that in mind that they have asked for, at least during the six-year term, that the rent be secure at $2,000 a month. It was important for them to be able to have the fixed rent as part of their rent. With respect to the extensions, they were not asking for a four- year extension. The way the ordinance was currently drafted, it contemplated that the Manager could only negotiate one-year increases. They wanted the increments to be allowed and if the Manager and Juneau Montessori wanted to negotiate something more than a one-year increase, that it could be done in increments of two years or if the Manager felt comfortable, it could be four years. With respect to the rent re-opener for the extensions, they did not have a problem and they liked the Manager’s idea about the COLA increase. Finally, with respect to the issue concerning the responsibility for paying for the heating system, the ordinance says it would be the sole responsibility of Juneau Montessori. He had suggested alternative language, but now thought the language could be taken completely out of the ordinance. He agreed with Mr. Palmer that there could be renegotiations of the lease, but currently the ordinance would require some Assembly action to deal with that language that says it is solely responsible. He suggested it be changed to say that Juneau Montessori is primarily responsible and then if they do fall either on hard times or if there was a casualty to the building, they would not have to continue to pay for the heating system.
Lupita Alvarez, 401 F Street, Douglas. She pointed out the service that the school offered to the community and the fact that they were trying to improve the building because they were trying to provide a better environment to the children they serve. Currently the building’s air quality was not appropriate and the only way they could have air exchange was by opening the windows. By opening the windows during the wintertime, they are wasting all that energy. She encouraged the Assembly to consider the term of the lease, at least to provide enough time for them to pay for the project, and also so they could have time to prepare and plan; it is very hard to operate a school on a year by year basis.
Frank Miyasato, he read his letter into the record: "The Douglas Indian Association (DIA) was organized under the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 as amended by 25 USC 446-77 in 1941. The DIA currently leases property in Douglas. They are in their forth consecutive year as a public Law 93-638 contractor and their second year as an Indian General Assistance Program from the EPA. They anticipate a significant growth in program revenue in the year 2000. A memorandum dated 4/26/95 from Mr. Roger Hudson, Attorney, Office of Regional Solicitor, Alaska Region to Mr. Neil Caesar Area Director, Borough of Indian Affairs, US Department of Interior, states: Douglas Indian School, according to the records furnished by the DIA in connection with its recent contact with the Department, the so called Douglas Indian School was constructed by the BIA in 1934 and/or 1935 on a 1.1 acre site purchased for that purpose by the city of Douglas in 1933. The city from which the United States acquired the land, first had obtained its title from the Douglas townsite was entered and surveyed in 1918 at which time deeds were issued by the townsite trustee. Later, when the BIA constructed building was no longer in use as a school, and after Congress had enacted legislation specifically authorizing such action, the BIA conveyed the property to the Douglas Independent School District. The October 15, 1952 deed affecting this transfer specifically referenced the then recent authorizing legislation and explicitly made it subject to the conditions limitations and reservations contained in said act. The 1958 statute now codified as 25 USC 293(b) provides as follows: Any conveyance shall provide the land and improvements conveyed shall be used for a school or other public purposes only for that school facilities maintain thereon or therein shall be available to all of the native children of the town or city or other school district concerned on the same terms as to any other children of such town, city or district. The Secretary of the Interior, if at any time he determines that the grantee of any such land and improvements has violated or failed to observe the foregoing provisions and that such violation or failure has continued for a period of at least one year shall declare the forfeiture of the grant. Such determination by the secretary shall be final and where upon the lands and improvements covered thereby shall revert to the United States and become a part of the public domain subject to administration and proposal under public land laws." DIA was going on record to state that they shall be looking for a permanent tribal office. It is logical to past DIA council members to seriously look at Mayflower School and it remains logical to envision the DIA Tribal Offices at the Mayflower School due to its historical significance to their members. The DIA Tribal Council was most interested in requesting a meeting with appropriate CBJ staff to discuss a plan of action regarding the Mayflower School. It was a fiscally prudent time to review this property.
Ms. Muñoz asked if he agreed that the existing use now was consistent with the language. Mr. Miyasoato was not able to answer at this time, he said he knew that a lot of it was from laws that dated way back and he was not a lawyer and could not give an opinion.
MOTION - by Garrett, to adopt ordinance 99-23 (am) for amendment.
