Planning in the MSB
Planning in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough is mandated by Alaska Statute Title 29. The tasks of the Planning Department include platting, code enforcement, long-range planning, current planning, permitting, flood management, and cultural resource related projects, to name just a few.
The Planning Division provides oversight of the development of long-range policy and planning documents that guide the borough’s decisions concerning land development and growth-related activities. The Division helps develop and maintain ordinances to implement the adopted policies and goals reflected in those documents. The Planning Division also provides review, research and recommendations, based on policy and ordinance provisions, for development-related requests to the Planning Commission and Assembly.
Plans facilitated through the planning division consist of a variety of plans addressing various borough and community needs and issues. The plans generally fall into one of the following categories:
State and Federal plans
Borough regional plans
For example, State plans address how state lands are to be managed. Regional plans guide the development of the boroughs future infrastructure, such as the MSB Transportation Plan, the Public Facilities Plan, and the Parks, Rec and Open Space Plan. Comprehensive Plans identify community visions and goals, and contain recommendations on implementation (MSB Comprehensive Development Plan and community based comprehensive plans), and specialty/functional plans address things like the Solid Waste Management Plan, Hazard Mitigation, Stormwater Management, Lake Management Plans, Port MacKenzie Master Plan, etc.
Planning is a collaborative process. Our planners work with community stakeholders (property owners, residents, business owners, institutional representatives, development professionals, agency representatives, and elected officials) to create these plans. The planners facilitate a rigorous public process and once completed, the plans are amended if necessary and adopted by the assembly into Title 15 of the borough code, and they become a “chapter” of the borough’s overall comprehensive plan.
Planning projects cover a variety of topics and, like plans, may require significant public outreach. Projects may consist of code amendments, Census information, community council boundary reviews, Subdivision Construction Manual rewrite, grant projects, transportation or historic preservation projects, etc. These projects can include a project steering committee or working group.
Documents & Studies
Planning studies are conducted dealing with topics such as environmental issues, transportation, police powers, and health concerns, to name a few. These studies help to identify potential problems and solutions that assist planners in the development of plans and guide actions toward addressing those concerns.