Chapter 17.35
MAJOR PLATS

Sections:

17.35.010    Preliminary plat.

17.35.020    Required improvements – Installation.

17.35.030    Final plat.

17.35.010 Preliminary plat.

(a)    Generally.

(1)    The preliminary plat stage includes preliminary subdivision planning and submission, review and approval of the preliminary plat. To expedite processing of this application, the subdivider should carefully furnish all information essential to determine the character and general acceptability of his proposal.

(2)    In cases where a change in zone classification is necessary to cause the plat to conform to zoning regulations, said zone change shall be applied for and initiated by the owner at the same time as the preliminary plat is filed and approval of the preliminary map shall be subject to the borough assembly approval of the rezone and final plat approval of such a subdivision shall not be granted until any rezone has been finalized.

(3)    In cases where a lot proposed to be created and developed with either a twinhouse or a townhouse dwelling unit does not conform to the zoning regulations relating to lot size and lot width for the zone in which the property is located, approval of the preliminary plat shall be subject to prior approval of a zoning permit for construction of the proposed twinhouse or townhouse dwellings. Final plat approval of such a subdivision shall not be granted until construction of the proposed twinhouse or townhouse dwelling units has been completed.

(b)    Review Criteria.

(1)    In approving the plat the planning commission serving as the platting authority shall ensure conformance of the plat to the following standards or set such conditions as required to ensure these standards are met:

a.    That the proposed subdivision conforms to the purposes and requirements of this title, the Ketchikan comprehensive plan policies and the ordinances of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough and Alaska Statutes; and

b.    That the proposed subdivision serves the public use, health, safety and interest and that proper provisions are made for, but not limited to, the following:

1.    Adequate Traffic Circulation. Proposed streets and rights-of-way must be aligned and built in such a way as to best facilitate the movement of vehicular and pedestrian traffic and reduce the possibility of congestion and accidents and to serve adjacent properties.

2.    Consideration shall be given to the physical characteristics of the land in relation to the number of persons, buildings or sites to be located thereon, and also to the availability of public facilities, including but not limited to water supply systems, sewage collection and waste water treatment facilities, surface water drainage systems, schools, streets and access, parks and police and fire protection.

3.    The planning commission serving as the platting authority must consider the physical characteristics of the subdivision and may disapprove a subdivision of property which is subject to flood, inundation, swamp conditions, slope conditions or other physical characteristics which may be hazardous to the future inhabitants if the subdivision is approved. The planning commission serving as the platting authority may require protective improvements which will mitigate dangerous or undesirable physical characteristics. Such improvements, if required, shall be provided by the subdivider prior to approval of the final plat at no expense to the borough or city of Ketchikan or suitable and approved security in lieu thereof shall be posted as provided in KGBC 17.35.020(f).

(c)    Public Hearing.

(1)    Timeframe. The planning commission serving as the platting authority shall approve or reject all preliminary plats not more than 60 days after the filing of a complete application unless extended with the written consent of the applicant.

(2)    Staff and agency recommendations. In considering the proposed subdivision the planning commission serving as the platting authority shall request and consider the recommendations of the staff of the planning department and comments and recommendations of review agencies. At the public hearing the planning commission serving as the platting authority shall consider all relevant evidence to determine whether the plat should be approved, disapproved or approved subject to certain conditions which may be imposed by the board in order to satisfy the standards set out in subsection (b)(1) of this section.

(3)    Public Comments. Individuals may submit written objections or comments before or at the hearing before the planning commission serving as the platting authority, and oral testimony may also be given at the hearing.

(4)    Resolutions. The planning commission serving as the platting authority shall adopt a resolution or the planning official serving as the platting authority shall issue a notice of decision letter setting forth specific findings of fact and reasons for its action along with any conditions of approval.

(d)    Preliminary Plat Approval.

(1)    If satisfied that all objectives of this title have been met, the board shall approve the preliminary plat by resolution and the chairman of the planning commission serving as the platting authority shall stamp a notation of approval on four copies of the plat, one being returned to the subdivider, one retained for the board files, one held for review by utility companies and one held for review by the borough or city engineer.

(2)    Where the planning commission serving as the platting authority approves or conditionally approves a preliminary plat it shall prescribe, pursuant to the provisions of this title, the kind, nature and extent of the improvements to be constructed or installed in, or to serve, the subdivision for which such preliminary plat is filed; provided, however, where the planning commission serving as the platting authority does not prescribe the kind, nature or extent of the improvements to be constructed or installed, improvements shall be constructed and installed in accordance with the Ketchikan Gateway Borough standards, or if the property is located in the city of Ketchikan, the city of Ketchikan standards.

