43.05.005    Definition of terms

43.05.010    General

43.05.015    Purpose and scope

43.05.030    Penalties and remedies

43.05.035    Fees

43.05.040    Violations, enforcement, and penalties

43.05.045    Procedure pamphlet [Repealed]

43.05.050    Owner authorization


(A)    For the purpose of this title, the following definitions of terms shall apply in all cases:

•    “Aliquot part” means a rectangular portion of a section created by midpoint protraction as defined by the BLM manual of survey instructions, unless historical records show otherwise.

•    “Applicant.” See “Petitioner.”

•    “Block” means a group of lots existing within well-defined and fixed boundaries, being an area surrounded by streets or other physical barriers, and having an assigned number, letter, or other name by which it may be identified.

•    “Block length” means the distance between intersections of through streets measured between the right-of-way lines of the intersecting streets, which distance is the longest dimension of a block.

•    “Borough” means the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.

•    “Commercial” means a land use or business enterprise for the purpose of buying or selling goods or services.

•    “Days” means calendar days unless otherwise stated.

•    “Dedication” means the appropriation of land, or an easement therein, by the owner, for the use of the public, and accepted for such use by or on behalf of the public.

•    “Drainage easement” means an easement for the containment, construction, repair, or maintenance of storm or melt water drainage normally adjoining a public right-of-way and dedicated to the borough.

•    “Easement” means any strip of land reserved by the subdivider for public utilities, drainage, sanitation, or other specified use, the title to which shall remain in the property owner, subject to the right of use designated on the subdivision plat or other document. For the purpose of this title an easement shall not be interpreted to be a fee dedication when noted or granted on a plat.

•    “Ex parte” means by or for one party; done for, on behalf of, or on the application of one party only; without notice to or the presence of the other party.

•    “Fee simple” means an estate under which the owner is entitled to unrestricted powers to dispose of the property, and which can be left by will or inherited. Commonly, a synonym for ownership.

•    “Final plat” means a drawing of a subdivision which complies with this title.

•    “Flag lot” means a parcel of land shaped like a flag, with a narrow staff or pole extending to a road right-of-way or other access way.

•    “Governing body” means the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assembly.

•    “Interconnectivity” means the provision for legal right of access granted to adjoining properties, at a location that is practical for future road construction, to plan or provide for a safe and efficient transportation system.

•    “Land surveyor” or “surveyor” means a person currently registered as a professional land surveyor with the state of Alaska.

•    “Lot” means the least fractional part of subdivided lands having fixed boundaries and having an assigned number, or other name through which it may be identified.

•    “Meander line” means a traverse of a body of water for the purpose of determining the size and location of the body of water. For riparian owners, meander lines do not represent the boundary lines; the body of water where it exists represents the true boundary line. When meander lines are nonriparian, they may become land boundary lines.

•    “Monument” means a fixed physical object marking a point on the surface of the earth for commencing or controlling a survey or to establish a property corner.

•    “Municipality” means a political subdivision incorporated under the laws of the state that is home rule or general law city or borough.

•    “Offeror.” See “Petitioner.”

•    “Open space” means any land or area, the preservation of which in its present use would conserve scenic, cultural, or natural resources; protect water bodies or water quality; enhance neighboring parks, forests, wildlife preserves, nature reservations, or sanctuaries; or increase recreation opportunities.

•    “Parcel” means a fractional part of land described by metes and bounds or aliquot parts that are five acres in size or larger and identified in waivers or 40-acre exemptions by document.

•    “Petitioner” means a person or a person’s representative who submits a formal request or application for a platting action.

•    “Plat” means a map representing a tract or parcel of land showing the subdivision of such land into lots, blocks and streets, or other divisions, and other information in compliance with the requirements of all applicable sections of this title and of local ordinances, and may include the terms “replat” or “final plat.”

•    “Platting authority” means the platting board, platting officer, planning and land use director, or other person making a platting decision.

