Asphalt Batch Plants

On July 20, 2020 the City Council unanimously adopted performance standards for asphalt batch plants in zones where it was already allowed. Now, it is a conditional use, instead of an outright permitted use, in the M-2 to offer additional protections. The Council also unanimously rejected a proposal to add asphalt batching to the General Commercial zone. The final ordinance is available in the Document Library. This decision followed months of public comments and council discussion and a recommendation by the Sumner Planning Commission. The approval, however, maintains a prohibition on asphalt batch facilities in the East Sumner General Commercial zoning where the Corliss Resources main concrete batch facility is located.

The Interim Development Regulations (IDR) were adopted last August by the City Council that temporarily prohibit future expansion of existing facilities or the addition of new facilities. This allowed staff and the State Department of Health to study potential health impacts of asphalt batching facilities. The IDR was extended for 6 months in January and expired on July 20.


On July 20, 2020 the City Council unanimously adopted performance standards for asphalt batch plants in zones where it was already allowed. Now, it is a conditional use, instead of an outright permitted use, in the M-2 to offer additional protections. The Council also unanimously rejected a proposal to add asphalt batching to the General Commercial zone. The final ordinance is available in the Document Library. This decision followed months of public comments and council discussion and a recommendation by the Sumner Planning Commission. The approval, however, maintains a prohibition on asphalt batch facilities in the East Sumner General Commercial zoning where the Corliss Resources main concrete batch facility is located.

The Interim Development Regulations (IDR) were adopted last August by the City Council that temporarily prohibit future expansion of existing facilities or the addition of new facilities. This allowed staff and the State Department of Health to study potential health impacts of asphalt batching facilities. The IDR was extended for 6 months in January and expired on July 20.


Guest Book

Please submit your comment here on the process of the City enacting Interim Development Regulations (IDR) prohibiting asphalt batch plants in the Low-Density Residential, Heavy Manufacturing (M-2) and zones. You may submit comments here by 5 pm on Friday, September 20. 

TIP: It is not necessary to comment online and in person at the September 16 Public Hearing--all comments received either way before the deadline become part of the record. 

If you have a question that you'd like answered, please use the Q&A tab above.
CLOSED: This discussion has concluded. Deadline was 5 pm on September 20. You may still ask general questions on the Q & A page.

Please do not the citizens who voted for you down! Vote no to this possible asphalt plant

Paulette Bridges 11 months ago

Mayor Pugh and Councilmembers,We ask that you ultimately vote no to an.Asphalt batch plant in Sumner. The charm and character of our town is in your hands. This proposed asphalt plant may manage to stay within EPA standards, I'm sure the mayor and councilmembers of Flint, Michigan wish today that they hadn't acquiesced to the smell of money. All standards can appear to be maintained until an accident happens. We all know when people don't have the foresight to recognize what might be that it can take astronomical amounts of money and time to fix issues and that's not taking into account the health costs to the future Sumner generations. We do not want to be known as Smelly Sumner. Most of us are aware of Tacoma's moniker "Aroma from Tacoma" and the ultimate price Tacoma has had to pay to rid themselves of this issue. The air quality, water quality, impact on environment , traffic issues on an already overburdened infrastructure need to be on the forefront of your mind as we progress through this. Ultimately the citizens of this town will hold you accountable. Your responsible adherence of the city's regulations will ensure whether the Smelly Sumner name will apply to our future town/citizens. I ask that you work diligently to stop all things that further impact our town's citizens and character.Kathleen GrantP.S. A four story apartment building is not in keeping with the character and charm of this town. I commend the councilmembers who thought our town could use some extra traffic on Thompson.

Kathy 11 months ago

NO ASPHALT, PLANT NO MORE AIR POLLUTION, NO MORE TRAFFIChi

smsatkinson 11 months ago

Dear City Council,Please reject the proposed zoning changes that would allow Corliss to build an asphalt plant less than 2 blocks from my lovely neighborhood. We moved to this town 2 years ago specifically for the home town feel, great schools and fantastic residents. We adore our neighborhood and are so excited to send our 1st kid off to the new Early Learning Center. I understand the need for growth and jobs in the area but this asphalt plant would be a terrible redirection for Sumner. Our property values will tank (along with the taxes). We would become a less desirable place to live. Our clean air and beautiful skies will forever be tainted if we allow heavy industrial plants to build in our neighborhoods, directly next to parks and the Y. Please dont just look at the potential immediate dollar signs alone and realize that long term this will kill the charm and reason people desire to live here. Lisa Howard

