Petersburg’s borough assembly Monday denied an appeal of a conditional use permit for fishing gear storage on residential property about two miles south of downtown Petersburg. The decision will allow construction of a net storage building, against the wishes of one neighboring property owner.
The property is on Arness Heights Drive in the Olsen subdivision, a mix of residentially and commercially zoned land with no water and sewer service. It’s also right next to Hungerford Hill, a neighborhood with some industrial land and homes thrown into the mix.
Joe Aliberti testified over the phone and said a warehouse did not belong in a residential subdivision where he hopes to build a home. “Because I have a beautiful place up there, I got a hundred thousand dollar view down the Narrows and I can see Petersburg Mountain and over to Frederick Sound off my second story when I build it,” he said. “There’s a lot of reasons for me not to want to see this start happening. And I know that if it does, eventually it’s going to affect my property values.” Aliberti appealed last month’s decision by the planning commission to issue a conditional use permit for construction of a net storage building.
Aaron Miller applied for the permit and said Aliberti’s appeal should not be granted. Miller read from an opinion by the borough’s tax assessor, the Appraisal Company of Alaska. The letter was requested by Aliberti. “The issuance of the subject permit would not adversely affect property values,” Miller read. “In fact the proposed use of the property appears to be of a lower impact as the immediately abutting area has a significant amount of heavy equipment storage and other commercial and industrial materials.”
The planning commission initially did not agree on issuing the permit last fall but reconsidered the issue this winter and approved the permit.
Liz Cabrera, is the borough’s staff member for the planning commission. She addressed Aliberti’s appeal and the commission’s decision on the special use permit. “The planning commission clearly did by the number of conditions that they placed particularly on their limiting of outside storage,” Cabrera said. “I have to say that’s probably the first time that outside storage around a net house has been limited to that extent. They also put pretty strict guidelines in on when all this needs to be accomplished. So I think that they did make an effort to mitigate aesthetic values.” The permit has size, setback and fencing requirements along with a limit on what can be stored outside the net house. The Millers have one year to start work on the construction.
Another neighboring property owner Pat Weaver wanted to make sure the borough would enforce the conditions of the permit. “As has been mentioned earlier there is an abutting property that has all kinds of equipment stored on it and that issue has been addressed many times, by the city, to the property owner,” Weaver said. A year ago, that neighboring property owner Richard Burrell applied for a zoning change along with the Millers that would have allowed the gear and equipment storage on a permanent basis. The assembly denied that zoning change however.
Assembly members this week noted that anyone else in town with residential property could apply for a conditional permit for building a netshed. The use has been allowed by prior commissions for single family residential land in town with and without homes already constructed.
Cindi Lagoudakis wanted to deny the appeal. “And I think the fact that it’s an allowed conditional use that other people could do that if they built a home, I understand Mr. Aliberti’s concerns but I would have to agree I think the planning commission followed process.”
The assembly’s vote this week was a unanimous no against Aliberti’s appeal, and affirming the permit granted by the planning commission.