City of Homer
Planning & Zoning Telephone (907) 235-3106
491 East Pioneer Avenue Fax (907) 235-3118
Homer, Alaska 99603-7645 E-mail Planning@ci.homer.ak.us
Web Site www.cityofhomer-ak.gov
TO: MAYOR WYTHE AND HOMER CITY COUNCIL
THROUGH: WALT WREDE, CITY MANAGER
FROM: RICK ABBOUD, CITY PLANNER
DATE: May 7, 2013
SUBJECT: Fishing Hole Campground Site Plan
Requested Action: Recommend Approval of the draft site plan for the campground, day use parking, and Kachemak Bay Water Trail kayak launch site.
On April 24th, there was a workshop held on the Spit to discuss the kayak launch. One of the outcomes of the meeting was the City Administration and the Harbormaster agreed that a better spot for the kayak launch would be further up the Spit, near the Fishing Hole. Grouping all the recreational activities together made more sense in the long run. If a marine industrial use comes in, the original kayak launch may have to be moved. It seemed like a lot of effort when a better, long term solution was to move the launch.
Staff met with representative of the Kachemak Bay Water Trail to discuss the idea. There was agreement that this new location would be acceptable while recognizing some trade off in relation with their first choice. There was also a strong desire to keep this project on schedule. The water trail group would like to have a location locked in so they can pursue funding and construction, with the goal of completion in 2014.
The water trail folks have been fortunate to have the volunteer services of a landscape architect. Jonny Hayes PLA/ASLA/CPSI, of the Anchorage firm Bettisworth North Architects and Planners, volunteered his services and time to facilitate the workshop. Landscape Architects are like a civil engineer, and they are a registered licensed profession, with a stamp. They frequently work on site design; traffic flow, building location, architecture, drainage and landscaping etc. Mr. Hayes has also agreed to work on this new launch location. With the change in location of the kayak launch, the City recognized that the scope of work that Mr. Hayes volunteered to do had changed quite a bit. The Planning Department has some limited funds to pay for these changes to the plan outside the scope of the launch facility. Mr. Hayes is now waiting for direction before creating a comprehensive site plan, that will account for traffic flow and overall use of land between the fishing hole and Pier 1, including a potential wooden boat lease location. Our goal out of all this is not only to have a more permanent home for the kayak launch, but also a better flow for the whole property. This site plan will create a better park area around that portion of the Fishing Hole, plan for long term traffic flow, which will in turn preserve the main campground area for potential marine industrial use.
Another item that has changed is the Public Works Department has requested to move the camp ground office onto the site. The current location across the street is subject to a lot of storm damage. Due to beach erosion, significant damage to the build occurs regularly. It’s a very small building, easy to move, and it will be cheaper for the taxpayers in the long run if it wasn’t damaged by storms every year.
This draft site plan will be submitted to the Planning, Parks and Recreation and Port and Harbor Advisory Commissions for comments in May, concluding with a resolution from Council in June.
The conceptual draft site plan is attached. Planning staff met with Parks maintenance Coordinator Otteson at the campground to come up with ideas and explore options. Right now the whole area is one big parking lot; kind of ugly and a lot of space is wasted. The parks area could be much more functional. The site plan is really reworking the existing space into a more functional, attractive layout.
The plan considers the following element:
• Revise circulation and layout for RV Campground to address potential future Marine industrial and other desired elements, as outlined below,
• Relocating the existing Offices for camp attendant + fee collection,
• Maintain Pier One Theater while improving access/parking as appropriate,
• Adding a designated ‘Day Use Area’ adjacent to the existing fishing area,
• Adding a multi-use ‘Day Use Shelter’ at the northeast edge of the fishing area,
• Adding a Kachemak Bay Water Trail Launch Site that includes non-motorized boat launch facilities, appropriate signage, etc.,
• Proposed site and approximate circulation for a 10,000 SF ‘Wooden Boat Society Headquarters/Offices’ along Homer Spit Road, and
• Connect to, and maintain, existing Day Use, Fish Cleaning Station and Campground Dump Station areas.
If the concept is found acceptable, I plan to seek comments of committees and commissions and present before the council for approval in June. Of course we are still looking for direction in regards to any lease proposal that might be considered as outlined by the City Manager.
Review information and provide comments and direction.
1. SITE PLAN dated May 8, 2013