DATE: February 7, 2001
TO: Planning Commission
FROM: Tim Maguire
Community Development Department
FILE NO.: USE2000-00071 and CSP2000-00012
PROPOSAL: A Conditional Use Permit to mine and process rock and soil fill materials.
Applicant: CBJ Engineering DepartmentProperty
Owner: City & Borough of Juneau
Property Location: 4.3 mile on the Fish Creek Road
Legal Description: Fraction of Section 30, T41S, R67E, CRM
Parcel Code Number: 6-D10-1-100-001-0
Site Size: Approximately 3.4 Acres
Zoning: RR, Rural Reserve
Access: Fish Creek Road (Also known as Eaglecrest Road)
Existing Land Use: Former Rock Quarry
Surrounding Land Use: North - Vacant Rural Reserve,
South - Vacant Rural Reserve, Eaglecrest .7 Miles to Eaglecrest
East - Vacant Rural Reserve
West - Vacant Rural Reserve, Public Lands
The applicant requests a Conditional Use Permit to reopen a rock extraction quarry along the Fish Creek Road. This quarry is located on the south side of the Fish Creek Road approximately 4.2-miles up the roadway from the intersection with the North Douglas Highway. The quarry operation involves clearing and grubbing, drilling, blasting, excavation, sorting and crushing of soil and rock materials for construction purposes.
The applicant, CBJ Engineering Department, proposes to dedicate material extractions to the development of public projects over the upcoming 10-year period to allow rock and soil materials to be mined for:
The existing soil and rock reserves of the quarry are approximately 182,000 cubic yards of usable shot rock fill materials. The rate of extraction will be determined by the size and scheduling of upcoming CBJ and other public projects. .
A key element of this proposal is that the applicant (CBJ - Engineering) will require that the individual contractors for each public project submit a project specific mining plan. Rather than try and determine an overall and detailed quarry plan at this time, each individual plan will be more realistic based on actual planned operation and project size, but be consistent with the guidelines setforth in this Conditional Use Permit. The individual plan will address drainage, erosion control, overburden disposal, traffic plans, blasting , stockpiling, restoration, and other pertinent factors. The individual mining plans will be required to be designed by a professional Engineer Registered in the State of Alaska.
Quarrying activities will be limited to the months of the year when the ski area is closed to avoid conflicts with ski area operation and icy road conditions for truck traffic. The ski area typically opens on November 15 or later each year and closes in the spring around April 15. Long term reclamation plans for the quarry include possible development as an overflow parking area for the Eaglecrest Ski Area.
This site was previously opened in the 1970's to provide materials for construction of Fish Creek Road and later improvements to the Eaglecrest Ski Area. There is no prior Conditional Use Permit for these activities. The quarry is considered to be a proven source of construction fill material. The previous mining activities removed rock material from the slope on the west side of the road and disposed of overburden and fill debris in an embankment fill on the northeast side of the road. The reopening of the quarry will result in the continued removal of materials from the hillside on the west side of Fish Creek Road, but no more fill activities
The CBJ Land Use Code provides specific application and review requirements for quarry operations. The information below addresses these items with reference to the attached submittal materials.
49.65.210 CONTENTS OF APPLICATION. Each person who requires a permit under this article shall file an application with the department. The application shall contain a plan for the excavation operation, storage, on-site processing if permitted in the district, and site restoration. The plan shall include:
(1)A graphic and legal description of the property;
The location of the Upper Fish Creek Road Quarry Site is shown on the attached vicinity map The quarry is located on the west side of the Fish Creek Road approximately 4.3 miles from its intersection with the North Douglas Highway and 0.7 miles from the Eaglecrest Ski Area parking lot. It is within Section 30, Township 41 South, Range 67 East, Copper River Meridian.
Attachment A, Figure 1, shows the existing topography, vegetation, and drainage features at the quarry. The existing quarry floor is located at an average approximate elevation of 1190-feet and drains to ditches along Fish Creek Road. The area has previously been logged and mined but not replanted. There are no known on-site or off-site geophysical hazards in the vicinity of the quarry.
A wetlands determination of the site was conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and resulted in the identification of the wetlands area noted (See Attachment C).
Attachment A, Figure 1 and 2 shows the typical cross sections, finished contours, limits of overburden clearing, and significant natural and artificial conditions of the property that are proposed for the close of the quarry operation. Figure 2 identifies the drainage plan for the operation. No structures are proposed.
The final site restoration calls for the site to be sloped at a 2% grade toward Fish Creek Road. The remaining quarry face will be stepped back, with a maximum 30 foot rise at a ¼ :1 slope and minimum 15 foot wide bench between each rise. The final elevations of the rear face of the quarry, if all rock is removed, will range in height from approximately 85 feet to 110 feet.
