The Platting Division of the Planning and Land Use Department daily receives requests from land owners, real estate brokers, developers, land surveyors, engineers and others on procedures involved in subdividing land, granting easements for public access and vacations of rights-of-way and section line easements. This pamphlet explains the platting process and outlines the policies and procedures to accomplish the above actions.
All proposed actions that require a public hearing are acted upon by the Platting Authority, either the Platting Board or, in the case of abbreviated plats, waivers and 40-acre exemptions, the Platting Officer.
Developers are not to encumber proposed rights-of-way by utility easements unless easement documents contain verbiage to be automatically relinquished upon plat recordation.
The platting process for most platting actions involves the following steps:
STEP 1 - PRE-APP CONFERENCE
The pre-application conference is a meeting where the petitioner informs the Platting Staff of their development plans and the Platting Staff informs the petitioner of borough development policies, public improvements, platting procedures, timelines & requirements. This conference requires preparation by both parties to maximize the benefits to both parties. Contact the Platting Division to schedule a pre-application conference. Before the appointment is scheduled, it is necessary to submit a map of the proposed action with enough detail so the platting officer can gain a full understanding of the subdivider’s intentions.
Although not required, it is recommended that the petitioner bring a professional surveyor or engineer to the pre-application conference. This will help to ensure that the petitioner and his representative clearly understand all the conditions discussed at the pre-application conference. A written copy of the discussions will be provided to the applicant. This conference is general in nature and given with the understanding that the Borough codes are always subject to change.
It is the responsibility of the applicant to become independently familiar with the policies, procedures and standards for approval of an application under the provision of MSB Title 43.
STEP 2 - APPLICATION
After the pre-application conference, the petitioner may prepare an application for approval of his proposed action. The type of application (subdivision, easement, vacation, etc.) will determine the timeframe from submittal to approval. The preliminary plat approval request must be submitted no less than 45 days before the regular meeting of the Platting Board, at which the proposed action is to be considered. In the case of abbreviated plats, the public hearing will be within 30 days of submittal. Application fees are to be paid at this time. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.
STEP 3 - PROCESSING
When a complete application is received, it will be held until a platting agenda cut-off date. Within 10 business days after the cut-off date, the Platting Division will circulate the proposal to various borough, state and other governmental agencies for comment. If the property lies within the boundaries of a Community Council, the council will also receive a copy of the proposal for comment. When required, it is the petitioner’s responsibility to submit proposals for community water supply or wastewater systems directly to the State of Alaska, Department of Environmental Conservation. Notices will be sent by mail to all property owners in the existing subdivision, and within 1200’ of the petition area, or the owners of the nearest 5 parcels of land, whichever is greater. The notices will announce the date, time and location of the public hearing as well as the description of the proposed action and the names of the parties requesting the action. Postage and advertising fees are paid by the petitioner. A letter will be sent informing them of the amount due.
STEP 4 - AGENCY COMMENT
As agencies and the Platting Staff review the proposal, the petitioner may be asked to meet with the agencies that have questions. The petitioner will be notified of such meetings by the Platting Staff or the agency questioning the action.
Approximately 5 days before the public hearing, staff recommendations on the proposed action are available for review in the Platting Division. The staff recommendations will be based upon Title 43, the data received from the reviewing agencies, adopted borough plans and sound platting principles. The petitioner may pick up a copy of these recommendations at the Platting Division prior to or at the public hearing.
STEP 5 - PUBLIC HEARING
Each petition is scheduled on the Platting Authority’s agenda. The Platting Authority follows the agenda in the order in which the petitioners are listed. The Platting Authority will conduct a public hearing as follows:
1. Announcement of case to be heard.
2. Platting Staff presents the proposal & staff’s recommendations.
3. The Platting Authority may question the staff.
4. Public hearing is opened to anyone who wishes to speak regarding the proposal.
5. Following testimony from all interested public present, the public hearing is closed or continued.
6. Petitioner or their representative discusses the proposal and staff recommendations with the Platting Authority.
7. The Platting Authority then renders a decision on the petition. It takes at least four positive votes by members of the Platting Board to approve the petition.
NOTE: The Platting Board hears requests for subdivisions, variances, public use easements, plat note amendments, vacations and extensions. The Platting Board meets on the first and third Thursday of each month at 8:30 A.M. The Platting Officer holds a public hearing for abbreviated plat and right-of-way acquisition submittals only. Abbreviated plat hearings start at 8:30 A.M. on Wednesdays.
NOTE: 40-acre Exemption applications are handled administratively (without public hearing) and are not subject to public noticing & advertising. Waivers applications are handled administratively (without public hearing) and are subject to public noticing & advertising.
STEP 6 – APPROVAL & RECORDING
If the Platting Authority approves the request, the petitioner has 6 years in which to finalize the application. Extensions of these time frames may be granted by the Platting Officer and Platting Board if the condition s supporting the approval have not materially changed.
The final plat presented for recording is required to be signed by a professional land surveyor. Recording fees are paid by the petitioner.
RECONSIDERATION & APPEAL PROCEDURE
Reconsiderations and Appeals of Platting Authority decisions must be filed, with appropriate fees, by an interested party within the timeframe specified in borough code. Appeals to Platting Officer decisions will be heard by the Platting Board. Appeals to Platting Board’s decisions may be made under the provisions of MSB 15.39 and are heard by the Board of Adjustments and Appeals.