Borough Administration


Don Gilman, Mayor

Richard Troeger, Planning Director


Moose Pass Advisory Planning Commission


Jeff Estes

Lory B. Leary

Irene Lindquist

Ellen O'Brien

Ann Painter

Rick Smeriglio, Chairman

Mark Stauble, Vice Chairman


Borough Staff


Jane Gabler, Planner

Nancy Jungmann, Administrative Assistant






I.          Background and Objectives


A.        Public Services and Facilities.......................................................................... 1

B.        Transportation............................................................................................... 4

C.        Land Ownership and Use.............................................................................. 5

D.        Environmental Quality.................................................................................... 8



11.       Goals, Objectives and Policies................................................................................... 9




Results of Community Survey................................................................................... 11

Summary of Written Comments to Survey................................................................ 17

Minutes of Moose Pass Advisory Planning Commission Meetings............................. 29

Ballot and Results.................................................................................................... 44





A.         Public Services and Facilities


1.         Education


Moose Pass currently has a Borough elementary school for grades K through 8 and has approximately 45 students. The community has expressed strong support for maintaining the current grade levels including junior high. The Moose Pass Parent Advisory Committee has reserved the option of participating in the Seward Middle School Concept Plan. This option would give families who choose to send their children to Seward, a program they would approve. The community favors expansion of the school when necessary. The current building is paid for, but may not meet future needs as enrollment increases. In the 1991 survey, the community did not support the option of choosing a new school site. The school continues to be a focus for community functions.


2          Public Safety


a)         Fire


The Moose Pass Volunteer Fire Company responds to structural fires from mile 16 to mile 36 of the Seward Highway. The company will also respond, upon request, to fires between miles 36 and 50. The company has a mutual aid agreement with the USDA Forest Service. Resources include a 1,000 gallon engine, a 500 gallon engine and approximately six active volunteer fire fighters, including a Chief. Because almost all residents support continuing the company, it plans to do the following:


1.         Continue to recruit and train new fire fighters.


2.         Continue to recruit subscribers at the rate of $25.00 per tax parcel.


3.         Continue to upgrade equipment and training to enable the company to pass an Insurance Service Organization test of pumping 200 gallons of water a minute continuously for twenty minutes. 


To maintain at least current levels of fire protection, as the population increases, the community requests the following:


1.         That locally identified State/Borough parcels in the Primrose/Lakeview, Lawing/Crown Point, Tern Lake and Summit Lake areas be reserved now for possible auxiliary fire stations.


2.         That all new, large developments or commercial operations install fire hydrants capable of producing at least 100 gallons of water per minute.


3.         That all new subdivision include dedicated fire access routes; and,


4.         That all new public boat ramps be constructed to accommodate a 1,000 gallon fire engine for drafting purposes.


b)         Emergency Medical Services


Several local residents have completed emergency trauma training. They have applied for a grant to purchase emergency medical equipment. A modest amount of such equipment is stored along with the fire equipment in the community hall building. These actions form the basis of a future first response program for medical emergencies in the Moose Pass area.


c)         The Speed Zone


Moose Pass requests that the Borough assist in petitioning the Alaska Department of Transportation to extend the existing 35 mph speed zone. The preferred zone would extend from mile 27.5 to mile 31 on the Seward Highway. The goal is reduced vehicular accidents and protection of pedestrians in the residential core of Moose Pass.


3.         Solid Waste


The community expresses satisfaction with the current disposal system and with current dumpster locations. The Borough should consider more frequent pickups to prevent overloading, particularly during the summer months. The Borough should also consider visual screening to improve the aesthetics of dumpster sites.


4.         Parks and Recreation


The USDA forest Service administers the 9.92 acres of uplands known as the "ball diamond" area located at mile 30.5 Seward Highway. The Alaska Department of Natural Resources administers the lake shore and surface of Upper Trail Lake. Approximately two‑thirds of the Moose Pass community favor some sort of recreational facilities for the site. Even in its currently undeveloped state, an ever increasing amount of recreational activity occurs at the "ball diamond" site.


