Council: Paint job may be required for Conex boxes

Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2008

When rumor raced through the airwaves of Kenai a couple months ago saying the city planned to give all Conex-type storage boxes the boot, several people showed up at the next scheduled city council meeting ready to object.

The protest, however, was premature, and the rumor was false.

The council is slated to address the matter tonight, but no one is seeking to rid the city of Conexes.

In its proposed ordinance, the council would like to amend city code placing restrictions on the popular storage structures if used in the central commercial and residential zones of Kenai.

Sitting in for the city manager, Finance Director Larry Semmens said Tuesday, "The intent would be to allow sheds and Conexes, but have them be more aesthetically pleasing."

Under the proposed amendment, any accessory structure larger than 120-square feet would require a building permit, and Conex-type structures must have all wheeled assemblies removed, be placed on a foundation, roofed and sided or painted to match the primary building on the lot.

Temporary use permits could be issued for Conex boxes used during construction.

The council also will consider allowing certain city maintenance vehicles onto beach areas to facilitate repair, upkeep and cleanup of the beach.

"In the past, we were able to get down there with rescue vehicles only," Semmens said, referring to the section of beach east of Spruce Street toward the mouth of the Kenai River.

Another item is an ordinance that would amend site plan regulations as they relate to land clearing by builders.

Under the planned change, people would be required to maintain a larger vegetated buffer between commercial and residential-use properties.

Currently a site plan must be submitted before someone is allowed to clear land or cut trees where the removal would result in less than 15 percent of the lot having existing trees, shrubs or natural vegetation. The new rule ups the percentage to 25.

Semmens said the site plan would need to be approved by an "administrative official."

Public hearings are slated for final assessments on the Set Net Drive; Aliak, McCollum and Japonski streets; and Angler Drive special paving districts. The work was completed last year.

A public hearing also will be conducted on the special assessment district to improve streets in the Thompson Park Subdivision. That street-paving work is planned for this year.

The council is expected to consider a resolution asking for state legislative relief from new financial disclosure requirements considered by Mayor Pat Porter and a number of council members to be overly intrusive.

An ordinance also will be introduced to remove the city clerk and city attorney from disclosure requirements. Those two exemptions can be allowed by amending the municipal code.

To exempt the mayor, council members and other city officials would require a vote of Kenai citizens.

The council meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

Phil Hermanek can be reached at

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