(3)    If the preliminary plat is generally acceptable but requires minor revisions before preparation of the final plat, the board shall give conditional approval and note the required revisions in its resolution and in writing to the subdivider. The board may empower the planning official to receive, review and approve the plat when it has been revised according to board requirements.

(4)    If the board determines that the preliminary plat requires major revisions, the application may be continued or held over pending revision, resubmission, reprocessing and rescheduling for hearing, or such plat may be rejected. Reasons for the board action shall be recorded in the minutes, and a copy thereof or a written statement of such reasons shall be supplied the subdivider by mail within 30 days following the date of board review. If a plat has been rejected, a new filing of a plat for the same tract or any part thereof shall follow the normal process and be subject to a new filing fee.

(5)    Approval of a preliminary plat constitutes authorization for the subdivider to proceed with preparation of the final plat and engineering plans. Preliminary approval is based upon the following terms:

a.    Approval shall be valid for a period of 24 months from date of planning commission serving as the platting authority action and may be extended once for a period not to exceed 12 months at the discretion of the board, except in the case of a phased subdivision, which follows the procedure established in subsection (d)(5)(d) of this section.

b.    Prior to approval of the final plat all required and elected improvements shall be completed by the subdivider or suitable and approved security in lieu thereof shall be posted as provided in KGBC 17.35.020(f).

c.    The subdivider may submit the plat or any part thereof as a final plat on or before the expiration date of the preliminary plat. If approval of the preliminary plat expires prior to filing of the application for approval of the final plat, the preliminary plat shall be resubmitted for approval as a new case, and a new fee paid. If board review of a resubmitted plat reveals no substantial change from the previously approved preliminary plat or that conditions under which previous approval was granted have not changed, the filing fee shall be refunded and the resubmitted plat scheduled for hearing by the board at its first regular meeting thereafter.

d.    Phased Subdivisions. Approval of the entire preliminary plat shall be valid for a period of 24 months from the date of approval by the planning commission serving as the platting authority, and may be extended once at the discretion of the board for a period not to exceed 12 months. However, the timely recordation of a section of the preliminary plat commences a new 24-month period of validity, together with the possibility of a 12-month extension. This cycle may repeat with the timely recordation of each section until the subdivision is complete.

(e)    Proposed Utility Methods.

(1)    The proposed method of providing water supply and sewage disposal for the lots shall be indicated, including such data as necessary to satisfy the Department of Environmental Conservation or borough or city engineer. If such systems are proposed to serve more than one lot the following information must be submitted:

a.    The plans and profiles of the sewage disposal system and/or water distribution system including details of easements and the rights-of-way provided in sufficient detail to determine compliance with city of Ketchikan, borough and state regulations for such systems.

(2)    Storm water disposal including description of proposed drainage; i.e., surface and underground, including locations of outlets and details of easements and rights-of-way provided.

(3)    The proposed methods of providing power, cable television, and other services that will be supplied.

(f)    Supporting Information. Supporting information shall be in written form and shall accompany the preliminary plat and shall include, but not be limited to, copies of any deed or other restrictions or covenants pertaining to the use of land to be imposed upon the land shown on the plat, or any part thereof, shall be typewritten and attached to the plat and to each copy thereof other than homeowners association, neighborhood agreements, or the like.

(g)    Engineering Plans and Approval.

(1)    Following approval of the preliminary plat and prior to submittal of a final plat, the subdivider shall furnish to the borough engineer or city engineer the following engineering plans in conformance with the provisions of this title, applicable borough or city of Ketchikan engineering standards and accepted engineering practices:

a.    Plans and profiles showing existing and established grades for all streets, alleys, public easements or rights-of-way and proposed buildings.

b.    Plans and profiles of all storm sewers, culverts and surface water drainage facilities.

c.    Plans and profiles of all sanitary sewers, including one sanitary sewer lateral per lot to run to lot lines, or plan and profile of individual sewage disposal system where sanitary sewer lines are not available.

d.    Plans and profiles of all water distribution lines including stop boxes and appurtenances, including one water lateral per lot to run to lot line, or plan and profile of individual water supply systems where water lines are not available.

(2)    The plans and profiles specified in this section shall be approved by the borough engineer or city engineer if the property is located within, or is to be annexed to, the city of Ketchikan, before the final plat shall be deemed acceptable for filing. If disapproved, a statement in writing describing the deficiencies shall be forwarded to the planning commission serving as the platting authority and the subdivider within 30 days from date of submission.