Mr. Garrett clarified that moving it as an am, the Assembly would not have to move adoption of the proposed amendments in the strikeouts. Mr. Corso stated the changes were implicit in the motion.
MOTION – by Garrett, that on page three, in section 8 on line three, to add to the end of the sentence after the word premises "while this lease is in effect". There being no objection, it was so ordered.
Ms. Muñoz was not sure that if the property was damaged, the lease would be terminated. Mr. Garrett thought the Manager would determine whether or not the extent of the damage to the facility was such that it was indeed impossible for the current tenant to continue to operate that type of activity that they were operating in the facility. If there were a disagreement, it would end up in the Assembly’s lap to resolve. Ms. Muñoz asked Mr. Garrett to add language that would specify that.
Mr. Corso suggested "while the lessee enjoys beneficial occupancy of the premise".
Mr. Garrett changed the amendment to "while the lessee enjoys beneficial occupancy of the premise." There being no objection, it was so ordered.
Ms. Hagevig asked Mr. Corso if he had had an opportunity before tonight to take a look at the letter from the DIA and if so, did he have any idea what standing they might have on this issue. Mr. Corso said the first he had seen it was when he walked into the room and it raised substantive issues that warrant some further research. Ms. Hagevig asked if these kinds of substantive issues could affect the Assembly’s ability to enter into a long-term lease. Mr. Corso said it was conceivable but he said it was worthwhile to note that the Assembly’s action tonight would not require the lease, it simply authorizes the Manager to enter into a lease. If it turns out that the Manager is unable to do so for this or any other reason, he would come back to the Assembly or make sure that the lease accommodates the problem.
Mayor Egan directed Mr. Corso, or someone on his staff, to meet with Mr. Miyasato and discuss the letter before a lease was signed.
Mr. MacKinnon referred to section 11, the exemption from the purchasing code, and asked if that language would take care of any possible problems there might be with a Charter violation. Mr. Corso said the Charter required that all capital improvements be constructed by a written competitive proposal and that other purchases be by the same method wherever practicable. This is an effort to substantiate the view that it is not practicable to purchase the heating equipment other than outside the purchasing code since it is in fact an acquisition for the benefit of a municipal building. He did not think it was a capital improvement because it was repair or renovation, and although it was not in the Charter, it was mentioned in the purchasing code. Whether or not is it truly impracticable to procure the heating system through a competitive purchase, he left to the Assembly. Mr. MacKinnon thought it would be debatable whether it was a capital improvement or not; he felt a new heating system was a little bit more than ordinary repairs and maintenance.
Mr. Koelsch said there were two recommendations from the Manager and he asked if those would have to be in the ordinance or would the Assembly be authorizing the Manager to negotiate to a maintenance sum of $7,000 and was the Manager being authorized to do it on a yearly lease. Mr. Palmer did not know if it had to be in the ordinance, but he wanted direction from the Assembly. What was written in the ordinance specifies four one-year increments and they had asked for the ability to have longer term increments than that; the City Attorney has language that would allow that. As far as a reopener for the lease, the ordinance would have to be changed because the ordinance said the rent would be $2,000 a month for six years, except for those exceptions where we don’t charge those first 11 months.
MOTION – by Koelsch, to direct the Manager to include a maintenance cap of $7,000. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
MOTION – by Koelsch, that section four read "The Manger may negotiate any number of lease term extensions totaling no more than four years." There being no objection, it was so ordered.
There being no objection to Ordinance 99-23am as amended, it was so ordered.
Mr. Kibby asked Mr. Corso how long until the Ordinance took effect and Mr. Corso said 30 days. Mr. Kibby suggested that Mr. Corso take into consideration the DIA Tribal Government’s letter to determine compliance with the language as written.
Mr. Corso clarified Mr. Koelsch’s request was to provide for the possibility of a change in the $2,000 per month figure in section five. Mr. Koelsch said he did not address that in his motion.
AN ORDINANCE APPROPRIATING TO THE MANAGER THE SUM OF $19,300 FOR THE PURCHASE OF HIGHLY REFINED FUEL SPECIALLY FORMULATED TO REDUCE SMOKE GENERATED AT FIREFIGHTER TRAINING FACILITIES. SUCH FUNDS PROVIDED BY THE AREAWIDE FIRE TRAINING CENTER UNRESERVED FUND BALANCE.
