The Planner Platform

Matanuska-Susitna Borough Planning Services
  • Flooding in the Mat-Su
  • Planner Spotlight
  • Understanding Code Enforcement
  • Long Range Transportation Plan
  • Legislation Updates
  • Arctic Winter Games
  • 2022 CIP Scoring
  • Upcoming Meetings
  • Board Vacancies
With significant rainfall throughout the valley over the past month, flooding has taken a toll on our local communities. Properties near flowing waters, like the Little Su and the Matanuska, are especially at risk seasonally, from mid-August to mid-October. The MSB Hazard Mitigation Plan identifies floods as Alaska's most common disaster, often associated with high costs and unfortunate consequences for residents of the Mat-Su Borough (MSB). 

MSB flood history shows that, on average, the Borough experiences some level of flooding every ten years. Most of these are minor floods that will not rise to a disaster level, and in most cases, a disaster declaration will only assist with public infrastructure repairs such as roads or buildings. If we keep the larger river systems in mind and make responsible decisions about how to develop upfront, there is a reduction in long-term financial loss and hardship when flooding does occur or if FEMA later maps a currently unregulated property.

Whether FEMA mapped and regulated or not, there is still a chance of flooding in all floodplains. It's not always possible to get out of the way when flooding happens, but we can minimize the impact through regulation. The MSB floodplain ordinance is in place to reduce the economic burden on property owners following a 1% annual chance (100-year) flood. If the standards are followed, it will reduce the damage experienced during frequent routine flooding, like this year's high-water events.

The MSB GIS team has created the Parcel Viewerused to gather information about individual properties. After entering a property owner's name or address, you can assess its proximity to floodplains, which appear in red on the map. We hope this tool can help guide informed decision-making for home purchases and development to help mitigate the direct impacts of flooding on Borough residents. Explore the link below to learn more about flooding in the MSB and how to keep yourself, your family, and other residents safe before, during, and after a flooding event.

🌊 Flooding Resources
Planner Spotlight:

Taunnie Boothby

Ms. Boothby came to Alaska over 25 years ago and has always lived in the Mat-Su valley. She is married to Rich Boothby, who was born here, and they have two children, seven grandchildren, and two dogs. Taunnie has appreciated serving her country, state, and community while in the United States Navy and Navy Reserves and retired after 23 years. 

During those years, she had the opportunity to work in Finance and Emergency Management. One of the projects she worked on was Operation Alaskan Road on Annette Island, serving the people of Metlakatla in Southeast Alaska. In 2002, she was recalled to active duty and served a year in support of Operation Enduring Freedom following the 9/11 attack. From 2003 forward, she has specialized in natural hazard risk reduction, emphasizing flooding. Before working full-time for the MSB, she was the State of Alaska Floodplain Coordinator for 11 years and was fortunate to travel all over Alaska. She also worked on the State of Alaska's first Hazard Mitigation Plan and recently updated the Mat-Su Borough's Mitigation Plan. One of the things Taunnie likes to remind people is, "If it can rain on your head, you can flood. It is all about the level of risk, your tolerance to that risk, and the decisions you have made to reduce that risk." If you have questions or are interested in ways to reduce your flood potential, please reach out to Taunnie directly!

📞 907-861-8526
What is Code Compliance?  
The Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assembly has adopted regulations through code format. The Code Compliance Division ensures compliance with a written set of rules that have been adopted into a code format. The code compliance officers ensure compliance with a vast section of codes – including, but not limited to: Junk & Trash, Setbacks, Driveways, MSB Business License regulations, Flood Hazard Mitigation, and Conditional Uses & Special Use Districts.
What do Code Compliance Officers do?
The Mat-Su Borough's Code Compliance officers are a crew of MSB residents who are dedicated to serving their communities. Staff conducts onsite inspections, calls residents, researches complaints, and determines if a section of code applies to the issue; they then attempt contact with the registered property owner or person causing the violation. If the owner or violator is unwilling to bring the issue into compliance with the regulations, warning notices, citations, and even enforcement orders may be issued.
Why is it important to the Borough as a whole? 
Regulations allow for proper development and growth, and minimizes public nuisances. Without Code Compliance, there would not be any enforcement for violating MSB regulations or adopted ordinances (rules) set forth by the Assembly. Without a means to regulate the rules, there would be no consequences, and residents have no motivation to follow them. 
Learn More: MSB Code Compliance
Kendra is Alaskan, born & raised, and grew up fishing, camping, and sightseeing throughout Alaska. She enjoys hunting, quilting, and gardening, though most of her time is spent supporting her children and youth hockey by serving on a local association board and managing one of her children’s teams. 
"My favorite part of the job is the large variety of issues we deal with. Every day is something different."

