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Native Village of Eklutna v. Board of Adjustment for the Municipality of Anchorage

Citation: 30 ELR 20381
No. No. S-8695, 995 P.2d 641/(Alaska, 02/09/2000)

The court holds that a state zoning board failed to properly consider the historical significance of an area before granting a granite mining operation a conditional use permit, and, therefore, the permit is vacated. A Native American village challenged the board's grant of the permit. The court first holds that the board's finding that no cultural resources would be adversely affected by the mining was unsupported by substantial evidence in light of the whole record. The evidence unquestionably established that some cultural resources would be adversely affected by the proposed quarry. The historical value of the twin hills that gave the village its name is a cultural factor that should have been considered. Therefore, on remand the board must determine the extent to which cultural resources will be adversely affected. The court next holds that because of its decision to remand the case, it need not decide whether the lower court, on appeal, should have considered additional evidence offered by the village. The court additionally holds that the issue of noncompliance with a condition of the permit was not currently before the court. The court finally holds that substantial evidence supports the board's decision regarding the compatibility of mining with residential neighborhoods, the sufficiency of habitat and wetlands studies, and the traffic impact analysis.

The full text of this opinion is available from ELR (10 pp., ELR Order No. L-180).

Counsel for Appellant
Sara E. Heideman
Hedland, Brennan, Heideman & Cooke
1227 W. 9th Ave., Ste. 300, Anchorage AK 99501
(907) 279-5528

Counsel for Appellees
Gregory L. Youngmun
DeLisio, Moran, Geraghty & Zobel
943 W. 6th Ave., Anchorage AK 99501
(907) 279-9574