Last night, the Borough Administration’s task force met to continue discussing amendments to the borough’s controversial anadromous streams ordinance. Borough Chief of Staff and task force facilitator Paul Ostrander told us that the group took over an hour and a half worth of debate over an amendment sponsored by Mr. Ostrander and Borough Assembly member Bill Smith of Homer.
Ostrander: “Significant number of changes, I mean, most of them had been made based on the public comment that we’ve received, and the expert testimony that we’ve received throughout this process. This has been a nine month process, and if you look though this amendment , most of the changes were directly related to something we heard during that time. Something that folks had concerns about, things that we heard from expert testifiers that made us think that a change was appropriate.”
Ostrander said that with this amendment, they attempted to strike a balance between private property rights and resource protection…
Ostrander: “And that’s what we continually heard from the public, there were things in this ordinance, that they didn’t like. That frankly scared folks. So certainly in my amendments, I tried to make changes that recognized that there were things within the code that made people uncomfortable so we tried to modify those so that they had a higher comfort level once this was done.”
The amendment passed on a margin of 5-3 with task force members Fred Braun, Stacey Oliva, and Assembly Member Ray Tauriainen of Nikiski casting the no votes.
The recommendation will now move ahead to the borough assembly and administration for further consideration.