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By Dan Rudy 

P&Z debates Meyers Chuck subdivision


Last week’s Planning and Zoning Commission was an exercise in parliamentary procedure as enough members needed to conduct business were sought out.

Alone at City Hall, commission chair Terri Henson gaveled in at the regularly scheduled hour Oct. 8, immediately breaking into a formal recess. She was rejoined the next afternoon by commissioners Apryl Hutchinson, Rudy Briskar and Betty Keegan, with Jim Shoemaker participating by phone.

Preliminary plat review was given for the Meyer subdivision, which would split Lot 9 at Meyers Chuck between two cabins currently located on the privately held property. But in looking over the survey materials provided, commissioners found a couple of discrepancies with the request.

Property owner Ronald Meyer participated by phone, answering questions commissioners had about his request. The biggest head-scratcher was how the second cabin was situated according to the diagram.

“According to the as-built we have right in front of us that cabin is partially on Lot 9 and partially on the beach. Who owns the beach?” Henson asked him.

“That’s a good question. I could not tell you,” Meyer replied.

The cabin nearest the shore on the property straddles the border of Lot 9, with the cabin and decking crossing over onto neighboring beach and tidal property by between 10 and 20 feet in places. After referring to the survey, it was possible Meyer would have to contact Alaska Mental Health Trust to obtain a tideland lease.

“If we approve this, it’s basically approved with an encroachment,” Shoemaker pointed out.

“Be that as it may,” Henson said, “I don’t know if that has anything to do with subdividing their lot. It’ll be something that they’ll have to deal with separate from us.”

Such discrepancies could become more common as the Borough begins examining rural and outlying properties, she added. The original lots at Meyers Chuck were created by plat in the 1960s, and a state patent was issued in 1985.

“A lot of lots are like our lot,” Meyers explained. “There really wasn’t much government where folks built prior to that.” Henson suggested preexisting structures ought to be shown some leeway moving forward, if they did not conform to code in certain situations.

Hutchinson also noted there was no material from sister Cheryl Meyer acquiescing to the subdivision, though she was named as a requestor and is a co-owner of the property. Commissioners made their preliminary approval contingent to receipt of a letter from her to that effect. Meyer said he could have her permission in writing and accorded by the next meeting, with shared access to the existing pathway explicitly secured.

Ongoing discussions about how to zone entitlement and other remote lands under the Borough’s jurisdiction, as well as how to deal with the use of container vans in and around town were tabled for a later date.

Final plat review for two projects were also deferred to a future date, due to delays receiving final copies from the surveyor. A proposed subdivision of the Torgramsen-Glasner property and a replat of waterfront-zoned property on Front Street will be held until tomorrow at 12:30 p.m., when a quorum can be obtained and the necessary plats will be available for review.


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