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Tensions rise on Beaver Loop plans

Posted: November 16, 2012 - 10:03am

Since the City of Kenai introduced the first draft of its Comprehensive Plan in early October, residents have been questioning the city’s priorities — particularly with the proposed mixed use designations along most of Beaver Loop Road.

“Why can’t we just have a residential neighborhood the way we want it,” Mark Schrag said at Wednesday’s Planning and Zoning work session. “Are you guys not listening to us?”

Schrag said no residents want the “commercial sprawl” that he said the mixed use designation would usher in.

But Schrag and the other four regular attendees — Patria Falkenberg, Kristine Schmidt, Jim Richardson and Laura Sievert — do not necessarily represent the entire Kenai body of residents, Commission Chair Jeff Twait said.

Also, City Planner Marilyn Kebschull said the mixed use designation does not invite large-scale businesses like Walmart or Safeway to break ground. Instead, she said the classification tailors to smaller businesses like a doctor’s or lawyer’s office.

Sievert, who lives off Beaver Loop Road, said designating the margins of the road as mixed use would burden the other families that live on the road with new businesses and traffic.

“So the (plan’s) vision is that the 50 or 60 houses that are along the road and people that just bought property there and built a house shouldn’t have an expectation of living in a rural area anymore?” she asked.

Twait said the commission expects an increase in traffic on the road in the future, and families will likely not want to live on the road.

“I guess what I’m more worried about is a car dealership, or something like that, because the mixed use designation would open it up to something like that,” Sievert said.

But that is wrong, Kebschull said.

For a carwash business to build on Beaver Loop Road, the city would have to rezone its plots industrial or commercial, and that would be incompatible with the predominately rural residential-zoned areas of Beaver Loop Road, Kebschull said.

“Now if a professional office came in, a doctor’s office, I’d say that would be compatible,” she said.

After about an hour debating, Commissioner Clifford Smith said he wanted to keep Beaver Loop Road residential, but no other commissioners commented further.

The commission decided to put the issue on hold, until the next meeting Nov. 28 at 7 p.m. in City Hall.

Dan Schwartz can be reached at daniel.schwartz@peninsulaclarion.com.

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beaverlooper
2409
Points
beaverlooper 11/17/12 - 05:56 pm
5
0
Twait said the commission

Twait said the commission expects an increase in traffic on the road in the future, and families will likely not want to live on the road.
I will finish his statement for him......To hell with them ,they can move.
I only say this because I have sat/commented at many city counsel and zoning commission meetings first for the buffer strip on Lawton where the city broke the law and cut down 1/2 the trees (the were going to cut them all) before they were stopped by the boroughs plat that specifically stated it's use . Also the MAPS deal where after months and months and months of meetings where 9 out of 10 people who commented were against,they went and did were going to do anyway.The only thing that stopped that was a petition and a vote but the citizens of Kenai. The decisions are made in back rooms and the public comments are just a dog and pony show so watch out no neighborhood is safe.For instance if you live on the west side of the airport you're in for some changes too.
As a foot note the city planner ,Kebschull, lives in Soldotna (Kenai at one time required it's employees to live in the city limits, and still should)and by her actions and statements that's her idea of how Kenai should look.Is that what you want
I live on Beaver loop , I don't want to move and I DO NOT want the zoning changed. Are there any Beaver loop residents out there that do?If it matters to you we're going to have to roll our sleeves up or get run over.

pfalkenberg
31
Points
pfalkenberg 11/16/12 - 02:20 pm
5
0
Ignore the referendum

I think that commissioner Twait forgot about the referendum where the residents of Kenai voted to not commercialize the strip along the spur highway (MAPS) area in front of our high and middle schools. They listen but I still believe they do not really hear us. 85 % of our neighborhood said no and the residents of our area still back this up. We feel this new mixed use will just open the door. If you live on a main artery get prepared, take a look at the plan maps and come to the next workshop.