Administrative Report: Attached. The Manager recommended that this ordinance be adopted.
Public Participation: None at this time.
MOTION - by Muñoz, to adopt Ordinance 98-17 (am) and she asked for unanimous consent. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
Mr. Corso referred to the draft Assembly decision on the appeal. The packet also included a letter dated June 7 from Mr. Hartle presenting a proposal for adoption of findings by Mr. Powell.
Mr. Powell said the Assembly had granted the Harris appeal a few weeks ago and the direction had been to grant the appeal and not have the Harris party be required to go back to the Wetland Review Board. Unfortunately, the permit that was granted was basically unfinished. They were able to put together the draft decision that included the portion that was unfinished. He said it was very typical in the industry to have some type of mitigation plan for developing on wetlands. He thanked the Dept. of Environmental Conservation and Fish and Game for meeting with them at short notice, to hammer out the stipulations and conditions. He was happy to report that what was before the Assembly was an agreement from all parties; there was consensus.
There being no objection to the decision on appeal, it was so ordered.
Administrative Report: Attached. Because this was an appeal, the Manager had no recommendation on whether or how the Assembly should hear the appeal. After the Assembly has made its decisions on these issues, the Clerk would contact the parties and the presiding or hearing officer to notify them of the Assembly’s decision and to arrange for a pre-hearing conference or other proceedings.
Mr. Garrett asked, if a State project comes before the Planning Commission and the Commission makes a decision on it, then the Assembly rules that the Planning Commission was in error, would the State have to stop their project? Mr. Corso said one of the problems with this procedure was what was the allowable scope of discretion of the Planning Commission. He said it might, in some cases, be possible to avoid an appeal all together. A project could be approved if the Planning Commission does nothing, that would avoid a decision and an appeal. In this case, there was a decision and the Charter says that all decisions are appealable so they would have to find a way to work around the issue proposed.
MOTION – by Garrett, to accept the Appeal and he asked unanimous consent. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
MOTION – by Garrett that the Assembly hear the Appeal itself and that the Mayor designate someone as presiding officer, and he asked unanimous consent. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
Mayor Egan appointed Mr. Garrett as Presiding Officer. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
A. Manager’s Report - Action Items - None
B. Manager’s Report - Information Items
Administrative Report: Attached.
MOTION - by Muñoz, that the Assembly send the regulations back to staff with direction to look at the fee structure, the issue of enforcement and the issue of shuttle schedules.
Ms. Pierce said on the issue of shuttle schedules, that was an ordinance issue and there was nothing that could be done in regulation; the ordinance would have to be amended. There were other issues regarding enforcement on the shuttles that she had discussed at some length with Mr. Williams and Mr. Corso and they ran into the same problems because it would have to be guided by the ordinance and the adoption of the regulations. They did add one item that was suggested by a taxi driver and that was that shuttles only be allowed to stop long enough at one of their designated stops to load and unload passengers; no staging. That would presumably also prevent some soliciting that happens. That was in the regs but other issues that were talked about, like not being able to accept advanced reservations or limitations on that, would require ordinance amendment.
Ms. Muñoz was concerned that the fee structure that had been set up would very negatively impact a lot of business people in the community. She took to heart very seriously the issues and concerns that were raised and she hoped the Assembly could respond to those effectively.
Ms. Pierce said that they did alter the fee structure and they lowered the chauffeur permit from $500 to $150. They left the vehicle inspection about the same and part of that was consideration of the fact that they would be regulating taxi meters, which had not been done in the past, so some of the calculations that had been done did not include that. The fee structure was a balancing act between all of the various players and it could be done any number of different ways. They played with a number of them and they did change it after hearing the driver testimony the first time. They checked informally with some Assemblymembers and could go back and work with that some more but the issue that she saw was that they were in a period of anarchy and there was a lot of concern from how things have been operated so far, where there is no enforcement. She was not sure what additional public notice would be required to change it again and she said it meant that other people and companies would pay more if one group pays less and presumably they would have opinions on that. Staff’s recommendation was to get something out on the street, and work with it a while. They knew that they would have to come back again and work for some adjustments to both the ordinance and the regulations. Right now there was nothing and she really recommended that they get going on this.
