DATE: December 27, 2000
TO: Planning Commission
FROM: Heather Marlow, Planner
Community Development Department
FILE NO.: USE2000-00072 and CSP2000-00013
PROPOSAL: A conditional use permit to mine and process rock and soil fill materials.
Applicant: CBJ Engineering Department
Property Owner: City & Borough of Juneau
Property Location: .75 mile on the west side of Eaglecrest Road
Legal Description: Lot 1, USS 3559
Parcel Code Number: 6-D10-1-100-001-0
Site Size: Approximately 25 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, D-1 Residential
South - Vacant Rural Reserve, Public Lands
East - Fish Creek Road/Vacant Rural Reserve
West - Vacant Rural Reserve, Public Lands
The applicant requests a Conditional Use permit to reopen a rock extraction site at 0.75 mile on Fish Creek Road. The applicant, CBJ Engineering Department, proposes to dedicate material extractions to the development of public projects over the upcoming 10 year period. Actual use of the site may be completed in 3 months, depending upon demand for the materials. It is estimated that 90,000 cubic yards of material can be mined from the site. The extraction site, or quarry, is entranced from Fish Creek Road by a 2,000 foot gated driveway. Long term reclamation plans for the quarry include the possible development of an off-road vehicle recreation area.
The quarry operation involves clearing and grubbing, drilling, blasting, excavation, sorting and crushing of soil and rock materials for construction purposes.
The quarry was previously opened in the 1970's, and used during the construction of Fish Creek Road and the reconstruction of the Juneau Douglas Bridge. The quarry is considered to be a proven source of construction fill material. The site has been logged and cleared.
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:
See page 2 of attachment 1 and figure 1.
(3) A topographic map and typical cross section showing the proposed finished contour on the land, vegetation, drainage features, limits of overburden clearing, structures, and significant natural and artificial conditions of the property which will exist upon completion of the site restoration plan.
The attached figure 1 shows the existing topography, significant natural and artificial conditions of the land, ground water levels and drainage features of the quarry site. The existing quarry floor is located at an average elevation of approximately 240 feet and drains to the surrounding lower elevations. There is minimal vegetation (primarily pioneer species such as alder and low lying brush) at the quarry, as 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.
The attached figure 2 shows the topography, 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. The proposed operation expands the footprint of the site in the vicinity of the clearing and grubbing disposal area, adjacent to the flagged wetlands. A 10 foot setback is proposed between the limits of the disposal area and the flagged wetlands. New vegetation is not proposed for the reclamation of the quarry. Figure 3, and the associated attachments, identify the drainage plan for the operation. No structures are proposed for the operation.
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. There are several general notes on Figure 2 that address restoration and the finished condition of the quarry site, including:
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.
13) 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 within the quarry at locations approved by the engineer. All cut slopes within the quarry shall be graded to 4H:1V at the completion of mining. Clearing and grubbing materials may be used for final grading if approved by the engineer.
14) Clearing and grubbing disposal shall not exceed the limits or slopes indicated.
16) At the completion of quarry activities the contractor shall repair all mining related damage to the access road including repair of potholes, replacement of surfacing materials and regrading as required by the CBJ.
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 driveway between Fish Creek Road and the quarry site.
The applicant does not propose buildings or structures on the site.
The applicant has submitted a narrative of the operation which
is provided at attachment 1,
(A) A site drainage plan;
The CBJ Engineering Department has reviewed and commented on the proposed plan (see attachments 3 and 4). In brief, the erosion control and drainage plan is considered adequate. Mr. Brenner requested that the silt fencing barrier be extended further toward the southeast to protect the wetlands below the clearing and grubbing stockpile. The site offers sufficient area to accommodate this request.
(B) A method of securing the area including, but not limited to, installation of gates at access points, posting and fencing;
The applicant proposes to utilize the existing security gate at the intersection of the quarry access driveway and Fish Creek Road. Due to the distance between Fish Creek Road and the quarry site, and the character of the forested area, fencing for the quarry is considered to be unnecessary. The public has accessed the quarry area by foot since operations were previously closed. Typical users of the area have been hunters, hikers, dog walkers and berry pickers. As recommended below, posting the area with signs is considered necessary to restrict access, to alert the public of blasting and heavy machinery activities and to prohibit shooting.
