Glacier Seafood gained approval Tuesday to build its Auke Nu Cove dock another 35 feet seaward in a plan worked out to protect nearby eelgrass beds.
"It looks like this is a compromise between agencies to make the project better," Commissioner Mike Bavard said after the 7-0 vote to approve a permit to modify the dock plans, which were approved in January.
Commissioners Mark Pusich and Jacqueline Fowler announced they had conflicts and stepped down during the discussion. Pusich stepped down because of his professional relationship with the project, and Fowler because she lives in the affected area.
The report, prepared by city planner Teri Camery, explained that the length of the extension was a compromise with the National Marine Fisheries Service and Alaska Department of Natural Resources. The agencies originally requested that the 80-by-110-foot dock be extended another 80 feet.
The extension will allow vessel landings in deeper water and reduce the effect of sediment on the eelgrass beds, Camery noted.
The proposed project would be immediately west of the Alaska Marine Highway terminal, near the mouth of the cove.
The commission approved Glacier Seafoods' plans for an Auke Bay plant occupying as much as 8,000 square feet in October 2002.
When addressing neighbors' concerns about the addition at the January meeting, co-owner Mike Erickson pointed out that Glacier Seafoods is not a cannery, but a small company that processes fresh and frozen seafoods.
He said after the meeting that work could begin in the fall.
One concerned resident told commissioners Tuesday night that she wanted to see assurance that the company would not pollute the nearby beach.
Tony Carroll can be reached at email@example.com.