Ms. Muñoz referred to earlier testimony and said one of the justifications for raising fees was that that would result in more enforcement on the street. She asked if that was in fact going to happen. Ms. Pierce said yes, and added that there was specific language in the regulations about enforcing routes for the shuttles and there were specific penalty points added to the table of penalty points for drivers off of approved routes. The penalty points were the only administrative remedy that they had since it was not an infraction type offense.
Ms. Hagevig referred to the letter from Ravina Tekaat where she speaks to the delivery of alcohol in a taxi cab or other for-hire vehicle. She asked if that issue was covered and if there was a public policy issue that should be looked at. She suspected it would require an amendment to the ordinance in order to address that issue if the will of the Assembly was to do that. Mr. Corso did not recall discussion about delivery of alcohol. It was clearly a public policy issue and he did not think it would require an amendment to the ordinance and that it could be accomplished through the regulations but that would require them to come before the Assembly. The Assembly was entitled to see whatever is going to go on the books. Ms. Hagevig said she would support another look at the regulations to take that issue into account and anything else that the Manager’s Office feels is appropriate to look at after hearing the testimony tonight and a re-review of the written testimony by the next meeting.
Ms. Pierce said that most of the testimony tonight was after the public comment period was closed, so staff had not taken it into account and they could not have. She asked Mr. Corso if they came back with more changes, particularly in the fee structure, would that require more public review and he thought it would not.
Mr. Garrett thought this was the most thorough regulatory process the Assembly had done since adopting the regulatory ordinance. There was nothing that said that today or tomorrow, the City Manager could not go out and publish an amendment to the regulations and take comments on the amendments and do that process. It made most sense to him to allow the City Manager to put these regulations into effect, to take the comments in stride, and to hone in on those sections of the regulations which needed additional work. If the Manager’s Office felt so inclined, they could issue regulations for those sections where there could be changes made based on some of the comments heard tonight, as an amendment to the adopted regulations. That way, there would be something in place and any amendments would come before the Assembly focused on those issues. He did not see holding every piece of this regulation up over the pieces that needed fixing.
Ms. Muñoz said she was willing to go along with Mr. Garrett’s suggestion, as long as they could focus on the issues and identify those issues that needed further work from the Manager and that he was clear on what that direction was.
Ms. Muñoz withdrew her motion.
Mr. Garrett recommended that the Assembly direct the Manager’s Office to provide them the list of areas the Assembly wants specifically looked at in further review. Those items are the fee structure, the enforcement issues, whether or not you can have a cab pick up and deliver alcohol, and the size of lettering on the sides of vehicles. Mr. Kibby added letter size, roof light verbiage and where dispatching. He said he did not want to get too tied up with the alcohol issue because he thought it was one finite area and he did not want to restrict things to where another problem was created. He said they could not regulate common sense but at the same time, they could not continue to make regulations to protect people from themselves.
Ms. Muñoz clarified the issue of impromptu calls for shuttles was not addressed in the regulation or ordinance. Ms. Pierce said that tied to the reservations and she and Mr. Corso discussed if the ordinance gave the authority and they determined that it did not so they did not put it in. Ms. Muñoz asked if it would be appropriate at this point to ask for an amendment to the ordinance that would address that issue. Mr. Corso said that would be appropriate and that they could prepare one right away.
Ms. Muñoz suggested an amendment to the ordinance to address the issue of impromptu calls for shuttles. Ms. Pierce asked if they now amend the ordinance, which authorizes the adoption of the regulations, where would that leave them in terms of getting something into effect this summer. Mr. Corso questioned whether they would be able to amend the ordinance and then amend the regulations to be in conformity with the amended ordinance, this tourist season.
Mr. Koelsch asked what the motion was that was on the floor. Mayor Egan said the motion on the floor was to adopt the regulations and then staff would offer amendments to the regulations if there were any.