The applicant has submitted topographic mapping for the site. Natural features and elevations are depicted in the flatter sections, as well as five-foot contours in sloped areas.
The plan depicts the access driveways to Fish Creek Road from the quarry site.
The applicant does not propose buildings or structures on the site.
The applicant has submitted a narrative of the proposed quarry operation, which is provided with Attachment A and B. The following is a brief summary of this section of the narrative:
The operation of the Upper Fish Creek Road Quarry is expected to involve clearing & grubbing, drilling, blasting, excavation, sorting and crushing of soil and rock materials for construction purposes. The reopening of the quarry will result in the additional removal of materials from the hillside on the south side of Fish Creek Road.
Clearing and grubbing debris from the quarry will be removed by the contractor and disposed at approved offsite locations. Material will be trucked from the site via the Eaglecrest Road and thence to the North Douglas Highway.
Temporary stockpiling may be necessary, depending on the nature of the project, and will be shown on the individual mining plans presented for approval by each contractor.
Mining activities and quarry restoration will be accomplished on a project-by-project basis in a manner to enhance the sites utilization as a future parking area for the Eaglecrest Ski Area. Quarry cut slopes will be constructed in accordance with the sample section and notes of Attachment A, Figure 1.
The drainage plan for the operation is shown in Attachment A, Figure 2. The CBJ Engineering Department has reviewed and commented on the proposed plan (See Attachment D).
Site security is proposed to be accomplished by placing a row of boulders or logs between the quarry floor and the Eaglecrest Road.
The applicant addresses noise and visual impacts on pages 4 and 5 of Attachment A. The following is a summary of this section of the narrative. In brief, with the exception of the Fish Creek Road, the nearest development. to the quarry is the Eaglecrest Ski Area complex located approximately .7 mile northwest of the quarry. The ski area is sufficiently far away from the quarry that summer workers and users will be exposed to less than 65-dBA . Noise generated at the quarry will be additionally muted at the ski area because the quarry work area faces away from that direction.
Truck traffic on the Fish Creek Road has the potential to affect local residents near the bottom of the Fish Creek Road.
The following measures are proposed as part of the operation to minimize noise generation resulting from the quarry operation.
The quarry is located immediately adjacent to the Fish Creek Road and the applicant proposes enforcing orderly operating procedures for all users to minimize visual impacts from the quarry.
The proposed hours of operation for the quarry operation are Monday through Saturday, 7:00 am to 6:00 pm for most construction projects. In addition, it is being proposed that the allowable hours of operation for marine projects, such as the Douglas Harbor Uplands and Moorage Expansion and the North Douglas Boat Launch be from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm to allow Contractors to conduct necessary work during varying tide conditions.
The proposed dates of operation during the year are from April 16 to November 14, weather permitting. This avoids Eaglecrest operations and wintertime road usage. It is requested that these dates be allowed to be modified, if the number of days Eaglecrest operates is shortened.
Quantity calculations indicate that the quarry contains approximately 182,000 cubic yards of rock material in the area shown on site plan and sample section of Attachment A, Figure 1. Approximately 22,000 cubic yards of the material is located within the ADOT&PF Fish Creek Road Right of Way. The remaining 160,000 cubic yards of material is located on the CBJ land to the south of the right of way.
A memo of understanding is being negotiated between the CBJ and the ADOT&PF to facilitate the reciprocal use of materials from either side of the Right of Way. The agreement is intended to allow the CBJ to begin mining materials within the right of way with the understanding that the ADOT&PF will then be granted the right to mine an equivalent quantity of material from the CBJ property at a future date.
The site was formerly used by the ADOT&PF as a material source for the construction of the existing Fish Creek Road. Attachment A, Figure 1 includes the results of 4 laboratory rock quality tests conducted by the ADOT&PF Southeast Alaska Materials Laboratory in October 2000. The figure also notes the approximate location where each sample was collected. The findings of the ADOT&PF materials testing indicates that the formations within the pit are capable of producing a variety of shot rock fill materials.
The existing rock reserves of the quarry are approximately 182,000 cubic yards of usable soil and shot rock fill materials. The intent of applying for a 10-year Conditional Use Permit for the site is to provide a known source of economical material for CBJ and ADOT&PF projects. The rate of extraction will be determined by the size and scheduling of upcoming public projects
Mining activities and quarry restoration will be accomplished on a project-by-project basis in a manner to enhance the sites utilization as a future parking area for the Eaglecrest Ski Area. Successful restoration of the quarry will be accomplished by CBJ oversight of each Individual Mining Plan. As noted above, the rate of extraction, and therefore restoration, will depend on when and how many of these CBJ and other public projects are completed. Final restoration will take place at the time all the material has been taken out, or 10 years, which ever is earliest.