(C) Methods to be used to minimize noise pollution and visual blight;
The applicant addresses noise and visual impacts on pages 4 and 5 of attachment 1. In brief, the quarry area and surrounding private property will be separated by a minimum of 1,400 feet (this distance applies to approximately 6 properties, see attachment 5). Visual impacts from the quarry will be minimal due to the secluded location. Noise levels at the property line of the quarry site, taking into account noise attenuation by distance and vegetation, are expected to reach about 55 dBa. The following steps are proposed as noise control measures for the quarry activities:
1. Limit truck speeds within the quarry and along the quarry access road to a 20 mph maximum. Truck traffic on public roads shall conform to posted speed limits.
2. Locate rock crushing and related processing in the southeast corner of the site, approximately 2,000 feet from private residences along Nine Mile Creek.
3. Measure the noise transmitted to nearby residences during normal quarry operations.
4. Limit blasting operations to maximum 10,000 cubic yard blasts and provide written notification to all residents situated within 2,000 feet of the quarry prior to each blast.
5. Limit the operating hours of the quarry to avoid noise generation at night.
6. Post a public notice sign on North Douglas Highway advertising blasting operations 24 hours prior to the activity.
7. Limit blasting operations to weekdays between the hours of 10 AM-12 PM and 1PM - 4PM.
8. With signage, prohibited hauling vehicles from using compression brakes on Fish Creek Road.
(D) The proposed hours and days of operation during the year;
The applicant has proposed an operations plan in attachment 1. In brief, the proposed hours for the quarry are Monday through Saturday 7AM- 6 PM. Operating hours on Sunday will be from 8 AM - 5 PM.
As proposed, the allowable hours of operation for special need projects would be from 6 AM - 11 PM. Special needs projects are defined to include marine projects and other projects that are best scheduled around peak hour traffic flows. Modification of operating hours for special need projects are recommended to be accommodated per the director=s discretion.
The State of Alaska, Department of Transportation (DOT) has commented on the proposed hours and days of operation (see attachment 6). In brief, the only restriction requested was to prohibit truck hauling during wintertime weekends when vehicle traffic is greater and more conflicts would occur. As recommended below, truck hauling is prohibited during winter weekends and other busy periods when Eaglecrest Ski Area is operating.
(E) The estimated amount and general type of material present and to be removed from the site;
The sample cross sections, presented on figure 2, indicate that mining activities will consist of removing the existing rock knob in the pit and lowering the existing pit floor approximately 10 feet. These extractions will yield approximately 90,000 cubic yards of material. Formations within the quarry site are capable of producing a variety of shot rock fill materials.
(F) The results of test holes which show the water table level if any, and the general type and location of materials to be removed;
Figure 1 presents the findings of 10 excavated test pits and 3 laboratory rock quality tests. Review of the test pit findings indicates that the area generally drains to the surrounding lower elevations as groundwater was not encountered in 7 of the 10 test pits excavated. The knob formation in the pit is capable of producing a variety of shot rock fill materials.
(G) The date by which it is anticipated the extraction and processing operation will be completed;
The applicant has applied for the approval of a 10 year extraction and processing operation. The existing reserves of the quarry are approximately 90,000 cubic yards of usable soil and shot rock materials. The rate of extraction will be determined by the size and scheduling of upcoming public projects.
(H) A schedule for completion of necessary site restoration work;
Site restoration work will be an on-going process. Planning efforts have been proposed for the future recreational use of the site but a final use has not been determined (see attachment 7). We recommend that the applicant adhere to the general notes provided on figure 2 and coordinate completion of site restoration, within the limits of an individual mining plan, with the CBJ Lands Committee and the Parks and Recreation Department prior to the expiration of this permit.
(I) Operating procedures for control of airborne particulates and other pollutant emissions from the site and equipment used at the site that may affect areas beyond the site boundaries;
The 1,400 foot separation of forested and meadow terrain between the quarry site and adjacent residences is expected to negate the transmission of particulates or pollutants. The quarry site is simarily separated by approximately 2,000 feet from Fish Creek Road.
(J) The identification of any geophysical hazards which may affect or be affected by the proposed operation. A statement of the possible impact of the hazard on the operation and of the operation on the hazard including methods of reducing the impact shall be included;
There are no known geophysical hazards on-site, or in the vicinity of the site.
