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CBJ Assembly addressed big issues Monday evening

Rezoning, appeals and school funding bring out public

Posted: May 16, 2012 - 12:03am

A homeowners’ appeal of a proposed Montana Creek rock crusher moves forward with the appointment of a hearing officer at the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly Committee of the Whole, Monday night.

The Assembly briefly discussed an appeal of the Planning Commission’s April 10 approval of Coogan Construction’s permit application for a quarry and rock crusher in the Montana Creek area.

The appeal, with 42 concerned party signatures, was brought to the Assembly by Peggy Mattson, Richard Mattson and George Danner on May 2.

Assembly Member Ruth Danner requested to be recused from discussion of the appeal. The assembly member had signed the appeal.

“As an appellant in this case, I recuse myself of sitting with you,” Danner said.

Mayor Bruce Botelho and the other member approved Danner’s request. She said she did not want to give up her ability to discuss the appeal.

However,“ I was raised from an early age to stand by my principals,” Danner said.

Mayor Botelho requested the appeal go before a hearing officer. CBJ Attorney John Hartle recommended local attorney Michael Lessmeier (www.lessmeier-winters.com).

“He is an extremely qualified attorney,” Hartle said.

The Assembly approved.

The Mattsons and George Danner appealed Conditional Use Permit SGE2011-0003 “for sand and gravel extraction activity along Montana Creek Road at the West Glacier Borrow Pit Lot 1,” according to the appeal.

After recommendation from both the Planning Commission and the Assembly Lands Committee the Assembly passed Ordinance 2012-24 amending land use zoning districts.

The new code allows for a more smooth transition of industrial and residential zones and a significant increase in residential density. It also adds 10 feet to height limits in the light commercial, general commercial, and Mixed Use 2 districts.

“The proposal would facilitate construction of more affordable market rate housing complexes in Juneau,” according to CBJ staff recommendation.

Juneau resident J.W. Sivertsen submitted an email expressing reservations about the rezoning.

“This idea would likely result in increase (sic) noise, traffic and congestion as the density is enlarged,” Sivertsen said. “I respectfully suggest caution.”

The Assembly passed the ordinance without objection.

The Assembly also passed the Juneau School District fiscal year 2013 budget. The $92,475,700 budget reflects changes to education foundation funding formula and a one-time state assistance. It is millions of dollars larger than the $90.67 million budget introduced in early April.

The budget includes $24.5 million in local funding. It passed without objection.

• Contact reporter Russell Stigall at 523-2276 or at russell.stigall@juneauempire.com.

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