Borough assembly introduces ordinance to amend gravel pit regs

Ordinance 2024-11 would amend borough code Chapter 21.29 to include regulations on quarries

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly introduced an ordinance at their last regular meeting on Tuesday, May 21 that will amend the regulations in borough code on material extraction sites to include regulations for quarries.

KPB Chapter 21.29, which underwent a major overhaul by the assembly that was finalized last October, addresses material extraction sites and governs the process for obtaining material site permits, largely with attention to “unconsolidated material sites,” otherwise known as sand and gravel pits.

According to the ordinance, assembly members and borough administration noted that the rewrite of Chapter 21.29 did not address “consolidated” material extraction, or quarries, which operate “very differently” than sand and gravel pits.

Consolidated material is defined in the ordinance as “solid rock that must be fractured by blasting, hammering or other means for removal and handling.” Ordinance 2024-11 also provides an updated definition of unconsolidated material, to include “sand, gravel, clay, silt, cobble and boulders that can be produced and used without fracturing for extraction or any blasting.”

“Concerns from residents near consolidated material sites came to light very near the end of a long process to rewrite KPB Chapter 21.29 and commitments were made to address these concerns,” the ordinance states.

The rewrite of Chapter 21.29 is currently slated to go into effect on Oct. 1. If passed, Ordinance 2024-11, which aims to address the above-noted commitment to residents’ concerns about quarries, would also go into effect on Oct. 1.

Four quarries are currently in operation on the Kenai Peninsula, according to borough Planning Director Robert Ruffner. Two of these are owned by the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

According to a memorandum from Ruffner to the assembly, the ordinance would add a fourth material site conditional land use permit, or CLUP, endorsement type for consolidated material extraction.

Ordinance 2024-11 states that a Type IV endorsement is required for “operations of any size that will require extraction of consolidated material.” Counter permits are not available for consolidated material extraction. Prior-existing use provisions are also not applicable for Type IV endorsement sites.

The ordinance also adds standards and conditions applicable to a Type IV endorsement to KPB Chapter 21.29 including but not limited to site-specific conditions related to standards and buffer zone slope requirements; water source separation; hours of operation; extraction within the water table; and reclamation plan requirements.

Applicants may request a CLUP that includes one, two, three or all four of the endorsements to be listed in Chapter 21.29, if Ordinance 2024-11 passes. CLUP applications for Type IV endorsement will be required to include plans for material fracturing schedule, drilling schedule, affected person notifications and blast overpressure mitigation plans.

“(This ordinance) allows for quite a bit of flexibility for the Planning Commission and/or the Planning Director as appropriate to address the items that are unique to extracting material with explosives,” he said.

A public hearing for Ordinance 2024-11 is scheduled for June 18. The ordinance will also go to the borough Planning Commission before the assembly meeting on June 18.

More information about Ordinance 2024-11 can be found on the borough’s website at