Through a community survey in October 1991, the following emerged as issues pertaining to the "ball diamond":


a)         litter and sanitation under current management;

b)         government control versus local control, if developed;

c)         overnight use versus day use;

d)         non-development versus pro-development attitudes;

e)         local resentment of tourist use of the site; and

f)          lack of local means to manage the site.


To address these issues, and to satisfy local desires for recreational facilities, the community of Moose Pass proposes that the appropriate state and federal agencies develop the site for small scale, community based outdoor recreation.


Funds may come from the USDA Forest Service's Rural Development Program, the State of Alaska's economic development grants and, to a modest extent, local participation. Local initiative to pursue the matter may come from the local business community, the Sportsmen's Club or a new ad hoc group formed specifically for the project.


5.         The Community Hall Building


People of Moose Pass area built the community hall and continue to support it. The building houses the library, two fire engines with associated equipment, the stock of emergency medical supplies, food preparation equipment for the Moose Pass Summer Solstice Festival, and a meeting hall used for various public and private functions. In 1990, the community spent $20,000 to upgrade the interior of the hall.


The flat roof of the building leaks and requires annual repairs. Failure to repair the roof jeopardizes the considerable investment in property, equipment and community resources associated with the building. In view of the property and space limitations, and because of the strength of the existing roof beams, the community plans to design and build a second story addition with pitched roof.


In the future, as demand dictates and funding allows, the community will provide access to the second story and finish its interior.


B.         Transportation


1.         Trails


Moose Pass has, historically, been a crossroads of travel. The Historic Iditarod Trail runs through Moose Pass along the east shore of Trail Lake. It connects with other historic trails, including the Hope Wagon Road, Al Solars' Mill Road and many old mining roads. The public now values these trails for recreation and for access to scenic backcountry areas. The public has traveled freely through local connecting valleys and passes and continues to do so.


Because Moose Pass developed before Statehood and before Borough incorporation, many local trails do not appear on plats or maps. The Borough has approved subdivisions with no provisions for trails and no consideration of possible blockage of traditional travel routes.


To maintain the rural lifestyle with freedom of non‑highway travel and access to public lands, the community of Moose Pass seeks to secure dedicated trail rights‑of‑way to, and through, all portions of its surrounding area.


To help meet local trail objectives, Moose Pass requests that the State and Borough adhere to the following in their land use planning:


a)         Do not allow obstruction of existing non‑highway travel (routes parallel to the highway).


b)         Recognize and protect all existing trails on public lands, whether platted or not.


c)         Require that all new subdivisions dedicate trail rights-of-way, both within the subdivisions and between subdivisions.


d)         Do not allow obstruction of access to public lands.


2.         Bicycle Path


Moose Pass has a 1.5 mile paved bicycle path. In 1990, the community voted to adopt, as a goal, the extending of the path. Results of 1991 community survey indicated strong support for the path. In 1991, the Moose Pass Sportsmen's Club and the Moose Pass Advisory Planning Commission included extending the path in the Moose Pass capital improvement requests to the Borough. The path satisfies the Borough's three conditions for improvement priority because it is:


a)         a route used by children traveling to and from school;

b)         on a highway corridor near popular fishing and recreation areas;

c)         on a highway corridor connecting adjacent communities and residential areas.


Therefore, the community of Moose Pass requests that the Kenai Peninsula Borough recognize the path in its Comprehensive Trails Plan, incorporate it into a Borough‑wide system of bicycle paths and give it priority for extension.


C.        Land Ownership and Use


1.         Development Constraints


Preserving a rural lifestyle is important to residents of the Moose Pass area. To achieve this end, the community will support actions that will, in order of importance:


a)         keep population density low;

b)         enhance the friendly atmosphere;

c)         maintain good access to recreation land;

d)         reduce crime;

e)         allow pursuit of self‑sufficient lifestyles;

f)          avoid providing services that require increased taxes or direct


g)         keep the school local;

h)         deter increasing taxes;

i)          restrict large commercial development;

j)          enhance solitude;

k)         inhibit new zoning;

1)         allow freedom to build homes in styles of the owner's preference.


