Housing is limited and expensive in Kodiak, but local government has been moving towards changing that since the announcement of the Jackson Mobile Home Park closure. At the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly regular meeting last week, the borough viewed ordinances to amend several codes, the first of which may encourage more recreational vehicle parks to open.
Borough Manager Bud Cassidy said they haven’t seen any new RV parks around town for various reasons, but those include regulations that make establishing parks more difficult. He says to remedy that, the Kodiak Island Borough Planning and Zoning Commission made alterations to the borough code.
“Some of those changes are where RV parks can be located, allowed for broader location of RV parks. It broadened the definition of what an RV is. It altered some of the development standards of the parks, is allowing individuals who build out a pocket the ability to live in an RV while their permanent structure is being completed, and there are a number of other things as well.”
The assembly considered two versions of the ordinance, one of which Assemblyman Mel Stephens suggested. It points out the changes the commission made to the code and where to find the original wording.
Stephens called the alterations a “housekeeping matter.”
“For instance, if I eliminate a sub-section A, you leave the A in the book, and book publishing, when it publishes the code, then writes next to A, ‘deleted by ordinance 2015 dash whatever it was.’ Therefore that signals me that, if I’m interested in what that said, I need to go back to that ordinance and look at it.”
Staff recommended that the assembly move the ordinance forward onto public hearing at the next assembly meeting, and the motion carried six to zero.
The next ordinance on the agenda was also a change to borough code, and Cassidy explained that it would re-instate a part of that code that had been lost in the shuffle.
“It will penalize more heavily those who don’t file personal property tax forms. There’s actually a number of folks who have historically in many cases ignored our personal property forms. We will add in a fine of 10 percent of what is owed to the already existing penalty of $300. That 10 percent was in the original code, but inadvertently left out during a past revision.”
The fine would be 10 percent of the assessed taxes, and Cassidy clarified that the ordinance only applies to people who had already received personal property notices from the assessing department.
Borough Assessor Bill Roberts said the borough needs the fine.
“There have been some companies out there who, by not filing, we force file them. And they were hiding so much equipment from us that they were making out and we didn’t catch them until they came up in our yearly review. And we realized that we needed to make it a little more spendy. The 10% was originally in there. I got a little heavy-handed with my red pen.”
The assembly changed some wording in the ordinance and then agreed to pass that altered version onto the next meeting. The next assembly work session is scheduled for Thursday and its next regular meeting for December 17.