Mr. Powell asked Ms. Muñoz if it would be possible to accomplish what she wanted without going back to the ordinance, but with a regulation change. Ms. Muñoz said she was very concerned at this point because what initiated this process in the beginning was concern over shuttle routes and impromptu calls and lack of enforcement. The regulations before the Assembly do not address those issues, yet we have increased the fee structure to impact everybody and the taxi drivers were paying a heavy part of that burden. They were not any closer to where they wanted to be a year and a half ago. The issue of the shuttles needs to be addressed. Mr. Powell asked Mr. Corso if those changes would be under the purview of the existing ordinance so they could be changed in regulation to get to the questions. He said when just about all the taxi companies come out and say this will hurt them, all one side of the industry, he had concern so he wondered if this could be done by regulation. Mr. Corso said the CPV ordinance says that shuttles may be regulated as to stops. He said the Assembly spent some of its most concentrated time defining just exactly what criteria would be applied to each of the different classes of vehicles. There was a lot of energy that went into that and he would be reluctant to play fast and loose with it. He thought the obligation was to regulate shuttles, only with respect to stops. If the Assembly wanted to regulate them with respect to routes or to reservations to form a contract with a passenger, it would be necessary to amend the ordinance.
Ms. Hagevig asked with respect to the issue of the fee schedule, would they have to go back to the initial policy question of does the fee schedule have to pay for the enforcement and for the additional personnel in order to do that enforcement. That was a piece of the policy issue that she was concerned about all along and she thought that what was being seen now was some of that come back to roost. It may be in the future that they would have to take a look at whether or not that was a valid public policy.
Mr. Kibby agreed with Ms. Muñoz. He said they have a fiduciary responsibility to the industry and he wanted to see the rules in the original proposed ordinance put back in. He understood there were time constraints, but he thought the Assembly should move to do the right thing.
Ms. Hagevig asked the Assembly whether or not there was a strong feeling that the fee structure to implement this ordinance and set of regulations had to be in place to pay for the administration of the regulations. Ms. Pierce said one point of clarification, the fee structure in place pays for the enforcement agent; it does not attempt to pay for a considerable amount of other costs including the organizational structure of the police department. There was other staff and other CSOs who would be working on this as well as the primary person enforcing it including the records people and the secretary doing the administrative work. What they have done in the past in setting fees, was to look at the costs and if it was a fee for something, the fees were set commensurate with the cost for the people receiving the service.
Mr. MacKinnon supported the direction of Mr. Garrett. He thought it was important to get these into place as there was nothing in place right now. There was no enforcement right now and the biggest beef all along had been lack of enforcement. The beef against the shuttles has language and if it is properly enforced, he did not see where there would be a problem with the shuttles. Language has been added that the shuttle may pause only long enough to allow passengers to board or disembark the vehicle, so they cannot stage the place. They have to come up with the routes and stops reasonably necessary to serve the authorized market segments and he did not see where, with this ordinance, if a person had a shuttle endorsement, how they could act like a cab. Under the present conditions, they were acting like cabs because these were not in effect. He encouraged the Assembly to get them into effect and said that if an amendments were needed right away, let’s get them through right away.
Ayes: MacKinnon, Powell, Garrett, Hagevig, Kibby, Koelsch and Egan
motion carries 7:1
Mr. Palmer reported that they had been looking at consolidation and expansion of the city’s rental space in the Marine View Building. The owners of the Marine Way Building, where the City Attorney’s Office and some Finance Offices are located, have lowered their rates substantially from $1.75 per square foot to, depending on how much the city rents, $1.10 to $1.35 a square foot. They were installing an elevator so staff basically decided to stay where they were.
3. American Planning Association Conference – Trip Reports. Memos were included in the packet from those who attended.
4. Thane Beach Cleanup – Special Thanks
Gastineau Human Services staff volunteered to clean up the area along Thane Road from the JD Treatment Plant and the Rock Dump area. They picked up over a ton and a half of trash and Capital Disposal and Arrow Refuge hauled it away and took it to the dump at no charge. He thanked all those involved.
C. Attorney’s Report - None
Ms. Muñoz offered the following names for consideration for nomination to boards and commissions.
