Several years ago, to encourage creative business development within the city of Homer, the City Council proposed using Conditional Use Permits to facilitate this development, hoping that the permitting process would provide needed flexibility. Over the years, this plan has backfired, and the process of getting a Conditional Use Permit has allowed appointed commissions the license to act arbitrarily with petitioners asking to develop their businesses here in town. Instead of following developed guidelines (there are few) upon which to base their decisions, commission members may follow either whim or prejudice in making a decision, resulting in petitioners feeling that they've become part of a personality competition, rather than a straight-forward business procedure.
Presently, an amendment to the city code has been proposed to limit the footprint of any building constructed in the Central Business District to 8,000 square feet and the lot usage to 30 percent. This appears to us to be a thinly veiled attempt to stop dead the proposed construction of the new Save U More store, as well as any other contemplated development.
As Realtors, we are mandated by the Articles of Incorporation of the National Association of Realtors, of which we are members, to protect the individual rights of real estate ownership and to widen the opportunity to enjoy it. We are committed members of this community, all of us involved in a multitude of ways, and have the future of this area very much in the forefront as we conduct business here every day. We hate the continued migration of our children from our community because we do not have an economic base that supports them staying here. Restriction of private property use by property owners with no established guidelines to follow is at best condemnation without compensation.
The Planning Commission is meeting at City Hall on Wednesday to have a second hearing on this proposed ordinance. We ask all interested persons to attend this meeting to express your opinion about it. Please get involved with the future development of the Central Business District. If you don't, who will?
The Kachemak Board of Realtors Karen R. Berg-Forrester, president