Chapter 4.80
PLANNING COMMISSION1

Sections:

4.80.010    Established – Members – Appointment.

4.80.020    Terms – Vacancies – Removal.

4.80.030    Quorum.

4.80.040    Powers and duties.

4.80.050    Fees.

4.80.060    Planning staff.

4.80.010 Established – Members – Appointment.

A. There is established the borough planning commission which shall consist of 11 members. Commission membership shall be apportioned so that the number of members from the cities of Fairbanks and North Pole reflects the proportion of the borough population residing within those cities as determined by the assembly from time to time. Members shall be appointed by the borough mayor, subject to confirmation by the assembly. The appointments of members from the cities shall be selected from a list of recommendations submitted to the borough mayor by the city councils. Members appointed from outside the cities shall be as presentative of the various geographic areas of the borough as practical. The borough mayor, planning director and engineer shall be ex officio members of the commission with privilege of the floor but shall have no vote on any matter.

B. The commission shall annually elect from its membership a chairman and vice chairman and shall adopt rules for the conduct of its meetings. Robert’s Rules of Order (newly revised) shall apply unless different rules are adopted by the commission and approved by the assembly.

C. Meetings of the commission are public in accordance with AS 44.62 and minutes shall be kept. Minutes of the commission shall be filed with the borough clerk. Records of the commission shall be retained as public records within the planning department.

D. In addition to the eligibility and qualifications requirements in FNSBC 4.04.040, the assembly shall not confirm the appointment or selection of a local elected official serving on the assembly or a mayor. Any sitting planning commissioner who is elected or appointed as an assemblymember or mayor shall resign as a planning commissioner on or prior to being sworn in to the new position. (Ord. 2016-36 § 2, 2016; Ord. 2011-40 § 2, 2011; Ord. 2009-06 § 2, 2009; Ord. 2006-29 § 3, 2006; Ord. 80-29 § 4, 1980. 2004 Code § 2.40.011.)

4.80.020 Terms – Vacancies – Removal.

A. The term of a commissioner shall be three years, beginning on the first day of January. Terms shall be staggered so that three will expire one year and four expire each of the following two years.

B. If a member of the commission leaves the borough with the intent of remaining absent more than 90 days, or fails to attend five consecutive meetings or 80 percent of the meetings annually of the commission unless excused by a majority of the commission for reasons of absence from the borough (personal or business) or personal emergency, the assembly shall declare the office of that member vacant. A vacancy is also created by the resignation of a member presented in writing and accepted by the commission, or by the death of a member, or by his failure to qualify within 30 days after his appointment. Members may also be removed for cause by the assembly at any time.

C. In the event of a vacancy the borough mayor, subject to confirmation by the assembly, shall appoint a member to fill the unexpired term. Members may be removed for cause by the assembly at any time. (Ord. 82-15 § 2, 1982; Ord. 81-19 § 2, 1981; Ord. 80-29 § 2, 1980; Ord. 65-17. 2004 Code § 2.40.020.)

4.80.030 Quorum.

A majority of the appointed and confirmed members of the commission shall constitute a quorum, except in no case may a quorum consist of fewer than five commission members. All commission actions shall be by vote of a majority of the commission’s membership who are present and voting. No hearing may be held or decision made in the absence of a quorum, except that a member disqualified by law from voting on a question may be considered present for purposes of constituting a quorum. (Ord. 2015-68 § 2, 2015; Ord. 2006-21 § 2, 2006; Ord. 80-29 § 3, 1980; Ord. 79-6 § 2, 1979; Ord. 78-48 § 2, 1978; Ord. 65-17. 2004 Code § 2.40.030.)

4.80.040 Powers and duties.

The powers and duties of the planning commission are as follows:

A. General. The commission shall prepare and recommend to the assembly appropriate policies, plans and ordinances for the implementation of the municipal planning, official map, and zoning functions.

1. Comprehensive Plan. The commission shall develop, adopt and recommend to the assembly a comprehensive development plan and modifications thereto for the orderly development of the municipality.

The assembly may modify or adopt the comprehensive development plan as recommended and developed by the commission. At the request of the assembly, the commission shall initiate an overall review of the comprehensive plan. The commission shall solicit suggestions for modifications of the plan. The commission shall review the plan, prepare an ordinance detailing any recommended changes, hold a public hearing on the changes, and present their recommendations to the assembly.

