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Homer City Council moves forward with comprehensive plan and mayor’s work plan

City of Homer

Homer City Council selected Council Member Rachel Lord as Mayor Pro Tem for 2023 and 2024 while adopting multiple resolutions regarding recreation, city planning and finance plans on Monday night.

City Council approved a resolution put forth by Council Members Aderhold and Erickson to look into locations for a recreation center. The resolution will allow the council to establish criteria when looking for a site.

The council also rejected an ordinance that had been in the works since June about plats, or small units of land, and how those approved by the city should include development commitments. Because much of the ordinance’s issues revolved around changing city code, the city’s planning commission recommended creating a different ordinance that addressed those specific changes.

Much of the meeting was then spent on Mayor Ken Castner’s work plan to establish champions on six larger, complex projects including the Homer Harbor expansion. The champions would work closely with commissions and city staff to provide the council’s perspective and streamline the projects’ processes.

Council members Lord and Storm Hanson will champion the harbor expansion. Council Member Jason Davis will work with Lord and the city on a financial plan. Council Members Erickson and Donna Aderhold will focus on recreation. Business licenses will be worked on by Castner and Council Member Caroline Venuti. Venuti will also work on stormwater infrastructure with Aderhold. Davis and Castner will also be involved with land policies.

Councilmember Erickson said that she sees many benefits for this plan.

“I think that we will see things move quicker, we'll see a lot more in public engagement, and all of these things,” she said, “because we're not just kind of sitting back waiting for somebody else to do it. We can be a little bit more proactive and be in the middle of it versus waiting for it to come from staff or from a commission.”

In addition to establishing this system, the council also passed a resolution to contract with Agnew::Beck Consulting, developing a new comprehensive plan and updating the zoning and planning code for the city.

Most council members like Lord supported the resolution. She said many community members are ready to talk about the city’s future.

“I think that we're just really, really well poised for engaging in this conversation, and I'm really enthusiastic about it,” she said, “and I think that the contract that we have in front of us is going to serve the community as a whole really, really well.”

However, Erickson noted the city’s planning commission was initially excluded from the discussions around the resolution, and voted against the resolution.

Finally, the council passed a resolution to create a financial plan addressing the current lack of regular finance reports and policies for the city’s general and enterprise funds.

The council will hold their next regular meeting on November 13 at city hall and on Zoom.

Jamie Diep is a reporter/host for KBBI from Portland, Oregon. They joined KBBI right after getting a degree in music and Anthropology from the University of Oregon. They’ve built a strong passion for public radio through their work with OPB in Portland and the Here I Stand Project in Taipei, Taiwan.Jamie covers everything related to Homer and the Kenai Peninsula, and they’re particularly interested in education and environmental reporting. You can reach them at to send story ideas.