The Upper Fish Road Quarry property is situated on a parcel of CBJ owned land, within the Eaglecrest land selection, located approximately 0.7 miles from the Eaglecrest Ski Area Lodge and approximately 4.0 miles from the nearest private property. The significant separation distance between the quarry work area and the other human activities is expected to minimize any effects of airborne particulates on other activities. Therefore, no specific control procedures have been proposed.
There are no known geophysical hazards on-site, or in the vicinity of the site.
The quarry was used in the early 1970's by DOT as a material source during the construction of Fish Creek Road and was used later for construction of some facilities at the Eaglecrest Ski Area. Eaglecrest and Fish Creek Road are the only two developments that have taken place in this area. There is no Conditional Use Permit for the previous quarry operation.
We have requested additional information concerning Goshawk nest location and commercial use of the Fish Creek Road. The applicant has provided information from the Forest Service indicating that Goshawk nesting is located a good distance from the quarry site and restrictions are not necessary. The applicant has indicated the previous commercial bicycle tours operation, that has used Fish Creek Road in the past, will not operate this upcoming season.
Traffic - The utilization of the Upper Fish Creek Road Quarry will generate truck traffic along approximately 4.2-miles of the Fish Creek Road, and the North Douglas Highway. Material will be hauled from the quarry in 10-yard and 20-yard trucks to various construction locations in the community. Additional traffic to and from the quarry will include employee and service vehicles. Trucks traveling the Fish Creek Road will comply with local speed regulations.
As noted above it is the intent of the quarry proposal to make a source of rock available for projects on Douglas Island. This may not be the exclusive use of these quarry sites. However, if this source were not available for these local projects then this material will need to be hauled from more remote locations in the Community. Truck traffic would still be present on the road system. The additional traffic generated by the quarry will vary with the project. Both of the public roads that serve this site provide adequate lane capacity according to ADOT/PF. The nearest intersection with operation concerns is the Douglas Bridge intersection. This intersection fails to operate at a desirable level during peak hour travel periods. Travel routes and hours of operation will be considered and conditioned by CBJ staff with each development request that will extract material from this location, such as the Douglas Harbor Uplands and Moorage Expansion project.
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT/PF) staff responsible for traffic safety and road maintenance has been consulted. Generally, no major objections to the project were given, however there was concern expresses with regard to wintertime usage and conflicts with the Eaglecrest traffic, and possible damage to Fish Creek Road from the truck traffic. (See Attachments E&F)
The quarry will be operated on a seasonal basis to avoid conflicts with the normal winter operation of the Eaglecrest Ski Area and to minimize truck traffic on icy roads. The ski area typically opens on November 15 or later each year and closes in the spring around April 15. Summer activities at the ski area have historically included ski area maintenance, hiking, picnicking, and bicycling.
With regard to impact to the roadway itself, DOT /PF plans to utilize general funds to improve the depth and quality of the surface of Fish Creek Road in 2002. The paving improvement will be coordinated with the quarry activities. The roadway will better be able to handle truck traffic after improvements are made. However, the ADOT/PF is concerned about spring thaw at this higher elevation and have requested that there be no truck traffic from December 1 to June 1, and that any damage to the roadway be repaired. Additional conditions are being requested concerning load limits, roadway cleaning and drainage.
Concern was also expressed by Eaglecrest that heavy truck traffic will ruin the existing chip seal surface, prior to the repaving project in 2002, thereby leaving poor road access for the following ski season.
The CBJ Engineering Department has agreed to have the individual contractors made responsible for repairing the roadway as a condition of their project contacts. The CBJ is agreeable to the dates for limiting for truck traffic, with a provision to allow their modification with the approval of ADOT/PF. Other concerns for road cleaning, load limits, and drainage, will be handled with conditions of permit approval.
(1) The hours, days, and times of year of operation;
The proposed hours and days of operation for the quarry are Monday through Saturday, 7:00 am to 6:00 pm for most construction projects. In addition, the proposed times of year to operate are from April 16 to November 14, weather permitting. As noted above, ADOT/PF has recommended restricting truck traffic from December 1 through June 1 because of potential road damage.
It is also being proposed that the allowable hours of operation for marine projects, including the Douglas Harbor Uplands and Moorage Expansion and the North Douglas Boat Launch be from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm to allow contractors to conduct necessary work during varying tide conditions.
We recommend that the Commission approve the requested hours, days and dates of operation. We also recommend that a general condition be included that allows the Director of the Community Development to vary these approved hours, days, and dates, for necessary quarry operations, when required to complete fill activities subject to tidal influence, for traffic safety concerns, or other extraordinary circumstances. In addition, we also recommend that truck hauling be restricted from December 1 to June 1 unless otherwise approved by ADOT/PF.
