Chapter 17.40
ROADS AND RIGHTS-OF-WAY

Sections:

17.40.010    Right-of-way plats.

17.40.020    Vacations.

17.40.030    Street naming.

17.40.010 Right-of-way plats.

(a)    Generally. A plat required for the acquisition or dedication of right-of-way and property subdivision for the development of transportation facilities may be applied for by a government agency and granted by the platting authority under the provisions of this section. These are major plats processed under Chapter 17.35 KGBC; however, to the extent that provisions in this section conflict with other provisions of this title, the provisions of this section apply.

(b)    Approval Required. No parcel, or portion thereof, may be acquired by government agency for the development of transportation related facilities until a preliminary plat of the parcel and right-of-way has received planning commission serving as the platting authority approval.

(c)    Action on Preliminary Right-of-Way Plats.

(1)    Platting Authority. The planning commission serving as the platting authority shall be the platting authority for review and approval of preliminary right-of-way plats.

(2)    If the right-of-way acquisition does not result in the creation of a new lot and less than 25 percent of the total lot area is affected by the acquisition, the clerk of the planning commission serving as the platting authority shall mail a copy of the notice to the owners of the affected property. Notice as required by KGBC 17.15.040(c) shall be provided.

Such notifications are complete upon publication and upon mailing.

(3)    Review Criteria. 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 preliminary plat conforms to the purposes and requirements of this title except for KGBC 17.10.090 and 17.35.020, the Ketchikan Gateway Borough comprehensive plan policies, this code and the Alaska Statutes; and

b.    That the proposed streets and rights-of-way will 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

c.    Consideration shall be given to the physical characteristics of the proposed right-of-way and remainder parcels which are subject to flood inundation, wetlands, slope conditions or other physical characteristics which may be hazardous to development if approved. The planning commission serving as the platting authority may require protective improvements which will mitigate dangerous or undesirable physical characteristics.

(4)    Conditions. The planning commission serving as the platting authority may require as a condition of final plat approval any action it finds appropriate under the circumstances of the proposed plat or project including, but not limited to, requiring the acquisition of remainder parcels that will not meet the applicable minimum requirements for lot size or dimensions, or alternatively, placing a note on the plat identifying the remainder as a nonconforming lot on which damages have been paid. The planning commission serving as the platting authority may also require the realignment or reconstruction of any abutting or intersecting road or street right-of-way adversely affected by the acquisition or project.

(5)    Expiration. Approval shall be valid for a period of 24 months from the date of planning commission serving as the platting authority action approving the preliminary plat and may be extended once for a period not to exceed 12 months at the discretion of the director upon the written request by the applicant.

(d)    Engineering Plans and Approval. Prior to final plat approval, the applicant shall furnish engineering plans and profiles for improvements proposed within the right-of-way as specified in KGBC 17.35.010(g)(1) for review and approval by the borough or city.

(e)    Action on Final Right-of-Way Plats.

(1)    Platting Authority. The director of planning and community development, or their designee, shall act as the administrative platting authority.

(2)    Review and Action. The platting authority shall review and approve final plats that are substantially consistent with the approved preliminary plat, and the provisions of this chapter. No public notice or hearing shall be required. Unless otherwise agreed to in writing by the platting authority, all monumentation, remonumentation, right-of-way alignment, construction and reconstruction and other requirements of the planning commission serving as the platting authority or of this title must be met before approval of the final plat unless it is clearly impractical or legally impossible to accomplish prior to final plat approval. Any action required as a condition of final plat approval but not to be accomplished prior to such approval must be completed under such terms and conditions as are set out in writing by the platting authority.

(3)    Certificate Exemptions. All certificates required under Chapter 17.20 KGBC are required, except certificates of ownership and consents to subdivision under KGBC 17.20.010(f)(7) and (f)(8).

(f)    Effect of Approval of Plats or Requiring Dedication. Approval of a preliminary or final right-of-way or subdivision plat requiring, as a condition of approval of the plat, the dedication of any streets, 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 platting authority may require the subdivision plat to be endorsed with appropriate notes to this effect. [Ord. No. 1827, §19, 4-3-17; Ord. No. 1785, §1, 2-1-16.]

17.40.020 Vacations.

(a)    Intent. The intent of this section is to establish a definitive procedure for the vacation of streets and other public areas within this borough, and to preserve the rights of adjacent property owners, the city of Ketchikan, the Ketchikan Gateway Borough, and the public at large.