granny
160
Points
granny 11/16/12 - 02:51 pm
7
0
More information

Laura Sievert is closer to an accurate statement than Marilyn Kebschull. Look up what mixed-use allows, it's a lot more than professional office space.
The five of us there advocating for residential rights absolutely do not represent the entire city, but we do represent a large majority opinion. We know this for a fact. We know it from the previous comprehensive plan, we know it from recent town hall meetings, we know it from the two public meetings held earlier this year for which there are records redily available (the city manager claims there were 18 public meetings), and we know it from the comments submitted for the draft plan. Jeff may be referring to all the developers and real estate agents who mostly,like the Kenai city planner, don't live in the city. I've looked at the recently completed Soldotna comp plan and am baffled by the fact that Marilyn, who is a very respected and influential member of the Soldotna Planning and Zoning commission, takes such a hard pro-commercial sprawl position at her job in Kenai.
Here in Kenai we have the classic influencial minority trying to thwart the will of the majority scenario and I will fight that as hard as I can. It goes against all the principles I was raised under.
Residents of Kenai, do you want to look like Wasilla??

robert white
378
Points
robert white 11/16/12 - 03:26 pm
0
4
beaver loop

great place for Costco or Cabellas

Allen
590
Points
Allen 11/16/12 - 09:14 pm
8
0
Twait's Fallacy

Twait's comment is the usual political hypocrisy. When people testify the way the politicians want to hear, why, the politicians must obey the will of the people. But when people testify the way politicians don't agree with, then the politicians don't have to listen because "those people" don't represent all the citizens.

bigbadbob
54
Points
bigbadbob 11/16/12 - 09:31 pm
0
7
granny and pfaulk why do you

granny and pfaulk
why do you think your vision for kenai is the only one that counts? because you have nothing better to do you go to meetings and that makes you the majority? come on. just because someone goes to church every sunday doesnt make them a good person. it might- but not always. some might call them a hypocrite. hello! your anti-everything/NIMBY attitude has been prevalent way too long. i drove through your neigborhood a while back and i thought the grass was too long on most yards, some lots had weeds and not all the roads were paved. that negativley impacts my yard and my property value.please fertilize something besides this process. all your referendum got you was a vacant dirt covered dust bowl. thanks to you, it will stay that way. selfish people usually get what they desreve. i bet the residents of wasilla really appreciated those comments.can you say narcisisism?

beaverlooper
2409
Points
beaverlooper 11/16/12 - 11:38 pm
5
0
Big Bad Bob Why do you think

Big Bad Bob Why do you think YOUR vision for Kenai is the only one that counts. If you could read you would've seen that granny said "The five of us there advocating for residential rights absolutely do not represent the entire city, but we do represent a large majority opinion". The votes of the citizens of Kenai validated that. You are right about ONE thing...these people have nothing better to do.........than make their community a better place to live. What is your excuse?What have you done of value?

BigRedDog
654
Points
BigRedDog 11/17/12 - 06:30 am
4
0
Going against their own public Forum

As I recall the city put on the big whoopla at the Senior Center and the one very clear message I heard is simple. The people overwhelmingly chose to have a centralized Down Town, like a large Mall all in walking distance. The Mayor said something like revitalized and centralized and don't forget to leave the dammed dirt bike track right in the middle of it. Yes I remember that meeting and this wasn't the plan to spread business locations all over the map. You want to make it all Dr Offices and what tire shops? Maybe a hotel with a liquor license and a BIG BAR with a loud band. You probably like RAP music played real loud next to the relocated pizza diner. Out laying attractions haven't faired well around here, you know like the Old Canery turned into just what your planning to do on Beaver Loop. They closed that place down and are salvaging the building for the wood.
Just how much of our good money was spent on the rather plush and intense group groping done at the Senior Center. The City put a LOT of our revenues down for this, and it was a major over organized shuffling of ideas and perspectives. Now we have a few enlightened city planners gonna make their moves and dazzle us with their footwork. Isn't America in trouble enough from ONE community planner?
You want commercial,what about the long line of City owned commercial lots on both sides of the Spur out by the racetrack? Having trouble selling those ehe?
So now our City leaders want to stuff more water lines in the ground and tear up our streets again. I guess expansion of our fire hydrant system would be helpful. And they do get to charge businesses more for the water hook up than a residential.
I just wonder if the road construction will spill onto the lots on the west side of the road or east side. If it gets a lot wider its going to be close to a few homes from either side. What are they increasing the road size for anyway, so they can haul more gravel down the loop? I'll bet there is a community planner somewhere hiding in the weeds. Maybe we should turn the birdogs loose and flush them.

