MSB Code Title 2: Chapter 2.76 Community Councils

CO2.How to view this online.


Matanuska-Susitna Borough Code 

   
CHAPTER 2.76: COMMUNITY COUNCILS     
        
    Section            
  •     2.76.010 Establishment and procedures             
  •     2.76.020 Purpose     
  •     2.76.030 Definition and recognition of community councils     
  •     2.76.040 Establishment of community council districts     
  •     2.76.050 Functions of community councils     
  •     2.76.060 Municipal responsibilities     
  •     2.76.070 Additional citizen participation in municipal government  
   2.76.010 ESTABLISHMENT AND PROCEDURES.   

This chapter provides for establishment of community councils to afford citizens an opportunity for maximum community involvement and self-determination. A community council which meets the standards of this chapter shall be recognized as a community council by assembly resolution.
    
(Ord. 81-97, § 2 (part), 1981)
        
    2.76.020 PURPOSE.     
        
(A)The purpose of this chapter is to provide a direct and continuing means of citizen participation in government and local affairs. Community councils are intended to give:

(1)the people a method to work together for expression and discussion of their opinions, needs and desires in a manner that will have an impact on their community’s development and services;

(2)governmental agencies a method for receiving opinions, needs, desires and recommendations of residents and groups;

(3)local governing bodies an improved basis for decision-making and assignment of priorities for all capital improvements and governmental programs affecting community development and individual well-being.

(Ord. 94-001AM, § 3 (part), 1994; Ord. 81-97, § 2 (part), 1981)
        
    2.76.030 DEFINITION AND RECOGNITION OF COMMUNITY COUNCILS.     
    
(A)For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions should apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
   
(1)"Community councils” are nonprofit, voluntary, self-governing associations composed of residents located within geographical areas designated as community council districts by the assembly.

(2)"Residents” means a person who is qualified to vote or to register to vote under the laws of the state of Alaska and the borough ordinances.

(B)Recognition of community councils. Upon request of one or more voluntary associations and after public notice and hearing, the planning commission may recommend recognition of any one voluntary association as the community council for a given district. Recognition shall be by assembly resolution. To qualify for and maintain recognition, an association shall establish that it:

(1)meets the definition of a "community council”;

(2)has a policy and practice of open membership which encourages participation of persons from all segments of the community;

(3)does not charge dues, or require other financial contribution as a condition of membership or participation, in excess of $10 per member per year. However, the organization may receive contributions of no more than $50 per member per year from members to meet the costs of its operations;

(4)is, in the opinion of the assembly, representative of the residents in the district;

(5)has held at least two meetings in the district which results in a determination to seek recognition as a community council. The meetings shall have been subsequent to public notice through newspaper publication, local radio, school distribution and other means reasonably adequate to inform most district residents of the meeting. The meetings may be held outside, but near the district if adequate public meeting space is not available within the district.

(6)[Repealed by Ord. 94-001AM, § 3 (part), 1994]

(C)Inactive status of community councils. The planning commission may recommend to the assembly that the previously recognized community council be declared inactive if the community council has failed to meet the following requirements:

(1)The community council has not held a minimum of two meetings during the previous calendar year.

(2)The community council has failed to inform the borough administration of current officers with appropriate addresses and telephone numbers.

(3)The community council has failed to comply with the requirements to maintain recognition as specified in MSB 2.76.030(B).

(D)Inactive status of a community council shall be done by assembly resolution. Municipal responsibilities to community councils as specified in MSB 2.76.060(A) shall not apply to community councils with an inactive status. Active status can be reinstated by assembly resolution upon request by representatives of the community council.

(E)Bylaws. The community council may adopt bylaws which shall meet this section’s requirements. The community council may incorporate as a state of Alaska nonprofit corporation, but no incorporated council shall be recognized by the assembly unless the articles of incorporation and any amendments to the articles of incorporation meet the requirements of this section and are on file with the clerk.
    