(K) The date of establishment of the operation and history of adjacent land development; and
The quarry was used in the early 1970's by DOT as a material source during the construction of Fish Creek Road and the Juneau Douglas Bridge. The quarry is a proven source of construction fill material. Since the time the quarry was originally established, adjacent development includes Eaglecrest Ski Area and additional residences. When the quarry was founded, the character of the surrounding area was significantly similar to current conditions.
(L) Such additional relevant information as the commission or department may request.
We have not requested additional information for this development request.
Traffic - The quarry will generate truck traffic on the entrance driveway, Fish Creek Road and North Douglas Highway. Vehicles will stop at each of these intersections, which are considered to provide adequate sight distance. Material will be hauled from the quarry in 10 yard and 20 yard trucks to various construction locations in the community.
The additional traffic generated by the quarry will vary with the project. However, if 8 trucks served the quarry for an 8 hour shift, the site would generate approximately 130 trips per day. Both of the public roads that serve this site provide adequate lane capacity for these additional trips. 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 Boat Harbor project. Additional traffic to and from the quarry will include employee and service vehicles.
The DOT has plans to utilize general funds to improve the depth and quality of the surface of Fish Creek Road in 2001. The paving improvement will be coordinated with the quarry activities. DOT has been informed that CBJ intends to utilize material from the upper and lower quarry sites for upcoming public projects. The lower quarry site does not provide material that is adequate for paving purposes.
49.65.230 COMMISSION ACTION ON APPLICATION. Within thirty days of the hearing, the commission shall take action on the application. After the public hearing on the application, the commission may grant the permit but shall first consider each of the following areas and may impose such restrictions as may be necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare:
(1) The hours, days, and times of year of operation;
We recommend that the commission approve the requested operating hours, days and times of year. The proposed hours for the quarry are Monday through Saturday 7AM- 6 PM. Operating hours on Sunday will be from 8 AM - 5 PM. Truck hauling from the site may not be conducted on winter weekends or similar high usage periods when Eaglecrest Ski Area is operating.
As proposed, the allowable hours of operation for special need projects would be from 6 AM - 11 PM. By definition, special needs projects would include marine projects and other projects that are best scheduled around peak hour traffic flows. Modification of the operating hours, stated above, for special need projects will be accommodated per the director=s discretion. For example, the first project that is anticipated to utilize material from the site will be the Douglas Boat Harbor Expansion, the applicant has requesting that the hours of operation be modified for this marine project. To work around tides and peak hour traffic, the applicant requested permission from the director to operate the quarry from 6 AM - 11 PM seven days a week. The modification of operating hours has been requested for 30 consecutive days.
(2) Screening, whether natural or artificial, to reduce or eliminate adverse visual, audible or other impacts of the operation;
The existing natural conditions and land use separation distances are considered to be adequate for reducing or eliminating the adverse visual and audible impacts of the operation. The applicant will perform noise measurements during typical quarry operations to document and monitor noise levels.
(3) Measures to protect the public from the dangers of the operation or site, to prevent casual or easy access to the area, or to prevent the operation or area from being an unprotected attractive nuisance;
We recommend that the driveway and quarry area be signed to prohibit public access for the duration of the permit. Vehicle access to the site will be precluded by the gate at the head of the access driveway, approximately 2,000 feet from the quarry. The applicant will manage the quarry site to minimize the attraction of the site and to prevent the development of a public nuisance.
(4) Final and working slope ratios of the face of any extraction area to the extent necessary to protect abutting public and private property, and to protect the future beneficial uses of the property as described in the applicant=s plan for development and restoration;
The applicant proposes that all cut slopes will be graded to 4H:1V at the completion of mining. These flatter than average cut slopes are intended to enhance the utility of the site for potential development of an off-road vehicle recreation area. Prior to the expiration of this permit, the applicant will advise of the closure of the quarry, in particular the individual mining plan that will close the site, to the of CBJ Lands Committee and the CBJ Parks and Recreation Department. The final slope ratios of the extraction area may be altered at a later date, depending upon the final reclamation plan for the site.
