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Rock quarry permit extended for 10 years

Posted: August 9, 2011 - 9:20pm

The City and Borough of Juneau Planning Commission Tuesday extended the Stablers Point Rock Quarry extraction permit for 10 years.

Approval of the extended permit included a few new provisions, including a requirement to clear the roadway of rock debris daily during days of hauling operations, and to contact the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities about implementing a light signal or other safety measure, warning other motorists that hauling trucks are entering the roadway on a given day.

Citizen testimony focused on noise concerns of the quarry operation. They said the city has been good about working with them and has appreciated advance notice of extended hours. Extension of operating hours was initially requested by the city engineering department to include Saturdays. Due to feedback from a public hearing and a general lack of contractor need to operate regularly on Saturdays, the Planning Commission and Community Development staff felt it was unnecessary. Blasting hours approved in the permit are exactly as approved in 2001 — 10 a.m. to noon, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Planning Commission will give approval to extended hours based on specific contractor requests for specific projects.

The new permit also includes a provision from DOT to better control dust generated at the quarry.

James Sidney, one of the truck drivers, suggested a signal. He said often other motorists aren’t always aware of the trucks entering the roadway. Often the oncoming motorists are driving 50 miles per hour or more and come up quickly on the heavy trucks. He suggested as a safety measure, particularly for other road users, to install a light signal that would be turned on during days of operation warning drivers that the hauling trucks are entering the roadway.

The commission wanted to hear what applicant and city engineering assistant Alan Steffert would do to ensure a daily road cleaning plan. The city owns the quarry but does not operate it. The city must apply for its own permit to operate.

Steffert said it would depend upon the kind of material being dropped onto the roadway. He said he considers there to be two kinds — tracking material and spill material. Spill material would be watched for on a daily basis, and tracking material would be cleaned up periodically.

Board member Nathan Bishop said the spill material currently isn’t being cleaned up.

City planner Eric Feldt said material is typically cleaned up only on a complaint basis.

Steffert said the city does not staff the quarry and that it’s a matter of trust with the drivers. He said drivers will stop or call their dispatch to notify of spilled material.

Bishop said that isn’t enough. Bishop suggested that the security guard or whoever locks the gates at the end of the day should examine a portion of the road for debris as they close for the day.

In other business, the commission unanimously approved a conditional use permit for Coogan General LLC to build five mini-storage buildings on Montana Creek Road, but requires the full vegetation buffer as stated in city rules. The applicant’s plan was 2,800 square feet short of the minimum vegetative cover requirement. It also stipulated parking and lighting permit restrictions, which require the applicant to show a more specific plan in those areas before being granted building permits.

• Contact reporter Sarah Day at 523-2279 or at sarah.day@juneauempire.com.

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