2. Zoning Ordinance. To implement the comprehensive plan, the commission shall prepare and recommend to the assembly a zoning ordinance. In accordance with the comprehensive plan, the assembly shall adopt a zoning ordinance to regulate the use of land and improvements by districts. It may modify or adopt the zoning ordinance recommended by the planning commission.

a. Zoning regulations shall be uniform for each class or kind of building, structure, land or water area within each district, but regulations may differ among districts and exceptions may be made in order to provide for preservation, maintenance and protection of historic sites, buildings and monuments.

b. Zoning regulations adopted under this authority may include, but are not limited to, regulations of land use, building location, the height and size of structures, the number of stories in buildings, lot coverage, the size of open space, and population density and distribution.

c. Zoning regulations shall be designed for, but not limited to: providing for orderly development; lessening street congestion; fire safety and public order; protecting the public health and general welfare; preventing overcrowding; stimulating orderly development of transportation, water, sewer, schools, parks and other public facilities; and reducing the effect of natural hazards.

d. The commission shall review all requests for amendments to the zoning and the floodplain ordinances, including amendments to the zoning map, and shall make recommendations to the assembly thereon.

e. The commission shall review and act upon requests for special exceptions and conditional use permits in accordance with the provisions of FNSBC Title 18.

3. The commission shall act as the platting board appeals body and shall hear and decide appeals from the decisions of the platting board.

4. Official Maps. The commission shall prepare and recommend to the assembly an official map of all public streets and other public ways existing and established by law, all plans, streets and street lines approved by the assembly, and all streets and street lines shown on recorded plats of the subdivisions. The official map may show the location of planned streets and other ways and may show existing and approved planned public facilities. The placing of any street, street line or public facility upon any map shall not constitute the opening or establishment of same nor the taking or acceptance of land for public purposes. All street locations and subdivision plats subsequently approved shall be placed on the official map. The official map may be adopted by the assembly by ordinance.

5. Review and Amendment. The commission shall prepare and recommend to the assembly modifications or amendments to the documents specified in this section. The commission shall publish notice of and hold at least one public hearing before submitting its recommendations.

6. The chairman of the commission, or his designee, shall attend all assembly meetings at which public hearing is scheduled pertaining to an ordinance upon which the commission has acted. The chairman shall provide a synopsis of the commission’s recommendation regarding the ordinance being considered, as provided in this chapter.

B. Reports and Recommendations on Public Improvements. The commission shall investigate and report to the assembly regarding location, design, demolition or disposition of any public building, facility, traffic arterial, parks, greenbelts or playgrounds. All officials and employees of the borough are required in their official capacity and all public agencies not a part of the borough are requested to inform the commission of such improvements for action and to submit all pertinent information within such time as will enable the commission to make recommendations as to whether the proposed project is consistent with the comprehensive plan.

C. The planning commission shall perform such other duties as the assembly may from time to time direct.

D. The planning commission shall:

1. Make determinations on requests for conditional uses and variances in the manner prescribed herein.

2. Make recommendations on requests for rezonings and amendments to FNSBC Title 18 in the manner prescribed herein and transmit same to the borough assembly. (Ord. 2006-28 §§ 2, 3, 2006; Ord. 88-010 § 2, 1988; Ord. 86-044 § 3, 1986; Ord. 81-54 § 3, 1981; Ord. 80-29 § 4, 1980. 2004 Code §§ 2.40.041, 18.52.020.)

4.80.050 Fees.

In order to defray expenses connected with its duties, the planning commission shall recommend a fee schedule which will, as near as possible, cover the clerical, advertising, and other costs connected with requests made to it and after approval by the assembly, to require that such fees accompany any applications. (Ord. 65-17. 2004 Code § 2.40.050.)

4.80.060 Planning staff.

The staff of the department of community planning shall act in an advisory and support capacity to the planning commission, and shall review or coordinate the review of all applications to it. The community planning director, or his designee, shall be the secretary of the commission. In those cases where an application must be considered by the commission at a public hearing, the staff shall have the authority to reject from consideration those applications which do not meet the minimum submission requirements established by ordinance. If the application is insufficient, the department shall return the application to the applicant setting out the reasons. (Ord. 86-017 § 28, 1986; Ord. 80-29 § 4, 1980. 2004 Code § 2.40.061.)


1

    For statutory provisions requiring boroughs to provide for planning, platting and zoning on an areawide basis, see AS 29.35.
See AS 29.40 for establishing a platting authority.
See also FNSBC Title 17, Subdivisions.