Article I. Adoption

17.52.010    Findings

17.52.020    Applicability

17.52.030    Permitted principal uses and structures

17.52.040    Permitted secondary uses and structures

Article II. Conditional Uses; Standards and Criteria

17.52.050    Conditional use permit

17.52.060    Uses permitted by conditions, covenants and restrictions

17.52.070    Building setbacks

17.52.075    Violations, enforcement, and penalties

17.52.080    Subdivision regulations

17.52.090    Nonconforming existing uses

17.52.100    Procedure for conditional use permits

17.52.110    Application and fee

17.52.130    Standards for a conditional use permit

17.52.140    Conditions and requirements

17.52.150    Planning commission action on conditional use

Article III. Application Process

17.52.160    Application for residential classification

17.52.170    Violations and enforcement [Repealed]

17.52.180    Appeal procedure

Article IV. Designations

17.52.190    Definitions

Article V. Districts

17.52.250    Districts designated


17.52.010 FINDINGS.

The assembly finds that certain areas in the borough by design or location are predominantly residential in character, and that persons buying lots in such areas or living in them reasonably expect that the predominantly residential character of such areas will be maintained. This chapter is intended to restrict uses in such areas to those uses which are compatible with the predominantly residential character of such areas.

(Ord. 84-83, § 3, 1984; Ord. 83-80, § 2 (part), 1983)


Residential areas under the conditions of this chapter are restricted to residential land uses except as otherwise provided in this chapter. Uses which are not permitted are prohibited. This chapter is not applicable, nor can it be made applicable where other land use regulations codified in MSB Title 17 are in effect.

(Ord. 84-83, § 4, 1984; Ord. 83-80, § 2 (part), 1983)


(A)    The following principal uses are permitted in the R district:

(1)    one-family dwelling;

(2)    two-family dwelling;

(3)    multi-family dwelling (three or more dwelling units).

(Ord. 83-80, § 2 (part), 1983)


(A)    The following secondary uses and structures are permitted in the R district:

(1)    home occupations;

(2)    day nurseries;

(3)    gardens and green houses when incidental to residential use.

(Ord. 83-80, § 2 (part), 1983)



(A)    The following uses and structures are permitted upon the issuance of a conditional use permit:

(1)    churches and church-related activities;

(2)    hospitals, sanitariums, convalescent centers, nursing homes, rest homes;

(3)    natural resource extraction;

(4)    plant nurseries and greenhouses;

(5)    public lands institutional;

(6)    substation electric utilities;

(7)    neighborhood commercial use.

(Ord. 83-80, § 2 (part), 1983)


Any residential, commercial or industrial use or structure explicitly permitted by conditions, covenants and restrictions for the residential area in effect and recorded as of the date of application are permitted so long as the conditions, covenants and restrictions are in effect and permit such use or structure. Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to repeal or modify any condition, covenant or restriction.

(Ord. 84-83, § 5, 1984; Ord. 83-80, § 2 (part), 1983)


(A)    No building line shall be placed within 25 feet from the right-of-way line of any public right-of-way. This setback shall be known as the building line setback.

(B)    No furthermost protruding portion of any structure excluding eaves shall be located nearer than ten feet from any side or rear lot line.

(C)    Except as provided in subsection (D) below, no structure or footing shall be located closer than 75 feet from the high water mark of a watercourse or body of water.

(D)    Docks, piers, marinas and boathouses may be located over the water, provided they are not used for habitation and do not contain sanitary facilities. Structures permitted over water under this subsection shall conform to all applicable state and federal statutes and regulations.

(Ord. 83-80, § 2 (part), 1983)


(A)    Except as otherwise specified in this chapter violations of this chapter are infractions.

(B)    Remedies, enforcement actions, and penalties shall be consistent with the terms and provisions of MSB 1.45.

(Ord. 95-088(SUB)(am), § 25 (part), 1995)


Land uses shall be subject to the requirements of the subdivision conditions, covenants and restrictions recorded prior to inclusion of the residential area within the residential land use district, and shall conform to notes on the subdivision plat.

(Ord. 84-83, § 6, 1984: Ord. 83-80, § 2 (part), 1983)


(A)    Within districts established by this chapter or by amendments that may later be adopted, there may exist structures and uses of land which were lawful before the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter which would be prohibited, regulated, or restricted under the terms of this chapter or future amendment, which structures and uses are nonconforming uses and as such may continue subject to the provisions of subsections (B) and (C) of this section.

(B)    A nonconforming use of land or structure or a nonconforming use of structure and land in combination shall not be extended or enlarged after passage of the ordinance codified in this chapter by the addition of other structures or uses of a nature which would be prohibited generally in the district.

(C)    Should any nonconforming structure or non-conforming portion of a structure be damaged or become unusable by any means, it may be reconstructed to its original size and for its original use.

