HEDC compiles studies

The Haines Economic Development Corporation will dust off and compile borough studies and surveys completed in the past for a potential baseline economic study.

“Over the years this community’s spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on plans,” board member Mike Ward said at their Oct. 19 meeting. “I wonder how many plans are out there that might tie into this one?”

At its previous meeting the board discussed spending a portion of its $95,000 on an economic baseline study. The board would use the data to come up with a strategic plan outlining ways to grow the local economy.

Borough planner Holly Smith will comb through old files to help compile studies in an effort to reduce potential redundancy as the board moves forward. Smith said she’d post them on the borough website when it’s completed.

The economic development board will meet again Thursday, Nov. 2 in the Gateway Building.

Vacation permit holders found in violation

The Haines Borough Planning Commission found William and Kim Chetney in violation of their Viking Cove vacation rental conditional use permit, reversing its August decision that found they were not in violation.

Borough staff cited the Chetneys for a violation of their conditional use permit after they reconfigured existing buildings to add three additional vacation rental accommodations when their permit limited them to three.

In August the planning commission said the Chetneys didn’t build additional structures, which was the intent behind the permit. Members agreed no definition of accommodation existed in borough code, and therefore couldn’t find the Chetneys in violation of building additional accommodations.

The commission reconsidered the permit violation after Mike Denker warned the commission in a legal-style memo of potential legal liability to the borough because the commission failed to enforce the permit’s clear stipulation that no more accommodations be built. He said the commission was obligated to define “accommodation” under the ordinary meaning rule.

On Oct. 19 the commission voted 5-2 to find them in violation, with Jeremy Stephens and Larry Giese opposed.

The Chetneys must submit a written agreement that they will operate a maximum of three vacation rentals at any one time and that any new structures used for their rental will be approved by the borough prior to construction.