Robert Thibodeau and Jennifer Klein to the Commission on Aging;
Mike Barton and Ron Swanson to the Airport Board;
Diane M. Pearson to the Bidding Review Board;
Harley Clough, Rick Kasnick and E. Budd Simpson to the Docks and Harbors Board;
Ruth P. Deal and Robert C. Clasby to the Eaglecrest Ski Area;
Ivan T. Show and Sharmon Stambaugh to the Fisheries Development Committee;
Marie M. Olson and Nora Ann Toner to the Historic Resources Advisory Committee;
Jonathan F. Anderson and Jayne Andreen to the Human Rights Commission;
Lance Davis Miller to the International Relations Advisory Committee;
Bonnie McElmurry and Kelly Ludwig to the Juneau Women’s Council; and
Diane Anderson and Sally Dwyer to the One Percent for Art Panel – H&SS Salmon Creek Building
MOTION – by Kibby, that the Assembly authorizes the Manager to enter into negotiations with the Gute property and the Malaspina Apartments and he asked for unanimous consent. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
Mr. Kibby said the vote was with the caveat that the royalty on the gravel pit goes to $2.60 a ton, this year. Mayor Egan objected.
Ayes: Garrett, Kibby and Koelsch
Nays: MacKinnon, Muñoz, Powell, Hagevig and Egan
motion fails 3:5
Mr. Garrett said it had been hotly discussed at the PW&FC and they had already changed the fee once. It was a minor adjustment and the City Engineer said it would not affect the projects. Mayor Egan knew nothing about it. Mr. Kibby added that the Malaspina Apartments were already encumbered with a lease, an agreement with the property owner on adjoining properties that greatly affects the Lands Committee and the funding sources. There were certain considerations that had to be taken into account by both the Chair of PW&FC and himself. This decision was not easily arrived at but, even though they had lands that were going to be sold in the near future that would add to the coffers of the Lands Committee, the Lands Committee continuously funds projects outside of what it was originally designed for. He would be happy to continue to work towards that but he said they would also have to come to the recognition that the Lands funds were going to need a source of revenue. The only other avenue currently available was the gravel pit and there was nothing wrong with the city charging itself the $2.60 a ton, that was actually occurring now within the bidding process. He again asked for the Mayor’s indulgence and to allow this to pass through. Mayor Egan said he was not the only one to vote against it and he was not comfortable tying something into something like that at the end of this meeting. Mr. Kibby invited Mayor Egan to the next committee meeting the following Wednesday at noon.
Mr. Koelsch said he attended a fundraiser for Nancy Peel at Eaglecrest on Sunday and hundreds of people turned out on a nice sunny day and raised a considerable amount of money. That showed him that Juneau was still small town. He went on to say that earlier, when they passed the Design Review Ordinance, one of the things that they asked us was to make sure that the local government would remain eligible for the National Historic Preservation Act. He clarified that was included. Mr. Palmer believed that Mr. Koelsch was right and that the ordinance was passed and the deletions were not changed. Mr. Kibby said his intentions were that the deletions were the strikeouts on page 2, lines 2-13. Mr. Corso said that the concern was that removing the names would disqualify the CBJ for certain federal funding which requires that these kinds of people be on the board. However, removing the descriptions from the ordinance does not remove the people from the board. Mr. Kibby stated he moved the Manager’s recommendation. Mr. Corso said to amend this ordinance, it would be necessary to give notice of reconsideration, take it up at this meeting which requires 6 votes, amend it and then pass it. Mr. Kibby asked what would be amended. Mr. Corso said page 2, line 3, to leave those names in to make sure that the federal government would not be offended; he was not sure if the feds required that it actually be written in the ordinance. Ms. Muñoz said the formal make up of the committee was acceptable to the federal government and the amendment kept the former language in the ordinance. Mr. Palmer recommended bringing another ordinance or a resolution back at the next meeting that straightens this out. There being no objection to that recommendation, it was so ordered.
Ms. Muñoz asked that staff draft an amendment to the current CPV ordinance to disallow impromptu shuttle calls.
Mr. Kibby asked Mr. Palmer to look into the fare box issue for the buses and report back at the next meeting. Mr. Palmer said staff estimated it would generate a two percent increase in revenue. They had asked their lobbyist in DC to see if he could find the money, about $250,000, for fare boxes for all the buses.
Ms. Hagevig reported that in the matter of Ashe, Ramos Bonnett and Woodie vs. the Planning Commission, on appeal of an amendment to a previously issued conditional use permit for the development of a two story retail commercial building in a severe hazard area, all of the parties to the appeal had met and agreed that it was in the best interest of their concerns and the CBJ to postpone action at this time. The CDD concurred.