Teak3600 11 months ago

I am asking Sumner to reject the zoning change that would allow an asphalt plant at the Corliss Resources location. It makes zero sense to have it near the Y which people use to improve their health, and so close to residential neighborhoods. Even more to come with the East Sumner plan. Did I know there was a plant in town? Not for 20 years no. Had I known it was being allowed, I would have fought it. Now I know where the stench has been coming from periodically. I would wonder where the asphalt smell was coming from since I wasn't aware of any paving going on nearby. The particulates may be small, but easy to breathe in without notice. Both my husband and myself have developed asthma. People with compromised immune systems, will feel the effects. There are studies that can prove and disprove it's safety depending on the source. How many years has the debate been going on with margarine vs butter? Yet we are expected to trust that no harm will come of it. Remember when the experts said it was safe to walk in radioactive materials if they wore rubber boots? Sound silly? Yes. But there is no way to contain the carcinogens, smell, additional trucks, where it's the cars who have to play chicken, Salmon Creek pollution, and the reduction of our property values. Sumner is being destroyed by big business, warehouses, and the building of countless apartments and homes in an already overcrowded city. Please..say no to asphalt.

Little Mary Sunshine 11 months ago

I am a tax paying resident of Sumner, I am strongly against the proposed asphalt plant. This will have a huge negative impact on our town, families, traffic, home values, and most importantly our health. There are already poor city planning decisions in place that have forever changed this town. All of these, from the Sounder, big box warehouses, poor infrastructure, to short sighted traffic planning. Corliss does not get a free pass anymore!!

Allen 11 months ago

I am also against because of the negative impacts it will have on our health.

cooper_rewa 11 months ago

As new home owners in sumner, we specifically moved here because of the quiet peaceful small town vibe. Not to mention the great school district. Now also as new parents we are very concerned at the idea of putting an asphalt plant in town. With all the current environmental issues we already face and the highly polluted water, we don’t want anymore negative impacts on our soil, water supply, homes, air quality, or health. We are 100% against putting this asphalt plant anywhere near residential areas.

Lindsk4 11 months ago

am writing to you to express my objection to Corliss buildings and operating an asphalt plant in Sumner. I grew up with an asphalt plant to the north of our home. When the winds came from the north the smell was awful and I would get a sore throat that many times led to strep. With the location of the plant near the hill I am extremely concerned with the fumes from said plant being trapped in the valley. We moved to Sumner because it is a cute small town not to live in the toxic fumes of an asphalt plant or have such an eyesore in a residential/commercial area. We have moved numerous times due to my husband’s job and I can tell you with 100% certainty we would not purchase a home near an asphalt plant regardless of how safe it is said to be. I can only imagine what the play will due to home values- has that been researched? An industrial plant of any type has no business in a residential area. There are many existing homes, new homes, the YMCA and the future fields of the YMCA that will be negatively impacted by said plant. This is not good city planning and I hope that an alternative can be found so that our little town is protected both health wise and financially.Thank you for your time, Abby Kucera

Akucera 11 months ago

Comments related to the proposed Corliss asphalt batch plant following the Public Hearing at Sumner Council meeting 9/16/19–Additional comments taken from The News Tribune, 9/17/19, by Josephine PetersonSTUDIES: There was a great reliance on science and studies, performed by various agencies and sciences, by residents and Corliss company representation at the 9/16/19 meeting. —As in many conversations regarding environmental issues, we often come to a net-zero result as one study will often negate the other. —Industrial studies can be and are often biased towards who is funding the study. Analytical methods and statistics are difficult to fully understand. People rely on the end result/conclusion without a clear understanding of the details and methods applied in the study. —Conflicting/biased studies such as is coffee or chocolate good or bad for you? Big Pharma studies pertaining to the benefits of meds, but little, unknown long-term affects. Tobacco company studies... —Reliance on studies, from any point of view, must be considered, but one should not make a final decision based on study results as their foundation for same. —Company representatives relied on studies to state, more than once, that there are no adverse health affects for this type of operation. —Such statements should make us all leery of this type of simplistic conclusions based on studies. —None of the Corliss company representatives addressed the odor factor of such an operation. This is an issue that should be addressed and not be ignored.GRANDFATHER CLAUSE: Corliss Counsel presented the point that the plant should be allowed to proceed based on his information that there was a similar prior operation on the property, but without offering any historical information. Sloan Clack is referenced in The News Tribune article that this prior operation was in the late 1960’s “to help build 410.”In this same article Clack stated that with the economy revitalized, the company is looking for growth opportunities. She also referred to the batch operation as an “accessory” to mineral extraction. —We are now 50 years removed from the prior, temporary operation of the Corliss site. The Pierce County area has experienced tremendous growth since the mid-1980’s. Did the Corliss company not consider this period an opportunity to capitalize on this growth?Fifty years is a real stretch to invoke a “Grandfather” clause into the decision. This is more of a “‘Great’ Grandfather” situation, and its application should not be considered as relevant to the discussion or decision.The region has changed dramatically since the 1960’s, and what was then a business sideline to help the community expand should not be applied to the environment of the community today. What was once a temporary, single-use purpose operation of the 1960’s should not be a criteria for today.As was stated by the last resident speaker on 9/16/19, the Council is first obligated and accountable to the residents of Sumner.Respectfully submitted,Mars D. NelsonSumner

