Borough Asks Residents How To Classify State Land Entitlements

Shaylon Cochran

 

     The state of Alaska has some land to sign off to the Kenai Peninsula Borough. But before the transactions are finalized, residents need to take a look at the maps and weigh in on how the land should be designated by the Borough, if at all.

     The land transfer is part of the Mandatory Borough Act of 1964 and the Municipal Entitlement Act of 1978. The first entitlement lands were handed over in 1966 and of the more than 155,000 acres destined to the Borough, 28,000 still need to be processed. The first step is figuring out what people want done with this land, which can be done in an online survey at the Borough’s website.

     There are parcels all across the Peninsula, from Seldovia to Tyonek. And with the Borough’s online parcel viewer, you can zoom in and see what that plot is already designated for, and from there fill out the survey.

     “When you zoom in…what you see on the map are these areas shaded in pink,” explained Marcus Mueller, Land Management Officer for the Borough as he walked me through the process of filling out the online survey, which asks how the land should be managed to support a variety of uses.

     “That’s going to be the basis for helping us to identify whether it’s appropriate for the Borough to pursue those lands, or if we should leave the state to retain management of those lands,” Mueller said.

     "And you’ll see a whole host of various land uses that people can choose from that best fit their ideas for how that piece of public land should be managed.”

     There are a handful of plots around Soldotna and Nikiski and Kenai, but the majority are located in more remote areas of the Borough; across Kachemak Bay and near Seward and Resurrection Bay and across the Inlet.

     After the survey has closed on February 28th, Mueller says that information will be put together in a final plan that will go through the usual public hearing process, with a resolution before the Assembly in early April, and he says the public will have more opportunities to voice their opinions in public hearings with the planning commission.

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