Clallam County staff urge denial of waste disposal permit

CARLSBORG — Challengers to a planned waste transfer station and recycling center in Carlsborg didn’t get a chance to share their opposition to the project at a public hearing scheduled for earlier this month.

Clallam County staff beat them to it.

In a 20-page report to the Hearings Examiner dated Feb. 3, county staff recommended that Olympic Disposal’s application for a conditional zoning use permit be denied.

Following a pre-conference hearing at 11 a.m. the same day, Clallam County Senior Planner Donella Clark said the public hearing scheduled for 1 p.m. would continue — essentially postponed — until 10 a.m. Thursday, July 21.

Representatives from Citizens for Carlsborg (www.carlsborg.org), the City of Port Angeles and Olympic Disposal/Waste Connections have agreed to continue the public hearing in five months based on staff recommendations and a county environmental review, Clark said.

Olympic Disposal could resubmit new information or refile for a conditional use license, she said, or the company could withdraw its proposal entirely.

The county will send out notices if new information about the project is submitted, Clark said.

“Numerous nuisances, such as odor, noise, traffic and even aesthetic impact have been identified that will be created by this proposal,” the staff wrote in their recommendation.

“The proposal does not match the vision for the Carlsborg Industrial Estate located within Carlsborg UGA, where permitted uses are intended to be low-nuisance, low-intensity industrial uses.”

Olympic Disposal staff could not be reached for comment.

Olympic Disposal in mid-November filed a conditional use permit with the Clallam County Community Development Department to install a municipal solid waste transfer station, commercial recycling center, consolidation bay and offices on a currently vacant 5.46 acre site on the northeast corner of Carlsborg Road. and the Carlsborg Shopping Loop.

The proposed Olympic Disposal Transfer Station would be approximately 14,000 square feet and 36 feet high, with an 831 square foot recycling center under 20 feet high.

Also in the plans are a 2,000 square foot office and a 260 square foot pay booth. Surrounding the site would be an 8-foot-tall darkening fence as well as landscaped buffer zones.

According to representatives from Sitts & Hill, a Tacoma-based engineering firm, approximately 180 to 205 of the estimated 513 vehicles entering the facility each day are heavy vehicles and/or trucks.

These traffic estimates are based on traffic patterns observed at the Grays Harbor transfer facility in Montesano, the representatives said.

The transfer station is expected to process approximately 120 tons per day at the start of operations. The proposed transfer station and recycling center would be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, except holidays, for solid waste disposal and recycling, company officials said.

“The proposal may be more appropriately located in commercial forest or designated rural lands,” county staff wrote in the Feb. 3 report.

Staff said the proposal failed to meet four separate conditions of the conditional use permit as well as mitigation concerns addressed by the state environmental policy law.

“The county would request a needs and location analysis from the applicant regarding options for Waste Connections to operate a transfer station in the east end of the county,” staff wrote.

“The applicant should review the Clallam County Solid Waste Management Plan and work with the Clallam County Solid Waste Advisory Committee to determine a more suitable location if a need is determined.”

Staff also noted in the report a significant number of citizens opposed to the proposed facility.

“Community members have expressed their concerns, and while this is not a driving factor for the projects, it does indicate both an understanding and investment in Carlsborg’s vision and which is reflected in the overall plan,” the staff wrote.

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Michael Dashiell is the editor of the Olympic Peninsula News Group’s Sequim Gazette, which is also made up of other newspapers Sound Publishing Peninsula Daily News and Forks Forum. Join it at [email protected].


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