Matt moved to Alaska in 2014, and having lived in Anchorage and Cordova, now calls the Mat-Su home. Before moving to Alaska, he lived in Washington, Oregon, Brazil, Utah, and North Dakota. He has traveled throughout Alaska and is always impressed with the state's grandeur and majesty. Matt is married to a wonderful woman with two kiddos.
"One of the aspects I enjoy most about being a Code Compliance Officer is the opportunity to spend time in the community, interacting with the residents of the Mat-Su Borough."
Mike has been at the Borough for three years and currently works in the area of the Borough from Denali to Vine Road.
"My favorite part of the job is educating the public and assisting them in addressing their concerns."

Austin grew up in Dillingham, AK. After serving in the US Navy, he and his wife thought Palmer would be a great place to raise their kids, and they've lived in the Borough full-time for 12 years. Austin enjoys doing just about everything that Alaska offers, including fishing, hunting, and camping, but enjoys riding his motorcycle the most.
"My favorite part of the job is helping Borough citizens take care of junk and trash issues, whether it be their own, in places they pass on their way to and from work, or other issues in their neighborhood. "
Email Code Compliance
View the 2035 LRTP
Legislation Updates
Historical Preservation Commission Code Change:
On July 19th, the Assembly passed a code change initiated by the MSB Historical Preservation Commission. The update intends to make the board more efficient, helps achieve quorum for regular meetings, and aligns our HPC code with the State of Alaska's guidelines for other Historical Preservation Commissions. 

Certified Local Government (CLG) Grant to update the Historic Preservation Plan (HPP):
On August 17th, the Assembly passed approval for the MSB Planning Division to apply for CLG grant funding to update their Historic Preservation Plan. The HPP was last updated in 1987, and is a representation of MSB's involvement in preserving the rich history and culture contained within the Borough.
Beverly Lake, Lake Management Plan (LMP):
A majority of Beverly Lake residents voted to move a draft lake management plan forward. The Planning Commission did not provide a resolution of support and the draft LMP will be Introduced to the Assembly on November 22nd, and will tentatively be open for Public Hearing on December 6th. There were 21 residents who spoke at the Planning Commission public hearing in July.  Read more about the Beverly Lake Lake Management Plan Process.
Official Streets & Highways Plan (OSHP):
The OSHP has been reconsidered and will be discussed and voted on at the Assembly meeting on November 22nd. The OSHP is a transportation and roadway plan laying out a logical network of future road corridors to support the growing population of the Mat-Su Borough. The plan is created to consider the safety and quality of life of Borough residents, as well as improve and preserve efficiency and ease of travel.
Subdivision Construction Manual (SCM):
The SCM is a document created to guide construction and development in the Mat-Su. The full document was updated in 2020, and an additional update were made this summer, focusing on general cleanup, modification of standards, and clarification of acceptable engineering techniques. The update was passed through the Assembly unanimously on July 19th and went into effect immediately. 
Arctic Winter Games
Sponsorship Opportunities!
Upcoming Meetings

MVP for Transportation Pre-MPO Steering Committee
Tuesday, September 13th @ 2:00 pm
Tuesday, October 11th @ 2:00 pm
MVP for Transportation Pre-MPO Policy Board
Wednesday, September 21st @ 1:00 pm
Wednesday, October 19th @ 1:00 pm

Glacier View Comprehensive Plan Review Team
Monday, October 10th @ 6:00 pm

Fish & Wildlife Commission
Thursday, September 22nd @ 4:00 pm
Thursday, October 20th @ 4:00 pm
Platting Board
Thursday, September 15th @ 1:00 pm
Thursday, October 6th @ 1:00 pm
Thursday, October 20th @ 1:00 pm
Planning Commission
Monday, September 19th @ 6:00 pm
Monday, October 3rd @ 6:00 pm
Monday, October 17th @ 6:00 pm

Joint Assembly/Planning Commission
Tuesday, October 11th @ 6:00 pm
View the Full MSB Calendar
2023 Board Vacancies 
As of December 2022, there will be three members each on the Planning Commission and Platting Board, whose terms will be coming to an end. If you value public service and are interested in being more involved in higher level decision-making within the Mat-Su Borough, please consider applying! Board and commission members are appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the current Assembly. The anticipated open seats are listed below:
Planning Commission: District #3, District #5, District #6
Platting Board: District #3, District #6, Alt B
Other Board Vacancies
Questions or comments? Want to learn more? Follow along with planning updates via Facebook, or reach out to the team directly:

📞 907-861-7865
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