•    “Preliminary plat” means a map or delineated representation of a tract or parcel of land showing the prominent features of a proposed subdivision of such land submitted to an approving authority for the purpose of preliminary approval.

•    “Public improvements” can include but are not limited to: roads, drainage, ditching, signage, cut/fill slopes, trails, bike paths, walkways, public parks and recreation facilities, monumentation, authorized encroachments, utilities, and areas needed for snow storage and other improvements as necessary.

•    “Public use easement” provides the rights for ingress, egress, roadways, rights-of-way, public utilities, and slopes for cuts and fills. The rights are to the public in general, and public utilities governed by permits required under federal, state, and local laws and regulations. May also be known as public access easements and rights-of-way.

•    “Record owner” means the person or persons listed as the owner on the property tax records of the borough assessor.

•    “Replat” means the redelineation of an existing lot, block, or tract of a previously recorded subdivision involving the change of property lines and, after vacation, the altering of dedicated streets, easements, or public areas.

•    “Right-of-way” means a strip of land reserved, used or to be used for a street, alley, walkway, airport, railroad, or other public or private purpose.

•    “Slope easement” means an easement for the construction, repair, or maintenance of a sloped area of ground adjoining a public right-of-way.

•    “Snow storage easement” means an easement for snow storage normally adjoining a road right-of-way.

•    “Street” means and includes all access ways for common use, such as traveled ways, roads, lanes, highways, avenues, boulevards, alleys, parkways, viaducts, circles, courts, and cul-de-sacs, and includes all the land lying between the right-of-way lines as delineated on a plat showing such streets, whether improved or unimproved.

•    “Subdivider” means a person holding any legal or equitable interest in land being subdivided. The term shall also include all heirs, assigns, or successors in interest, or representatives of the subdivider.

•    “Subdivision” means the division of a tract or parcel of land into two or more lots, sites, or other divisions, or the combining of two or more lots, tracts, or parcels into one lot, tract, or parcel for the purpose, whether immediate or future, of sale, or lease for more than ten years including any re-subdivision, and, when appropriate to the context, the process of subdividing of the land actually subdivided.

•    “Tract” means an area of land which has been defined, but has not been designated by lot and block numbers.

•    “Trail” means a traveled way which provides recreational, aesthetic, alternate transportation, or educational opportunities and may also provide access for subdividing properties.

•    “Usable building area” means area outside of minimum usable septic area and easements where building is prohibited, and outside of setbacks from the following: rights-of-way, easements for public use, section line easements, water bodies, and lot lines.

•    “Usable open space area” means that portion within a plat-designated open space which meets the requirements of MSB 43.20.281.

•    “Usable septic area” means that portion of a lot, tract, or parcel that provides septic function on the property and as further defined in MSB 43.20.281.

•    “Utility easement” means an area in which the rights to construct, install, repair, and maintain utility distribution and service facilities are exercised.

•    “Walkway” means a right-of-way or easement dedicated for pedestrian access.

•    “Water body” means a discrete and significant element of surface water, including all or part of lakes, reservoirs, streams, rivers, canals, and coastal waters.

•    “Watercourse” means a depression formed by water moving over the earth; any natural or artificial channel through which water flows perennially or intermittently. Includes natural waterways that have been channelized, but does not include manmade channels, ditches, or underground drainage and sewage systems.

(B)    In instances where a word is not included in this section nor in the applicable section, reference will be made first to the most recent publication of “The Illustrated Book of Development Definitions,” then to “Webster’s New Universal, Unabridged Dictionary.”

(Ord. 17-033, § 2, 2017; Ord. 15-036, § 2, 2015: Ord. 11-072, § 3 (part), 2012)

43.05.010 GENERAL.

(A)    This title shall be referred to and cited as the “Matanuska-Susitna Borough Platting Regulations.” The platting officer shall provide copies of this title and the department of public works Subdivision Construction Manual to any person upon request at a reasonable charge.

