In this May 15, 2018 photo, locals and visitors visit the food trucks along South Franklin Street. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

In this May 15, 2018 photo, locals and visitors visit the food trucks along South Franklin Street. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Displaced food vendors find new spot to serve summertime fare

Ordinance and resolution allow for food vendor, alcohol possession in the space

The City and Borough of Juneau Assembly OK’d an ordinance and a resolution that allow for a food court in the area known as Gunakadeit Park or Pocket Park.

One ordinance approved during Monday’s Assembly meeting would allow for the lease of that property to Franklin Foods LLC. The Assembly also gave the green light to a resolution that would allow for possessing alcohol at the property if it is leased to the food vendor.

[City negotiating lease to bring food carts to pocket park]

In addition to the outdoor food sales, plans for the area include portable bathrooms and a seating area, and it would provide a venue for vendors who did business in the Archipelago Lot and were displaced by a project to develop the area near the downtown public library.

“I just want to say thank you for everyone’s time and consideration with this,” said Dave McCasland, who applied to lease the city land. “It’s been a lot, and I appreciate it. A few days ago, I signed a lease with the Gastineau Apartments right there, so I’ll be leasing the other half of the property. I’ve got five other vendors ready to move in to the lot.”

McCasland said he has a goal of opening for business by May 1.

Dave McCasland, owner of Deckhand Dave’s Fish Tacos, takes down a section of fencing on Tuesday, April 2, 2019, as he prepares to move his food truck business onto the vacant lots that were formerly the Gastineau Apartments and Gunakadeit Park. The City and Borough of Juneau Assembly OK’d an ordinance and a resolution that allows for a food court in the area. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Dave McCasland, owner of Deckhand Dave’s Fish Tacos, takes down a section of fencing on Tuesday, April 2, 2019, as he prepares to move his food truck business onto the vacant lots that were formerly the Gastineau Apartments and Gunakadeit Park. The City and Borough of Juneau Assembly OK’d an ordinance and a resolution that allows for a food court in the area. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

“I’m going to put in infrastructure, water and sewer, and make sure everything is up to code and make it a plug and play operation for anyone who’d like to come in,” McCasland said Tuesday morning.

The lease with the city is for one year at the rate of $3,250 May through September and for $1,000 for the remaining months of the year.

McCasland would be able to conduct business in the space during the cheaper months of the lease, too.

“I‘m very happy that we were able to find a home and a solution and thank Mr. McCasland for his interest in getting this in time for the season,” said Assembly member Alicia Hughes-Skandijs. “I know everyone is very excited about it.”

They’ll be heard

The agenda item that drew the most people to the Assembly Chambers prompted almost no conversation.

The Assembly agreed Monday to hear an appeal from Mountainside Estates Homeowners Association and others regarding the Planning Commission’s decision to approve a preliminary plat for Phase 1 Richland Manor 2 Subdivision.

After the Assembly agreed to hear the appeal, all but two of the roughly 30 people in attendance left the meeting.

The possible subdivision would be north of the Mountainside Estates subdivision and southeast of the Tamarack Trails condos near Vanderbilt Hill.

The proposed subdivision consists of 12 lots for single-family homes and 1 large tract for future development. Phase 1 includes the extension of Hillcrest Avenue in Mountainside Estates and installation of public water and sewer.

There is not yet a date set for the hearing.

Fence posts and compost

An ordinance allowing the city to lease property behind the Home Depot near Anka Street and the South Lemon Creek Material Source to Juneau Composts! for 5 years at the rate of $200 per month per quarter acre.

It was passed unanimously, but Assembly member Loren Jones initially objected to question whether land would be reserved for future expansion for the project and planned electric fencing around the compost pile.

“We have a dump that’s not fenced,” Jones said. “We have all kinds of things that are not fenced. It seems burdensome, cumbersome, and it’s not going to do much.”

Lands and Resources Manager Greg Chaney said it was recommended by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game out of an “abundance of caution.”

Chaney said there was concern that bears could be attracted to the compost pile, but said the lessor has experience with compost and has not found it to attract bears.

Jones also asked if land near the future compost site has been set aside in case the project expands in scope.

“It’s land that has not been used in many years, and it’s unlikely that someone will come in and want to use it or want to lease it,” Chaney said.

Jones withdrew his objection and the ordinance was adopted.

Keep on rolling

Scooters and e-bikes could be regulated before they arrive.

An ordinance was introduced that would moratorium on dockless vehicles such as e-bikes and scooters to the Planning Commission for consideration and a public hearing date.

“It’s just preemptive,” said City Manager Rorie Watt after the meeting. “We’ve all traveled to other places and seen the effect they’ve had.”

The action is in response to a dockless vehicle trend that has at times caused havoc in the Lower 48. The moratorium would allow the Assembly time to create regulations for the industry and would end Feb. 1, 2020, Watt said.


• Contact reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.


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