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Kenai sheds get another look

Bear-resistant garbage cans, seasonal water service on docket

Posted: Wednesday, April 02, 2008


  Bear resistant garbage cans sit on a curb in Old Town Kenai on Tuesday afternoon. The city of Kenai is considering the option of making their use mandatory in some neighborhoods. Photo by M. Scott Moon

Bear resistant garbage cans sit on a curb in Old Town Kenai on Tuesday afternoon. The city of Kenai is considering the option of making their use mandatory in some neighborhoods.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

Lawmakers in Kenai are slated to take another run at passing an ordinance designed to doll up sheds, Conex boxes and other accessory structures in town.

Heading the Kenai City Council agenda tonight is Ordinance 2287-2008, which places restrictions on the storage sheds and mandates that sheds larger than 120 square feet require a building permit.

A motion was made at the last council meeting to adopt the ordinance, but after some discussion among council members, the action was postponed until tonight to allow for more public comment on the new rules.

Among the proposed new requirements, sheds would need to be roofed and sided or painted to match the primary building on the lot.

City Manager Rick Koch has said administration would prefer seeing the accessory structure restrictions included in individual subdivision covenants rather than as part of the Kenai Municipal Code.

In a memo to the council, Koch said, "The effect of (the matching requirements) in this ordinance will be to have the city perform as a community architectural committee."

An ordinance up for introduction at tonight's meeting also pertains to accessory structures.

To be introduced by Councilman Mike Boyle, Ordinance 2299-2008 would increase the size of accessory structures permitted in setback areas from 120 square-feet to 200 square-feet. Sheds could also be as high as 16 feet from the ground to the top of the peak of the roof under Boyle's proposed ordinance.

The council also is scheduled to consider a resolution allowing seasonal customers, such as recreational vehicle parks, to voluntarily suspend water and sewer services in the off-season.

Under terms of the resolution, shut-off and turn-on fees of $100 each would be charged.

Koch said it would not be economic for a customer to request the suspension of service for short periods of time less than four months. If the customer does not require water and sewer services for longer than four months and has them suspended, the customer would not continue to be billed for the city services.

Although the council has addressed the issue previously as it relates to RV parks, the proposed regulation change would apply to all users, including snow birds, if they are gone at least four months. Koch cautioned that if a home's heating system depends on a hot water boiler, water service should not be turned off in winter.

If the council approves a bear-resistant garbage-can ordinance, such garbage containers will be mandatory in areas of the city designated as "bear problem areas."

A list of city approved bear resistant garbage containers will be available in the city manager's office and on the city's official Web site.

Bear problem areas are areas so declared by the city manager in a public notice that describes the area's boundaries.

The council also is expected to consider transferring money in excess of $500,000 in the Congregate Housing Enterprise Fund to the general fund. The enterprise fund holds money to be used for improvements such as new roofs, new carpeting or interior painting at the Vintage Pointe senior citizen housing facility.

When the fund exceeds a half million dollars the excess would become eligible for senior programs, according to Koch.

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

Phil Hermanek can be reached at


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