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Valley homeowners appeal Coogan's crusher

Posted: May 8, 2012 - 12:04am

Homeowners in the Montana Creek area have filed an appeal to overturn a Planning Commission decision to approve a rock crusher proposed for their neighborhood, a D3 zone.

The City and Borough of Juneau Planning Commission approved the permit for a rock quarry and crusher on April 10.

Montana Creek residents Peggy and Rich Mattson stated in email interview they and many of their neighbors are concerned the Coogan permit is too permissive and would allow crushing on an expanded scale.

“Forty-one neighbors signed the appeal opposing Coogan General’s gravel pit and rock crusher permit,” the Mattsons said. “The Planning Commission and the Community Development Department staff did not apply the City Code correctly in allowing a rock crusher in an area zoned D3.”

City code, the email said, requires permits for rock crushers to accompany a municipal public construction project and must cease operation of the crusher mush cease at project’s end. The approved conditional use permit does not meet these criteria, they said.

Montana Creek homeowners also said a rock crusher is out of place as previous Assembly decisions have made their neighborhood increasingly residential.

Lloyd Coogan, a partner in Coogan Construction, said the entire permit for sand and gravel removal and screened, crushed material rests on approval of the crusher.

The city already supplies a regular pit run in Juneau, Coogan said. To compete with existing crushed rock suppliers, Coogan said, his business requires onsite crushing.

“No sense in having a permit if you can’t crush,” Coogan said. “There is not that big of demand.”

And that lack of demand is why Montana Creek homeowners need not worry about noise issues.

“I can’t imagine there being more than 100 hours of crushing a year,” Coogan said. “A couple weeks worth of crushing throughout the whole summer.”

He said barriers and trees at the site limit sound and said his operation would be similar to an existing gravel business that operates near his office.

“It’s not like they are crushing after hours,” Coogan said. “There are strict parameters on when we can crush.”

The next step, the Mattsons said, is hearing with the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly Committee of the Whole on Monday.

As a quasi-judicial body, commissioners are prevented from discussing permits that may require commission action, one potential path of the appeal.

Coogan’s permit application is listed as SGE20110003, A Conditional Use Permit for sand and gravel extraction activity along Montana Creek Road at the West Glacier Borrow Pit Lot 1.

For more information about the sand and gravel conditional use permit application visit www.bit.ly/IDXTGV and www.bit.ly/z7ECZz for draft minutes from the April 10 Planning Commission Meeting.

• Contact reporter Russell Stigall at 523-2276 or at russell.stigall@juneauempire.com.

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