Planning Commission denies asphalt plant permit

After four meetings of discussion and gridlock, the commission denied a conditional use permit that would have allowed an asphalt plant to be constructed near the Rock Dump at its Tuesday night meeting.

With hardly any discussion, the commission — whole for the first time since late February — denied Knik Construction’s permit on the grounds that it wouldn’t be in harmony with the neighboring area due to increased truck activity on Thane Road, which would continue through the downtown core.

According to the applicant, the plant would have added an additional 110 to 300 truck trips through downtown daily.

The commission denied the permit with a 6–3 vote. The commission’s ninth and newest member Kirsten Shelton-Walker was sworn in at the start of the meeting.

Without much discussion the commission also approved two conditional use permits for a marijuana business that will be located on Industrial Boulevard. One permit allows for the applicant, Top Hat Concentrates LLC, to grow marijuana, the other allows the business to process it.

John Nemeth, one of the business’ founders, told the Empire after the meeting that he was happy with the commission’s decision and is excited to move forward with the business. He said that the operation will be fairly small, producing no more than 35 pounds of flowering product per month, and “the main vehicle we will be using to transport marijuana will be my white Mini Cooper.”

One person testified against the permits during the public testimony portion of the meeting. Juneau resident James Sidney said that he has grandchildren who live near the proposed business and that he is worried about people getting a “contact high” from odors.

Former Planning Commissioner and Marijuana Policy Committee member Dennis Watson spoke in favor of the permits, saying that, “This application fits about as closely as I’ve ever seen with what we had envisioned.”

• Contact reporter Sam DeGrave at 523-2279 or sam.degrave@juneauempire.com.

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