City: More info needed on golf course pest plan

Developers say gaps in insecticide plan are minor

Posted: Wednesday, January 08, 2003

The Juneau Planning Commission on Tuesday gave Totem Creek Inc., the nonprofit group attempting to build a golf course in North Douglas, more instructions to refine the project in the works for nearly two decades.

Totem Creek applied for a conditional-use permit from the city in 1997, but began designing a course in the early 1980s.

The commission met in a Tuesday night work session to review the nearly final draft of Totem Creek's plan to manage for pests such as insects, weeds and fungus on the 200-acre golf course. It is slated for city land above Peterson Creek beyond the end of North Douglas Highway.

Totem Creek spokesman Peter Metcalfe said the pest plan was complete except for a few "non-substantive" changes that Totem and its consultants were going to make.

The goal of the pest management plan is to minimize the applications of pesticides and agricultural chemicals on the site, according to city planner Mark Jaqua's report.

But the commission said it was expecting a completed plan to review.

"Frankly, I thought you'd be further along than this," said Commissioner Mike Bavard at the meeting. "We had a meeting in November to tell you what we wanted by this meeting and there's still all these questions."

Metcalfe assured the commission the pending changes to the plan are minor and shouldn't further slow the process.

Commissioners told Totem Creek to work with the city's staff to answer questions raised by several state agencies that have reviewed the plan, generate a list of suggested conditions for maintaining the plan, and obtain training-program guidelines for the golf course superintendent.

Almost none of the plan's details were discussed at the meeting. It includes a year-round pest-monitoring program, procedures for growing turf grass, and a way to keep pests to a minimum without aesthetically or environmentally harming the area, Jaqua wrote.

Metcalfe said Totem Creek's next step is to send a completed and updated application for the course, including the pest management plan, to the state Department of Governmental Coordination as part of its coastal management review.

The review examines projects and recommends changes to projects that may affect coastal areas based on concerns from state agencies and the city. The Department of Governmental Coordination then will recommend whether the project should proceed.

After that, the Planning Commission will review Totem Creek's application for a conditional-use permit. The application could be in front of the commission by early March, officials said.

• Melanie Plenda can be reached

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