(h)    Phased Subdivisions. If the applicant intends to seek final approval of a preliminary plat in several phases or increments, the applicant must delineate the sequence of development on the preliminary plat. [Ord. No. 1785, §1, 2-1-16.]

17.35.020 Required improvements – Installation.

(a)    Completion of Improvements. Before a final plat of subdivision may be approved by the planning commission serving as the platting authority, all subdividers shall complete, in accordance with the decision of the planning commission serving as the platting authority and to the satisfaction of the borough or city engineer, all street, sanitary, and other improvements required as a condition of the planning commission serving as the platting authority approval, or conditional approval, of the preliminary plat, or otherwise required by this title or law, and to dedicate the same free and clear of any and all liens and encumbrances on the property and public improvements so dedicated.

(b)    Agreement to Improve. The planning commission serving as the platting authority, in its sole discretion, may waive the requirement that the subdivider complete and dedicate all improvements prior to the approval of the final subdivision plat provided the subdivider enters into one of the agreements to improve provided in subsection (a) or (b) of this section and deposits the improvement security provided in subsection (f) of this section:

(1)    A written agreement with the borough to thereafter construct and to install all such improvements at the subdivider’s expense. Such agreement shall include, but not be limited to, the following provisions:

a.    Designation of the required public improvements to be constructed;

b.    Any performance or other schedule of completion required by the planning commission serving as the platting authority;

c.    A provision providing the borough with an adequate guarantee for the completion of required public improvements and for warranties of all improvements for a period of one year from date of approval;

d.    A warranty that the subdivider has title to the subdivision property and the authority to execute the subdivision agreement.

(2)    A written agreement with the borough to thereafter initiate and consummate local improvement district proceedings for the financing and completion of all such improvements, and if not completed under such local improvement district proceedings, to complete such improvements at the subdivider’s expense not later than the date required for improvements to be installed as provided in this title.

(3)    To assure the installation of required public improvements which are not completed and approved at the time the final plat is approved and recorded, the planning commission serving as the platting authority, and the agreement to improve, shall require the subdivider to guarantee the completion of all such improvements by one or more of the methods specified in subsection (f) of this section. The means of guarantee may be changed during the guarantee period through a written modification of the agreement to substitute another approved form of improvement security upon the mutual agreement of the borough and the subdivider. The amount of guarantee shall be determined on the basis of the subdivider’s cost estimate as approved by the borough or city engineer. The guarantee shall remain in effect until final approval of the improvements and the posting of an acceptable security for the warranty period.

(4)    Cost Estimates. The subdivider’s cost estimate provided for in subsection (e) of this section shall state the estimated cost of completion for each required public improvement. Cost estimates for each required improvement must be approved by the borough or city engineer. For the purposes of establishing the amount necessary for the guarantee of completion of public improvements, a percentage for overrun allowance, including inflation, shall be added to the total estimated cost of public improvements as follows:

Total Estimated Cost of Improvements

Percentage for Overrun Allowance

$0 – $500,000

20%

$500,000 – $1,000,000

15%

$1,000,000 and over

10%

(c)    Improvement Plans. In the event the subdivider enters into an agreement to construct and install improvements pursuant to this section, the subdivider shall prepare and deposit with the clerk of the borough detailed plans and specifications of the improvements to be constructed and such plans and specifications shall be made a part of any such agreement and of the improvement security.

(d)    Completion Date. The improvements required under the terms of the subdivision agreement shall be fully completed for final approval within two years of the date of approval of the final plat by the planning commission serving as the platting authority unless upon a showing of good cause the date of completion is extended by the planning commission serving as the platting authority for an additional period not to exceed one year.

(e)    Cost of Required Public Improvements. The cost of any improvements shall be defined to include the cost of design, engineering, contract administration, inspection, testing and surveillance as well as all work, labor and materials furnished for the construction of the improvements.

The agreement to improve shall provide for payment of the cost of required improvements as provided below:

(1)    Administrative and Recording Costs Relating to Public Improvement Guarantees. The subdivider shall pay 100 percent of all costs incurred in supplying and administering any method of public improvement security and guarantee.

(2)    Inspection, Surveillance and Testing. The subdivider shall pay 100 percent of all costs relating to any inspection, surveillance and testing by the borough or city of Ketchikan necessary for final approval of any required public improvement or during the warranty period. Surveillance shall be performed by the borough or city of Ketchikan during the course of construction and up to the point of final approval of the completed project. Inspection shall be performed by the borough or city of Ketchikan during the warranty period.

