Borough Staff Seeks Zoning Help


Erik Wander/KMXT

Borough officials and members of the Planning and Zoning Commission plan to ask the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly to allow them to hire an independent consultant to help update the borough’s subdivision and zoning ordinances, which officials contend are out of date.

KMXT’s Erik Wander has more.

The need for an outside consultant arose due to the currently heavy workload of the borough’s Community Development Department and the Planning and Zoning Commission as well as staffing shortages, according to director of Community and Development Bud Cassidy. Cassidy also explained the need for updating the borough’s zoning code.

(Cassidy 1 25 sec. "The commission and the assembly … to hire a consultant.")

Cassidy provided examples of how updating the code would affect people in Kodiak, from traffic and noise caused by the proliferation of bed and breakfasts to that resulting from people doing business from home.

(Cassidy 2 45 sec. "A perfect example is … because of home occupations.")

Brent Watkins, vice-chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission, said the commission’s first choice would have been to conduct the re-writing of the code without the help of a consultant but that staff constraints dictated otherwise. He also emphasized the need for re-writing the outdated code.

(Watkins 1 40 sec. "They started in earnest… that all the students have done.")

Cassidy said the code hasn’t been updated for many years and that one of the major problems is that it is vague in certain areas, leaving it open to interpretation and possible legal disputes.

(Cassidy 4 40 sec. "One example would be … small motor control.")

The resolution to hire a consultant was suggested by Planning and Zoning at last week’s assembly work session. According to the borough clerk’s office, it has yet to be scheduled for an assembly vote.

I’m Erik Wander


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