Since this site is so isolated from most human activities it is anticipated that the adverse visual and audible impacts from this proposed operation will be greatly reduced. In addition, the operation will be shut down during the ski season, the time of highest activity in the area. However, it appears that there is some recreational use of the area in the summer as well. The road is used for walking and bicycling and the surrounding area is used for hiking and berry picking.
Because of the nature of the site, it will be difficult to accomplish much screening for any of the quarry activities at start up. The site is an open face rock wall, directly adjacent to the Fish Creek Road, and with little working area. There will be more flexibility with the site after the initial phase of extraction has taken place and more usable land area is created
Regardless of these circumstances, we are recommending some conditions to help reduce the noise and visual impacts. The first condition will be to construct a berm along Fish Creek Road frontage after each phase ( individual project) of quarrying is completed. The berm will be configured so as not to interfere with future operations. When further phases are finished, a complete berm will extend along the length of the quarry site. This will help to reduce the visual impact of the open pit face and help to reduce noise levels. The berm is also being recommended to fulfill other requirements of the sand and gravel code which call for securing the site, providing site restoration, and leaving a natural buffer adjoining any public roadway.
Another recommended condition, is that the crusher operation be located within the quarry site for the purpose of screening. This would take place after sufficient pit floor area is created with the initial phases of extraction.
Blasting at the site is a critical component of the quarry operation. If blasting operations are conducted by certified personnel, and in compliance with applicable standards, the hazards should be minimal. Prior to excavation each contractor will have the blast plan reviewed by an independent blast consultant and submit it for approval by the CBJ Engineering to insure a safe and controlled blast. Each blasting plan shall comply to CBJ specification 02090-Blasting Controls (Attachment G), as well as sections 203-2.06 of the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities Standard Specifications for Highway Construction, 1984 edition (Attachment H). A public notice sign will be placed on Fish Creek Road, both directions, noticing blasting operations 24 hours prior to the activity. The roadway will be closed during each blast. The Airport will also be notified prior to each blast. Blast sizes will be limited to 10,000 cu. yd.
As noted above, due to the nature of the site it will be impossible to leave a natural buffer between the existing roadway and the quarry operation. To help secure the site, a berm is being recommended. However, the berm will not be completed until the initial phases of the quarrying activity takes place. In the interim, staff will recommend that the site be secured along the area bordering the Fish Creek Road with large boulders or Jersey barriers and warning signs, and that the remainder of the active quarry site, above and to the sides of the operation, be flagged and warning signs placed.
The applicant will manage the quarry site to minimize the attraction of the site and to prevent the development of a public nuisance.
The site will be restored according to the site plan as submitted with cross sections (See Attachment A, Figures 1 &2). Each operator will be required to leave a clean stabilized slope face that conforms to the plan. The operator will also be required to adhere to standards set forth in the manual Best Management Practices for Reclaiming Surface Mines in Washington and Oregon, where applicable. The final site restoration calls for the site to be sloped at a 2% grade toward Fish Creek Road. The remaining quarry face will be stepped back, with a maximum 30-foot rise at ¼ :1 slope and minimum 15-foot wide benches between each rise. The final elevations of the rear face of the quarry site will range in height from approximately 85 feet to 110 feet. This benching is provided to break up the vertical drop of the pit wall, provide safe access for quarry activities, and to control rock fall.
Long term plans for the quarry include possible development as an overflow parking area for the Eaglecrest Ski Area. The proposed site restoration is consistent with this future use.
How blasting operations will be controlled is described above in section (3). These measures will protect public and private property. If blasting operations are conducted by certified personnel and in compliance with applicable standards and conditions, the hazards should be minimal. Drilling, loading and detonation should be conducted in a manner that prevents fly rock, air shock and any seismic vibration that would cause damage to adjoining and adjacent properties and reduce disturbances to a minimum.
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT/PF) staff responsible for traffic safety and road maintenance have been consulted. In summary, the existing road system is expected to adequately handle the additional traffic. The quarry will be operated on a seasonal basis to avoid conflicts with the normal winter operation of the Eaglecrest Ski Area and to minimize truck traffic on icy or roads and poor roadbed conditions.
In addition, individual contractors will be required to obtain a traffic control plan from the ADOT/PF to address access to and from the site and to control traffic for the quarrying and blasting activities. Pedestrians and vehicles will be stopped on the roadway during blasting operations.