(b)    Authority to Vacate. The planning commission of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough, reconvened as the planning commission serving as the platting authority, an administrative body, has authority by law to vacate streets or other public areas under the jurisdiction of either the city of Ketchikan, Alaska, or the Ketchikan Gateway Borough, subject always to the timely veto of either the city council or the borough assembly. The planning commission serving as the platting authority has no authority to vacate public highways under the jurisdiction of the State of Alaska Department of Highways, nor does it have authority to vacate other public property under the jurisdiction and control of other state or federal agencies, unless the laws and regulations pertaining to said agencies otherwise provide.

(c)    Vacation – Initiation. The vacation of a street or public area shall be initiated by:

(1)    Petition of the city council of the city of Ketchikan, Alaska;

(2)    Petition of the assembly of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough, Alaska; or

(3)    Petition of all of the owners of all of the property abutting the part of the street or other area proposed to be vacated.

All such petitions shall be filed with the secretary of the planning commission, acting as clerk of the planning commission serving as the platting authority. Immediately upon receipt thereof, the said clerk shall notify the planning and zoning official thereof in writing, and such notice shall become part of the official record. All such petitions shall accurately describe, by metes and bounds, the property proposed to be vacated and shall be accompanied by a copy of the current existing plat showing the subject property as it existed prior to the proposed vacation, together with a copy of a new plat showing the new ownership of said vacated street or public area. The planning and zoning official shall see to it that the petition contains this information and that it has been properly prepared according to the provisions set forth above. All petitions shall be upon a form approved by the borough attorney and shall contain a provision, sworn under oath, that the petitioners and each of them are the owners of said property abutting the part of the street or other public area proposed to be vacated. Upon receipt of such form containing such provision, the planning and zoning official shall submit it to the borough assessor who shall promptly confirm or deny such allegations of ownership, in writing. If the petition as submitted does not meet the requirements set forth above, or if the said allegations of ownership are controverted and denied by the borough assessor, the planning and zoning official shall reject the petition and so notify the petitioners in writing by sending them such notification by prepaid, first-class United States mail. The sending of such notification is complete upon mailing. If the petition is in proper form, the planning and zoning official shall return it to the clerk with his approval shown thereon.

(d)    Vacation – Hearing – Reports.

(1)    The planning and zoning official shall thereupon request in writing written reports from the city manager, the electric company, and the borough manager, on how the proposed vacation would affect existing or proposed community planning, street systems, traffic requirements, public utilities, public improvements, and costs of alternate access development.

(2)    The planning and zoning official shall also thereupon request in writing from the borough assessor, and the borough assessor shall promptly provide the planning commission serving as the platting authority with a written report on:

a.    Source of Ownership. Whether the city or borough acquired the street or public area proposed to be vacated for legal consideration or by express dedication to and acceptance by the city or borough (other than required subdivision platting); and

b.    Market Value. The present real property value, as defined in KGBC 11.40.020, of the street or public area proposed to be vacated.

(e)    Hearing – Testimony – Reports. At the hearing on the petition for vacation, the planning commission serving as the platting authority may hear the testimony of any interested person and shall request and receive the reports referred to in subsection (d) of this section. The planning commission serving as the platting authority shall, if the vacation petition was submitted by a person or persons other than the city of Ketchikan or the Ketchikan Gateway Borough, and if it finds that the borough or the city acquired the street or other public area proposed to be vacated for legal consideration or by express dedication to and acceptance by the borough or city (other than required subdivision platting), require from said petitioners, and said petitioners shall deposit with the borough revenue collector for the benefit of the city or the borough, a sum of money equal to the present fair market value of the street or public area proposed to be vacated.

(f)    Hearing – Standards for Vacations. The planning commission serving as the platting authority shall not vacate a street or other public area, if it finds from the evidence adduced at said hearing that the proposed vacation would result in:

(1)    A substantial detriment to vehicular or pedestrian traffic circulation;

(2)    Interference with the rights of access to any private property;

(3)    Inhibiting of access for fire protection or any emergency purpose, or interference with utility lines or service;

(4)    Obstruction or diminishing of a significant view, or elimination of a view point;

(5)    Elimination of street space adjacent to an existing or proposed public facility, such as a park, where retention of the street might be of advantage to the public facility;

(6)    Removal of significant natural features, or detriment to the scale and character of surrounding development;

(7)    A substantial adverse effect upon any element of the comprehensive plan;

(8)    A substantially greater cost being required to develop alternate access routes; or

(9)    The release of a street area in any situation in which the future development or use of such street area and any property of which it would become a part, is unknown.

