The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Brandii Holmdahl
Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly Member 

Borough Assembly works on marijuana regulations, zoning

 


Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly met twice February. The meetings were Feb. 2 and 23. Both meetings lasted over five hours due in part to a large community turn out. There will be only one assembly meeting in March. (You can watch the meeting online and listen on local public radio. You may also visit the borough website and the newly designed assembly page to leave feedback on specific agenda items.)

During the Feb. 2 meeting, the hospital presented its quarterly report. Dollynda Phelps presented on the cannabis industry, Stroudwater Associates, the contractors brought on by the Health Care Task Force, gave an informational presentation and Leif Able gave the final presentation of the Marijuana Task Force. On the agenda were several items that elicited debate amongst assembly members and the public.

Ordinance 2015-27 (An Ordinance Amending KPB 7.10.020 to Reduce the Minimum Distance Between a Liquor Licensed Premise and an Established School, Church or Playground from 500 Feet to 300 Feet, and Changing the Method of Measuring the Distance to Match State Statute) was discussed with a lot of community input. After discussion the ordinance was amended to leave the distance at 500 feet but change the way distance is measured.

Ordinance 2016-03 (An Ordinance Amending KPB Chapters 21.44 and 21.46 Regarding Local Option Zoning, and Repealing KPB 21.50.050 Relating to Fines and Reenacting as KPB 21.50.055) This ordinance includes many changes to the current structure of local option zones. After much discussion the ordinance was postponed to the Feb. 23 meeting. Additionally, a joint work session to discuss the ordinance was scheduled for Feb. 23 between the assembly and the planning commission.

Resolution 2016-007 (A Resolution Establishing a Temporary Senior Citizens Advisory Task Force) A resolution was passed to create a borough-wide seven-member senior citizens task force. The task force would meet quarterly and advise the assembly on senior citizen issues.

The second meeting in February was held on the 23rd.

During the mayor’s report the assembly was informed that the mayor had vetoed Resolution 2016-007 (A Resolution Establishing a Temporary Senior Citizens Advisory Task Force.)

Ordinance 2016-03 (An Ordinance Amending KPB Chapters 21.44 and 21.46 Regarding Local Option Zoning, and Repealing KPB 21.50.050 Relating to Fines and Reenacting as KPB 21.50.055) was heard and discussed again. The assembly had met for two hours earlier in the day with members of the Planning Commission to discuss proposed changes. That meeting, along with numerous concerns raised by the community, led to the ordinance again being postponed, this time until April, in hopes that some of the concerns could be addressed.

Ordinance 2016-05 (An Ordinance Enacting KPB 2.40.110 and KPB Chapter 7.20 – Marijuana Regulation, and Designating the Planning Commission as the Local Regulatory Authority Within the Kenai Peninsula Borough Under Alaska Statute Chapter 17.38 for Marijuana Establishments.) This ordinance was amended to make the borough assembly the regulatory authority instead of the planning commission. It passed as amended.

Ordinance 2016-07 (An Ordinance Amending KPB Chapter 7.20 and Enacting KPB Chapter 7.30 Regarding Local Protests of State Marijuana Licenses, Amending KPB 21.25 and Enacting KPB Chapter 21.30 Regarding Permit Requirements for Marijuana Establishments, and Amending KPB 21.50 Regarding Violations and Enforcement.) This ordinance enacted regulations pertaining to the operation of Marijuana businesses within the borough. These regulations are the ones proposed by the state with two significant changes: Time of operation was changed from 8 a.m. to 5 a.m. (state) to 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. (borough) and to extend the distance from schools from 500 feet (state) to 1,000 feet (borough).

 

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