granny
160
Points
granny 11/17/12 - 04:17 pm
4
1
bob bob bob

There you go again bob. We explained why we're a majority in our posts. Thanks Petria for mentioning the proposition vote. We really kicked your butt on that one eh bob, even after you guys appropriated $15,000 of taxpayer money to influence the election against us.
The only real reason I'm responding to your nonsense post is to repudiate the lie you and yours continue to spread concerning that "dust bowl". The truth is the dentist could have built his office at any time with our blessing and a conditional use permit, and in fact he had such a permit when his wife tired of his cheating ways and he ended up moving out of state. Furthermore, a professional office is now a primary permitted use along the highway in our neighborhood after we reworked the RR1 zone to allow for reasonable development along the highway. You show yourself to be either misinformed or dishonest. Thanks though for creating the opportunity for me to further inform the public of happenings in Kenai. Mark Schrag

KMarx
170
Points
KMarx 11/17/12 - 04:29 pm
2
1
C'mon Schrag, show some class

Was it really necessary to slander someone ?

bigbadbob
54
Points
bigbadbob 11/17/12 - 05:51 pm
4
0
Granny- what would the city

Granny- what would the city do without you? they are so fortunate to have you.Carry on.

beaverlooper
2409
Points
beaverlooper 11/17/12 - 05:55 pm
1
1
truth

KMarx It's not slander if it's the truth.

cbeard
132
Points
cbeard 11/17/12 - 06:43 pm
2
2
Loopy

The idea that Beaver Loop or any neighborhood that is immediately adjacent to urban or commercial areas in ANY town on the peninsula would remain homogenous neighborhoods forever is ridiculous. The peninsula is GROWING. This means more room is needed, and people tend to move to larger towns to be near services. More people? That means a bigger economy, and a bigger economy means more businesses. Nobody is evicting residents from Beaver Loop, but heaven forbid somebody wants to build a coffee shop, insurance agency, daycare, or whatever near your home, because it is near the business core.

Humans are quickly urbanizing and Alaskans and rural areas are no exceptions. More people would prefer rental property than even cheaper home ownership if it means better access to services and substantially less or sometimes nonexistant property tax or maintenance burdens. More people want walking distances (a point that many supporters of the referendum made), because our day to day lives have made driving long distances more inconvenient. When people from outside the US see how Alaskan towns are laid out, they don't think "Wow, they have a lot of space", they tend to think "Wow, this is REALLY inefficient. How do you get anything done?" It may sound like madness to the people here who prefer to think that we're still in the pioneer days where you had your own cabin, land, and couldn't see your nearest neighbor on the horizon, but there is a method to that madness. There are reasons why property patterning has been arrainged around business hubs since the beginning of argiculture and ancient civilization, and even the tiniest Athabaskan and Russian villages on the peninsula were arrainged in those types of patterns.

Residents of urban-adjacent areas need to realize that business areas, barring apocalyptic distaster, will eventually HAVE to weave through your neighborhoods without the luxury of Saudi family level massive infrastructure spending.

Watchman on the Wall
2893
Points
Watchman on the Wall 11/17/12 - 09:51 pm
1
1
Political interest groups maybe?

Could we be involved in yet another political interest groups desire to influance and make a little $$$ on the side?
Or are we mearly witnessing yet again the actions of those that are in governmental control and only want it their way and could careless about others wishes?
Troubles every where and no Twinkies to sooth the pain any longer due to yet another group of people that only wanted it their way.
If i was a Gambler still i would venture to bet & say that there is some $$$ to be made some where along BL and a few know about that potential and want to Cash in on it.
Forgive me if i'm misjudging some of you, but time will tell as it always does.
It sure would be alot easier on the City of Kenai if those folks along BL were Dems. cause they are suckered real easily and will believe anything their told.
What a mess. I know, what if the City of Kenai offers the Loopers free stuff for life, would that help them be suckered into this plan?

kksalm
227
Points
kksalm 11/18/12 - 10:57 am
3
0
The city's vision has already been born

Witness the industrial sprawl at the intersection of Beaver Loop and Bridge Access. The city is only interested in expanding their tax base. I thought the comprehensive plan was a design to improve the quality of life in our fair city, not to creat tensions as this article implies.