An examination of the site does not show major drainage that flow through this area. The site, therefore, will not produce major runoff, but runoff will increase as the quarry grows The floor of the pit will retain a 2% slope so that the final pit drainage will be toward the roadway. During pit operation the drainage will flow toward the natural drainage to the northeast. Initially, drainage will enter the roadway ditch and be treated as necessary. As the pit area grows over time additional measures may be necessary. Each operator of the pit, as part of their individual mining plan, will be required to submit a water quality plan and adhere to standards set forth in the manual Best Management Practices for Reclaiming Surface Mines in Washington and Oregon. The CBJ Engineering Department has reviewed and commented on the proposed plan (See Attachment D). The Engineering Department believes the drainage plan to be adequate if certain conditions are met and that the individual mining plans include detailed drainage information and be prepared by a civil engineer.
The mining area is situated on an elevated rock knob that is above the predominate ground water table on all sides. With the proposed erosion control measures, and individual water quality plans, the existing water level and water quality conditions will be maintained.
The drilling blasting, crushing, and loading components of the project will create some dust during periods of dry weather. Any dust is expected to dissipate soon after it is created due to the exposed nature of the site to prevailing wind. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation has standards for dust emissions, and the extraction activities are subject to regulation under their jurisdiction. However, a condition will be added to required dust impacts from all operations be mitigated as they occur, including cleaning of the roadway.
The visibility of the site was addressed above under section (3). A berm was recommended to help reduce the visibility of the quarry site. Staff is also recommending that all equipment related to the quarry operation be removed from the site, or suitably screened, during the winter closure. The winter months are the time of most activity in the area.
The operation of the quarry will produce significant noise from rock drilling, blasting, heavy loading and hauling equipment. The applicant addresses noise impacts on pages 4 and 5 of Attachment A.) This section provides an analysis of the noise levels to be expected and a number of measures proposed to reduce the level of noise. In brief, with the exception of the Fish Creek Road, the nearest development to the quarry is the Eaglecrest Ski Area complex located approximately .7 mile northwest of the quarry. The ski area is sufficiently far away from the quarry that summer workers and users will be exposed to less than 65-dBAs. Noise generated at the quarry will be additionally muted at the ski area because the quarry work area faces away from that direction.
Measures to limit noise include limiting blast size, hours, and days of operation, screening, and truck compression breaking.
This proposal will result in the removal of wetland areas. This matter will be discussed under the section dealing with the Juneau Coastal Management Plan (JCMP). Measures will be required for treatment of run off from the site.
The site will be restored according to the site plan as submitted with cross sections (See Attachment A, Figures 1&2). Quarry restoration will be provided on a project-by-project basis to enhance environmental conditions at the site and the utility of the area for future use. The final site restoration calls for the site to be sloped at a 2% grade toward Fish Creek Road.
The remaining quarry face will be stepped back with a maximum 30-foot rise at ¼ :1 slope and minimum 15-foot wide benches between each rise.
There are several general notes on that address restoration and the finished condition of the quarry site with Attachment A, Figure 1) including:
6) All overburden, clearing and grubbing debris shall be disposed of at an approved off site location.
7) At the completion of mining the quarry shall be left in a neat, orderly and well-drained condition and all overhangs and loose rock shall be removed.
12) After excavation is complete, the area shall be cleaned up and left as shown on the approved quarry development plan. All loose boulders will be disposed of at an approved off site location.
Staff will recommend a couple of modifications to the restoration plan. As noted earlier a berm will be required. It is recommended that overburden be placed on the proposed berm. It is also recommended that, to the extent practical, over burden be placed on the benches that will remain along the final pit walls. Overburden will help to reestablish vegetation in these areas and is a recommended method for quarry restoration in the manual "Best Management Practices for Reclaiming Surface Mines in Washington and Oregon" (See Attachment I). It is thought by Engineering that the revegitation of the final benches be accomplished by CBJ rather that the individual contractors because of the costs and timing.
In order to accomplish these recommendations, note 6) above, will need to be modified to require that over burden be stockpiled on site for use in site restoration.
Long term plans for the quarry include possible development as an overflow parking area for the Eaglecrest Ski Area.
Restoration Bond - The individual operators will be required to provide performance bonding for all work including restoration of the quarry. The one exception, will be the final quarry wall revegetation as described above.
We do not recommend additional measures to address public interests.
49.65.235 MANDATORY CONDITIONS OF PERMIT. Unless specifically waived by the commission, the requirements of this article shall be a condition of all permits issued. The commission may not waive or modify any of the following requirements except upon a finding that the requirement would serve no useful purpose. Such finding must be supported by substantial evidence in the record of the hearing before the commission.
(1) A strip of land at the existing topographic level, and not less than fifteen feet in width, shall be retained at the periphery of the site wherever the site abuts a public way. This periphery strip shall not be altered except as authorized for access points. This section does not alter the applicants duty to maintain sub-adjacent support.