(Ord. 96-004, § 2, 1996; Ord. 94-001AM, § 3 (part), 1994; Ord. 93-073, § 2, 1993; Ord. 90-133, § 2, 1990; Ord. 85-48, § 2, 1985; Ord. 85-44, § 2, 1985; Ord. 81-97, § 2 (part), 1981)
        
    2.76.040ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMUNITY COUNCIL DISTRICTS.

(A)Standards. The assembly shall define community council districts to group residents within natural communities and to recognize community interests in setting boundaries. "Natural communities” means areas within the borough that have or are achieving distinct identity by reason of geography, history, population, transportation, fire protection and other factors. Population is not a criterion. Service area boundaries may be considered, but shall not be determinative. The assembly shall consider boundaries proposed by the petitioners.

(B)Changes in districts. Review of district boundaries and the number of districts shall be undertaken at least once every three years upon assembly or planning commission initiative or at the request of one or more community councils. The planning department shall, at least once every three years, submit to the planning commission and assembly a report and recommendations on council boundaries.
    
(Ord. 94-001AM, § 3 (part), 1994; Ord. 81-97, § 2 (part), 1981)
        
    2.76.050FUNCTIONS OF COMMUNITY COUNCILS. 

(A)Community councils shall have the following functions:

(1)In regard to any comprehensive plan or community plan adopted for the area:

(a)evaluate compliance with the plan, advising local government officials to, or propose appropriate action regarding, any inconsistencies with the plan. When reviewing an application for compliance, the community council shall notify applicants of any meeting where action may be taken resulting in a recommendation on the application.

(b)conduct a continuing review and study of the plan to determine its workability in each district and to advise local government officials of, or propose any appropriate action regarding, proposed modifications or additions to the plan.

(2)initiate any proposals for capital improvement or governmental programs affecting the area, or modifications to any existing capital improvement plans or governmental programs affecting the area. The term "affect” includes governmental actions outside of the council boundaries which have an impact on persons within the council area.
    
(Ord. 94-001AM, § 3 (part), 1994; Ord. 90-133, § 3, 1990; Ord. 81-97, § 2 (part), 1981)
        
    2.76.060MUNICIPAL RESPONSIBILITIES.  

(A)Municipal responsibility to submit proposals. Except where emergency action is necessary or where the procedures would delay processing and hearing applications for subdivisions, lot splits or other platting actions, the manager shall give community councils an opportunity to participate in formulating, reviewing, and commenting on all proposals which shall have a significant impact on all or a substantial portion of community council district residents and which particularly affect the district. The mayor, assembly or appropriate administration head shall determine if the impact and affect of the proposal is sufficient for community council involvement. Opportunity for participation shall be afforded community councils in the initial stages of planning as well as in subsequent stages of proposal development. Where municipal ordinance or resolution requires mailed notice to adjacent or nearby residents or property owners with respect to a proposed subdivision or land classification, the planning department shall send a copy of the notice to the chair-person or to an officer designated by the council for receiving notice of any community council whose district includes the resident’s properties.

(B)Municipal responsibility to respond to community councils. In the event of a written communication from a community council requesting information, recommending borough action or modification of borough ordinance or policy, or acting upon a proposal submitted pursuant to subsection (A), the appropriate borough officials shall provide an informative response within a reasonable time. If the borough officials cannot comply with the request or do not agree with the position taken by a community council, the reason for the inability to reply or for the position shall be stated.
    
(Ord. 94-001AM, § 3 (part), 1994; Ord. 81-97, § 2 (part), 1981)
        
    2.76.070ADDITIONAL CITIZEN PARTICIPATION IN MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT.

Nothing contained in this chapter is intended to deny or limit in any manner the right of persons individually or in groups to petition the assembly or otherwise participate in borough government under existing procedures and practices.
    
(Ord. 81-97, § 2 (part), 1981)

Comments