I present for you, the city of Kenai's vision of the future...

http://s15.beta.photobucket.com/user/ninanoof/media/Coalinga%20Oil%20Fie...

IMO

Have a wonderful day.

corinnep
241
Points
corinnep 11/18/12 - 08:47 pm
3
0
What?

Watchman on the Wall, this article is about the Kenai Comprehensive Plan. Why do you need to bring national politics into it? Please take your anti-Democrat, anti-Obama comments elsewhere.

cbeard, your comments don't make any sense. The residential part of Beaver Loop is not immediately adjacent to an urban or commercial area. Plus, you are wrong that city planning has to accept businesses weaving through residential neighborhoods. There are better ways to plan for growth than commercial sprawl and allowing businesses to locate in residential areas willy nilly.

sjlashbrook
66
Points
sjlashbrook 11/18/12 - 08:54 pm
3
0
Mixed Use Irony

You know what's ironic? Everyone in Highland Pride Mobile Home Park wants the Comprehensive Plan to appropriately classify the 7.6 acres of Highland property (right off Kenai Spur on Silver Salmon Drive across from the Pillars) as "mixed-use" (or possibly "suburban residential") instead of "rural residential" (which specifies low-density single-family homes), since "mixed-use" seems to be the most appropriate designation out of all of them for a mobile home park (which has existed since the 1960's). By first designating the land use classification appropriately, it would lead the way for the park to get a zoning change from "rural residential" to possibly "suburban residential" or some other zone which allows mobile home parks as a principal use (there are none currently) to alleviate the problems associated with being "nonconforming." After all, should a big developer come in and buy out Highland property to turn it into some sort of institutional residential facility (like what happened to Anchor), it's likely the P&Z Commission led by Ms. Kebschull would trip over itself to quickly recommend that transition, which would require a land-use classification change AND a zoning change, just to get rid of another mobile home park. But they won’t do it now for the existing use!
...
Anyway, here's the irony: so here's a group of people living in Highland willing to offer up being designated a mixed-use zone right off the Kenai Spur, to do no more than simply be allowed to peacefully continue to exist as they currently exist... but no, the P&Z Commission has apparently dismissed Highland residents' requests. Instead, they want to target respected homeowners on Beaver Loop and Kenai Spur, forcing them into a "mixed-use" land use classification, which greases the skids to rezone those areas from rural residential which then turns these single-family low-density homes into "nonconforming uses" (since the mixed-use zone does NOT include SINGLE-FAMILY homes). Then these beautiful homes, too, like the mobile homes in Highland, will eventually become victims of the City's planned demise of nonconforming structures. It makes no sense.
...
Why can't the (unelected) City “administration” leave everyone alone? Where are all the city residents who asked for "mixed use" along those corridors? Come out, come out, wherever you are! Where are all the service and retail establishments who are chomping at the bit to open up shop in Kenai along the Spur or Beaver Loop right next door to a beautiful ingle-family home because no other place (among the hundreds of vacant acres already appropriately zoned) is acceptable?
...
The Sept. 2012 Draft of the Comprehensive Plan can be found here: http://www.ci.kenai.ak.us/Comp_Plan_Update.pdf Note that on page 48, the projected future demand by 2030 for Mixed Use land is only SIX additional acres, while future demand for residential use is a whopping 223 acres! The caption states that “Mixed Use includes Limited Commercial and Townsite Historic zones.” There are 178 vacant Commercial acres, 209 vacant Industrial acres, and 49 vacant Mixed Use acres, so why redesignate residential zones currently containing people’s homes as “mixed use” which includes retail and service-oriented businesses as well as other “limited commercial” uses?
.........
If you aren’t familiar with what a curse the "nonconforming label" casts on its victims, click here to take a quick look at KMC 14.20.250, because YOU could be next: http://www.qcode.us/codes/kenai/view.php?topic=14-14_20-14_20_050&frames=on . If you’re unlucky enough to be designated “nonconforming,” you can't even do certain repairs and maintenance on your own home or business -- they have a "limit" for these where supposedly you can't spend more than 10% of the structure's replacement value on certain repairs! That's because they want the structure to "go away," not be repaired to last indefinitely. It's another way of stating "planned obsolescence." Obsolescence is "the state of being which occurs when an object, service or practice is no longer wanted even though it may still be in good working order." It’s a kiss of death. Avoid it at all costs. In fact, that section of the KMC needs to be CHANGED because it’s hurting good people for no good reason, just because a few people in the “City administration” apparently have decided they don’t want certain homes or businesses to continue existing in their current locations, or perhaps they just don’t want them anywhere in the City.