(5) Measures to protect private and public property adjoining the operation and to guarantee orderly and safe traffic circulation both on the public streets and within the permit application area;
We recommend that the area leading to and surrounding the quarry be signed as a prohibited access area where shooting is not allowed. Referencing the attached blasting controls (see attachment 8), surrounding residences will be contacted, and/or informed by posted signage, prior to blasting activities. We recommend that for each material extraction request submitted to the CBJ Engineering Department, that the hauling hours and routes be reviewed and approved by the CBJ Engineering and Community Development Departments. Hauling operations are prohibited on weekends and similar periods of activity when Eaglecrest Ski Area is open.
(6) Measures which will ensure adequate drainage or collection and storage of surface waters to protect surrounding property, eliminate dangers to the public, or to protect the future beneficial use of the property as described in the applicant=s plan for development and restoration;
The applicant has provided a drainage and erosion control plan that has been reviewed by the CBJ Engineering Department. With minor modifications, the plan assures adequate drainage of surface waters, thereby protecting existing and future interests. Future use and conditions of the property will be regulated by individual mining plans and coordinated with other CBJ entities prior to closing the operation.
(7) Measures to protect the water level and water quality;
The mining area is situated on an elevated rock knob that is above the predominate ground water table on all sides. The mining activities are expected to include excavating an existing rock knob and approximately 10 feet of material from the existing quarry floor. With the proposed erosion control measures, the existing water level and water quality conditions will be maintained.
(8) Measures to minimize or eliminate airborne particulates, visual blight, noise and other adverse environmental effects;
Given the existing conditions in the vicinity of the quarry site, we recommend that, with the exception of noise, measures are not necessary to address these concerns.
(9) Restoration measures and schedule;
The applicant has presented a tentative restoration plan that will be implemented during mining operations, particularly through individual mining plans that will conform with the overall extraction plan. As the quarry begins to close down operations, the applicant will coordinate with other CBJ entities to best accommodate potential development of the site.
(10) Other measures designed to protect the public health, safety and welfare including preservation of neighboring properties; and
We do not recommend additional measures to address public interests.
(11) Present development and past history of the neighboring property.
The neighboring property has, and continues, to offer opportunities for residential development and recreation activities in formal and informal settings.
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.
(2) If the bank of any extraction area within the permit area is above the high water line or water table, it shall be left upon termination of associated extraction operations with a slope no greater than the angle of repose for unconsolidated material of the kind composing it, or such other angle as the commission may prescribe. If extraction operations cause ponding or retained water in the excavated area, the slope of the submerged working face shall not exceed a slope of 3:1 from the edge of the usual water line to a water depth of seven feet. This slope ratio may not be exceeded during extraction operations unless casual or easy access to the site is prevented by a fence, natural barriers, or both.
The development proposal conforms to both of the mandatory conditions as (1) the quarry site is located approximately 2,000 feet from the abutting public way and existing vegetation will be retained in this separation; and (2) the applicant is proposing a 4:1 slope where the angle of repose is 1.5:1. The site will be graded to drain with gravity to daylight.
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.
Public Health or Safety - There are several public health and safety concerns that are typical of a quarry operation, including blasting, exposed site conditions and truck hauling. The applicant proposes to implement blasting controls as provided herein. Attachment 8 provides the blasting controls for a specific project, Douglas Boat Harbor. The controls for following projects will be significantly similar. The applicant will specify the on-site conditions required with each extraction request. The general intent is to minimize exposed faces through slope terracing and to provide orderly quarry conditions. The negative impacts from truck hauling will be minimized by CBJ staff review and conditioning, public project review and conditioning, and the hours of operation.
Property Value or Neighborhood Harmony -Due to the undeveloped character of the quarry area, the large separation distances between neighboring land uses and the capacity, or availability, of the supporting road network, the project is not anticipated to negatively impact adjacent property values or significantly alter the harmony of the neighborhood.
Conformity With Adopted Plans - The project was reviewed for conformity with the CBJ Comprehensive Plan and the Parks and Recreation Comprehensive Plan. In brief, the documents recognize the quarry source and provide goal statements of managing the area for future residential and recreation uses. The proposed reclamation plan for an off road vehicle area is not specifically referenced in either of these documents.
Juneau Coastal Management Program - The project was reviewed for conformity with the Juneau Coastal Management Program. Provisions of the program do not apply to the proposed project. The Department of the Army, Corp of Engineers, has issued a wetland determination for the proposed quarry (see attachment 9). The boundary between the jurisdictional wetlands and the uplands at the quarry site was flagged during a site inspection and is a definitive delineation. The wetlands boundary is indicated on figure 1. The applicant does not propose to fill jurisdictional wetlands.