(Ord. 83-80, § 2 (part), 1983)


It is recognized that there are certain uses which are generally considered appropriate in certain land use districts, provided that controls and safeguards are applied to ensure their compatibility with permitted principal uses. These conditional uses are specified within this chapter. The conditional use permit procedure is intended to allow the commission to give consideration of the impact of the proposed conditional use on surrounding property to provide for controls and safeguards to assure that the conditional use will be compatible with the surrounding area and to require conditions and design standards to maintain residential property values and the safety, health, and comfort of residents of the area affected by the conditional use.

(Ord. 83-80, § 2 (part), 1983)


(A)    An application to the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Planning Commission for a conditional use or modification of an existing conditional use may be initiated by the property owner or the owner’s authorized agent.

(B)    The application for a conditional use permit shall describe the specific use proposed, and shall address the standards set out in MSB 17.52.130. It shall be accompanied by an appropriate filing fee as established by the assembly payable to the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, on forms provided by the borough.

(Ord. 86-47, § 14, 1986; Ord. 83-80, § 2 (part), 1983)


(A)    Before granting a conditional use permit, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Planning Commission must make findings that:

(1)    the conditional use will preserve the value, character and integrity of the surrounding area;

(2)    the conditional use permit will not be harmful to the public health, safety, convenience, and comfort;

(3)    sufficient setbacks, lot area, buffers, or other safeguards are being provided to meet the above listed conditions.

(Ord. 83-80, § 2 (part), 1983)


In recommending the granting of a conditional use, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Planning Commission shall stipulate in writing requirements which it finds necessary to carry out the intent of this chapter. These stipulations may increase the required lot or yard size, control the location and number of vehicular access points to the property, require screening and landscaping to reduce noise and glare and maintain the property in a character in keeping with surrounding area, or impose other conditions and safeguards designed to insure the compatibility of the conditional use with other uses in the district.

(Ord. 83-80, § 2 (part), 1983)


(A)    The Matanuska-Susitna Borough Planning Commission shall render a decision on the application for conditional use permit within 30 calendar days from the date of the official meeting and/or hearing, at which it is reviewed.

(B)    The planning department shall incorporate any conditions and requirements stipulated by the commission in the conditional use permit.

(Ord. 83-80, § 2 (part), 1983)



(A)    Application for inclusion in the provisions of this chapter may be made by the filing of an application together with the appropriate filing fee as established by the assembly with the borough by any person if accompanied by a petition favoring the application signed by legal owners of record of more than 60 percent of all lots and tracts in the residential area proposed for inclusion in the residential district.

(B)    [Repealed by Ord. 08-002, § 2, 2008]

(C)    [Repealed by Ord. 08-002, § 2, 2008]

(D)    [Repealed by Ord. 08-002, § 2, 2008]

(E)    Application for exclusion from the provisions of this chapter may be made by the filing of an application together with the appropriate filing fee as established by the assembly with the borough by any person if accompanied by a petition favoring the application signed by the legal owners of record of more than 60 percent of all lots and tracts in the existing residential land use district.

(F)    Upon the filing of an application to include or exclude a residential area, the planning commission shall hold a public hearing. Notice of the hearing shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the borough and shall be sent to record property owners within the residential area and within 300 feet of the property involved, at least the five nearest properties, not less than ten days nor more than 20 days before the hearing date. Failure to send notices to persons as specified or the failure of a person to receive notice shall not invalidate the action of the commission.

(G)    The commission shall recommend approval, denial or modification of the proposed application based on:

(1)    the contiguous and compatible character of the residential area;

(2)    the impact on the affected and surrounding property, including compatibility of land use and traffic;

(3)    compatibility with the comprehensive plan; and

(4)    whether approval of the application will aid the development of a unified residential neighborhood.

(H)    If the commission acts favorably on the application; or in any case, if the applicant so requests within 20 days of the hearing, the application shall be forwarded to the assembly with the commission’s recommendation and an appropriate ordinance to enact the residential restrictions. Adoption of the proposed amendment shall be by ordinance in the sole discretion of the assembly.

(Ord. 08-002, § 2, 2008: Ord. 86-47, § 15, 1986; Ord. 84-83, §§ 7 and 8 (part), 1984; Ord. 83-80, § 2 (part), 1983)

17.52.170 Violations and Enforcement. [Repealed by Ord. 95-088(SUB)(am), § 10 (part), 1995. For current provisions, see MSB 17.52.075]


Appeals from a decision of the planning commission or from an enforcement order under this chapter shall be made under the provisions of MSB 15.39.

(IM 96-013, page 1 (part), presented 3-19-96; Ord. 83-80, § 2 (part), 1983)


17.52.190 DEFINITIONS.

(A)    For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.

(1)    “Appurtenance” means any structure which is accessory and subordinate to a principal structure on the same parcel.

(2)    “Commercial use” means any activity other than a home occupation where goods or services are offered or provided for sale or for profit.