...
Let's investigate what (unelected) City Planner Marilyn Kebschull claims about what "mixed-use" means. First, here's the definition of Mixed-Use, which can be found in the Draft of the Comprehensive Plan, (pg. 51):
...
"The Mixed Use district fosters a compatible mix of retail, service, office, public, institutional, recreational and MULTI-family residential uses. The district does not prescribe specific proportions for these uses, only that all these uses ARE DESIRABLE within the district. The Mixed Use classification should accommodate existing similarly developed areas and areas along corridors to provide transitions BETWEEN the corridor and residential zones."
...
Next, look at the ZONING districts designated for the Mixed-Use land use classification (also on page 51): Limited Commercial, Central Mixed Use, Central Commercial, and Historic Townsite. Note that “Rural Residential” where single-family homes are a principal use, is not one of them. Also, take a gander at the current Land Use Map, which is KMC 14.20.010, located here: http://www.qcode.us/codes/kenai/view.php?topic=14-14_22-14_22_010&frames=on , and gaze down the RR columns versus the CMU (Central Mixed-Use) column. In the latter, uses such as Automotive Sales, Service Stations, Banks, Hotels/Motels, Restaurants, Retail Business, and Theaters are all a “principal use.”
...
Next, look at KMC 14.20.240(b)(1) which states: “Rules for Interpretation of Permitted Uses. (1) The express enumeration and authorization of a particular class of building, structure, premise, or use in a designated zone shall be deemed a PROHIBITION of such building, structure, premise, or use IN ALL OTHER ZONES unless otherwise specified.”
...
Finally, in the Comprehensive Plan on pg. 2, it states, “The Comprehensive Plan provides a vision for the future, and it provides the LEGAL BASIS for ZONING, land use regulations, permitting, and ALL LAND USE DECISIONS made by the City.” So don’t be led to believe that “it’s only a guide!” It’s the first step of many other steps to come, like dominos.
...
Ms. Kebschull claims that a doctor's office would fit. Yes, it would. So would a large apartment building (multi-family), MOST retail sales establishments, (can you imagine some you wouldn't want near your home which are allowed as a “principal use” in the CMU zone?) a service establishment, (ditto?) a real estate or title company "office" building, other "public" and "institutional" buildings.... but NOT single-family homes! If the (unelected) Planning & Zoning Commissioners won’t listen now, what makes anyone think they’ll listen to you later when you oppose a particular establishment moving into your newly designated “mixed-use” area? "MULTI-family residential” is not the same as “single-family residential." Since the “mixed-use” land use classification doesn't include SINGLE-family homes, those beautiful single family homes which folks have settled into along those corridors would eventually be “zoned out,” become “nonconforming,” and the (unelected) City administration would then quietly attempt to eradicate them over time, just like they've done to the mobile home parks.
...
If these things concern you, come to the next Planning & Zoning Commission meeting, taking place on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. at City Council Chambers, or email City Planner Marilyn Kebschull or your City Council (email addresses available here: http://www.ci.kenai.ak.us/council_members.html ). It’s never too late to give your opinion—the Plan has not yet been adopted.

laurasievert
60
Points
laurasievert 11/18/12 - 09:54 pm
4
0
cbeard, just so you know, the

cbeard, just so you know, the Beaver Loop rural residential area is a couple of miles from Kenai's retail area, not adjacent.

The first 2 stated goals of the new comprehensive plan are to consolidate and provide more services close to the city center, and also to protect neighborhoods. If the Comp Plan is not be a sham, then Planning and Zoning should refer to it as they make decisions about land use in the city. On Beaver Loop there have been conditional use permits granted for various businesses over the years without objection by residents. The conditional use process has worked well. There seems to be no reason for this re-designation of Beaver Loop, especially if, as the city planner promises, there would never be a business allowed that wasn't compatible with the neighborhood as it is now.