Mark D. Nelson 11 months ago

Past zoning decisions has turned Sumner into a parking lot for the Sounder... Past zoning decisions has turned North Sumner into a cement warehouse community that supports workers not living in Sumner... Past zoning decisions has turned Sumner into a traffic nightmare that impacts all Sumner tax payers. Most of the traffic is from trucks, workers, and commuters that aren't living in Sumner... Sumner continues to accept outside impacts to its citizens and lost out on retail businesses that provide local jobs and tax revenue... Where are the visionaries... where are the leaders... what type of community do most Sumner citizens and tax payers really want in the future... Why do we only have one grocery store? Why do we have so few restaurants? Why do I have to drive out of Sumner to do most of my shopping??? Why does it take me 15 minutes to get in or out of this town???

jak_raft 11 months ago

I do not want an asphalt plant in Sumner, unless they can ensure zero emissions by installing a scrubber. We do not want to impact our citizens and tax paying base to support one small business. Tacoma has a global reputation for being a smelly city... The word Tacoma came from the PNW indians for "what the f*ck is that smell"

jak_raft 11 months ago

I think the lawuer said they werent building an asphalt plant. They are jist asking for the zoning allowance. Why are they asking if they arent planning on building? That doesn't make sense.I am VERY concerned about all the polluntants that would be released. The EPA obviously has not been right many times leaving the average home owner sick and with polluted water and air and land all around in many other places.We already have more traffic there than the roads can handle. Adding lots more big trucks is dangerous.Any my prpperty values would decline greatly from that plant.Keep Sumner a good place to live. Protect your citizens and home owners. Build asphalt out away from our homes!

Taffymel 11 months ago

I own a home in downtown sumner, we definitely dont want it.

derrick 11 months ago

Hello, thank you for having this forum for the citizens of Sumner to have a say. Everyone has commented on the reasons why we do not want an asphalt batch plant so close to our homes, community and the downtown. I agree and I urge you to not allow Corliss to build an asphalt batch plant in their chosen location. Not only will you alienate a large portion of the citizens of Sumner, but you could be opening up a Pandora's box of issues for the city of Sumner if health issues arise and the prices of property decline because of it. Again, I urge you all to say no to this. Thank you.

ALampert 11 months ago

We moved to downtown sumner to start a family and raise our children in a quiet and quaint town. In the past five years anyone that has lived here has seen the negative changes. I mean what’s one more crappy plant? let’s add to the traffic? It already takes me 25 minutes to drive 5 blocks to get onto the freeway due to the commuters, and that’s if I can even move my car since they block our cars in almost every single day. What’s another ten minutes. Let’s add more speeding vehicles to our roads that blow through stop signs and put our children at danger. more heavy trucks coming in and doing damage to our roads? meh what’s a little more damage to the roads and sidewalks that are already damaged and never seem to get fixed. air pollution? just buy an air purifier on amazon prime, it will be delivered in two days. ;) We can all just stay inside, keep our children's faces buried on their tablets. order Uber eats since our vehicles are blocked in and we can’t drive to the store. let this once beautiful little town and why we all love it turn to shit. Better yet maybe it’s time to sell while our property value is still high before this plant goes in. If anyone of importance actually reads my comment, this is called cynicism.

Larsen1705 11 months ago

I'm against the asphalt plant, unsafe air pollution, noise pollution, property values will go down. Also damages to local roads our roads are bad enough we do not need many many more heavy loads like asphalt trucks dump trucks ect. This is a bad idea for the beautiful town of Sumner. I cant imagine the change in traffic in that area due to this plant being allowed to go in...

Barrettmottom64 11 months ago

I am in strong opposition to the asphalt plantOur town is unique and an asphalt plant will cause air quality issues, more traffic congestion, elimination of our small town feel and I am very concerned with the environmental effects this would bringSumner is not the place for an asphalt plant

Walenceus 11 months ago

All these people opposed to the batch plant don’t even realize we have one in Sumner already and they don’t know because they are safe non polluting highly regulated business my vote is always with economic growth and jobs for our community!

Az2Wa 11 months ago

I and my 6 children have lived in Sumner for 25 years and now my 6 grandchildren do also. Our entire family disagrees with an asphalt plant in this beautiful little town. Do not pollution our home because of greed. JUST SAY NO...WE SAY NO...KEEP SUMNER CLEAN !!! Thank you

JanieBartro 11 months ago