After Community Outcry, Landfill Rezoning Postponed


Brianna Gibbs/KMXT

During Thursday’s regular meeting, the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly decided to postpone a vote on a rezoning ordinance for the Kodiak landfill. The ordinance would have rezoned a portion of the landfill from public use and conservation to industrial. The change is needed for future expansion of the landfill.

The decision to postpone Thursday’s vote came after almost an hour of public comment from community members against the rezoning. Among those who spoke was Tom Lance, who serves on the Monashka Bay Road Service Area Board. He spoke on behalf of the board and said the rezone request needs to be revised, and the green belt, or buffer, around the landfill should be enhanced to protect the residents and natural environment surrounding the area.

(Rezone 1 :37 “Monashka Bay Road Service Board … landfill zoning.”)

Lance also said the service area board was not notified of the intent to rezone. He wasn’t the first person in the crowd to say this, nor was he the last. Assemblywoman Louise Stutes said the apparent lack of communication was frustrating, especially after the assembly specifically asked that the service board be contacted.

(Rezone 2 :35 “I find the way this thing has … notified and were not.”)

Most assembly members agreed with Stutes, and Assemblyman Aaron Griffin moved to postpone the vote.

(Rezone 3 :12 “Quite honestly there’s a lot of … to next regular meeting.”)

Assemblyman Mel Stephens said he was against postponing the vote, and instead thought the assembly should vote against the ordinance, let it fail, and then start from the beginning.

In the end, the vote to postpone the ordinance passed six to one. Assemblywoman Carol Austerman said the comments from the community were heard loud and clear, and postponing the vote seemed like the only right thing to do.

(Rezone 4 :34 “I understand there is a need … have happened tonight.”)

The assembly will hold a work session this upcoming Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the borough conference room.


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