Kodiak Island, the second largest island in the United States, is located on the south coast of Alaska, separated from the mainland by the Shelikof Strait. With a population of about 6,500, the city of Kodiak is the largest community, but many small off-road settlements dot the island. Much of Kodiak is mountainous and heavily forested, but fairly treeless on the south. It also has many deep, ice-free bays that provide sheltered anchorages. The southwestern two-thirds of the island is part of Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge.
Unfortunately, the Kodiak Island Borough’s old development regulations took a one-size-fits all approach, treating all settlements, even those accessible only by air or ferry boat, the same as the city of Kodiak. The regulations also did not reflect existing patterns of development, nor changing philosophies about land use. Through an extensive public involvement process that helped identify current short comings, LSL prepared a new zoning ordinance, subdivision regulations and land management protocols that addressed how public land is to be controlled, leased or sold. The goal was to adopt regulations that were more responsive to the unique circumstances of the island by relying on performance standards in remote settings, especially for settlements where traditional zoning regulations just did not work.