Chapter 17.10
GENERAL PROVISIONS AND REQUIREMENTS

Sections:

17.10.010    General provisions.

17.10.020    Subdivisions within flood management area.

17.10.030    Existing substandard lots.

17.10.040    Variances.

17.10.050    Compliance.

17.10.060    Conformity.

17.10.070    Plats required.

17.10.080    Penalties, effective date, and application.

17.10.090    Required improvements – Standards.

17.10.010 General provisions.

(a)    In their interpretation and application, the provisions of this title shall be held to be the minimum requirements adopted for the protection of the public health, safety and welfare. To protect the public, among other purposes, such provisions are intended to provide for a permanently wholesome community environment, adequate services, a circulation system that is safe, efficient and coordinated and to promote, as well as encourage, the best use of land throughout the borough.

(b)    This title is adopted under the authority of AS 29.40 and 40.15.

(c)    This title shall govern the subdivision, resubdivision or dedications of all land within the borough. It is not intended by this title to repeal, abrogate, annul or in any way impair or interfere with existing provisions of other laws or ordinances, except those specifically repealed by this title, or with private restrictions placed upon property by deed, covenant or other private agreement, or with restrictive covenants running with the land to which the borough is a party. Where this title imposes a greater restriction upon land than is imposed or required by such existing provisions of law, ordinances, contract or deed, the provisions of this title shall control.

(d)    This title shall be known as the “Subdivision Ordinance,” and may be cited as such.

(e)    All existing provisions, sections, subsections, paragraphs, and other divisions of this title that refer to “platting board” hereafter shall mean “planning commission.”

(f)    Natural resource extraction and site development activities for the stated purpose of preparing land for a future platting action are prohibited unless a zoning permit has been issued pursuant to KGBC 18.55.020, or a conditional use permit has been approved by the planning commission pursuant to KGBC 18.50.120. [Ord. No. 1785, §1, 2-1-16.]

17.10.020 Subdivisions within flood management area.

(a)    The planning commission serving as the platting authority shall deny permission to subdivide or develop land within those areas designated and depicted on the official flood insurance rate map as “special flood hazard areas” and “other flood areas,” hereinafter referred to collectively as “flood management area,” and as required in KGBC 17.20.010(d)(12), unless and until the following requirements have been met:

(1)    The subdivision and development of the land is consistent with the need to minimize flood damages;

(2)    All public utilities and facilities, such as sewers, gas, electrical, and water systems are located, elevated, or constructed in such manner as to minimize or eliminate flood damage;

(3)    Adequate drainage is provided to reduce the exposure of structures, utilities, and facilities, to flood hazards;

(4)    The preliminary and final plats shall include the ground elevation at convenient reference points.

(b)    All new, replacement, or supplemental water supply systems and sanitary sewage systems, including on-site systems, shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of floodwaters into the systems or discharges from the systems into floodwaters.

(c)    All new, replacement, or supplemental public utilities, such as gas, electrical and telephone systems, shall be designed or constructed to eliminate disruptions due to flooding and associated hazards.

(d)    In determining if the requirements of this section have been or are being fulfilled, the planning commission serving as the platting authority shall consider the expressed intent of this title and State law as well as:

(1)    The danger of life and property due to the increased flood heights or velocities caused by subdivision fill, roads, and intended uses;

(2)    The danger that intended improvements, facilities, or uses may be swept onto other lands or downstream to the injury of others;

(3)    The adequacy of proposed water supply and sanitation systems and the ability of these systems to prevent disease, contamination, and unsanitary conditions under flood conditions;

(4)    The susceptibility of the proposed improvements, facilities or use and its contents to flood damage and the effect of such damage on the individual owner;

(5)    The importance of the services, if any, provided by the proposed improvements, facilities, or uses to the community;

(6)    The requirements of the subdivision for a waterfront location;

(7)    The availability of alternative locations not subject to flooding for the proposed subdivision and land uses;

(8)    The compatibility of the proposed uses with existing uses and anticipated development in the foreseeable future;

(9)    The relationship of the proposed subdivision to the comprehensive plan and floodplain management program for the area;

(10)    The safety and access to the property for emergency vehicles in times of flood;

(11)    The expected heights, velocity, duration, rate of rise and sediment transport of floodwaters expected at the site;

(12)    The cost of providing governmental services during and after flood conditions, including maintenance and repair of public utilities and facilities, such as sewers, gas, electrical and water systems, and streets and bridges;

(13)    The installation or existence of valves or controls on sanitary and storm drains which permit the drains to be closed to prevent backup of sewage and storm waters into buildings or structures;

(14)    The general health, safety and welfare of the occupants, owners and public. [Ord. No. 1785, §1, 2-1-16.]

