Neighbors working together is the way it should be

Planning and zoning issues can be tricky matters, particularly in a small town that's still growing. That's why it was particularly gratifying to hear last week about an issue in Soldotna that was resolved amicably between all parties involved.

At issue in the South Parkwood neighborhood is the growing number of daycare facilities being operated by the Soldotna Church of God. While there is a need for more daycare, Parkwood residents were concerned about the increase in traffic to their residential neighborhood, and filed an appeal of a permit issued for a third daycare.

This situation certainly could've gotten messy, pitting neighbors against each other. Instead, Soldotna Church of God Pastor Alan Humphries and Parkwood residents Drew and Linda O'Brien sat down in the O'Briens living room and worked out an arrangement that both addresses the O'Briens' concerns and allows the church to move forward with its daycare facility plans.

"We're neighbors, that's what neighbors do, theoretically," Humphries said during a recent Soldotna City Council meeting at which he presented the solution.

It's a good theory, and one that we'd like to see put into practice more often. Planning and zoning issues will continue to pop up around the central Kenai Peninsula as communities continue to develop. Change will happen, but a willingness to work together to address concerns -- in other words, being neighborly -- can make it manageable for everyone involved.

More

What others say: Barbara Bush was a force of her own

Anyone who doubts that Barbara Pierce Bush was a force in her own right never saw her speak live. On one occasion we caught her... Read more

What others say: Bad state decisions can haunt communities

Over the weekend, The New York Times ran a long story about how states across the nation (not just Oregon) are struggling with the mounting... Read more

What others say: Communities should opt in to smoke ban, rather than out

A bill that seeks to ban smoking in bars, restaurants and public places may finally get a vote on the House floor after being held... Read more

Voices of Alaska: University of Alaska provides Alaskans with affordable workforce training

As the primary provider of the state’s workforce, the University of Alaska is identifying more affordable ways to educate Alaskans. Alaskans often think of our... Read more