Debate over Statter boat launch, parking lot slow construction

The Juneau Planning Commission has given CBJ Docks and Harbors time to fix some problems with the proposed Statter Harbor boat launch and parking lot.

The Planning Commission two weeks ago denied a conditional use permit for the project. Members will vote again on the permit on June 11th.

Three of the nine commissioners were absent for the May 14 vote. Chairman Mike Satre was the only one to vote for the permit. He called for reconsideration at the commission’s meeting Tuesday.

Satre said Docks and Harbors should use the next two weeks to address concerns of the residents who live in the vicinity of Statter Harbor. The Planning Commission’s May 14 vote reflected many of the same concerns about the project.

“By reconsidering this motion and then continuing the item for two more weeks would allow Docks and Harbors, the applicant, to fully flesh out what potential responses they might have for the neighborhood, for commissioners.”

The boat launch and a 179-space parking facility comprise phase two of the Statter Harbor Master Plan. The new docks of the first phase are complete and work was to begin immediately on the launch ramp.

Auke Bay Towers’ condominium residents have the greatest concerns, ranging from lighting to devaluation of their property. The city project might have to change, Satre said, though in the end it would still be a two-lane boat launch ramp and parking facility.

“We might have additional amenities. We might have additional green space. We might have some of the public features that people wanted, we might have some of the screening that the condo association, some of the neighbors wanted, but ultimately this is a launch ramp and parking use. And that’s what was denied at the last meeting.”

If the Planning Commission votes against the permit a second time, Docks and Harbors could appeal the decision to the Juneau Assembly. But Satre said that would not fix the project’s design problems.

“I think we have a chance to still mold this project to meet the intent to reduce congestion in the harbor area yet still make this a real jewel of the Auke Bay area.”

With one commissioner absent and another recusing himself from the vote, the rest agreed with Satre to continue discussion and vote again on the project in two weeks.,

Satre said he will even re-open public comment at the June 11th meeting.


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