(3)    “Conditions,” “covenants” and “restrictions” means mean restrictions on the use of land and types of buildings established and maintained by the property owners within the subdivision that are recorded or found as notes on the plat.

(4)    “Dwelling” means any single-family residence, mobile home, zero lot line home, townhouse, condominium, apartment, or other structure used for permanent living quarters.

(5)    “Home occupation” means an occupation conducted in a dwelling unit or detached appurtenance where:

(a)    more than one other person, in addition to members of the family, reside on the premises and engage in such occupation;

(b)    the use of the dwelling unit and for detached appurtenance for the home occupation is clearly incidental and subordinate to its use for residential purposes by its occupants, and not more than 30 percent of the combined floor area of the dwelling and appurtenance is used in the conduct of the home occupation;

(c)    there is no change in the outside appearance of the building or premises or other visible evidence of the conduct of such home occupation other than one sign, not exceeding two square feet in area, nonilluminated and mounted flat against the wall of the principal building;

(d)    traffic is not generated by such home occupation in greater volumes than would normally be expected in a residential neighborhood;

(e)    equipment or process is not used in the home occupation which creates noise, vibration, glare, fumes, odors, or commercial electrical interference, in violation of federal rules and regulations detectable to the normal senses off the lot, if the occupation is conducted in a single-family residence or outside the dwelling unit if conducted in other than a single-family residence. In the case of electrical interference, no equipment or process shall be used which creates visual audible interference in any radio or television receivers off the premises, or causes fluctuations in line voltage off the premises;

(f)    outdoor storage of materials or equipment is not required for the home occupation.

(6)    “Industrial use” means facilities and grounds for manufacture, assembly, transportation, warehousing, storage or disposal.

(7)    “Neighborhood commercial use” means a single use providing retail convenience goods or services to the immediate neighborhood, such as a grocery store, beauty parlor or professional office.

(8)    “Nonconforming use” means an existing lawful use of a structure or land which does not conform with the regulations of the subdivision in which it is situated as established by this regulation or any amendments thereto.

(9)    “Public land, institutional” means governmental uses such as parks, playgrounds, fire stations, education facilities and libraries.

(10)    “Residential area” means any unified subdivision development or combination of subdivision developments, or more than three defined lots or parcels which constitute a contiguous area with common features.

(11)    “Subdivision” is defined in MSB 43.05.005.

(Ord. 84-83, §§ 8 (part) and 9, 1984; Ord. 83-80, § 2 (part), 1983)



(A)    The following districts are residential land use districts subject to the provisions of this chapter:

(1)    the Dawn Lake Estates No. 1 Sub-division Residential Land Use District as described in MSB Ordinance No. 84-20;

(2)    the Shenandoah Subdivision Residential Land Use District as described in MSB Ordinance No. 84-40;

(3)    the Kelly Lake Area Residential Land Use District as described in MSB Ordinance No. 84-039, amended by Ordinance Serial No. 02-159;

(4)    the Woodside Estates Subdivision Residential Land Use District as described in MSB Ordinance No. 84-64;

(5)    the Lynne Lake Area Residential Land Use District as described in MSB Ordinance No. 84-75;

(6)    the Ancient Tree Estates Addition No. 1 Subdivision Residential Land Use District, as described in MSB Ordinance No. 84-123;

(7)    the Pinnacle Mountain Subdivision Residential Land Use District as described in MSB Ordinance No. 85-16;

(8)    the Sherwood Estates Subdivision Addition No. 2 Residential Land Use District as described in Ordinance No. 85-39;

(9)    the Nancy Lake Northwest Shore Residential Land Use District as more particularly described in Ordinance No. 85-87;

(10)    the Nancy Lake Northeast Shore Residential Land Use District as more particularly described in Ordinance No. 85-88;

(11)    Jack Fish Landing Subdivision as described in Ordinance No. 88-201(AM);

(12)    the Talkeetna River Subdivision, Plat No. 73-11T and Plat No. 77-12;

(13)    Fairview Estates Addition #1, Block 2, Lot 1-22;

(14)    Downwind Landing Subdivision and Matanuska-Susitna Borough tax parcels: 17N02E12A006, 17N02E12A012, 17N02E12A013, 17N02E12A015, 17N02E12A016, 17N02E12A017, 17N02E12A019, 17N02E12A020, and 17N02E12A018.

(B)    The provisions of this chapter apply to any area designated as a residential land use district under this chapter whether or not such area or district is set out in this section.

(Ord. 03-181, § 2, 2003; Ord. 02-159, § 2, 2002; Ord. 02-050, § 2, 2002; IM 96-016, page 1, presented 3-19-96; Ord. 94-039, § 2, 1994; Ord. 88-201, § 2, 1988; Ord. 85-88, § 3, 1985; Ord. 85-87, § 3, 1985; Ord. 85-86, § 2, 1985)