Peggy Mullen, who has lived in the Soldotna area for over 70 years, speaks to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly in support of the borough’s 2019 Comprehensive Plan and its inclusion of climate change mitigation policies and strategies, on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Peggy Mullen, who has lived in the Soldotna area for over 70 years, speaks to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly in support of the borough’s 2019 Comprehensive Plan and its inclusion of climate change mitigation policies and strategies, on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Assembly approves comprehensive plan

The plan includes several long-term goals and covers many facets of borough development.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly passed their 2019 Comprehensive Plan at their Tuesday meeting.

The plan — required by statute —is prepared by the borough’s planning commission and submitted to the assembly as a proposal for the “systematic and organized development of the borough.” It includes several long-term goals for the borough that cover many facets of borough development, including the local economy, maintaining and sustaining natural resources and growing community connections.

“A comprehensive plan is a policy document created by a community, with a combination of big vision goals and practical short-term strategies,” the 2019 Comprehensive Plan says.

The plan lists a handful of core values, like economic opportunity, freedom with few restraints, rural small-town lifestyles, abundant natural resources, beautiful scenery and wildlife and strong community connections.

The plan portrays a vision of the Kenai Peninsula, outlining goals for the future, including expanding and diversifying economic opportunities, supporting local food and agriculture industries, balancing economic benefits of tourism with residents’ quality of life, protecting important natural resources, promoting fiscally responsible government and maintaining infrastructure and services. The plan also has an extensive section dealing with climate change, including ways the borough can introduce policies to mitigate its effects.

The rest of the plan goes into detail on making those goals achievable.

Many residents who offered public testimony on the ordinance Tuesday spoke in support of the plan’s inclusion of climate change mitigation policies and a borough commission on sustainability.

Peggy Mullen, a resident in the area for over 70 years, thanked the assembly and borough administration for thinking about climate change.

“I appreciate your efforts and I hope we are able to set up some goals and some benchmarks as far as what we can respond to for climate change,” Mullen told the assembly. “I thank you for our grandchildren. It’s not fair to take from this Cinderella period on our planet and not think about our children.”

Shelly Wade, from Agnew Beck Consulting — the consulting firm who was hired by the borough to help facilitate the plan’s update — gave a short presentation to the assembly at Tuesday’s meeting.

“It is a long-term document, but it has near-term strategies,” Wade said. “This is a residents’ plan. This is your plan.”

The work on the 2019 Comprehensive Plan began back in 2017, when the borough contracted Agnew Beck to help gather input for the plan. Between 2017 and 2019, more than 2,000 residents of the borough shared their ideas with the project team.

The last comprehensive plan approved by the borough was approved in 2005, according to the ordinance that adopted the 2019 plan.

“The social, economic and environmental conditions of the Kenai Peninsula Borough have changed over the past fourteen years,” the ordinance said.

The proposed plan was introduced in a public hearing held by the Kenai Peninsula Borough Planning Commission in August. The commission recommended the plan at its Sept. 23 meeting. The Comprehensive Plan will be reviewed periodically and updated to reflect changing conditions, trends, laws and policies of the borough.

The borough adopted the plan, but the plan remains a living document and the assembly can hold work sessions to amend the plan’s details over time.

“It’s a blueprint,” borough planning director Max Best said at Tuesday’s meeting. “It’s not etched in stone.”

More in News

Copies of the Peninsula Clarion are photographed on Friday, June 21, 2024. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Announcing a new Peninsula Clarion print schedule

Our last Wednesday edition will be delivered June 26.

A bucket of recently caught sockeye salmon rests on the sand while anglers seek to fill it further at the mouth of the Kasilof River on Monday, June 26, 2023, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Dipnetting in Kasilof opens Tuesday

Dipnetting will be allowed at all times until Aug. 7

The Kasilof River is seen from the Kasilof River Recreation Area, July 30, 2019, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Fish and Game restricts bait on Kasilof, Ninilchik Rivers

The use of bait on the rivers will begin Friday and extend to July 15 in Ninilchik, July 31 in Kasilof

A man fishes in the Kenai River on July 16, 2018, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion/file)
Slow sockeye fishing on Kenai, Russian Rivers

Northern Kenai Fishing Report for June 20

Alaska Department of Fish and Game logo. (Graphic by Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Bag limits doubled for sockeye salmon in Resurrection Bay

The increase is effective from June 21 to July 31

Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion
Girl Scout Troop 210, which includes Caitlyn Eskelin, Emma Hindman, Kadie Newkirk and Lyberty Stockman, present their “Bucket Trees” to a panel of judges in the 34th Annual Caring for the Kenai Competition at Kenai Central High School on Thursday, April 18.
Caring for the Kenai winners receive EPA award

Winning team of the 34th annual Caring for the Kenai was selected for the President’s Environmental Youth Award

Norm Blakely speaks to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly in Soldotna, Alaska, on Tuesday, June 18, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Assembly approves resolution guiding efforts to increase voter turnout

The Voter Turnout Working Group was established to explore options and ideas aimed at increasing voter participation

Most Read