Reader: Politics will get you closer to river

Posted: Monday, July 09, 2007

I read with interest the headline story in the July 2 issue of the Clarion about the condos being built near the river and the opinions on whether such building needs to be further regulated.

The story brings to mind a similar situation and questions. The Kenai River Center regulates all building projects near the river. Everything in the flood plain must be permitted through that agency. One rule is that no new construction can happen within 50 feet of the river. I have known of several cases where property owners have applied for an exemption to the 50-foot rule and in each case were denied.

On a recent trip on the lower river, I was surprised to see a three-story building under construction at Poachers Cove. The building cannot be more than 20 feet from the river. And I was even more surprised as we drifted by the area known as Porters/River Quest. There on the bank, just a few feet from the water, are several brand new three-story condominiums.

I have asked several residents of the area how these projects happened and no one seems to know. I asked an official at the River Center and was told that every agency at the river center said "No" to the condo complex but were over ruled by the borough assembly.

It seems that there is a detour around the 50-foot rule and my guess that is a political route.

Bill Bailey


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