Planning commission votes down Lighthouse Village preliminary replat

The commission will send their recommendation and comments to the borough

Homer’s Planning Commission decided at their Jan. 17 regular meeting to not recommend approval of the Bayview Subdivision Lighthouse Village replat preliminary plat to the borough’s planning commission.

This decision is in line with the majority vote at their Jan. 3 special meeting to not recommend approval for the B Street right of way vacation.

The reasons accompanying the decision are as follows:

There is currently no equal or superior access to the vacation of B street being offered by the applicant on the proposed plat.

Staff Report 23-062, regarding the B Street right of way vacation, was recommended for denial by the commission at the Jan. 3 special meeting.

Without the approval of the vacation of the right of way, the lot at 1491 Bay Avenue is not contiguous with the lots at 1563 and 1663 Homer Spit Road.

City planner Ryan Foster explained during Wednesday’s meeting, “This plat accompanies the action of vacating the B Street right of way south of Bay Avenue and reconfigures three smaller lots into two larger lots … If the vacation is approved, this preliminary plat would be the mechanism by which the property boundaries would legally change.”

The Lighthouse Village property, purchased last year by Doyon, Limited, currently consists of three lots at 1563 Homer Spit Road, 1663 Homer Spit Road and 1491 Bay Avenue. The B Street right of way lies between the two lots facing Homer Spit Road and 1491 Bay Avenue and is considered public property. Without the right of way vacation, the lots privately owned by Doyon will not all be contiguous to each other, which may affect the plat and the planned development’s footprint.

Platting authority lies with the borough, rather than the Homer Planning Commission. Preliminary plat applications come before the commission to provide an opportunity for them to review the plat and forward comments to the Kenai Peninsula Borough planning commission, as well as to provide an opportunity for public comment to the Homer commission.

Foster said the Homer commission will review plats and make comments on their findings based on the City of Homer subdivision code.

“What’s required for the applicant is for this commission to see (the plat) first, review it, comment with a focus on city of Homer subdivision code — which we can have things that are a little different than the borough,” he said at the meeting. “That focus is for what might be specific in the city of Homer.”

The Homer commission’s comments will be passed along to the borough, as well as their recommendation to not approve the replat preliminary plat of the Lighthouse Village property. From there, the plat will go through the borough’s own review process, which will require its own public hearing process as well, according to Foster.

“Once the borough goes through their process, and let’s say they end up with a plat after their process, and they preliminarily approve of it — the plat isn’t finished until it’s actually finalized and signed and executed,” he said. “What would happen with the right of way vacation is, we’d be notified by the borough that the City of Homer, specifically the city council, would have the opportunity to take up and vote on the right of way vacation. The City of Homer has the authority in either granting or denying the right of way vacation.

“This evening is a preliminary plat that is here for the planning commission’s comments that get passed along to the borough’s overall process. Those are the steps identified in borough code,” Foster said.

A few members of the audience came forward to testify during the public comment portion of the meeting. Several spoke against recommending approval of the replat preliminary plat, saying that the commission should “wait and see where the right of way goes” before considering the replat.

Homer resident Richard Rosenbloom stated that he found the replat preliminary plat process “premature,” considering the commission’s current stance on the B Street right of way vacation and that the lot at 1491 Bay Avenue has not yet been rezoned.

“The planning commission has recommended rezoning. It has not been rezoned yet,” Rosenbloom said.

Karin Marks, chair of the Economic Development Advisory Commission, spoke to the opposite side, emphasizing that the Jan. 17 meeting was to consider a “preliminary” plat.

“I have to believe that accepting this preliminary plat is a setup to have the process take place. And it already says in the code and in the reports that this is going to be preliminary, so that you work through the system and the process,” she said to the commission. “It’s not, to my way of thinking, a given that the … vacation and your CUP is automatic just because you do this. There’s still many requirements that are going to have to be handled.

“By having a preliminary plat accepted, it does give Doyon the opportunity to go and make flexible changes. They have shown that they are flexible already. The city needs to have requirements, of course, but (it) also should show some flexibility. Moving forward with a preliminary plat shows flexibility, giving time for movement on both sides to work out the situation,” Marks said.

The full recording of the Jan. 17 meeting, as well as supplemental informational materials, is available online at