(f)    Improvement Security. The agreement to improve shall include and be secured by one or more of the following methods to guarantee the construction and installation of required public improvements, which security will remain in place until improvements are approved and accepted:

(1)    Performance and Payment Bonds. The subdivider may elect to provide a performance and payment bond, or bonds, from a surety company authorized to do such business in the state of Alaska guaranteeing the construction, installation and payment for all required improvements, including monuments, and for all labor and materials for the construction and installation thereof. The bond or bonds shall be in an amount equal to the estimated cost of all required public improvements plus an overrun allowance as provided in subsection (b) of this section. The performance bond shall be payable to the municipality in the event that any required public improvements are not finally approved in accordance with the provisions of this title. The payment bond shall inure to the benefit of all persons who provide labor or materials for the construction or installation of the public improvements.

(2)    Cash or Cashier’s Check. The subdivider may elect to deposit with the borough clerk money, or cashier’s check payable to the borough equal to the amounts referred to in subsection (f)(1) of this section.

(3)    Certificate of Deposit. The subdivider may elect to provide a certificate of deposit from a bank or other responsible financial institution authorized to do such business in Alaska, and acceptable to the borough finance director, in the amount referred to in subsection (f)(1) of this section. Such certificate of deposit shall be filed with the borough with the following provision:

a.    That in the case of failure on the part of the subdivider to complete or pay for any specified improvements within the required time period, the certificate of deposit will be cashed on the bank or financial institution from which it was issued to pay to the borough immediately and without further action such funds as are necessary to finance the completion of those improvements.

b.    The agreement to construct and install improvements, and the improvement security referred to in this chapter, shall comply with all statutory requirements and shall be satisfactory to the municipal attorney as to form, sufficiency, and manner of execution.

c.    The borough shall be under no obligation to deposit any improvement security into an interest bearing account; however, in the event of such deposit, any interest accrued thereon shall be added to such security and may be used as additional security, and shall be returned to the subdivider in the same manner as the security.

(g)    Release of Guarantee. The borough shall release the obligation for performance guarantees only upon the final approval of all the improvements covered by the agreement to improve and improvement security together with the posting of adequate security for warranty.

(h)    Effect of Final Approval by the Borough. Final approval by the borough of the construction and installation of required public improvements shall not obligate the borough thereafter to inspect, maintain or repair, or constitute an agreement or assumption by the borough of any duty or responsibility to thereafter inspect, maintain or repair any such improvements.

(i)    Warranty.

(1)    Required. The subdivider shall warrant and guarantee for a period of one year after final approval that the required improvements constructed under the agreement will remain in good condition and will meet operating specifications for the warranty period. Such warranty includes defects in design, workmanship, materials and any damage to improvements caused by the subdivider, his agents or others engaged in work to be performed under the agreement to improve.

(2)    Term – Security. To secure the warranty, the guarantee of performance shall remain in effect until the end of the warranty period, provided that the warranty period shall not expire without a determination by the borough engineer or, if the property is within the city of Ketchikan, the city engineer; that the warranty period has been successfully completed without uncorrected defects.

(3)    Form – Security. The subdivider furnishes the borough with a corporate surety bond, cash deposit or irrevocable letter of credit in an amount equal to the percentage of the total construction costs as set forth below. This security shall guarantee the payment of any reconstruction or repair costs which may be undertaken due to failures occurring during the warranty period. Responsibility for identifying the necessity of repairs or reconstruction of the improvements shall rest with the borough or, if the property is within the city of Ketchikan, the city engineer.

Total Construction Cost

Percent to Secure Warranty

$0 – $500,000

10%

$500,000 – $1,000,000

7.5%

$1,000,000 and higher

5%

(4)    Correction of Deficiencies. Within 30 days (or a reasonable extension at the sole discretion of the borough or city engineer) of notification by the borough of the need for repair or reconstruction, the subdivider shall correct the deficiencies, satisfactory to the borough. Such notification shall be made by certified mail. If the subdivider fails to repair or reconstruct the deficiency within the time specified above, the borough will make the repairs at the subdivider’s and surety’s sole expense. The borough may declare the bond, deposit or other security forfeited and use such security to make repairs or may proceed to make the repairs and then bill the subdivider and surety for the cost thereof and bring suit and recover the same from the subdivider and the surety, jointly and severally, and the security; provided, however, the borough shall not be required to proceed first against the subdivider and may proceed directly against any surety or guarantor of the subdivider or bank or other person issuing any letter of credit, or holder of any security.

(j)    Exemption from Claims. Any money, instrument or letter of credit or other improvement security deposited or held as provided in this title shall not be subject to levy or attachment by any creditors of the depositor until the obligation secured thereby is performed to the satisfaction of the borough.

