An ordinance for public hearing at the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly regular meeting Thursday sprung from public concern about engineering requirements. Those community voices spurred an attempt to relax restrictions for home owners building residences in the borough.
At the regular meeting, Assemblyman Larry LeDoux spoke about the ordinance’s beginnings.
“When I decided to run for the assembly and my name became public, people started complaining to me – or being concerned – about two things. The potential of bears causing injury to people in town due to our pickup policies and engineering. The excessive cost of engineering.”
Both LeDoux and more recent assembly addition, Kyle Crow, strove to give home owners more freedom to build by changing code and making some of the engineering requirements more flexible.
A version of the ordinance that would do that was up for public hearing Thursday at the regular meeting.
It would change the building code from the 2012 international residential code to the 1997 uniform building code, and it would implement several exemptions like making permits and inspection services recommended, but optional.
At the regular meeting during public hearing, community members stepped up to share their thoughts. Here are some excerpts from their comments.
The assembly ultimately chose to roll back building code to the 1997 UBC, which would relax engineering requirements as desired, and amended the ordinance to remove the exemptions Crow had suggested.
Assembly members tied in their vote on the main motion, with Crow, Rebecca Skinner, and Dennis Symmons voting against, but the motion ultimately carried when it came down to Mayor Jerrol Friend to break the tie. The issue is currently a work in progress.