Comprehensive plan veto stands

Homer will have to wait a bit longer for a new comprehensive plan.

Mayor Ken Castner’s appropriation reduction to Ordinance 23-11 and veto of Resolution 23-017 were upheld during the city council’s regular meeting on Tuesday, March 28.

Ordinance 23-11 appropriated $650,000 from the city’s general CARMA fund for the purpose of developing a new comprehensive plan and a complete Title 21 zoning and planning code. Resolution 23-017 approved a contract with Agnew Beck Consulting in Anchorage not to exceed $650,000 to develop the comprehensive plan and code.

Resolution 23-017 was vetoed entirely. The funds appropriated by Ordinance 23-11 are now reduced from $650,000 to $250,000. The reduced funds will be directed toward code revisions in compliance with the city’s current comprehensive plan, according to the memo submitted March 9 to the council by Castner when he first notified them of his vetoes.

According to Homer City Code 2.08.070, the mayor’s vetoes may be overridden by a two-thirds vote from the “authorized membership” of the city council. In order for the comprehensive plan to move forward, a minimum of four council members would have needed to vote in favor of overriding the vetoes.

The council’s vote on Ordinance 23-11 tied 3-3. Council members Shelly Erickson, Storm Hansen and Caroline Venuti voted to uphold the veto. Council members Donna Aderhold, Jason Davis and Rachel Lord voted in favor of the override. One vote short of the two-thirds majority, the veto was upheld.

Consequently, the council voted unanimously to uphold the mayor’s veto of Resolution 23-017. Castner wrote in a second March 9 memo to the council regarding the resolution’s veto that “the appropriation must precede the contract award.” Because the funds appropriated for the development of a new comprehensive plan were significantly reduced, awarding a contract to Agnew Beck is no longer a viable avenue.

The next update of the comprehensive plan is currently scheduled for 2028.

The full recording of the March 28 meeting, as well as supplemental materials, can be found on the city council website at The council’s next regular meeting will be held on Monday, April 10 at 6 p.m.