Despite support from the city Community Development Department, a conditional use permit for the development of a Tee Harbor resort was denied at Tuesday's Juneau Planning Commission meeting.
"The bottom line is if you get enough people to stand up and say negative things, you can carry the day," said developer Daniel Malick. "That's not a complaint, it's just the way the process works."
Malick was seeking the permit for his two waterfront lots in North Tee Harbor. The area is zoned D-1, for single-family homes. Malick wanted to use a renovated one-bedroom bungalow and a two-bedroom bunkhouse-style lodge for short-term rental units. He also wanted to offer four tent platforms.
The accommodations would have provided guests such as kayakers, divers and hikers with easy access to the water and the adjoining city park. Also, Malick wanted to use the facilities for meetings and weddings. Neighbors applauded the planning commission's decision.
"I was very happy to see the process work on the level which it did," said Carol Bodenhamer, a member of the North Tee Harbor Neighborhood Association. "I think the best thing happened. Now, it's an arduous process to looking forward to mending the community. It's going to take a long time."
The meeting didn't end until 12:30 a.m., Bodenhamer said. She estimated that 30 people attended.
"They were well organized," Malick said of his detractors. "Of course, their position was that this is D-1 zone and anyone trying to do something commercial will irrevocably change the nature of the community.
"My neighbors are a mile away. None of them can even see my house. It's presented like I'm in the middle of the Mendenhall Valley. But the road I use runs past their house, and in that sense it put me in their community."
Malick said he's not going to appeal the decision.
" My options are holding on to the property or adding to the economy of Juneau because we have property for this sort of eco-tourism," he said. "I can't hang around real long on this property because of the expense of owning it. Time will tell."