Food trucks top the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly’s agenda for Monday night. Right now, street food isn’t allowed in the Ketchikan area. But the Assembly voted to develop a plan to allow food trucks in Ketchikan’s downtown core in August.
There are a couple of ways to make that happen. One way to do it would be to loosen zoning restrictions that prohibit mobile buildings within the downtown area. But borough staff say that’s not a good idea — removing that restriction would allow for any number of mobile buildings in the downtown area, not just food trucks.
Another possibility would be to amend the borough’s code to define food trucks and lay out specific areas where they’d be allowed. Borough staff say this more specific approach would have the fewest unintended consequences.
The borough’s planning commission recommends allowing mobile retailers as well.
In other business, the borough assembly will consider a pair of proposals regarding gun ranges. In mid-December, a resident asked the assembly to increase the number of households that would be notified if planners are considering issuing a permit for a shooting range. Right now, planners have to notify households within 1,200 feet. The proposal would up that notification radius to two miles. The resident says the possible effects of a shooting range exceeds 1,200 feet.
The borough’s planning director says in a memo that doing so would dramatically increase the cost of notifying neighbors — depending on the location. A two-mile notification area could cost 10 to 20 times more than the 1,200-foot radius. He says that might require the borough to charge application fees.
The second part of the gun range proposal would require that all proposed ranges come before the borough assembly instead of the planning commission. The resident requesting the change says that’d give more people a chance to weigh in on whether they’d like a range near their residence.
The assembly will also consider whether to set up a process to allow developers to defer property tax payments on subdivided land. Those taxes would come due when the property sells, when the developer starts building or after five years.
It’s not a tax exemption — it would simply postpone the date that the taxes would be due. Staff say the proposal would allow developers to keep cash on hand to develop things like roads and utilities for a new subdivision. It’s part of an effort to increase residential development in the borough.
Ketchikan’s borough assembly meets 5:30 p.m. Monday in the Assembly Chambers inside the White Cliff Building.