Hoopla Hounds Hoophouse Hullabaloo


Jennifer Canfield/KMXT

Hoophouses were a major concern at last week’s Kodiak Island Borough Assembly work session. The benefits, safety concerns and regulations surrounding the structures that help grow Kodiak’s local produce were discussed longer than the potential sale of the hospital.

Hoophouses are structures made from plastic pipe and sheeting used to shelter gardens from the elements and animals. Assemblywoman Chris Lynch is sponsoring an ordinance that would keep hoophouse enthusiasts from having to apply for a building permit.

Some concerns shared at the work session were that snow could build up on the structure and collapse on someone, possibly a child or that a gardener might choose to put their hoophouse garden in their assigned off-street parking space.

Local gardener Marion Owen spoke at the work session and says that hoophouses are temporary structures used only for plants and not storage. She says most gardeners will take their hoophouses down before winter.

(Hoophouse 1 :30 sec "I think in these days… we need to give it a chance.)

There are currently seven items on a list that gardeners should consult before declaring their hoophouse in-line with zoning regulations. Now assemblymembers and local gardeners need to find out how to bring hoophouses into compliance with building codes. Borough Mayor Jerome Selby says that the ideal outcome of this ordinance is that the assembly can compile a complete list of regulations that apply to hoophouses so that gardeners can be clear on what makes a legit hoophouse.

(Hoophouse 2 :26 sec "In effect it would serve as… that’s not in that ordinance itself.")

The assembly agreed to have the borough attorney take a closer look at the ordinance and local regulations. The ordinance will be discussed further at the October 20th meeting.


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