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

The Haines Borough Assembly denied Southeast Road Builders’ appeal to get a conditional use permit for a gravel extraction pit on Lutak Road, setting up a possible appeal to state court. 

The company did not respond to phone calls and email requests for comment. 

Some assembly members said they thought an appeal to state superior court was likely. 

“I’m sure they will,” said Debra Schnabel, an assembly member who voted to approve a conditional use permit for the company. 

The company is seeking approval to extract gravel from the site. The company was fined last fall for extracting material from the site without a conditional use permit, which is required under code. 

The company reapplied for a permit, which was approved by the outgoing planning commission at their last meeting before a new, elected commission took their place in early November. 

The assembly heard an appeal from several residents about the conditional use permit and sent it back to the planning commission last month. The planning commission voted against issuing a conditional use permit for gravel extraction, finding that the company did not meet several requirements including for noise mitigation and protecting against landslide risk on the property, which sits on a steep hillside. 

TJ Mason, a project manager, protested the assembly’s denial of the permit, pointing to what he saw as code violations by the planning commission for not adequately proving that Southeast Road Builders’ previous permit was in violation. 

The company has two active administrative appeals, after the planning commission revoked the original conditional use permit and split it into two separate applications, and then declined to approve the permit to extract gravel for a site called 23-87B.  

The assembly meeting April 23 that considered Southeast Road Builders appeal pushed past the first night’s 11 p.m. adjournment into a Wednesday session. The assembly needed a supermajority to overturn the planning commission’s decision, but was split 3-3 with Ben Aultman-Moore, Natalie Dawson, and Craig Loomis siding with the planning commission. 

Mason didn’t give a clear indication of what the company would do next. He shared a statement from the company with the assembly after Wednesday’s meeting.

“I would ask that the Borough Assembly step in to right this wrong and reverse the revocation of Permit #23-87. I would also say that, both as a representative of SERB and as an individual who lives in this community, we are committed to doing this project correctly and being a good neighbor to everyone that we share this town with,” Mason said.