17.10.030 Existing substandard lots.

(a)    Conveyance Restricted. If two or more lots or combinations of lots with continuous frontage in single ownership are of record at the time of passage or amendment of borough zoning ordinance No. 20, effective date August 7, 1969, and if all or part of the lots do not meet the requirements for lot width and area as established by the zoning ordinance, this land involved shall be considered to be an undivided parcel for the purposes of this title, and no portion of said parcel shall be used or sold which does not meet lot width and area requirements established by this title, nor shall any division of the parcel be made which leaves remaining any lot with width or area below the requirements stated in this title. Variances pertaining to area, width and yard requirements so specified in the zoning ordinance shall be obtained as specified in KGBC 18.55.040.

(b)    Determination of Ownership. For the purposes of this section, lots and property shall be considered in the same ownership when owned by the same individual or corporation, or by husband and wife as tenants by the entirety, joint tenancy, or tenants in common. [Ord. No. 1785, §1, 2-1-16.]

17.10.040 Variances.

(a)    Intent. When, in the judgment of the planning commission serving as the platting authority, it would be detrimental to future growth and development, or contrary to sound planning principles, to apply literally a provision of this title because extraordinary hardship would result, the borough assembly, after recommendation from the planning commission serving as the platting authority, may waive or vary such provisions, subject to such conditions as deemed appropriate, so that substantial justice may be done and the public interest secured; provided, that in no event shall the requirement of filing and recording the plat or survey be waived, except as provided by AS 29.40.090(b).

(b)    Planning Commission Serving as the Platting Authority – Public Hearing Notification and Publication. The planning commission serving as the platting authority shall hold a hearing on all subdivision variance requests which hearing, notification and publication shall be concurrent with the plat hearing as provided in KGBC 17.15.040(c).

(c)    Planning Commission Serving as the Platting Authority – Findings of Fact. In making its findings, as required below, the planning commission serving as the platting authority shall take into account the nature of the proposed use of land and the existing use of land in the vicinity, the number of persons to reside or work in the proposed subdivision, and the probable effect of the proposed subdivision upon traffic conditions in the vicinity. The planning commission serving as the platting authority shall not recommend a variance of this title to the borough assembly unless the board finds:

(1)    That there are special physical circumstances or conditions affecting said property; or

(2)    That the strict application of the provisions of this title would deprive the applicant of the reasonable use of his land. (Reference AS 29.40.040(b))

(d)    Planning Commission Serving as the Platting Authority – Report and Recommendation. Within seven days after the planning commission serving as the platting authority has acted favorably on a request for a subdivision variance in accordance with the foregoing provisions, a report and recommendation shall be submitted to the borough clerk. Such recommendation of the planning commission serving as the platting authority shall be advisory only, and shall not be binding on the assembly. If the planning commission serving as the platting authority denies the request for a subdivision variance, its action shall be final.

(e)    Borough Assembly – Public Hearing, Notification and Publication. Before the assembly may take any action on the planning commission serving as the platting authority recommendation to grant a subdivision variance request, a public hearing shall be held at which time all interested parties shall have an opportunity to be heard. The public hearing shall be held at the first regular assembly meeting allowing time for publication following transmittal of the report and recommendation from the planning commission serving as the platting authority. Public notice shall be given stating the date, time, place and purpose of the hearing. The notice shall generally describe the variance sought. The notice shall be published at least 15 days prior to the date of the hearing. If posted on the Internet, the post shall remain until the date and time set for the hearing. The borough clerk shall notify the same owners of property as provided in KGBC 17.15.040(c). [Ord. No. 1827, §17, 4-3-17; Ord. No. 1785, §1, 2-1-16.]

17.10.050 Compliance.

No zoning permit shall be issued for a new building on a lot which did not exist as a described and recorded parcel prior to the effective date of this title or was not created by a recorded subdivision pursuant to provisions of this title. [Ord. No. 1785, §1, 2-1-16.]

17.10.060 Conformity.

All subdivisions shall conform to local, State and federal law, rules and regulations, including but not limited to:

(a)    All provisions of AS 40.15;

(b)    All applicable ordinances of the borough, including the zoning ordinance;

(c)    The comprehensive plan;

(d)    All applicable rules and regulations of the State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Environmental Conservation;

(e)    All rules of the State of Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities relating to safety of access and preservation of the public interest and investment in streets and highways, if the subdivision or any lot contained therein abuts on a state trunk highway or connecting street;

(f)    All other applicable rules, regulations and laws of the State of Alaska and the United States. [Ord. No. 1785, §1, 2-1-16.]