(Ord. 17-033, § 3, 2017: Ord. 11-072, § 3 (part), 2012)


(A)    This title is to promote the common good and welfare with regard to platting of subdivisions. This title establishes consistent minimum guidelines for the regulation of the subdivision and platting of lands within the borough. The purpose of this title is to incorporate AS 29.40.070, which includes but is not limited to the control of:

(1)    form, sizes, and other aspects of subdivision, dedications, and vacations of land;

(2)    dimensions and design of lots;

(3)    street width, arrangement, and rights-of-way, including requirements for public access to lots and installation of street paving, curbs, gutters, sidewalks, sewers, water lines, drainage, and other public utility facilities and improvements; and

(4)    dedication of streets, rights-of-way, public utility easements, and areas considered necessary by the platting authority for other public uses.

(B)    The following list of documents are to be incorporated within this title as if fully set forth in this title:

(1)    BLM manual of survey instructions; and

(2)    [Repealed by Ord. 17-033, § 40, 2017]

(3)    2022 Subdivision Construction Manual.

(C)    Each manual, excepting for the BLM manual of survey instructions, may be modified by the platting board subject to review by the planning commission and adoption by the assembly.

(Ord. 22-057, § 2, 2022; Ord. 20-015, § 2, 2020; Ord. 17-033, § 40, 2017: Ord. 11-072, § 3 (part), 2012)


(A)    The owner or agent of the owner of land who publicly offers by any means to sell, transfer, or who sells or enters into a contract to sell land in a subdivision before a plat of the subdivision has been prepared, approved and filed in accordance with this title is guilty of an infraction, and upon conviction is punishable by a fine of not more than $500 for each lot or parcel offered for sale, transferred, sold, or included in a contract to be sold.

(B)    No person may file or seek to have a plat filed unless it has been approved in accordance with this title. A person who knowingly violates this subsection is punishable upon conviction by a fine of not more than $500.

(C)    The borough or any aggrieved person may bring a civil action to enjoin any violation of this title, any transfer or sale of an unlawfully subdivided parcel and the violation of any term or condition of any plat or other entitlement approved under this title, and to obtain damages for any injury the plaintiff suffered as a result of the violation. In addition to injunctive and compensatory relief, each violation shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $500. An action for injunction under this section may be brought notwithstanding the availability of any other remedy. Upon application for injunctive relief and a finding of an existing or threatened violation, the superior court shall enjoin the violation.

(D)    Each act or condition in violation of this title, or any term or condition of any plat or other entitlement under this title, and every day during which the act or condition occurs shall constitute a separate violation of this title.

(Ord. 11-072, § 3 (part), 2012)

43.05.035 FEES.

(A)    The assembly shall establish a schedule of fees for applications and appeals under this title by resolution. The schedule of fees shall be posted in the borough offices and may be altered or amended only by the assembly.

(Ord. 17-033, § 4, 2017: Ord. 11-072, § 3 (part), 2012)


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

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

(Ord. 11-072, § 3 (part), 2012)

43.05.045 Procedure Pamphlet. [Repealed by Ord. 17-033, § 5, 2017]


(A)    All platting entitlement applications must be made by the owner, or authorized agent of the owner, of the property subject to the entitlement. The authorization must be in writing, executed by the owner, and include the names, mailing addresses, and telephone numbers for both the owner and the authorizing agent.

(B)    A certificate to plat or a preliminary commitment for title insurance prepared by a title company is to be submitted with an application for a vacation, abbreviated plat, preliminary plat, public use easement, waiver, or 40-acre exemption. The title report or preliminary commitment for title insurance must be current within 120 days of submittal of the application.

(C)    The platting action will be unaffected if ownership changes during the platting process; provided, that an updated certificate to plat, or preliminary commitment for title insurance, is received by the platting division.

(Ord. 16-018, §§ 2, 3, 2016; Ord. 11-072, § 3 (part), 2012)