Assembly, P&Z Hash Out Way Forward in Code Process

Jay Barrett/KMXT

The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly and the Planning and Zoning Commission met Thursday night in a regularly scheduled quarterly meeting, though it had special significance since the recent code revision project was halted by a P-and-Z vote last month.

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“And just to be clear at the last public meeting they adopted a motion to postpone indefinitely the code update. And in the packet they have a memo from director Bob Peterson, and he basically stated that this motion ends the pending code updates as they were presented,” said Borough Manager Bud Cassidy. “So your discussion tonight really is how you want to proceed, and you’ve asked the commission here tonight to discuss that very topic.”

P-and-Z Commissioner Scott Arndt said it was never made clear to him what was wrong with the existing zoning and land use code.

“I would really like to see what the problems have been with the existing code over the years that have brought this about. I know there are some problems but I can’t pinpoint them all, and I would like to see us direct staff to start preparing that as to preceded in this code change,” Arndt said. “And as some of the members have spoke to the public, there are certain pieces of the proposed codes that I could see in actually helping the public, but there was much of it that just wasn’t acceptable.”

Assemblyman Larry LeDoux said the borough code is designed to help residents to live together, and if it doesn’t make any sense then it is a worthless document.

“I really believe the process should begin with ‘what is the problem?’ That is, what’s the problem with our current code. And I don’t mean the big code – I mean individual issues. And you answer that question with data,” LeDoux said. “What do we have to tell us the current code, or a certain section of the code, is not working? That could be complaints from the public, it could be letters, it could be something that’s happening. So no change should occur unless there’s a reason for that change.”

In wrapping up the work session, Mayor Jerol Friend told the audience that the ball is in the P-and-Z’s court and the assembly will act once it hears back from the commission formally.

“So just to summarize here what direction is for us. First we’re going to let P-and-Z meet and discuss the motion they adopted. Then P-and-Z will probably write a memo and submit it back to the assembly, so we actually don’t have to have another meeting, you guys can kind of give us the gist of what you want,” the mayor said. “The assembly will review and take it into consideration and then will adopt by motion direction for the assembly. Tasking P-and-Z with however we would like that wording to come up; that is the direction I got out of this tonight.”

The Planning and Zoning Commission’s next regular meeting is slated for next Wednesday night.

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