As noted in the description of the site a natural buffer abutting the Fish Creek Road cannot be achieved because this area has been altered by previous quarry operation. This existing rock face has not been restored or been replanted. This quarry project proposes to continue an open face quarrying operation that will result in the pit walls being restored with benching and revegitation. In addition, a berm is being proposed along the pubic roadway that will serve as a buffer for the quarry site. Also, the proposed final use of the site is proposed as an overflow parking lot for the Eaglecrest ski area. It would seem that requiring this condition to be met under these current circumstances would not meet the intent of the code and hinder the intended future use of the site. Staff does not believe this condition would serve a useful purpose and therefore recommends the Planning Commission waive it.
This condition is not applicable.
Exterior Lighting - Exterior lighting is not proposed at this time. The applicant may authorize quarry users to provide temporary portable lighting for site activities in the future. Lighting may not produce glare on the roadway.
Public Health or Safety - There are several public health and safety concerns that are typical of a quarry operation, including blasting, explosive storage, site access conditions, and truck traffic. The applicant proposes to implement blasting controls as provided herein. Attachments G and H provide the blasting controls for a specific project, Douglas Boat Harbor. The controls for additional projects will be significantly similar. Explosives will be limited to only that amount needed for the current blast. Site access will be controlled with barriers and signage. Concerns with truck traffic hazard will be minimized by CBJ and ADOT/PF review and conditioning of this permit, individual traffic control plans, limits on times of operation, and future review of the public projects. The applicant will specify other on-site conditions with the individual mining plan.
Property Value or Neighborhood Harmony -Due to the undeveloped character of the quarry area, the large separation distances between neighboring land uses, conditions limiting times of operation and restoration, and the capacity of the supporting road network, the project is not anticipated to negatively impact adjacent property values or significantly alter the harmony of the neighborhood.
This proposal was reviewed by the Eaglecrest Board. The Board generally did not oppose the project but had some recommendations (See Attachment J). A formal response will be submitted after their February 6th meeting.
Conformity With Adopted Plans - The project was reviewed for conformity with the CBJ Comprehensive Plan and the Parks and Recreation Comprehensive Plan.
The Comprehensive Plan Maps show a road corridor leading to Eaglecrest Ski Area (Attachment K). This corridor is only identified as Other Public Lands (OPL). The text of the Plan does state the following:
Prevent development in the Fish Creek Road corridor
The North Douglas Comprehensive Plan was also reviewed to give some context to this statement. This Plan was the origin of this particular guideline. The North Douglas Comprehensive Plan states that the Fish Creek Road corridor should be protected from strip type commercial development that is commonly associated with the entryways to ski areas. The Plan also states that appropriate uses to be allowed that enhance the site as a winter and summer recreation area.
The use of the area for a rock quarry, although industrial in nature, will be a temporary use. The planned final use of the site is an overflow parking area and is considered compatible with the ski area development. There are other factors in considering the suitability of the quarry use. This site was previously used as a quarry, and material was and will continue to be used for development of the ski area. This proposal calls for reclamation of the site, with terracing, a berm, and revegitation. In addition, the pit operation will be precluding during the months of ski area operation.
Juneau Coastal Management Program The layer of soils and vegetation covering this rock source have been classified as wetlands (See Attachment C). The applicant has applied for an Army Corps of Engineers permit to allow removal of these wetlands as part of the quarry operation (See Attachment L)
The Coastal Management section of the Land Use Code states that:
(3) Wetlands and tideflats shall be managed so as to assure adequate waterflow, nutrients, and oxygen levels, to avoid the adverse effects on natural drainage patterns, the destruction of important habitat, and the discharge of toxic substances;
After review of the site and agency comments it appears this criteria can be met.
The site review indicated that there is not a major amount of drainage that passes through the site, due the topography of the surrounding lands. During development, drainage will be monitored and adequate treatment will occur such as check dams, silt fences and retention ponds in order to assure water quality standards are met. A water quality plan will be required be submitted to the CBJ Engineering for approval prior to any operation, and is required to adhere to standards set forth in the manual, Best Management Practices for Reclaiming Surface Mines in Washington and Oregon.
With regard to habitat, the agencies have indicated these wetlands have value as habitat for small terrestrial mammals and birds, but is not unique habitat as compared to the surrounding lands. These wetlands are not considered to be habitat for larger mammals, such as, bear, deer, or raptors (eagles, goshawks).
These activities should not cause the introduction of toxins to the area, and therefore none into adjoining wetlands or stream systems.