Mr. Garrett asked Mr. Palmer to proceed, with all due haste, to change the turn around point for buses downtown. He said if it required a motion, he would make that motion. He felt that having the turn around where it was was the entire source of the overcrowding problem on the bus. They get filled up at the cruise ship terminal and people waiting by the State Office building cannot get on. Mr. Palmer said he had two meetings with the bus drivers and they told him that they pick up the biggest majority of the passengers at the clock by the Triangle Bar. They said that they could sit where they do right now, close the bus and put an off duty sign on and they would lose maybe 4-5 folks. Most of the people get on the first and second stops on Franklin Street. He had tried to change that and wanted to stage the buses at Main Street, or even at the Library, but the Library would be worse and at Main Street, the Union was after him because there were no restrooms or break facilities and they would have to shuttle drivers with cars. He said the drivers told him that it is even better now that they are staging at the Columbia lot, they get fewer tourists at the Columbia lot than they did before.
Mayor Egan noted the mandatory kill time of 11:00 because of the rules and procedures set in ordinance. He stopped Assembly comments and moved to the next item on the agenda.
Roxene Miller, P.O. Box 35071. She has lived in Juneau off and on for 41 years. She said she was extremely disappointed that the Assembly went ahead and passed the CPV regulations. Work had been taking place on this for months and months and she said she felt that coming out of the industry, that there was very little comprehension and understanding of the industry for many of those months. She thanked Ms. Muñoz, Mr. MacKinnon and Ms. Miller for their participation and in listening to them and said that meeting was were they saw a turn around and a real understanding beginning to dawn about what they were doing. They came to the Assembly because they were not making a living for themselves in their own hometown. She loved the job and was a single mom, able to support two kids when it was very hard, as a women, to support yourself let alone children. She is a night driver, she does not change to days just to do the tourist bit. She loves the locals and that is where most of her service has been. She owns a cab here and has owned cabs up north before. She felt she has a real understanding of the industry. She sat in the task force meetings with Mr. Garrett when he wrote on the board that the consensus of the task force was to protect the cab industry. She failed to understand how raising the cab drivers fees over 2000 %, when they originally came to the Assembly begging for help to maintain their livelihoods, was serving and protecting the cab industry. The teeth had been totally taken out of the ordinance with the original problem of the shuttles. The cabs went through an inspection with no ordinance or regs in place and it cost them almost $2,000 to get ready for that inspection and yet the other people in the industry were being told that there were no regs in place so they didn’t have to follow them. She asked what that meant as a cab driver. She felt it was very discriminatory and she was very disappointed and dismayed in Juneau. They live here, they have raised kids here, they own property here and they care about all of these things. When she looks at what is happening with the Design Review Board and how it has gone on for years, it tells her that something is wrong with the process and she wanted to know why the Assembly did not listen to the people in the industry who were supposed to be the professionals and consultants, before starting to write new ordinances and regulations.
Revina Tekaat, waived her opportunity to speak.
MOTION – by Garrett to extend the meeting for five minutes to conclude Assembly Comments. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
Mr. Powell thanked the League of Women Voters for organizing and convening a public meeting that occurred last week on the airport master plan. He felt it was very fortunate that they were willing to do it and more than 75 people were present. He also thanked Mr. Miller and the Airport folks.
Mr. MacKinnon had no comments.
Mayor Egan said when the Assembly met in Executive Session and came back out there was no discussion about allowing the Manager to discuss moving expenses with a police chief candidate or a captain, if in fact a person was hired from out of the CBJ. He asked for clarification that the Manager would be allowed to do that, if in fact a candidate was hired from out of Juneau. Ms. Hagevig asked if this only referred to moving expenses for someone who had already received a job offer. Mr. Palmer said that originally he asked for moving expenses up to $5,000 for a police chief and for the police chief, the captain and the fire district chief, at least airfare to bring candidates into town. He was not asking for moving expenses for the captain or the fire district chief, only for the police chief. Mr. Powell asked if he was now asking for moving expenses if a person from out of state gets hired. Mr. Palmer said up to $5,000 moving expense for the police chief and then authority to offer airfare and hotel for candidates for all three positions. He said they try to get 21-day advance tickets and the money would come out of the budget of each of the departments.
MOTION – by Powell to accept the recommendation of the City Manager as outlined. There being no objection, it was so ordered.
Mayor Egan asked how many Assembly members would be attending the reception on Friday night on the USS Juneau.
Marian Miller, Clerk