My Turn: Here is the other side of Alaway

Posted: Tuesday, January 14, 2003

After many friends, colleagues, family members and acquaintances urged me to respond to the distorted facts reported in the Empire article, My Turn and Letters to the Editor submitted by Chris Erickson (Eagle's Edge resident) and Shawn Willie (self-appointed Eagle's Edge HOA President) in December, I have decided to set to record straight.

I do not have, nor have I ever had, a crusher on the Alaway site as captioned in the front page photo of the Empire's Dec. 12, 2002, issue. Mr. Erickson and the photographer trespassed on private property after being told to stay off at a public meeting the night before. This only shows Mr. Erickson's arrogance and disregard for any law that pertains to him.

Mr. Erickson goes on to claim to notice oil leaking and calls DEC as well as Coast Guard to report a fuel tank "leaking profusely." The findings are as follows: DEC reported a sheen equivalent to maybe 10 drops that may have been caused by filling practices. The Coast Guard sent out a harbor patrol and a response team and likened Mr. Erickson's claim to a false 911 call. Shawn Willie, and a few others like Mr. Erickson, have no problem wasting taxpayer's money and jeopardizing the lives of public servants with frivolous calls such as the ones reported to JPD this summer.

Calls like heavy equipment being operated on 6/28; noise level affecting ability to sell house on 6/28; excessive noise by moving loader on 7/6; operating machinery on 7/6; service truck running back and fourth on 7/9; back-up alarm (safety) going off seems too loud on 7/23; forklift on highway on 7/23; using loader to move dirt on 7/18; no noise right now but there was a truck earlier on 7/18; a vehicle or a piece on equipment is running (on Alaway) causing diesel exhaust crossing the street and entering her residence on 7/16; running equipment (twice) on 9/06; annoying people on 8/27; front end loader running on 8/26; concealed screener behind dirt mound on 8/02; just to list a few.

This is the true definition of what Mr. Willie states is "terrorism." The fact is that 98 percent of these calls were made by four households in Eagle's Edge (Mr. Willie and Mr. Erickson being two of them.) The noise level reading taken by CBJ was within the allowable limits.

Never in the past several years have I experienced so much vandalism on Alaway as I have this summer. There are currently JPD cases pending against residences at Eagles Edge amounting to several thousand dollars.

All this wasted resource could have been avoided if Dan Garcia (CBJ zoning officer) had abided by the 1999 CBJ decision that allows us to continue our construction yard and topsoil screening. Instead he encouraged and assisted in a petition drive as well as the barrage of telephone calls to the JPD (where none had previously been received), and trespass on our property for the sake of photos which depict children at play on a private drive which is used by emergency vehicles and heavy equipment and trucks used by us and others accessing a permitted gravel pit. All of this because the zoning officer, who is supposed to be unbiased, has acted to the contrary by enforcing his own opinion instead of the ruling that was made in 1999. In 1999, CBJ zoning issued a notice of violation letter for our construction yard and topsoil screening. Pursuant to CBJ 49.10.620(d) we appealed the notice and a hearing was scheduled before the Planning Commission. The previous community development director and zoning officer investigated the matter further and based on their findings and historic aerial photos showing continued commercial use, much of it contractor's storage and quarry use, ruled that our construction yard and topsoil screening were grandfathered and we were not required to obtain further permits. We continued to screen in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002 until Mr. Garcia decided not to abide by the decision made in 1999.

I hope the Planning Commission will uphold the ruling already made and not only uphold the law, but support small business in Juneau.

Duran is the owner of Duran Construction Co.

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