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Assembly Briefs


July 12, 2018

Borough updates commercial agriculture laws

The assembly voted unanimously Tuesday to change borough land use code to establish use designations for commercial agriculture and crop production.

The changes clean up the code to define permissible land uses for personal-use agriculture, crop production and commercial agriculture. Crop production is allowed now allowed under the new code as a secondary use for residential or commercial properties.

Borough to remove abandoned vehicles

The assembly unanimously approved new code that allows the borough to remove unclaimed abandoned vehicles that are obstructing traffic or snow removal, reported stolen, unregistered or presumed to be abandoned.

The borough previously did not have the jurisdiction to remove junk vehicles unless they were turned in to the voluntary removal program.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said assembly member Heather Lende. “We’re already noticing the rumblings of people moving junk cars out of the way knowing that it’s coming, so it’s working already.”

Littering ban goes boroughwide

The assembly voted to extend the prohibition on littering borough wide from the previous prohibition that applied just within the townsite.

Assembly members Brenda Josephson and Tom Morphet were the sole opposing votes.

Josephson said the ordinance was redundant based on state laws, and she was uncomfortable taking “minor offenses” outside of the townsite.

Morphet said he could not support the measure until the borough put trash cans along the highway. “We can’t at the same time ask people to come down and fish along our river and not provide them with a reasonable way to get rid of their waste. If we’re serious about littering we’ll put trash receptacles along the highway ... or at least a sign that says, ‘take your trash to this place.’”

Borough will meet to discuss bears and visitors at Chilkoot River corridor

The assembly will invite state parks and Chilkoot Indian Association officials to its committee of the whole meeting next Tuesday to discuss bears and visitor congestion problems at Chilkoot State Park.

The borough has a moratorium imposed in May on new tour operation permits along the Chilkoot River corridor.

“My hope in putting up the moratorium was that the stakeholders out there would have gathered by now and said, ‘Okay, we’ve got to do something because we can’t do more tours out there,’” assembly member Heather Lende said.

Assembly member Tom Morphet drafted a letter for assembly consideration to the state division of parks with 33 suggestions to improve the Chilkoot River corridor. The assembly debated the benefits of sending the letter and specifying suggestions, but ultimately approved assembly member Brenda Josephson’s motion to invite state parks and the Chilkoot Indian Association to a future assembly committee of the whole. “Let’s get together and talk. Open and friendly.”

Assembly takes first step to lease dock to Alaska Marine Lines

The assembly unanimously supported a memorandum of understanding to lease borough land to Alaska Marine Lines for construction and operation of a roll-on roll-off facility for loading and unloading freight at the Lutak Dock. The memorandum is a non-binding first step and would be replaced by a lease with AML after further negotiations.

“The MOU is a good start. The real details will be in the contract,” the Haines Borough Port and Harbor Advisory Committee Board reported to the assembly in their approval of the MOU.


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