17.10.070 Plats required.

(a)    No subdivision of land shall be made, and no land in any subdivision shall be sold or offered for sale, until a plat of the subdivision has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of this title and has been approved by the planning commission serving as the platting authority or the designated platting authority, and filed and recorded in the Office of the State Recorder, Ketchikan Recording District, Ketchikan, Alaska. (See AS 29.40.180)

(b)    No street or utility construction shall be commenced in any subdivision until a preliminary plat of such subdivision has been prepared in accordance with this title and has been reviewed and approved by the planning commission serving as the platting authority. [Ord. No. 1785, §1, 2-1-16.]

17.10.080 Penalties, effective date, and application.

(a)    Penalties for Title Violations. Any owner or agent of an owner of land located within a subdivision who offers, transfers, sells or agrees or enters into a contract to sell land in a subdivision before a plat of the subdivision has been prepared, approved and recorded in compliance with this title, is guilty of a violation and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not more than $500. Each act of violation and every day upon which any such violation shall occur shall constitute a separate offense. The remedy provided herein shall not be construed to be in lieu of any civil remedies available to the borough or other person to effect compliance with the enforcement of this title or State law or regulation.

(b)    Effective Date. This title shall apply to all land, and all divisions, subdivisions, and resubdivisions or applications for such divisions of land made after adoption of the borough subdivision code in 1974, except as otherwise provided in subsection (c) of this section.

(c)    Application of Amendments to this Title. Unless otherwise ordered by the planning commission, or agreed upon by the applicant, plats processed under this title will be processed applying the provisions of the KGBC as in effect upon the date that the application is accepted by the planning department as complete and ready for processing. [Ord. No. 1785, §1, 2-1-16.]

17.10.090 Required improvements – Standards.

(a)    Monuments. All exterior corners of the subdivision shall be permanently monumented with a metal cap, permanently identified with the surveyor’s license number, set in concrete in the ground or affixed to a metal rod or pipe driven to refusal or a minimum penetration of 30 inches in the ground except where permanent monuments from previous subdivisions or surveys exist and are of good condition. All lot corners shall be monumented with an iron rod, a minimum of five-eighths inch in diameter, driven to 30 inches or to refusal.

(b)    Streets.

(1)    The subdivider shall, along a dedicated street or right-of-way or easement proposed for dedication, grade, provide adequate drainage, and surface a roadway consistent with borough or city of Ketchikan standards to provide access to any property he wishes to sell or otherwise convey to another person where the intent is to develop the property, before such property may be sold or otherwise conveyed. The planning commission serving as the platting authority may specify that streets of greater widths be constructed by the subdivider when it becomes apparent that minimum requirements will not be sufficient to carry safely and adequately potential future traffic computed on the basis of land to be served and population density based on zoning requirements.

(2)    After required sewer, water, and other utilities have been installed, the subdivider shall surface or cause roadways to be surfaced to the widths prescribed by borough or city of Ketchikan standards.

(3)    All road surfaces, shoulders, drainage improvements and structures, curbs, turnarounds, sidewalks and bridges required by plat approval shall conform to all construction standards and specifications adopted by the borough and the city of Ketchikan and shall be incorporated into the construction plans required to be submitted by the subdivider for plat approval and shall be sufficient to service the anticipated uses of the land being subdivided.

(4)    Private drives, when required by plat approval, shall be constructed of suitable fill material. Rock and gravel overlay sufficient to be stable under intermittent vehicular use is desirable.

(c)    Drainage.

(1)    Storm Drainage. The planning commission serving as the platting authority shall not approve any plat of subdivision which does not make adequate provision for storm or floodwater runoff channels or basins sufficient to service the anticipated uses of the land being subdivided. The storm water drainage system shall be separate from any sanitary sewer system if such a system is required.

(2)    Accommodation of Upstream Drainage Areas. A culvert or other drainage facility shall in each case be large enough to accommodate potential runoff from its entire upstream drainage area, whether inside or outside the subdivision. The borough or city engineer shall approve the facility based on approved construction standards and specifications assuming conditions of maximum potential watershed development permitted by the zoning ordinance.

