The Wednesday, November 16th meeting was a chance for the Planning and Zoning Commission to gather public comment and begin drafting a plan for remote residential mixed use districts in the Wrangell Borough.

Economic Development Director Carol Rushmore says when it comes to remote zoning there are a lot of aspects to take into consideration, one in particular is lot size.

“One issue that will be very difficult for the commission to make a decision on is the minimum lot size for each of the different settlement districts. Farm Island, Meyers Chuck, Olive Cove, and Thom’s Place all have land owners with different opinions on whether they should have larger or smaller lots. The meeting covered discussion on what’s appropriate for each settlement area and keeping their lifestyle as it is,” she says.

Along with lot size, landowners expressed concerns of commercial use in the remote districts. Rushmore says the commission wants to create an ordinance with few regulations that also protects the subsistent and remote lifestyle of the landowners.

“What we are trying to do in the remote outlying areas is create remote residential mixed use districts, and then go from there. For example, If Meyers Chuck has a different interest and is more accepting of a different type of land use than Farm Island than we can go from there. Hopefully we have developed an ordinance they can live with. Some people don’t want any type of regulation, but it’s something we have to have, we have to develop a district that has some kind of flexibility but also protects them from some of their concerns,” she says.

The Next step will be for the City Clerk and City Attorney to draft an ordinance for the Borough Assembly to review. In weeks the City will be sending out a letter to remote landowners to gather more public input on minimum lot size. A third public meeting is scheduled for after the new year and Rushmore says the goal is to have the ordinance completed by March 2012.
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