Clallam County staff urges denial of permit for waste disposal

Hearing on proposed Carlsborg transfer station postponed to July

CARLSBORG — Challengers of a proposed waste transfer station and recycling center in Carlsborg didn’t get a chance to share their opposition to the project at a scheduled public hearing 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 zoning conditional use permit be denied.

Following a pre-conference hearing at 11 a.m. that same day, Clallam County senior planner Donella Clark said the public hearing slated for 1 p.m. would be continued — essentially postponed — until 10 a.m. Thursday, July 21.

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

Olympic Disposal could resubmit new information or refile a conditional use permit, 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 an aesthetic impact have been identified that will be created by this proposal,” staff wrote in their recommendation.

“The proposal does not align with the vision of the Carlsborg Industrial zone located within the Carlsborg UGA, where the allowed uses are intended to be low nuisance, low intensity industrial uses.”

Olympic Disposal personnel could not be reached for comment.

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

The proposed Olympic Disposal Transfer Station would be about 14,000 square feet and 36 feet tall, with an 831-square-foot recycling center less than 20 feet tall.

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 sight-obscuring fence along with landscape buffers.

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

Those traffic estimates are based on traffic patterns observed at the Grays Harbor Transfer Facility in Montesano, the representatives said.

The transfer station would be expected to process about 120 tons per day as operations begin. The proposed transfer station and recycling center would be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, except holidays, for disposal of solid waste and recycling, company representatives said.

“The proposal may more appropriately be located in designated commercial forest or 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 mitigating concerns addressed through the State Environmental Policy Act.

“The County would request an analysis of both need and location be received from the applicant concerning options for Waste Connections to operate a transfer station on 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 appropriate 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 voiced their concerns, and though not a determining factor for projects, indicates both an understanding and investment in the vision of Carlsborg and what is reflected in the Comprehensive Plan,” staff wrote.


Michael Dashiell is the editor of the Sequim Gazette of the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which also is composed of other Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News and Forks Forum. Reach him at

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