Public Hearing on Subdivisions, Zoning and Land Use Resume Dec. 12

Jay Barrett/KMXT

Next Monday, the Kodiak Island Borough Planning and Zoning Commission will continue its series of public hearings on the update to the borough code. It’s a meeting KMXT will broadcast live, starting at 6:30 p.m.

The special meeting will be to hear public comment on titles 16, 17 and 18 of the borough code. Title 16 contains the regulations for subdivisions; Title 17 are the zoning regulations and Title 18 are the borough lands regulations. There were three public hearings held in October, and borough Community Development Director Bob Pederson said the commission would like to hear more from the public.

“They have been very well attended. Somewhere on the order of 30 to 40 people at a meeting – and I’m doing that from memory. We’ve received good public comments and quite a number of those have been incorporated into supplemental staff recommendations to the planning and zoning commission and the additional information that we’ve presented to P and Z.”

Telling Alaskans – even those who chose to live in an organized borough – what they may or may not do with their land through zoning laws can be a hot-button issue:

“And it often is, because it is establishing regulations for the use of land to have rules by districts that people can live by and make their investment-based decisions on. There’s are always policy decisions where there can be good argument on both sides of a question, and ultimately, P and Z wades through those, filters those and makes a recommendation on to the assembly that then has the tough job of making the final decision on those issues.”

The public can comment on any of the three portions of the code up for revision at next week’s hearing. Some attracted more comments than others, and Pederson thinks the commission might be able to start moving one title further along the process and keep going on the rest as long as need be:

“It’s hoped that following the public comment on the 12th that we may be able to close the public hearings on Title 18 and move into the deliberations where P and Z looks at the language and makes any changes they deem appropriate and at the end of that process, when they’ve finished all their work, it will be forwarded  on to the assembly for final legislative action.”

Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman Alan Schmidt said that each change suggested by the public will be brought up before the commission and considered. Next Monday’s meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. in the assembly chambers, and KMXT will broadcast it live.

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