The Homer Advisory Planning Commission at its regular meeting last Wednesday, Aug. 1, approved a conditional use permit, or CUP, for a proposed floatplane office and cabins on Lakeshore Drive.
Kyle Akee, owner of Keystone Construction, Anchor Point, is the lead contractor on the project. He said once all permits are in place, he hopes to start construction soon on a floatplane dock and an operations cabin.
“We’re using as many local contractors as we can,” Akee said.
Last month, crews cleared a wooded lot west of Landings Street and removed a vintage trailer. The lot is next door to the Landings Street Condominiums and near several other float plane lodges and offices. Owner Chris Freeman of Freeman Holdings, Overland Park, Kansas, proposes to build a lodge operation with a main operations office, nine 400-square-foot cabins, a floatplane dock and a fuel facility. The complex is similar to other floatplane offices or lodges on Beluga Lake.
Because there is more than one building containing a permitted principle use, Freeman had to get a CUP from the city. The project also vacates a line between two lots and replats them as one lot.
In his staff report, City Planner Rick Abboud found the proposal fit zoning requirements and defines it as a hotel under city and state code. The units cannot be rented more than 30 days.
Abboud said Freeman still has to get a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit for the dock. Akee and the Corps of Engineers both confirmed permitting is in process. For any city project, it’s a requirement that developers comply with any federal or state permitting requirements, Abboud said.
As part of the CUP, lighting must be downlit in compliance with city code. Akee said he hopes to have the dock and main office built in time for the 2019 tourist season. Freeman does not yet have a name for the lodge, but it will offer flightseeing tours, Akee said.