Removal of wetlands by this project is unavoidable. According to the applicant, this proposal will minimize their loss in a number of ways. Due to the fact that this site is a very steep, there can be large amounts of rock produced with relatively low amount of wetlands (over burden) removed. In addition, no attempt will be made to use overburden as fill material at this site. This was the practice with the previous operation whereby the overburden was placed on wetlands on the east side of Fish Creek Road, thereby eliminating additional wetland areas.
To further minimize wetland removal, staff will recommend that the requirement for removing 15 feet of overburden from the edge of the pit boundary (Figure 1, Note 11) be amended to remove only that necessary for safety.
As noted in the public needs section, sources of good quality rock are scarce in the City and Borough. The site on Douglas Island is important because of upcoming projects for this area, and hauling distances are critical factor in the economics of producing these materials. No other suitable source of rock has been identified in the Douglas Island area that will produce the quality of material to meet the different requirements of these public projects.
Community Need - This site is made available to contractors in conjunction with the development of public improvement projects. This is a similar situation to the CBJ gravel pit operation at Lemon Creek where the use of the pit is also made available to CBJ and other public project contractors. This provides an alternative source of material and helps to reduce public project costs.
In particular, this site has been described as a source of high quality rock. This is rock that has the strength to be put to multiple uses including riprap and paving. Sources of good quality rock are considered scarce in the City and Borough. Other sources include the Lena Point quarry, which has recently closed, and the Stablers Point quarry, which is approved on a limited basis. The Lower Fish Creek quarry was recently approved for 10 years. However, this rock source has a smaller volume of available material that may be of lessor quality and not meet all the needs of the projects. This source will be depleted if used for the Douglas Harbor Upland and Moorage Expansion project. Sources in the Lemon Creek Valley also limited in their applications due to quality.
A number of potential projects in the Douglas Island area have been identified, and this site will be an economical hauling distance. The quarry has proven itself as a successful material source for previous projects including the construction of Fish Creek Road and Eaglecrest
CBJ ?49.15.330 (e)(1), Review of Director's Determinations, states that the Planning Commission shall review the director's report to consider:
2. Whether the proposed use is appropriate according to the Table of Permissible Uses;
3. Whether the development as proposed will comply with the other requirements of this chapter.
The commission shall adopt the director's determination on the three items above unless it finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the director's determination was in error, and states its reasoning for each finding with particularity.
CBJ ?49.15.330 (f), Commission Determinations, states that even if the commission adopts the director's determination, it may nonetheless deny or condition the permit if it concludes, based upon its own independent review of the information submitted at the public hearing, that the development will more probably than not:
2. Substantially decrease the value of or be out of harmony with property in the neighboring area; or,
3. Not be in general conformity with the comprehensive plan, thoroughfare plan, or other officially adopted plans.
Per CBJ ?49.15.330 (e)(1)(A through C), Review of Director's Determinations, the director makes the following findings on the proposed development:
Yes. We find the application contains the information necessary to conduct a full review of the proposed operations. The application submittal by the applicant, including the appropriate fees, substantially conform to the requirements of CBJ code Chapters 49.15.
2. Is the proposed use appropriate according to the Table of Permissible Uses?
Yes. The use is listed in the Table of Permissible Uses, ?CBJ 49.25.300, Section 14.500. A conditional use permit is required for a sand and gravel (Quarry) operations in Rural Reserve zoning.
3. Will the proposed development comply with the other requirements of this chapter?
Yes. The proposed development complies with the other requirements of this chapter.
February 2, 2001. A public notice sign was posted on the site at least 14 days prior to the meeting and notice was mailed to owners of record of property in the area and properties at the intersection of Fish Creek Road and North Douglas Highway, 4 miles from the subject property.
4. Will the proposed development materially endanger the public health or safety?
No. Based upon the analysis above and recommended conditions, this proposal development is separated from adjacent development by large natural areas, and proposes mitigation to address endangerment from blasting, exposed site conditions, and truck traffic. The proposed development is therefore not anticipated to materially endanger the public health or safety.
6. Will the proposed development be in general conformity with the land use plan, thoroughfare plan, or other officially adopted plans?
Yes. The proposed development was reviewed for general conformity with the land use plan and other officially adopted plans. Based upon the analysis above and recommended conditions, the proposed use is temporary, addresses impacts to the Fish Creek Road corridor, and the final use is consistent with development of the area for wintertime recreational use and complies with general statements that address residential, recreational and gravel extraction uses for this area in Comprehensive Plan.
7. Will the proposed development comply with the Juneau Coastal Management Program?
The development request was reviewed for conformance with the Juneau Coastal Management Program. Based on the proceeding analysis Staff finds that this proposal is consistent with the Juneau Coastal Management plan. The proposal with conditions includes measures to minimize wetland disturbance and maintain water quality, the development proposal will therefore comply with the Juneau Coastal Management Program.
