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Kenai comp plan approval challenged

Posted: April 24, 2013 - 10:05pm  |  Updated: April 25, 2013 - 1:35pm

A Kenai resident is drafting a petition to overturn the Kenai City Council’s approval of its comprehensive plan.

“People need to let the voters decide if they like the new plan or not,” Mark Schrag said.

Schrag said the city’s new comprehensive plan — scheduled to go before the Kenai Peninsula Borough for final approval — is too great a departure from its last plan. The last plan, he said, “was much more acceptable.”

“It reflected the wishes of the people,” he said.

But Mayor Pat Porter and Vice Mayor Ryan Marquis said this plan does that, too.

“The plan’s been up for two years now,” Marquis said. “What tells me that it’s run its course is that nobody on council at the last meeting had any additional amendments.”

Porter said the council and the planning and zoning commission has listened to its citizens.

The planning and zoning commission classified the Beaver Loop Road corridor Rural Residential 1 from the proposed Mixed Use classification on the plan’s land use map following resident testimony, she said.

Also, the council classified Angler Drive as Rural Residential 1 from the proposed Multi Use on the plan’s land use maps after residents from the neighborhood testified, she said.

“It think the plan does represent the citizen’s wishes,” she said.

Schrag has a month from April 18 to draft his petition and collect about 200 signatures, or equal to or more than 25 percent of the total voter turnout for the city’s last election, Kenai City Clerk Sandra Modigh said.

If the petition garners the required number of signatures, Modigh said, she and the city attorney would take a month to verify that only “qualified voters” signed the petition and that it is a legal document.

Schrag, 59, has lived for about 17 years in the MAPS subdivision — Magic and Aliak Drive, Princess Street, and the Kenai Spur Highway. As the city’s planning and zoning commission and the council passed the plan, members of Schrag’s neighborhood testified regularly for more time to critique the plan. Residents from Beaver Loop Road and Angler Drive also testified regularly.

“One of our biggest tasks is just to shine light on the process to see what was done,” he said.

He said the majority of the comments were not in favor of the plan and the plan was passed too quickly after it was amended.

But Porter disagrees.

Since the city introduced the plan to the public in a mid-September town hall meeting, it has solicited 152 public comments, held 24 public work sessions, distributed two newsletters and various public notices, and sent out two community surveys.

“Have we had enough of the public process?” Porter said. “Yeah, I think we have.”

City Manager Rick Koch said the plan is only a guide for the city’s development.

“This document is a look in a crystal ball 20 years in the future,” Koch said. The city updates the plan annually, he said. “Guaranteed, it’s not going to be 100 percent accurate, 85 percent accurate, even 80 percent accurate.

“Some people are not going to be happy with this, and that’s just the nature of this thing,” he said.

 

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

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granny
169
Points
granny 04/25/13 - 10:25 pm
6
2
What's the problem?

If the mayor and council are so proud and confident of the work done on the new comprehensive plan, then why not let residents comment on the changes to it? I believe that of all the recorded comments concerning the new plan only 4 were in favor of it. Three of those were from planning and zoning commissioners and the fourth was from a Soldotna resident.

Considering that, it would seem council would be interested in hearing from the public on the acceptability of the changes. Not taking the classic approach of "just trust us"!! It came to my attention after the council meeting where they decided not to take further public comment before approving the plan, and this is evidenced on the video of the meeting, that an emotional issue affected the decision to take the quick vote. Important decisions should not be made at a time of heightened emotions.

The public deserves a chance to see the amended plan and decide if they agree or disagree. Mark Schrag

Kenai
65
Points
Kenai 04/26/13 - 09:51 am
2
5
Emotions

"Important decisions should not be made at a time of heightened emotions."

Of course, that's not what you're doing, right?

granny
169
Points
granny 04/26/13 - 09:48 pm
4
2
Correct Kenai

My decision is not based on heightened emotions, but on documented information and is time sensitive, as the new plan goes into effect May 18 if not challenged.

The council had no such time restraints. Do you know why they were in such a hurry as no explanation except "it's run it's course" has come from city hall. Let me know if you'd like to sign the petition. Let's see how the silent residents feel.
Mark Schrag

Allen
636
Points
Allen 04/27/13 - 01:37 pm
6
2
If this plan is so great,

If this plan is so great, then why are Porter and Marquis so defensive? If the Kenai city council won't let residents comment on the final plan, then let the voters have the last word.

Kenai
65
Points
Kenai 04/28/13 - 12:10 am
2
4
Unanimous

Wasn't the thing passed unanimously? If you can get that whole bunch on the same page, it's probably not as malignant as you're out to make it sound.

IceSphere
40
Points
IceSphere 04/29/13 - 04:09 pm
4
2
Planning..?

Seems to me these people can't even plan for more than 4 inches of snow removal (they couldn't even find 1/2 of their fancy bike path to plow... traffic signals at cross walks in snow, why even bother..?), knowing they need to deal with it 1/2 a year every year... Go out and look around, the only places that need maintenance is where the city did maintenance... And you want to just trust them to transform a California size housing development into a city.

bigbadbob
56
Points
bigbadbob 04/30/13 - 04:09 pm
3
6
same old tune from granny

Narcissistic personality disorder symptoms may include:
Believing that you're better than others
Fantasizing about power, success and attractiveness
Exaggerating your achievements or talents
Expecting constant praise and admiration
Believing that you're special and acting accordingly
Failing to recognize other people's emotions and feelings
Expecting others to go along with your ideas and plans
Taking advantage of others
Expressing disdain for those you feel are inferior
Being jealous of others
Believing that others are jealous of you
Trouble keeping healthy relationships
Setting unrealistic goals
Being easily hurt and rejected
Having a fragile self-esteem
Appearing as tough-minded or unemotional

beaverlooper
3097
Points
beaverlooper 04/30/13 - 07:19 pm
5
2
same old bigblindbob

All of your posts except one are attack posts against granny and that one attacks councilman Boyle.
When you point a finger at someone there are 3 pointing back at you.Look in the mirror, there you will find the narcissist.
Granny,you ought to run for city counsil,you have my vote.

granny
169
Points
granny 04/30/13 - 08:11 pm
5
2
He's back!!!

I wondered where my stalker was. Where you been good little boobie? Thanks for suggesting the referendum idea awhile back. That was a good idea!

Thanks beaverlooper. How about for mayor?!! Mark Schrag

RoadClosedToKenai
24
Points
RoadClosedToKenai 05/01/13 - 08:37 am
4
2
Why do we have a Vice Mayor?

Wow, That must be a prestigious position here in the metropolis!

corinnep
288
Points
corinnep 05/01/13 - 03:41 pm
2
1
bigbadbob works for the City

bigbadbob works for the City of Kenai, he's just following orders by writing his nasty trash and being a troll.

beaverlooper
3097
Points
beaverlooper 05/01/13 - 05:32 pm
2
1
I thought as much.Tell Pat

I thought as much.Tell Pat and Marilyn hi for me will you bob?Yes granny run and please see if you can find a way to get a new city manager during your tenure.
Where's the petition so I can sign.

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