Southeast Road Builders is appealing a November assembly decision to add more requirements to a permit to extract and store gravel on Lutak Road.

Work completed over the summer on a Southeast Road Builders project past the ferry terminal on Lutak Road. (Lex Treinen/Chilkat Valley News)

In its appeal, the company argues the assembly overstepped its authority by sending a permit back to the planning commission to rehear.

Among other points, the company says the assembly didn’t disclose conflicts of interest, that it didn’t consider evidence Southeast Road Builders had presented to the assembly, and that the assembly violated its own rules that require a decision at their next regularly scheduled meeting after deciding to rehear the permit.

It also said the appellants — Haines residents Gershon Cohen and Kathleen Menke — lacked standing to appeal.

TJ Mason, an area manager for Southeast Road Builders, declined to comment for this story, and borough manager Annette Kreitzer didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Mayor Tom Morphet said that officials from the borough were meeting with Southeast Road Builders managers on Wednesday to discuss the issue in the hopes to resolve the issue without going through an administrative appeal.

“As far as we can tell it’s kind of a placeholder for their interests,” said Morphet.
In late October, the outgoing planning commission gave a permit to Southeast Road Builders to extract and store up to 20,000 cubic feet of gravel on two parcels just past the ferry terminal on Lutak Road, despite some public pushback.

After the new assembly took office in November, residents raised concerns about the project. The assembly decided to have the planning commission issue a conditional use permit, and to better consider safety concerns during major rain events, as well as the total bonding for the project.

It also asked Southeast Road Builders to resubmit its application as two separate permits, since the sites were on opposite sides of the road.

The Lutak project raised residents’ concerns earlier in the summer. Some complained about heavy road traffic coming from the Haines Highway towards Lutak. The borough issued a temporary cease-and-desist letter over unpermitted work at the site, and slapped the company with a $600 fine for its unpermitted work.

Southeast Road Builders meanwhile submitted two new applications for work on the site on Monday, according to planner Andrew Conrad. The application wasn’t immediately ready to review, but Conrad said it appeared to be complete. He said it would be included in the next planning commission agenda packet.