When a member of P &Z basically tells the 50 or 60 families that have houses right on the road (some of them new) that they will not want to live on the road because of what they have in mind for it, I smell a rat. Most likely, someone's buddy has a plan that is going to require a rezone in the future, and the groundwork is being laid. Otherwise, there seems to be no reason to re-designate Beaver Loop as Mixed Use.

Yes, Kenai may be growing (slowly), but the fact remains that there is plenty of retail space right in town and down the highway to Wal Mart in very visible locations that is sitting empty. The city should be creative and aggressive in encouraging businesses to locate in town to capture the traffic that is already there.

kksalm
227
Points
kksalm 11/19/12 - 07:32 am
0
0
Another powerhouse entity on Beaver Loop

Certainly on par with Corporate.
Lest we forget, we have a sovereign nation in the neighborhood who's land upon we tread.
Now I'm "just sayin',"
no disrespect intended, but what if....?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casino
What a cash cow that would be for the city!
Mixed use, the possibilities abound!
Have a nice day.

Sam Von Pufendorf
1088
Points
Sam Von Pufendorf 11/19/12 - 10:56 am
0
0
Casino's

kksalm, from your posted link:
"One area of controversy surrounding casinos is their relationship to crime rates. Economics studies that do show a positive relationship between casinos and crime usually fail to consider the visiting population at risk when they calculate the crime rate in casino areas. Such studies thus count the crimes committed by visitors, but do not count visitors in the population measure, and this overstates the crime rates in casino areas. Part of the reason this methodology is used, despite it leading to an overstatement of crime rates is that reliable data on tourist count are often not available.[15] In a 2004 report by the US Department of Justice, researchers interviewed people who had been arrested in Las Vegas and Des Moines and found that the percentage of problem or pathological gamblers among the arrestees was three to five times higher than in the general population.[16] According to some police reports, incidences of reported crime often double and triple in communities within three years of a casino opening."

pfalkenberg
31
Points
pfalkenberg 11/19/12 - 01:59 pm
3
0
big bad bob

BIG BAD BOB How many generations deep are you in this community???? The family that brought me to Kenai almost 53 years ago has always had the welfare of Kenai at heart. My parents built businesses that supplied many people in our area jobs. My mother served on some of the first city councils so don't presume to tell me that I am narrow and only listen to one side....This comprehensive plan needs to be balanced and fill the needs of all the residents of Kenai. So as long as I am standing I will fight for the rights of the majority's wishes. The Maps area is not against business as you would like people to believe. We just want a say in how our neighborhood is developed. We are fighting and again turning P.I.N.K (PROTECT INDIVIDUAL NEIGHBORHOODS OF KENAI) Vote on Prop A was in our favor city wise 56 to 44%. As for the dust bowl which faces our rental properties, the timber was taken out long before the lots for dentist's office was purchased. With the city's blessing that piece was clear cut, and no one in the area was even advised it was happening. We need to also take a look at preserving our city's appearance. I still have petitions that 85% of my neighborhood signed and we are only asking for 155 acres out of 18,231 to remain "OUR NEIGHBORHOOD" For more information about what happened in this continuing battle go to www.mapskenai.com

granny
160
Points
granny 11/19/12 - 11:54 pm
3
0
Thanks for paying attention

watchman, I think you are right about following the money. The influencial minority sees all that cheap residential land and can only see lost potential. They don't have the wherewithall to utilize all the currantly vacant commercial land.
cbeard; I appreciate your sincere post, though I disagree with it and others have addressed it well.
Sandy, good to hear from you! You have a wealth of good information there, especially the draft plans own projection of future land use needs (as formulated by a more neutral source) and all that mixed-use really entails. All the action now is at the P&Z work sessions, which start at 6:00 and continue after the formal P&Z session. They have taken away the non-conforming argument by deleting "multi-family" in front of residential, but that leaves all the commercial uses that you reference around residential areas. And it is interesting that they love mixed-use along the highway except in your case. Let me know when you're back in town, may have some information you'll find interesting.
Petria, I'm with you. I'm gonna fight this with all I've got. This is the most blatant power grab I've seen in all my years in Kenai. This one is city-wide and hits pretty much every residential neighborhood in Kenai. Even if you're far off the highway, you could end up with a drilling rig in your neighborhood (I can show where that's at in the draft plan). Keep the attention coming, keep shining a light on the process. Mark Schrag

kksalm
227
Points
kksalm 11/20/12 - 01:05 am
3
0
"you could end up with a drill rig in your neighborhood"

Great comment from the post above. A drill rig in your neighborhood!
But, er, I think that's already a fact.

