The Juneau Planning Commission favored a permit to operate a portable asphalt plant in the lower West Mendenhall Valley on Wednesday. But a shortage of commissioners meant there's still no final answer to Montana Creek Development's plan.
Six commissioners were present at the meeting and voted 4-2 vote in favor of the permit. But five votes are needed to approve a permit.
A reconsideration motion put the permit, with certain conditions, on the agenda for the next regular meeting Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. Those conditions limit operations to October, April, May and part of June.
"The reasoning for the planning commission's objective was to allow the plant to operate and demonstate whether or not it can operate in compliance with regulations," said city Community Development Director Cheryl Easterwood, "and to find out better information about impacts of plant operation in this location."
The proposed location of the plant is in the Sherwood Estates Subdivision on Curtis Avenue, near the end of Crazy Horse Drive.
The area is zoned industrial, but Koggie and Tom File, who own the Mendenhall Golf Course next to the proposed asphalt plant have concerns about the enterprise.
"This thing will have a drastic effect on the Mendenhall Valley," Koggie File said. "We are concerned about the air people are breathing. There have been no direct answers as to whether this was a health concern or not."
Sandy Bicknell, co-owner of Montana Creek Developoment, said the plant will not hurt its neighbors.
"I really believe this is a low-impact thing, we just have a few small jobs, it's not like we're paving Egan Drive or an airport runway," he said. "The harmful pollutants, the EPA and DEC regulate that. We won't poison anybody."
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