Comp plan enters new phase: survey

Posted: Monday, December 08, 2003

A number of Kenai Peninsula Borough residents picked at random soon will be asked to participate in a boroughwide telephone survey as part of an ongoing project to update the borough's comprehensive plan.

The survey is the next major step in gauging public opinion about what priorities should go into the document meant to guide borough actions over the next couple of decades.

Already completed is a first round of public meetings held between Oct. 20 and Nov. 19, including 12 open to the general public, as well as more than 30 with a variety of business and community groups meant to identify issues to be addressed in the new comprehensive plan.

Representatives of the McDow-ell Group, part of a consulting team working on the project, will conduct the telephone survey during the next two weeks. Borough residents and property owners will be selected randomly to participate.

"It is very important for people to participate if they are called for the survey, so that we know the answers we receive are representative of the borough as a whole, as well as of individual communities. Your opinions matter," said Donna Logan of the McDowell Group.

Among the issues mentioned most frequently at the public meetings that will be explored further in the survey are:

The balance between regulation of public property and addressing conflicts among land uses and property owners;

The borough's role in providing support for economic development initiatives to foster tourism, fishing, the oil and gas industry and other businesses;

The potential need and support for expanded fire and other emergency services;

The need for stricter regulation of sensitive environmental resources such as fish-bearing rivers and streams, floodplains and wetlands; and

The desire and support for expanded recycling, hazardous waste disposal or other solid waste facilities.

"As we hoped, the meetings provided us with a wealth of information about a variety of issues important to borough residents and landowners," said Crista Cady-Hippchen, project manager for the borough Planning Depart-ment.

Summaries of the meetings are to be posted on the update Web site at www.kpbcompplan.com, within the next several weeks, Cady-Hippchen said.

For more information, call 262-8637, e-mail ccady@borough. kenai.ak.us, call Matt Hastie, consultant team leader, Cogan Owens Cogan, at (503) 225-0192 or e-mail him at mhastie@coganowens.com.



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