Juneau planning commissioners unanimously approved a conditional-use permit that will allow Juneau Youth Services to house 12 more residents at its Montana Creek campus.
Walter Majoros, JYS executive director, said the treatment program provides psychiatric services for young people, from infants to people in their early 20s. Some have experienced neglect or domestic violence. Some have substance abuse in their families or are abusing substances.
The campus, at 10685 Mendenhall Loop Road, has a 16-bed building. The second building at the 152-acre site would increase the number of residential spaces to 28.
"This facility will allow us to provide services to kids in Juneau who would otherwise have to go out of state for care," Majoros said.
Tuesday night, a few residents questioned what the plan could do to property values Tuesday and the safety of the Montana Creek neighborhood. Commissioner Marshal Kendziorek - the one who motioned for approval - echoed the concerns. He said safety on the road is "the thing that worries me most."
Planner Greg Chaney outlined conditions that addressed visibility on the road. The conditions also will require shielded lighting and a vegetation buffer from the neighborhood.
"We didn't have any indication that it would negatively affect property values," Chaney told the Planning Commission.
He also said there had not been concerns about the residents or their visitors being a potential threat to public safety until Tuesday's public hearing.
One campus neighbor said she was all for the plan. Her son is a client, and without the program she would have to spend $4,800 to $9,000 a month to send him out of state, she said.
Tony Carroll can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.