New ordinance simplifies local-option zoning

Posted: Monday, July 24, 2000

The Mackey Lakes zoning proposal is one of three since the Kenai Peninsula Borough's local-option zoning ordinance was amended in May.

The ordinance allows neighborhoods to petition the assembly to enact neighborhood zoning laws.

"The criticism of the past ordinance was it was so cumbersome that zoning proposals could never get to the assembly. People were always reinventing the wheel," said assembly member Pete Sprague of Soldotna, who sponsored the new ordinance with assembly president Bill Popp of Kenai.

Under the old ordinance, each neighborhood had to write its own zoning proposal. Under the new ordinance, neighborhoods must pick from a preset options ranging from a single-family residential zone to mixed-use and industrial zones.

While the old ordinance allowed the owners of a majority of affected lots to petition the assembly for zoning, though, the new ordinance requires signatures from the owners of three-quarters of the affected lots.

"We did simplify the process, but we also made it more difficult to implement," Sprague said.

The new ordinance also allows local advisory planning commissions to make local-option zoning proposals. It allows the Kenai Peninsula Borough Planning Commission to propose local-option zoning when it approves subdivision plats.

Local-option zoning districts must include at least 12 contiguous lots. The borough planning commission must hold a public hearing on each local-option zoning proposal and recommend approval, disapproval or changes to the assembly, which has the final say.

After the new ordinance passed, Homer-area resident John Glanville began collecting signatures to propose a mixed-use zoning district on 25 lots at the intersection of Diamond Ridge Road and the Sterling Highway, said John Czarnezki a borough planner. Glanville has support from the owners of 21 lots, Czarnezki said.

The Cooper Landing Advisory Planning Commission recommended rural residential zoning for the borough's new Russian Gap Subdivision, he said.

"They strongly supported it, we strongly supported it and the planning commission recommended it to the assembly," he said.

Walter Ward is collecting signatures to propose single-family residential zoning for the Mackey Lakes area.

None of the three proposals has yet come to the assembly.

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