City of Homer
Planning & Zoning Telephone (907) 235-3106
491 East Pioneer Avenue Fax (907) 235-3118
Homer, Alaska 99603-7645 E-mail Planning@ci.homer.ak.us
Web Site www.ci.homer.ak.us
M E M O R A N D U M 13-053
TO: MAYOR WYTHE AND HOMER CITY COUNCIL
THROUGH: WALT WREDE, CITY MANAGER
FROM: RICK ABBOUD, CITY PLANNER
DATE: March 23, 2013
SUBJECT: Ordinance 13-11, Amending the Text of the Marine Commercial and Industrial Districts Ordinance
After several public workshops, extensive review and public hearings, the Homer Advisory Planning Commission recommends amendments to the text of the Marine Commercial and Industrial Districts in accordance with the 2010 Homer Spit Comprehensive Plan
The process for the updates started in May, 2012 with a memo going out to the Parks and Recreation Committee along with the Port and Harbor and Economic Development Commissions informing them of our intent to review and update the spit zoning and our desire for their input. The code revision was reviewed at various stages during 12 regular Homer Advisory Planning Commission Meetings, 2 of the meetings included written invitations to the business and property owners of the spit. Additionally, I presented at 2 Port and Harbor Commission meetings. A final public hearing was held March 20th.
A few basic concepts were used to determine the changes in the text:
Marine Commercial – It was agreed that the mix of activities in the Commercial District is welcome and makes Homer unique. The District is treated as a mixed use commercial district where industrial and commercial activities would be welcome together. Overnight accommodations as part of a business were examined and it was agreed that they could have a place as an accessory use. They would have to be limited to less than 50% of the floor area and would have to be certified by the Fire Marshal to be permitted through the Planning Office. Other lodging, hotel and motel can be authorized through the Planning Commission with a Conditional Use Permit (CUP). A CUP can also be used to apply to place some development in the setback.
Marine Industrial – It was decided that some land has to be reserved for industrial purposes specifically, with a strict limit on other activities, as we have come to find that once an industrial area is allowed to go ‘commercial’ it is unlikely that industrial uses will come back. Any type of housing or commercial activity has to be accessory to the primary industrial use found on a lot.
Both districts now require a level 3 development standard which has been specifically tailored to the conditions found on the spit and provides reasonable alternatives for landscape and buffers. Additionally, the “other similar uses” options for both districts have been removed. It was felt that this standard muddied the water, potentially allowing most anything to encroach into the districts and created a different standard for development in regards to city owned property.
Draft Ordinance 11-XX