The Kodiak Island Borough Planning and Zoning Commission resumed its public hearings on the zoning and building code last night with a highly anticipated and highly attended meeting broadcast live on KMXT.
Nearly 70 members of the public rose to address the commission, and they were overwhelmingly against what they saw as onerous changes to the code. Many had simple requests, like those made by Judy Kidder.
“Instead of telling us what we can’t do, see if you can work with part of this code to promoting small business which will increase the tax base, which will increase employment, which will help this town to grow,” Kidder said. “That’s something that I don’t see that in this code. It’s all about what you can’t do. There’s nothing in there about what you can do to make this thing grow. Thank you.”
And some saw the hand of the United Nations trying exert control on our lives, like Jamie Fagan:
“This code is pure UN Agenda 21. Which stands for United Nations Action Plan for the 21st Century. George H.W. Bush signed the treaty in 1992. and in 1993 President Clinton created the president’s council on sustainable development for the sole purpose to get it into every county and state through federal rules, regulations and grants,” Fagan said. “This is a global plan, but is implemented locally.”
But after nearly five hours of public testimony, it may have been commissioner Maria Painter who stole the show.
“I just wanted to let everyone know at the appropriate time, I as a commissioner, will make a motion to table indefinitely the proposed code,” Painter said, pausing for applause. “I believe that private property is the most important guarantee of our freedom. So thank you.”
Acting commission chair Alan Schmitt tried to point out that the seven commissioners have a combined 218 years in Kodiak, an average of 31 years each, and want to do what’s best for the borough as a whole.
“You know we’ve been doing a lot of work on this for a year and a half if not longer. We are all motivated by what is best for the common good. Not what’s good for one person here, one person there, but for the common good. I point this out not because I want you to think we’re somehow better equipped than any of you. No. But we are invested in this community as well. It’s our home. We want it to continue to thrive, we want it to continue to be a place we want to live,” Schmitt said. “We’ve been working on this – we’ve had public hearings beginning in the summer of 2013, the rest of that year and all of 2014. I’m not saying this to fault anybody, but it’s about time. We’ve been wanting to hear from the public. We’ve made the chances for people to come forward and tell us what to think.”
The Kodiak Island Borough Planning and Zoning Commission plans for more public hearings in the future.