Larsen Bay lodge rezone fails at second go-round

Larsen Bay. (Photo by Kayla Desroches / KMXT)

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

A few different lodges in Larsen Bay are located in residential instead of commercial zones.  Kodiak Island Borough community development department acting director Jack Maker said one of Larsen Bay’s former mayors noted that lodges in residential zones were also paying residential utility rates.

“The mayor took it upon himself to up their utility costs considerably, which seemed reasonable given the impact that they have and that caused a squabble that led to the complaint.”

Foxtail Lodge’s zoning designation was under examination last week. The issue came before the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly at its regular meeting.

The Larsen Bay City Council has so far requested that the borough reject the change. In the past, a couple of reasons given is that the lot is surrounded by residential housing and some residents are concerned about the effect on the overall character of Larsen Bay.

At last week’s meeting, Assemblyman Andy Shroeder said he thinks the assembly should follow the recommendation of borough staff and the Planning and Zoning Commission to carry out the rezone.

He said it feels like a popularity contest, and the lodge is attempting to come under compliance.

“It appears to be me they’ve been trying over a decade and our own staff said we may have been in error to not let this happen back then.”

Assemblywoman Rebecca Skinner agreed they should follow P & Z’s recommendation.

The assembly voted 3 yes – 2 no, but the motion failed because at least four assembly members would need to vote yes for it to count as a majority vote. The motion also failed the first time the assembly voted on it for the same reason.

According to Maker, several lodges are still trying to change their zoning to commercial. He says, of the five remaining lodges in residential zones, three have not yet submitted applications to rezone, and he says the borough will need to follow up on that.

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