(g)    Final Order Granting or Denying a Petition.

(1)    Form. Following the hearing on a petition for the vacation of a street or other public area, the planning commission serving as the platting authority shall render a decision and issue a final order either granting or denying, in whole or in part, the petition in the form of a planning commission serving as the platting authority resolution. The resolution shall provide for an effective date and, if the resolution grants the petition subject to conditions, may provide that it is effective upon satisfaction of such conditions. The final order resolution shall be executed by the chairman of the planning commission serving as the platting authority, and the clerk of the planning commission serving as the platting authority shall, within seven days after execution of the resolution by the chairman, distribute the order to the applicant and send a certified copy thereof to the borough clerk, or to the city clerk if the area is located within a city.

(2)    Veto. No vacation of a city street or other public area may be made without the consent of the city council. No vacation of a street or other public area in the borough area outside cities may be made without the consent of the borough assembly. The assembly or council shall have 30 days from the date that the written decision of the planning commission serving as the platting authority is distributed by the clerk of the planning commission serving as the platting authority within which to consent to or veto the planning commission serving as the platting authority decision. If no consent or veto is received by the board within such 30-day period, the consent of the council or assembly shall be deemed to have been given.

(3)    Effective Date. The final order granting or denying a petition for the vacation of a street or other public area is effective as follows:

a.    If the planning commission serving as the platting authority issued a final order denying the petition, the final order is effective immediately upon its being distributed by the planning commission serving as the platting authority clerk.

b.    If the planning commission serving as the platting authority issued a final order granting the petition, the final order is effective on the date affirmative consent is given by the city council or borough assembly in the form of a duly adopted motion, or if no affirmative consent is given and the final order is not vetoed, then upon expiration of the 30-day period provided for in subsection (g)(2) of this section.

(4)    Replat – Recording. Upon the effective date of the final order of vacation of a street or other public area, the clerk of the planning commission serving as the platting authority may file and record the amended plat, together with the final order of vacation, in the office of the district recorder; provided, however, that if the vacation is subject to condition, or is part of a platting action involving the replat of property other than the vacated area which is subject to additional conditions, the plat shall not be recorded until all required conditions are satisfied. Thereafter, the amended plat is the lawful plat.

(5)    Copies. The clerk of the planning commission serving as the platting authority shall file a certified copy of the final executed order of the vacation, together with a copy of the amended plat, with the borough assessor. The clerk shall also mail, by certified United States mail, return receipt requested, certified copies of the final order to the petitioners.

(h)    Title to Vacated Area – Payment to City or Borough.

(1)    Unless the petitioners, the planning commission serving as the platting authority, and the city or borough have otherwise agreed in writing to reserve to the city or borough such title, rights, easements or privileges as deemed necessary, the title to the street or other public area vacated on a plat attaches to the lot or lands bordering on the area to be vacated in equal proportions, except that if the area was originally dedicated by different persons, original boundary lines shall be adhered to so that the street area which lies on one side of the boundary line shall attach to the abutting property on that side, and the street area which lies on the other side of the boundary line shall attach to the property on that side. The portion of a vacated street which lies within the limits of a platted addition attaches to the lots of the platted addition bordering on the area. If a public square is vacated, the title to it vests in the city if it lies within the city and to the borough if it lies within the borough outside the city. If the property vacated is a lot or tract, title thereto vests in the owner thereof.

(2)    If the planning commission serving as the platting authority has found in the final order of vacation that the borough or city acquired the street or other public area proposed to be vacated for legal consideration or by express dedication to and acceptance by the borough or city (other than required subdivision platting), and if a veto has not been duly exercised, upon receiving from the clerk of the planning commission serving as the platting authority a certified copy of the final order of vacation, the borough revenue collector shall pay over to the city or the borough the present fair market value of said property as hitherto determined by the borough assessor. The revenue collector shall pay said sum to the city if the property was within the city and to the borough if the property was outside the city and within the borough.

