** UPDATED September 25, 2017
A proposal to change part of the Traverse Mountain area plan was removed from the Planning Commission agenda last Thursday, September 14, shortly before the meeting began. One of the developers, Rob Clauson, requested its removal.
Under the current plan, the land – which is located at the far north end of Traverse Mountain – would be graded and 80 condominium units will be built on it in a four-story design.
The proposed change would permit Geneva Rock to carry out the grading operations and export the materials, effectively mining the land down to the needed grading requirements. In exchange, developers Clauson and Perry Homes would move the 80 units to a site further down the mountain and build single-family homes in the area instead of the condos, provide sites for a school and a church, and put in facilities for a trail head.
Clauson said he made the request to remove the item from the agenda after the community’s Homeowners’ Association, the Traverse Mountain Master Association (TMMA), submitted a letter to the commission explaining their opposition to the proposal. Clauson said TMMA’s explanation of disinterest in a school at the proposed location was of key concern.
TMMA’s letter did not express disinterest in a school but rather identified the reasons its members see that building one at the proposed site is not actually feasible, making the proposed site what they view as an empty trade for the disadvantages with mining.
Clausen also said a question had arisen about the official position of Alpine School District administration on the proposed school site and he wanted to seek clarification on the matter before pursuing the proposal with the Planning Commission. The school district is currently preparing comments to explain its position on the proposal.
Several residents of the affected neighborhood turned out to Thursday’s meeting to give public comment and were frustrated that the item was removed at the last minute. Residents have expressed concerns about the potential health risks involved with land removal and its attendant dust creation so close to residential areas, as well as skepticism that a school can actually be built on the proposed site.
A dust mitigation plan has been generated by engineering firm Kleinfelder, and is almost complete. Clauson said he will bring the proposal back to the commission one more time. The date for the revised proposal and presentation to the Planning Commission has not been determined.