The meat of the issue at hand was brilliantly laid before us by the thoughtful breakdown of the comprehensive plan from an above poster sjlashbrook. It's a great synopsis exposing the cracks and implications of the rather lengthy plan that the casual citizen most likely won't read. I encourage interested parties to focus on the valid points that sjlashbrook is pointing out to us and visit the city document to confirm the fact that yes, it does concern you. I personally haven't the wherewithal to read much less interpret the entire multi paged city document and welcome the summing up of it all.
In my opinion the city wants it their comprehensive plan done and in place as a rule with apparently no scrutiny on the behalf of us citizens.
Have a wonderful day!

sjlashbrook
66
Points
sjlashbrook 11/20/12 - 05:48 pm
2
0
Look at the comments made about the Proposed Comprehensive Plan

What an eye-opener. Take a look at the several thoughtful, expressive, concerned, and valid comments made about the Draft of the 2012 Comprehensive Plan which were included in the Planning & Zoning Commission Work Session packet for November 14, here: http://www.ci.kenai.ak.us/commissions/p&zworksessionpacket.pdf
...
Most importantly, look at the number of "Recommendation Comments" that the "Staff" recommended to the P&Z Commission, er, uh, rather the LACK of recommendations in that column... It appears that whenever the "Staff" didn't like a suggestion or a person's comments, they simply made NO RECOMMENDATION / COMMENT in that column. Who is the "Staff"... Nancy Carver and Marilyn Kebschull? So a couple of (unelected) City staff members (whose jobs are probably at the pleasure of the unelected City Manager, which is how he gets to control EVERYTHING that goes on) get to ultimately pull the P&Z Commission around by the nose? If a person's request is being denied (or ignored), the "Staff" and/or the P&Z Commission should state with peculiarity WHY they are denying/ignoring it. In most cases, they didn't. They asked for input... they got it... and are ignoring it, stating that the views of those who attended the meetings and took the time to express their concerns "are not necessarily the majority." So where is this "majority?" Where are all these Kenai residents who agree with the City Manager's and City Planner's "vision" of Kenai, with redesignating numerous residents' homes and land along corridors as "mixed-use," and refusing to designate mobile home parks' land appropriately (as requested by at least a half-dozen park residents)? Why haven't those "majority" of residents, whom the City claims support their views, attended meetings or submitted comments "during the comment period"? Several people have alluded to "ulterior motives," and "rats" and something going on "behind the scenes." I agree!
...
There is a deeper, systemic problem in the City of Kenai, at the root of all of these conflicts with the City's residents. There must be... otherwise, the Planner and "staff" would be amenable to making the changes requested by the "majority" of the input by the city's outspoken residents. Sadly, as it is, the City's staff are acting like "marionettes." According to wikipedia, "A marionette is a puppet controlled from above using wires or strings... A marionette's puppeteer is called a manipulator."
...
Whose pulling the strings and controlling everything, and making sure they'll be able to do so long after the make-up of the City Council potentially changes? Could it be the City Employee who managed, on 1-19-2011, to extend his contract (which would have ended in March, 2012) for FOUR & ONE-HALF YEARS into the future to March of 2015 (see pg. 155 here: http://www.ci.kenai.ak.us/clerkspage/2011%20E-Packets/2011e-packet03.pdf ), well beyond the 3-yr-terms of current council members, by a 5-2 council vote (see Item H-9 on pg. 77 of the minutes here: http://www.ci.kenai.ak.us/clerkspage/2011%20E-Packets/2011e-packet04.pdf), AND, on 7-15-2009, who also secured against the probability of getting "discharged by the Council without advance notice" by somehow getting them to amend his contract to require FIVE council members' votes instead of the usual FOUR? (See http://weblink.ci.kenai.ak.us/WebLink8/0/doc/38433/Page6.aspx , download the PDF, and see pg. 105). Four out of Seven seems like a reasonable number of dissatisfied council people to discharge an employee with unsatisfactory performance... So why the requirement of a "super majority" to discharge a city employee -- could there have been dissension expected or still brewing? Why no public hearing on these issues which have committed the residents of the City through March of 2015? Where was the public announcement? Sounds like the same methodology used for the Comprehensive Plan, doesn't it? Maybe because the two are orchestrated by the SAME INDIVIDUAL....

