Public can now comment on Juneau annexation petition

Proposed CBJ annexation area. (Image courtesy City and Borough of Juneau)

The public can now comment on the City and Borough of Juneau’s petition to annex roughly 2,000 square miles of largely undeveloped land south of the current municipal boundary.

The CBJ’s petition was filed last November in response to the City of Petersburg, which has proposed forming a borough that includes the same area. The state’s Local Boundary Commission accepted Juneau’s filing on April 9th, opening the public comment period. It lasts through June 28th.

Brent Williams is a local government specialist for the State of Alaska and staff to the Local Boundary Commission. He says the public comment period is the beginning of a several-month process before the commission issues a final decision early next year.

“Once the comments are submitted, the staff will review all of them, and it will look at the standards and make a recommendation to the commission whether the petition meets the standards or not. Then we issue a report, and people get to comment on that report. We again look at those comments and consider them; write a final report, and then the commission will have a hearing,” Williams says.

Juneau’s petition seeks to annex the mostly unpopulated area from the city’s southern boundary to Cape Fanshaw and east to the Canadian border. It includes the Tracy Arm/Ford’s Terror Wilderness and Endicott Arm as well as Holkam, Windham and Hobart bays.

Both Juneau and Petersburg claim economic and cultural ties to the region. Juneau-based Native Corporation Goldbelt, Incorporated owns about 30,000 acres at Hobart Bay. The company opposes having the land incorporated into either community.

Petersburg’s petition is about eight months ahead of Juneau’s in the Local Boundary Commission process. Commission staff in February recommended approving Petersburg’s proposal, including the disputed area. Commissioners will hold a hearing on Petersburg’s petition in May.

The commission earlier denied Juneau’s request to consolidate the competing claims.

Comments on Juneau’s annexation petition should be filed with the Local Boundary Commission and the CBJ clerk’s office. The deadline, again, is June 28th.

CBJ annexation petition public comment instructions

LBC Schedule for Juneau Annexation Petition:
(Source: LBC)

Monday, April 9, 2012
Acceptance of Juneau petition by LBC staff

Thursday, April 12, 2012
Petition’s public comment period starts – first date of publication of notice
(within at least 45 days by regulation)

Thursday, June 28, 2012
Petition public comment period deadline (lasts 77 days) At least 14 days for petitioner’s reply brief.

Friday, July 27, 2012
Deadline for receipt of petitioner’s reply brief (29 days)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Finish and mail prelim report (75 days to write report)
At least 28 days of public comment on preliminary report.

Friday, November 9, 2012
Preliminary report public comment period deadline (lasts 30 days)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Start writing final report (31 days to write final report)
Must be mailed at least 21 days before the hearing by regulation.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Public hearing notice posted/published (55 days) Must precede the hearing by at least 30 days.

Friday, December 14, 2012
Mail final report (25 days before hearing) Must precede the hearing by at least 21 days.

Tuesday and Wednesday, January 8 – 9, 2013
LBC public hearing in Juneau, Alaska

Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Decisional meeting in Juneau.
(Decisional meeting must be within 90 days of the hearing, but can immediately follow it). Written decision must be issued within 30 days after decisional meeting.

Thursday, January 10, 2013
Start writing final decision (20 days to draft decision)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Decision written and sent to commissioners. (20 days from decisional meeting)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013
LBC meeting to approve/disapprove written decision. (27 days from the decisional meeting)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013
If approved, decision mailed to parties (28 days after decision). 18 day period for public to request reconsideration of decision starts. LBC has 30 days, on its own motion, to reconsider. If reconsideration granted, then petitioner or respondent has 10 days to file a brief.

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