(3)    Effect on Downstream Drainage Areas. The borough or city engineer shall also study the effect of each subdivision on existing downstream drainage facilities outside the area of the subdivision. Where it is anticipated that the runoff incident to the development of the subdivision will overload an existing drainage facility, or otherwise change existing drainage patterns, the planning commission serving as the platting authority shall require the subdivider to demonstrate the means by which changes will be accommodated. No subdivision shall be approved unless adequate drainage will be provided to an adequate watercourse or facility.

(d)    Water. In subdivisions to which water can be furnished from a public source, owned and operated by a city, service district or borough, all necessary mains, service lines to each lot and fire hydrants shall be installed by the subdivider as specified by the applicable ordinances and standards of the borough and the city of Ketchikan, and without expense to the borough or the city of Ketchikan and shall be sufficient to service the anticipated uses of the land being subdivided. If a public water system is unavailable or deemed unnecessary the planning commission serving as the platting authority must be satisfied that the subdivision facilitates individual water collection systems. Individual water collection systems shall be installed at the expense of the individual properties.

(e)    Electric Power and Telephone Service. In subdivisions to which electrical power and telephone service can be furnished from a public source owned and operated by a city, service area, borough, or other public agency or public utility, all necessary lines, poles and other facilities shall be constructed and installed by the subdivider as specified and in accordance with any applicable city, borough, state, or federal laws, ordinances, rules, regulations or standards, and all necessary easements and rights-of-way therefor shall be dedicated, at no cost or expense to the city, service area, borough or other public agency or public utility, and such facilities shall be designed, constructed, and installed in such manner as to be sufficient to service the anticipated uses of the land being subdivided.

(f)    Sewage Disposal.

(1)    All sewage disposal systems, whether public, central or on site, shall comply with regulations of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and with the applicable ordinances and standards of the borough or city of Ketchikan or city of Saxman and shall be sufficient to service the anticipated uses of the land being subdivided.

(2)    For subdivisions within, adjacent to, or to be annexed to the city of Ketchikan, the subdivider shall provide connections to public sewage systems, owned and operated by a city, service district, or borough, at no cost to the city of Ketchikan, city of Saxman, service districts, or borough. Sewers shall be installed to service each lot and to grades and sizes required by standards established by the city of Ketchikan. No individual disposal system or treatment plants shall be permitted.

(3)    If a public sanitary sewer, owned and operated by a city, service district, or borough, is accessible and a sanitary sewer is placed in a street, alley, easement or right-of-way abutting upon property, the subdivider thereof shall be required to connect to said sewer for the purpose of disposing of waste, and it shall be unlawful for any such owner or occupant to maintain upon any such property an individual sewage disposal system.

(4)    Where public sanitary sewerage systems, owned and operated by a city, service district, or borough, are not reasonably or practicably accessible but will become available within the immediate future and the land has sufficient carrying capacity for on-lot sewage disposal in compliance with the regulations of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, the subdivider may choose one of the following alternatives:

a.    A central sewerage system, the maintenance cost to be assessed against each property benefited. Where plans for future public sanitary sewerage systems exist, the subdivider shall install the sewer lines, laterals, and mains to be in permanent conformance with such plans and ready for connection to such public sewer mains; or

b.    Individual disposal systems, provided the applicant shall install sanitary sewer lines, laterals, and mains from street curb to a point in the subdivision boundary where a future connection with the public sewer main shall be made. Such sewer systems shall be capped until ready for use and shall conform to all plans for installation of the public sewer system, where such exist, and shall be ready for connection to such public sewer main. Individual systems shall be installed at the expense of the individual properties.

(5)    Where public sanitary sewer systems, owned and operated by a city, service district, or borough, are not reasonably or practicably accessible and will not become available in the immediate future, and provided the land has sufficient carrying capacity for on-lot sewage disposal in compliance with the regulations of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, the subdivider may choose one of the following alternatives:

a.    A central sewage system, the maintenance costs to be assessed against each property benefited; or

b.    Individual on-lot disposal systems to be installed at the cost of the individual property.

(6)    If public sewer facilities, owned and operated by a city, service district, or borough, are not available, will not become available in the immediate future and the land does not have sufficient carrying capacity for on-lot sewage disposal in compliance with the regulations of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, a central sewerage system shall be required.

(7)    If public sewer facilities, owned and operated by a city, service district, or borough, are not available and individual disposal systems are proposed, minimum lot areas and subdivision design shall be such that the subdivided land is capable of absorbing all sewerage on individual lots in compliance with the regulations of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. The subdivider shall bear the cost of any required tests or surveys to determine the capacity of the land. [Ord. No. 1785, §1, 2-1-16.]