SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Proposed Waterfront Zoning change
By Ed Purvis


February 08, 2007

The following is excerpts from a letter that I wrote and sent on January 25, 2007 to David Taylor, principle planner for the Ketchikan Borough Department of Planning and Community Development:

Regarding the allowable uses in the proposed Waterfront Commercial Zone..."Conforming Uses" (1a)Principle uses are described as "retail and wholesale business related to maritime clientele, including tourists" are allowed. (1g) provides for "business and professional offices provided that such uses shall be conducted on floors other than the ground floor." My concern is the minimizing of ground floor use for only such uses that are marine or tourist related. There are a great number of existing waterfront buildings that have a good mix of uses that include professional offices, retail, banking, and others and it appears to me that under the new ordinance, these will become non-conforming uses. In the event one of these were to move or change business practice, these same or other similar uses could be disallowed causing considerable economic damage to the property and property owner. Likewise I believe many existing single story buildings will become non functional without the option of office or non tourist related occupancy. I suggest removing the prohibition of ground floor operations for specific type uses.

There are several other issues that this proposed zoning change brings up, for instance mixing residential with float plane operations, height restrictions that prohibit the best use of limited waterfront space and the economy of building a commercial building, but my purpose in submitting this to Sitnews is to inform all property owners along Tongass Ave. that they are about to become re-zoned and that will likely change the way in which they are allowed to use their property. Please become informed and speak out now before it's too late.

Ed Purvis
Ketchikan, AK

Received February 07, 2007 - Published February 08, 2006

About: " Ketchikan resident for over 25 years, Builder, land developer and currently real estate property manager with Waterfall Group."



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