The Planning Commission is a body of citizens which serve as an advisory group to the Assembly on issues and activities related to planning land use regulation and community development in general. The Commission also approves a variety of permits. The Planning Commission has seven members who are registered to vote in the borough and are selected from each of the seven Assembly districts. Members of the Planning Commission are appointed to a three-year term by the mayor, subject to confirmation by the Assembly.
Authority for Planning
In Alaska, Alaska State Law requires that home rule, first and second class boroughs, unified municipalities, and first class and home rule cities outside of boroughs provide planning, platting and land use regulation. The Matanuska-Susitna Borough is a second class borough.
Types of Commission Decisions
Planning Commission decisions can be either legislative or quasi-judicial (adjudicative) in nature.
Legislative decisions are decisions that make or interpret policy, and may be broad ranging, such as recommending the adoption of a comprehensive plan, or be very specific such as recommending changes to code. The key element of legislative decisions is that they apply equally to everyone in the community. Quasi-judicial proceedings involve decisions with a direct effect on the rights and liabilities of a single person or, occasionally, a small group of identified persons. Quasi-judicial proceedings deal with matters in which a determination will be made on whether a person has shown that they have met all the established requirements that give them a right to a permit or other entitlement.
Duties of the Planning Commission include: hold public meetings and hearings; prepare comprehensive plans; review and recommend land use regulations; act on variances and conditional use permits; review and advise on land acquisitions and disposal; review and recommend Capital Improvements; review and/or help develop the Planning Department’s annual work program; and other duties as authorized by ordinance.
Planning Commission Manual
The Planning Commission Manual is designed to assist those who participate in Planning Commission meetings. The manual is reviewed annually by the commission and updated as necessary. The primary purpose of this manual is to serve as an operational document for the Commission, it is also used to do an initial introduction for newly appointed commissioners and as a useful reference for those already seated on the Commission. Additional users of this manual may include other governing bodies, professional staff, and interested citizens. The most recent version of the Planning Commission Manual was approved on February 1, 2016 (PC Reso. 15-30) and can be downloaded under the links section located at the top of this page.
Included with this manual are several appendices for ease of reference. One of those appendices is the "Planning Powers for Alaskan Communities" poster. This poster is produced by the State of Alaska - Division of Community and Regional Affairs. You can either view the poster directly in the manual or it can be viewed here and made bigger for easier reading and/or printing.
Please, check the Public Meetings schedule for specific meeting information.
Mary Anderson, Vice-Chair
Colleen Vague, Chair