(i)    Planning and Zoning Official – Duties – Authority. The planning commission serving as the platting authority shall receive the recommendations of the planning and zoning official relative to the vacation of said streets or public areas and in the administration of this chapter. The borough manager and the director of planning shall timely provide the planning commission serving as the platting authority and the planning and zoning official with competent personnel, necessary equipment, and supplies to competently and timely perform the acts required in this chapter. The planning and zoning official is responsible for coordinating his efforts, those of the planning staff assigned to work for the planning commission serving as the platting authority, the secretary of the planning commission serving as the platting authority, and those of the borough assessor, in carrying out the duties and in securing the information necessary to administer this chapter. Where, in the opinion of the planning and zoning official, it is necessary to secure additional information pertaining to a proposed vacation, he is, under procedures to be established by the borough manager, authorized to engage the services of a title company, civil engineer, or other professional person, to give him such information in writing. The borough manager is directed to establish an account into which street vacation application fees shall be deposited and out of which necessary authorized vacation expenses shall be paid.

(j)    Deeds to Vacated Property. If the recorded plat does not convey ownership of the vacated right-of-way according to the final order of vacation, and any funds required to be paid to the city or borough have been paid, the city or the borough, as appropriate, shall deed the vacated right-of-way to the person or persons entitled thereto reserving unto itself such title, rights, easements and privileges specified in the final order. Once the final order is effective, the city clerk or borough clerk shall record any deed required by this section in the office of the district recorder. The borough clerk or city clerk shall request that the district recorder send the duly recorded deed(s) to the grantee(s) and shall furnish the recorder with any grantee’s last known address.

(k)    Fees. Fees for street vacation applications shall be as provided for in KGBC 2.105.030.

(l)    Appeals.

(1)    A person entitled to appeal from a final order of the planning commission serving as the platting authority shall take such appeal in the manner authorized and provided for in Rule 602 of the “Rules of Appellate Procedure of the State of Alaska.”

(2)    The time within which an appeal may be taken to the superior court from a final order of the planning commission serving as the platting authority is 30 days from the date that the final order appealed from is mailed. [Ord. No. 1785, §1, 2-1-16.]

17.40.030 Street naming.

(a)    Uniform System Established – Responsibility of Planning Commission Serving as the Platting Authority.

(1)    A uniform system for naming and renaming of streets, roads and public ways within the borough, and for numbering and addressing buildings and structures, is hereby established.

(2)    The planning commission serving as the platting authority shall be responsible for naming and renaming of streets and roads and for the method of address numbering of buildings and structures. Numbers shall be issued by the department of planning and community development. The planning commission serving as the platting authority may recommend to the assembly proposed standards, procedures and guidelines for such naming and renaming of streets and roads, and for numbering and addressing buildings and structures.

(b)    Street Naming.

(1)    The planning commission serving as the platting authority, by resolution, may, pursuant to and in conformity with the standards, procedures, and guidelines set out in this chapter, name, or change the name, of any existing or new street or road within the borough after notice to the owners of record of property adjoining the street or road, consultation with any other municipality within which the street or road is located, and conducting a public hearing regarding the proposed name, or change of name.

(2)    It shall be unlawful for any person to post or use as an address a street name different than the one approved and assigned in accordance with this chapter.

(c)    Standards, Procedures and Guidelines for Naming and Renaming of Streets and Roads.

(1)    The standards, procedures and guidelines for naming and renaming of streets and roads, and for addressing and numbering of buildings and structures, shall be as provided in subsections (b) through (e) of this section.

(2)    Street Naming Procedures. The following procedures apply to naming or renaming public and private dedicated streets and roads:

a.    Street naming or renaming requests may be initiated by the planning commission, the city of Ketchikan, city of Saxman, Ketchikan Gateway Borough, a department thereof, or by any other person, corporation or agency.

b.    Applications for naming or renaming a street or road shall be submitted on a form provided by the department of planning and community development and shall be accompanied by the following:

1.    A petition signed by at least one of the property owners adjoining the street or road to be named or renamed;

2.    The proposed name of the street or road and at least two alternative names;

3.    A map depicting the location of the street or road;

4.    Fees as set forth in the borough code.

c.    An informal preapplication conference with borough staff is encouraged prior to the submittal of an application.

d.    Upon submittal of an application for naming of a street or road, the planning and zoning official shall review the application and supporting material for completeness and compliance with those standards, procedures and guidelines, and with any other applicable provisions of law. Within 21 calendar days after submittal of an application, the planning and zoning official shall determine whether or not the application is complete and sufficient. If the application is found to be sufficient, it shall be set for public hearing before the planning commission serving as the platting authority. If the application is found not sufficient it shall be returned to the applicant with a written list of deficiencies.