The director recommends adopting these additional findings:
8. Has the Planning Commission considered the provisions stipulated for the development in CBJ ?49.65.230?
In addition based on the preceding analysis, the Commission finds that Condition 1, under 49.65.235 MANDATORY CONDITIONS OF PERMIT would serve no useful purpose and waives this condition.
9. Upon review of the city project development request, does the Planning Commission recommend to the Assembly that the project be approved?
Yes. The Commission considered the general provisions of adopted CBJ plans subject to this area and the specific development provisions of the CBJ Land Use Code for the gravel extraction use and recommends approval of the city project to the Assembly.
We recommend that the Planning Commission adopt the director's analysis and findings, including the waiver of mandatory condition No. 1, and grant the requested Conditional Use permit. The permit would allow the development of a rock quarry to mine and process rock and soil fill material for a 10-year period. The approval is subject to the guidelines presented in the applicants Conditional Use Application and Project Description and the following conditions
2. The applicant shall have signs posted to prohibit public access to the area; to alert the public of the presence of blasting and heavy machinery activities; to prohibit shooting; and to prohibit the use of compression brakes on the lower ½ mile of Fish Creek Road.
3. The hours, days and dates of operation shall be Monday through Saturday 7 AM-6 PM, April 16 to November 14. The Director of Community Development may vary these approved times and dates, for necessary quarry operations, when needed to complete fill activities subject to tidal influence, for traffic safety concerns, or other extraordinary circumstances.
4. That the dates for truck hauling be further restricted from December 1 to June 1, if mandated by ADOT/PF, to protect the structural section of the roadway from frost related damage.
6. That the quarry permit shall expire 10-years after the date of approval.
8. That the applicant shall have each contractor, as part of the individual mining plan, submit a blast plan for approval by the CBJ Engineering. The blast plan that shall have been reviewed by an independent blast consultant to insure a safe and controlled blast. Each blasting plan shall comply to CBJ specification 02090-Blasting Controls (Attachment G), as well as sections 203-2.06 of the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities Standard Specifications for Highway Construction, 1984 edition (Attachment H).
13. The applicant shall incorporate the following noise control measures:
B. The rock crusher and related processing activities shall be located within the quarry to minimize noise and visibility, and the Engineering and Community Development Departments shall approve the location.
C.Limit each individual blast within the quarry to a maximum 10,000 cubic yard blasts.
E. Reduce backup alarms on equipment to the lowest allowable level conforming to local, state and federal safety guidelines.
14. The applicant shall not store explosives on site, except that which is immediately necessary for the next blast;
17. That the applicant shall retain overburden material, suitable for required reclamation, on uplands on or near the quarry site. All other materials shall be removed from the area.
18. That the applicant shall construct a berm along the Fish Creek Road a height of five feet after each phase of quarrying (individual projects) are completed. Overburden shall be placed on the proposed berm to promote revegitation. The berm will be configured so as not to conflict with future quarry operations.
19. That the applicant shall, to the extent practical, place overburden on the benches that will remain along the final pit face as shown in Attachment A, Figures 1&2.
20. That the note No. 11, on Figure 1, requiring the removal of a minimum of 15 feet of overburden from the edge of the pit boundary shall be amended to require removal of only the amount of overburden necessary for safety.
21. That the applicant, prior to completion of the berm, shall secure the site along the area bordering the Fish Creek Road with large boulders or Jersey barriers and warning signs. That the remainder of the active quarry site, above and to the sides of the operation, be flagged and warning signs placed.
22. The applicant shall be responsible for controlling dust caused by excavation, truck hauling, rock crushing, or other aspects of the operation;
23. That the applicant shall insure repair of any damage to the Fish Creek roadway as a result of the quarry operation. Prior to truck hauling on Fish Creek Road an inventory of road failures (potholes, cracks etc) shall be recorded and reported to the project inspector. If there is visible damage to Fish Creek Road due to hauling or mining operations the contractor shall repair the damage, with concurrence from DOT/PF, prior to Eaglecrest operations and final payment.
24. The applicant shall be responsible for assuring that all spilled materials are immediately removed from the public roadways and that mud and debris tracked onto the roads from the quarry site be cleaned a minimum of once a week.
25. That the applicant shall ensure trucks meet all legal load limits.
26. That the crusher operation be located within the quarry site for the purpose of screening. This would take place after sufficient pit floor area is created with the initial phases of extraction.
27. That the applicant shall have all equipment related to the quarry operation removed from the site, or be suitably screened, during the dates of winter closure.
28.Lighting may not produce glare on the roadway.
29. The applicant shall operate according to the application proposal documents as amended and the required extraction contracts, except that all the conditions contained herein shall take precedence.