The Anadromous Streams Habitat Protection Ordinance will have a very negative effect on the real estate market as it expands the river, stream and water bodies (lakes) subject to the ordinance from 602.45 miles to 2,317.25 miles with a 50 horizontal feet set-back from the subject waterways and bodies. Much of the land affected is private property. Private property is rare in Alaska and accounts for only 3 percent of the total land within the state. This will have a significant impact on the price of land and the enjoyment of property. Existing homeowners along these water bodies have lost rights to fully enjoy their property with incomplete clarification on the authorities and expectation of the new ordinance. Additionally buyers are not willing to pay for land they cannot use.
The talk of restrictions on existing structures within the habitat protection district also has a very negative effect for sale and pricing. The execution of the ordinance is vague, with speculation that existing structures, roads and docks may need to be removed. Requests for clarification on how the ordinance will be policed, how it affects access to waterways by existing landowners, the permitting process and variance application are pending and have not been answered.
This limits my ability to sell real estate and market properties at historic prices for the sellers with this ordinance in existence in its current form. From an economic standpoint, this could also have a very negative effect on the oil and gas industry which drives our economic engine on the Kenai Peninsula. Without that engine, we do not have jobs or a real estate market.
I am not advocating the harm of fish. I support the preservation of fish habitat and the important commercial and sport fishing needs of our community. I do not support a blanket taking of land from many to support the needs of a few. There are other ways to support habitat than poorly understood regulation through outreach education, tax credit incentives, etc.