The applicant proposes to maintain a 10 foot separation between the grubbing disposal area and the edge of the wetlands. The proposed drainage pattern and erosion control methods are provided on figure 3 and the attachments to this figure.
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 thru 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 operation in Rural Reserve zoning.
Yes. The proposed development complies with the other requirements of this chapter.
(December 29, 2000). 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 all property within 1,400 feet of the subject property.
4. Will the proposed development materially endanger the public health or safety?
5. Will the proposed development substantially decrease the value of or be out of harmony with property in the neighboring area?
No. Based upon the analysis above, the proposed development is separated from adjacent residences by large natural areas. The supporting road network and required signage accommodates the basic capacity and safety needs of the project and the public. The proposed project is not anticipated to decrease the value of or be out of harmony with property in the neighboring area.
7. Will the proposed development comply with the Juneau Coastal Management Program?
Not Applicable. The development request was reviewed for conformance with the Juneau Coastal Management Program. Provisions of the program do not apply to this request.
The director recommends adopting these additional findings:
8. Has the Planning Commission considered the provisions stipulated for the development in CBJ '49.65.230?
Yes. The Commission considered each of the required items of Planning Commission review such as hours and times of operation, screening, and measures to protect the public from dangers of the operation. In some areas, conditions were deemed necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare.
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 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 following conditions:
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 applicant=s duty to maintain subadjacent support.
2. If the bank of any extraction area within the permit area is above the high water line or water table, it shall be left upon termination of associated extraction operations with a slope no greater than the angle of repose for unconsolidated material of the kind composing it, or such other angle as the commission may prescribe. If extraction operations cause ponding or retained water in the excavated area, the slope of the submerged working face shall not exceed a slope of 3:1 from the edge of the usual water line to a water depth of seven feet. This slope ratio may not be exceeded during extraction operations unless casual or easy access to the site is prevented by a fence, natural barriers, or both.
3. All vehicles hauling from this site shall contain material with tailgates, covers or other similarly effective methods.
4. The applicant shall submit a signage plan for approval to the Community Development Department. Signs shall be posted by the applicant to prohibit public access to the area; to alert the public of the presence of blasting and heavy machinery activities; to prohibit shooting; to limit the travel speed of haul vehicles to 20 mph; and to prohibit the use of compression brakes on Fish Creek Road.
5. The hours of operation are Monday through Saturday 7 AM-6 PM and Sunday 8 AM - 5 PM. Truck hauling from the site is prohibited on winter weekends, official holidays and during christmas break for public schools when Eaglecrest Ski Area is operating. The hours of operation may be modified for special needs projects per the director=s discretion.
6. The Douglas Harbor Expansion Project will entail fill activities subject to tidal influences and the project is considered a special needs project by definition. The permissible hours of operation related to the Douglas Harbor Expansion Project are 6 AM - 11 PM seven days a week for no more than 30 consecutive days. This condition may be modified per the director=s discretion.
7. The quarry permit shall expire 10 years after the date of approval.
8. Individual mining plans approved by the applicant shall implement the conditions of this permit. The CBJ Engineering and Community Development Departments shall review and condition the hours and routes of hauling traffic so as to avoid or minimize congestion, safety concerns and similar conflicts.
9. The applicant shall be responsible for cleaning mud and debris tracked onto public roads from the quarry site.
10. The applicant shall incorporate the following noise control measures:
B. Locate rock crushing and related processing in the southeast corner of the site, approximately 2,000 feet from private residences along Nine Mile Creek.
C. Limit blasting operations to maximum 10,000 cubic yard blasts and provide written notification to all residents situated within 2,000 feet of the quarry prior to each blast.
D. Post a public notice sign on North Douglas Highway advertising blasting operations 24 hours prior to the activity.
E. Blasting operations shall be limited to weekdays between the hours of 10 AM-12 PM and 1PM - 4PM.
F. Hauling vehicles shall be prohibited from using compression brakes on Fish Creek Road.
11. Where there are conflicts between the conditions of this permit and extraction contracts, the conditions of this permit shall control.