beaverlooper
2409
Points
beaverlooper 11/20/12 - 06:20 pm
1
0
opinion

sjlashbrook Please write an opinion piece and see if the Clarion will publish it. Not everyone reads these comments and you state ,very well, some things that ALL in the community need to know.

bigbadbob
54
Points
bigbadbob 11/20/12 - 09:11 pm
0
2
granny- I must repost the

granny- I must repost the defintion of the narcissistic personality disorder-
Symptoms of this disorder include[1]:
Reacting to criticism with anger, shame, or humiliation
Taking advantage of others to reach their own goals
Exaggerating their own importance, achievements, and talents
Imagining unrealistic fantasies of success, beauty, power, intelligence, or romance
Requiring constant attention and positive reinforcement from others
Becoming jealous easily
Lacking empathy and disregarding the feelings of others
Being obsessed with oneself
Pursuing mainly selfish goals
Trouble keeping healthy relationships
Becoming easily hurt and rejected
Setting goals that are unrealistic
Wanting "the best" of everything
Appearing unemotional

kksalm
227
Points
kksalm 11/20/12 - 09:17 pm
3
0
sjlashbrook should write an opinion piece about this

I agree with beaverlooper. sjlashbrook has obviously researched the facts and dredged up some "dirt" that seems relevant to our community. I'd love to see The Redoubt Reporter included, there's enough fodder for an investigative piece on this current comprehensive plan and why it switched course from the previous plans recommendations. Thank you to our Peninsula Clarion for writing about this tension we're experiencing.
Little Town Kenai wants to be Big Town Kenai, well that comes with a price to those elected and appointed. Something is driving this plan and we need to know now rather than later. No one is entitled to a free pass, we're still a neighborhood that should have a say in regards to the direction towards a healthy community.
Have a nice day.

curtwilcox
17
Points
curtwilcox 11/21/12 - 10:11 am
1
0
Why have we deviated from the former comprehensive plan?

I submitted this comment to the city council before the time limit expired. I used the email addresses provided by the city website. Two came back as undeliverable but that's not the issue here. My comment was

I live on Beaver Loop Road and am opposed to the implicating a rezoning of the rural residential area to that of mixed use as the new plan implies. It is in fact in direct opposition to the city's previous plan drafted in 2003. You'll find on page 35 the following paragraph.

Beaver Loop Road is a rural area with scenic vistas, natural open space, and a low-density residential lifestyle with a short drive to city services. This area is not likely to develop at densities that will support public sewer and water service in the foreseeable future. Much of the vacant property in the Beaver Loop area is affected by wetland or floodplain conditions, and may not be suitable for uses more intense than rural residential development.

Page 35 and 36 also defines Residential Neighborhood Development Policies which does not reflect the current action of a mixed use rezoning. I believe the paragraph above, defining Beaver Loop Road as it is, is accurate. I can only wonder why we've deviated from the former comprehensive plan. End comment

I have not received any explanation why this new plan is in direct opposition to the city's previous plan drafted in 2003.
Curt Wilcox

Seafarer
1147
Points
Seafarer 11/22/12 - 02:13 pm
2
0
Residential, but High Traffic

That road is the only other way to go between Kenai and Soldotna. It is very much used. Build more bridges on the river so you don't have to go all the way from one town to get to the next.

Who builds a highway thru a town? STUPID! All that invites is strip malls, mediocrity, and blight. Wouldn't it be nice to stroll down a SIDEWALK on Main Street and visit the shops without worrying you might get hit by a motorhome??!!!!!! Or, a belly-dump. This place is no use to a pedestrian. Just look at that kid that got hit.

Seafarer
1147
Points
Seafarer 11/22/12 - 02:33 pm
1
0
The Ruling Class: Old Time Homesteaders

When a homesteader of yore here on the Kenai subdivides her/his land, they no longer have power over it. Many got very rich, and still getting richer as their land gets "re-zoned". Hmmm....could that be your culprit? The amount of white-collar crime here is astounding.

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