Platting Staff Comparison of Ordnance 11-072 to Title 27

posted Jul 6, 2011, 1:44 AM by Tim Swezey   [ updated Jul 25, 2011, 7:52 PM ]

The borough platting staff has sent out a comparison of Ordnance 11-072, which is an amended Title 16, to Title 27.


The platting staff has 26 minor and 57 major concerns with ordnance 11-072. 


The concerns range the entire spectrum from violating the Alaska's "Open Meeting Act" state statute to the impact on water quality. 


This is just the comparison of ordnance 11-072 which repeals Title 27 and amends Title 16. 


Hopefully the platting staff will do a point by point comparison of ordnance 11-073 which amends Title 17.02 and 17.29

Document Links: If you want me to email you a document send me a message at


You can view or download the files using these links:

·        Differences between 16 & 27 7-5-11.pdf 512K PDF

o   Point by point comparison of ordinance 11-072 to Title 27.

·       Cover letter-general.pdf 47K PDF

·        11-072 OR WITH CHANGES INDICATED.pdf 202K PDF

·        11-073 OR with highlighted amendments.pdf 36K PDF

·        Changes to 16 & 27 - IM.pdf 60K PDF

·        11-072 OR .pdf 203K PDF

·        Changes to LUP & Flood.pdf 359K PDF


I wrote a letter to the borough request more time for public comment which you can read here:

·        Response Letter to Ordinance 11-072 and 11-073.pdf 498K PDF



A question that has not been asked is, "will Ordnances 11-072 & 11-073 raise property taxes"?


The borough recently lowered property taxes from 9.9 mills to 8.9 mills. This isn't solely due to Title 27 but good business management by the Mat-Su Borough.


If you want to see how property taxes work in a community, you should read the Town of Holland economic study, which you can view here:

·        Understanding the Cost to Provide Community Services in the Town of Holland, La Crosse County, Wisconsin


During periods of economic growth, the borough can end up paying more for services then they receive in residential property taxes. What buffers residents from having paying more property tax then they receive in services? The commercial corridors generate more revenue to the borough then is spent in providing services. 


But how will ordinance 11-072 and 11-073 cause higher property taxes.


One answer is allowing developers of subdivisions to build roads 50 feet wide.  The developer has a few 40 acre parcels and he puts in the first phase with a 50 foot wide road. All is well a good, as the subdivision grows the borough will just add access at the other end of the road at the cost of $250,000 per mile. 


But when the current residents get the notice of the planned additions to their subdivision they have an issue. The road is only 50 feet wide! We have trailers with snowmobiles, boats and some people taxi their plane on the road to reach the lake or the landing strip.


If the school bus uses our street, we'll have to pull into the ditch to let it by. In winter that can be a problem. Also the start of summer was very dry, with fire danger warnings. If there was a forest fire, emergency vehicles will have trouble accessing our subdivision and there is only one exit so we'll have trouble getting out.


You can't add more people until you widen the road!


It's a simple answer, all the borough has to do is widen the road wherever there's a problem in a subdivision.  But all the current land owner's mortgages are tied to the size of their parcel.


You can't widen the road without cutting into current property owners parcels and screwing up their mortgages.


80% of the population live in unincorporated areas. Nearly 100% of the commercial corridors are within incorporated areas such as Wasilla and Palmer. Ordinances 11-072 and 11-073 will cause the borough greater difficulty providing services to unincorporated areas and the commercial corridors won't be able to make up the difference.


Who will pay for repealing Title 27 and replacing it with a hacked up Title 16!


You will with higher property taxes!


With the number of gotcha's in ordnances 11-072 and 11-073 there is no predicting how much it will cost.