(k)    Default. In the event that the subdivider defaults on any obligation to construct and pay for all required public improvements or the obligation to warrant and repair such improvements, the borough shall demand immediate payment on the performance or warranty guarantee. In the case of a performance bond, deposits in escrow, or letter of credit, the borough shall demand immediate payment of all or any portion of all sums obligated for the performance or warranty of any improvement. All funds received by the borough shall be used for any construction, repair or reconstruction necessary to ensure:

(1)    That all required improvements are built to specifications as necessary to receive final approval; and

(2)    The improvements remain in good condition for the completion of the warranty period.

(l)    Enforcement. All provisions of this chapter are mandatory and may not be altered by the subdivision improvement agreement. The obligations contained in this chapter shall be enforceable by methods of enforcement of ordinance as well as contract.

(m)    Waiver of Improvements. Any or all of the provisions of this chapter requiring certain improvements be made or suitable security posted may be waived provided the planning commission serving as the platting authority makes written findings that all the conditions of either subsection (m)(1), (2), or (3) of this section exist:

(1)    The gross area of the proposed subdivision is less than two acres, and each of the following conditions are complied with:

a.    Five or fewer lots are created; and

b.    Sewage disposal and water can be provided by individual systems and are approved by applicable state agencies; and

c.    Access roads are less than 500 feet in total length and intersect with a developed right-of-way.

(2)    The subdivision is such that no more than five parcels of five acres or more each are created and each of the following circumstances apply:

a.    The size, use, zoning or location of the parcels are such that the parcels are not immediately developable;

b.    The parcels can be reasonably expected to be resubdivided;

c.    Installation of improvements would prejudice the future developability of the land.

(3)    The subdivision is such that the installation of an improvement or improvements will have no practical value and said improvements will be unusable for their normal purposes due to:

a.    Remoteness and inaccessibility of the property resulting from its location, topography, bodies of water and other geographical barriers; and

b.    Inadequacy or lack of connecting service facilities required to make the improvements functional. [Ord. No. 1785, §1, 2-1-16.]

17.35.030 Final plat.

(a)    Generally. The final plat stage includes final design of the subdivision, engineering of public improvements, and submission of the plans by the subdivider. It also includes final plat review by the planning official, borough engineer, city engineer, and other state and local officials.

(b)    The final plat and five copies thereof shall be submitted to the planning official at least 15 days prior to the regular meeting of the board at which the case will be heard. The designated planning official shall record the date of filing and immediately transmit the submittal to:

(1)    Borough assessor;

(2)    City or borough engineer;

(3)    Environmental field officer, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.

(c)    Approval.

(1)    The planning commission serving as the platting authority shall not approve a final plat if the subdivision of land as proposed constitutes or shows the existence of or would result in one or more of the following:

a.    The subdivision is contrary to the provisions of the comprehensive plan;

b.    The subdivision as proposed does not conform to requirements of this title, current zoning regulations, or State law;

c.    The subdivision is substantially different than the approved preliminary plat;

d.    One or more conditions of preliminary plat approval has not been met or complied with;

e.    The improvements required to be constructed and installed prior to review of the final plat have not been constructed or installed or a satisfactory guarantee of completion of improvements in lieu of such construction has not been provided as provided by this title; and

f.    An unsatisfied debt would be incurred by the Ketchikan Gateway Borough or city of Ketchikan.

(2)    If the property taxes for the year in which the plat is considered for approval have not been either (1) levied and paid or (2) voluntarily submitted as a prepayment under KGBC 4.45.600(a), then the taxes associated with the parcel(s) existing prior to the replat may be assessed and collected as provided in KGBC 4.45.600(b).

(3)    If the planning commission serving as the platting authority rejects the plat for any reason whatsoever, the reasons therefor shall be recorded in the minutes and a copy of the reasons supplied to the subdivider. If the planning commission serving as the platting authority approves the plat, the clerk of the planning commission serving as the platting authority shall affix a certificate of approval upon the plat after obtaining all other required certificates.

(d)    Effect of Approval of Plats or Requiring Dedication. Approval of a preliminary or final subdivision plat or requiring, as a condition of approval of a subdivision plat, the dedication of any roads, streets, alleys, thoroughfares or other public areas, easements, rights-of-way, or improvements, or requiring the construction or installation of any roads, streets, or other public improvements, shall not obligate the borough to inspect, maintain or repair, or constitute an agreement or assumption by the borough of any duty or responsibility to inspect, maintain or repair, any of such rights-of-way, easements or other public areas or the improvements constructed or installed. The planning commission serving as the platting authority may require the subdivision plat to be endorsed with appropriate notes to this effect. [Ord. No. 1785, §1, 2-1-16.]