Robert Koruna: SpUD Comments

posted Jul 20, 2010, 7:57 AM by Tim Swezey   [ updated Jul 20, 2010, 8:13 AM ]
Meadow Lakes Community Council MailTim Swezey <>

SpUD comments

Robert Koruna Mon, Jul 19, 2010 at 9:41 PM
To: Tim Swezey <>, SpUD Group <>
Hi group,

I first know I am coming into this late and respect the hard work spent on this document. As a professional engineer, I live by regulations and code documents which have some contradictory and confusing language. So I hope my comments, suggestions, and proposed changes are helpful. My family homesteaded in 1959 and we still have the original 160 acres. Various members of my family have lived on the property and I recently moved out here from Anchorage. So I have a lot invested in this community.

My first general comment. As a planning document this will be acted upon by one organization - plan reviewers with the MSB. I find language regarding ordinances that a plan reviewer cannot enforce or even be privy too. If specific laws are desired by Meadow Lakes, then another avenue should be used besides a planning and land use document. I will address these in my comments below. How can activities be restricted in a planning/zoning document other than directly tied to the building regulated?

1. General: The document should have revision of clause numbering. Some have numbered headings while other sections are bullet points. Recommend actual numbering for all clauses. i.e. 1000.12.33 etc (Section 1000, paragraph 12, clause 33) this would better match other planning documents I have seen. The way it is numbered now is inconsistent and some numbers are skipped/missing.

2. General: I am surprised there is no regulation of airstrips and aircraft hangars. The airstrip-aircraft congestion in Meadow Lakes is bordering on ridiculous. I have 3 air strips + 1 lake with floatplanes within a mile of me. I have seen near-misses. I have had too many aircraft fly dangerously close over my home. I propose a moratorium until FAA can sort out this mess.

3. General: Building Height Issue. This is overly restrictive. If the issue is visual appeal, then should have allowance for taller buildings on larger lots and taller building in the more urbanized zoning areas. If it is fire related, then the risk should be on the owner - they have to purchase the fire insurance. As long as setbacks are met, their risk is not spread to adjacent owners. Regarding condo fires, I worked on the redesign of a large condo building that burned several years ago in downtown Anchorage. The cause was a worker welding in an elevator shaft. The building was not sprinkled and did not have proper fire-blocking or stops and the fire entered the attic space and spread quickly across the building. Building codes, if properly followed, mitigate the risk of fire and hazard to occupants. I do not see a planning document serving this role.

4. Storage of fuel tanks (Page 8): I like this section but again this is a planning document. Are fuel tank locations required to be shown on a proposed plot plan? If not this is totally un-enforcible. Recommend have the MSB making an ordnance if this section is important. Perhaps also allowing double-walled tanks in lieu of containment. Although this section was mocked in the meeting, I agree with the purpose - I have designed containment tanks for oil-filled transformers. They catch water as well as oil and are a maintenance item - the water/oil must be pumped out and discharged into an oil-water separator. So I appreciate what you are doing but I don't think this is the right avenue.

5. Waterfront access (page 9). Error "A surfaced footpath.... of up to three feet (4')" Is is 3 or 4 feet. Recommend 4 feet, seems more consistent.

6. Trail Reservations (Page 13). Recommend all reference to Meadow Lake trail Map revised to read "MSB Trail Master plan"

7. Sand & Gravel Extraction(Page 13). Like the sentiment but how can this be enforced by a plan reviewer? Would add language about extracting in or near water bodies. What about current commercial gravel pits adjacent to waterways?

8. Noise (Page 14). Don't see how this is enforced in a planning document. Should be an ordnance if important. Recommend exclusions for holidays.

9. Signs (Page 14). Don't understand "grandfathering" for signs if deemed a nuisance. This is not a building, just make them take the signs down. But again how is a plan reviewer going to do this? Are signs required on a plot plan? What about signs put up on various roads? Should be an ordinance.

10. Districts Established (Page 22). Either a definition or a map should control, right now there are both and they contradict.

11. Baldy (Page 24). Permitted uses seems pointless as this is public land. How can any of these ever be built on the public land? How can any development take place at all? Recommend major revisions to this section.

12. Rural Residential (Page 26). Does section A under multiple homes on the same property? The definition for accessory dwelling unit seem to imply that. I am in favor of this usage as I am building a house for my mom next to me know perhaps my children in the future and do not want to see that restricted.

13. Rural Residential (Page 26). Recommend more regulation of hangars and airstrips.

14. River Corridors (Page 27). No real difference from Rural Residential, recommend delete the district.

15. Definitions (Page 48). Stream corridor of 1/4 mile either side seems excessive, recommend reduction if this separate district is kept.

Tim Swezey <>Tue, Jul 20, 2010 at 6:52 AM
To: SpUD Group <>
Thanks Robert

I'm glad I got this today, I'm sending out a email to the community and I want to include this. I discovered a new template for Google Apps for Projects, so I'm going to take apart your email and place on the issues page under your name. I'm also going to place your complete email as a PDF on the files page and create a correspondence section so that it can be read without downloading. 

Tim Swezey, President Meadow Lakes Community Council
Shane the Assistance Dog

[Quoted text hidden]