(3)    Following the public hearing, written notice shall be given to each owner of property adjoining the street or road informing them of the action of the planning commission serving as the platting authority.

(4)    Any person who objects to a decision on a street name application may appeal such decision within the time, and in the manner provided in KGBC 17.40.020(l).

(5)    A resolution naming or renaming a street or road shall be recorded in the office of the district recorder, Ketchikan Recording District, First Judicial District.

(6)    The applicant shall be responsible for installing all street name signs as provided for in subsection (e)(3) of this section.

(7)    A request for renaming a street may not be brought before the planning commission serving as the platting authority for a period of two years following the board’s action to name/rename the same street unless a name duplication has occurred.

(d)    Guidelines for Naming Streets and Roads.

(1)    Choice of Names. Names shall be chosen that reflect objects or historic personages that relate to Alaska in general and to the Ketchikan area specifically. They should also relate to the scale and location of the project.

a.    Objectives. Names shall be pleasant sounding, compatible, easy to read and add to the pride of belonging and identity of place.

b.    Categories. Roads within subdivisions submitted pursuant to the subdivision plat procedure shall have names that follow a certain theme. New streets added after the establishment of the subdivision shall have names that follow the same theme. An existing street name shall be continued when the new road extends the alignment of an existing road.

c.    Undesirable Categories. Numerical names (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.); alphabetical letters (a, b, c, etc.); given and surnames of living persons; frivolous, complicated, foreign, or undesirable names; unconventional spelling; compound names; and names over four syllables shall be avoided.

(2)    Affixes. The following affixes shall be used:

a.    Arterial streets: Drive or Road.

b.    Looped streets: Drive or Loop.

c.    Cul-de-sacs: Lane, Place or Court.

d.    Circular cul-de-sac: Circle or Loop.

e.    Directional prefixes shall be avoided, i.e., “north,” “south,” “east,” “west.”

(3)    Name Duplication. Similar sounding names are considered to be a duplication, regardless of spelling and the tag name ending (street, lane, loop, court, etc.), and are prohibited. An exception to this would be a short cul-de-sac off of a through street. The cul-de-sac may have the same name as the intersecting street. However, if there is a series of cul-de-sacs from the same street, they shall have different names.

(4)    Continuity. Through streets and streets that connect to other streets shall have only one name and the same name throughout their length, even if they are curvilinear or cross another street. If the street changes direction sharply or is offset for more than 100 feet or more than the minimum of two residential lot widths based on the centerline offset distance, it shall be given a different name. Dead end streets, cul-de-sacs and streets broken by intervening land use where eventual connection is not probable shall have different names.

(5)    Private Roads. Private roads, nondedicated and nonplatted streets serving two or more separate lots and/or dwellings shall carry the affix of “way” for numbering purposes. This guideline shall not apply to driveways or access to individual, industrial or commercial properties. Affixes and the erection of official looking signs and sign support columns is prohibited on private driveways that serve a single residence or rental units within a single structure.

(6)    Nothing herein shall be construed to prevent the planning commission serving as the platting authority from considering other names. Persons submitting such names shall describe in writing to the planning commission serving as the platting authority the reasons for proposing such names. Failure to include such a description shall constitute an automatic rejection of the name.

(e)    Street Names by Plat.

(1)    All streets shall be named by the subdivider on all subdivision plats that show dedicated rights-of-way.

(2)    Names shall be shown on the preliminary plat.

(3)    The subdivider shall supply and install street signs as a required improvement per KGBC 17.10.090 and 17.35.020, including the following:

a.    Stop signs shall be provided at all collector and arterial street intersections within the confines of the subdivision.

b.    The applicant shall be responsible for street signing of the primary subdivision access road at its point of origin from a principal street or highway.

c.    All signs and sign support columns shall be of metal construction and conform to the State of Alaska DOT/PF Standard Specifications for Highway Construction.

d.    If approved with preliminary plat, an applicant may be permitted to use an alternate sign or other standard approved by the planning commission serving as the platting authority and sign support material for aesthetic reasons if the same degree of permanence and visibility can be achieved. [Ord. No. 1785, §1, 2-1-16.]