2.         Residential Development


The Federal Government has title to some 30,370 acres of the Chugach National Forest, Seward Ranger District in various stages of conveyance to the State of Alaska. This figure includes 560 acres that may not get approved for conveyance. Of the total acres, 15,400 occur in the Moose pass area, of which the Kenai Peninsula Borough seeks title conveyance to 7,800 acres.


Of the 7,800 acres, some 700 occur in the Moose Pass Townsite. According to 1990 Borough records, the area from Primrose to Summit Lake contains 381 parcels of private land.


The USDA Forest Service Land and Resource Management Plan for the Chugach National Forest outlines plans for local federal lands. The Alaska Department of Natural Resources Kenai Area Plan (due in the Fall of 1994), outlines plans for local state lands, including lands still in the conveyance stage. The Kenai Peninsula Borough Comprehensive Plan will apply to local Borough lands. If adopted by the Moose Pass community, the Moose Pass Plan may become part of the Borough's plan and will not apply to private lands.


Borough land transfers and Borough land use planning will likely cause controversy in the Moose Pass area. Results from a 1991 survey show that an overwhelming 81 percent of respondents feel attracted to the area because of its low population density. Also, about two‑thirds favor State/Borough land transfers for homesites and for recreation cabins, but not for multi‑family dwellings. About one fourth oppose any land transfers.


Through public meetings and public surveys, the Moose Pass Advisory Planning Commission will identify local State/Borough lands thought suitable for residential development. Moose Pass requests that the Borough solicit extensive community input well before any land transfers occur locally. In addition, Moose Pass requests that State and Federal planners adhere to the principles and goals of the Moose Pass Comprehensive Plan.


3.         Commercial and Industrial Development


Issues associated with economic growth generate controversy in the Moose Pass community. They garnered the largest number of written comments on the 1991 community survey. About half of the respondents favor growth while half do not. While many residents favor tourism and small business, fully two-­thirds do not want public funds spent to promote economic development. Even larger majorities oppose large business and industry in the area.


At a well‑attended public meeting in 1990, local residents adopted ten community goals. Two of those goals favor growth that enhances, but does not threaten, the rural character of the Moose Pass area. To achieve its goals, the community requests two things from the State and Borough:


a)         Government sponsored growth in the area should compliment the community's goals and should fit the framework of the Moose Pass Comprehensive Plan; and


b)         Proposals to transfer public lands for economic purposes should be reviewed by the community well ahead of the actions. After several public meetings in Moose Pass, the responsible agencies should give the votes and opinions of the community their full, heavy weight in decision making.


4.         Forest Management


While forest management involves numerous issues, the issue of spruce bark beetles causes the greatest concern for the Moose Pass community. Because the beetles spread without regard to land ownership or government jurisdiction, Moose Pass cannot deal with the beetles on just the local level. Most residents want appropriate actions by the responsible agencies to deal with the beetles.


As evidenced by an Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation meeting in 1988, an Alaska Railroad sponsored meeting in 1991, a USDA Forest Service sponsored meeting in 1991, and a community survey in 1991, Moose Pass residents strongly oppose the use of synthetic pesticides/herbicides on public lands.


To satisfy local demands for beetle management, and to avoid pesticide use, the Moose Pass community requests that the appropriate agencies develop plans that use means other than pesticides to manage beetles. Further, the community wants plans presented locally before implementation.


D.        Environmental Quality


1.         Water Quality


Shallow bedrock and small lots have made adequate wells and ADEC approved septic systems difficult to develop in the Moose Pass Townsite. Tern Lake and it's associated wetlands may constrain well and septic systems there. To address this problem, Moose Pass adopted, as a goal, studying the feasibility of a central water system. The community applied for $1,000 in 1991 for a study. The grant hasn't materialized, however, and most residents believe that they have adequate well and septic systems. About half of the residents doubted the advisability of the study.


Informal analysis suggests that the high cost and the engineering difficulty of serving outlying areas make a central system infeasible at this time. Nonetheless, protection of groundwater and domestic wells from septic tank leachate, vitally concerns residents.


To protect itself and its groundwater, the community of Moose Pass requests the following actions.


a)         The Kenai Peninsula Ground Water Task Force should include the Moose Pass Townsite and the Tern Lake wetlands as specific sites for hydrologic study of the Kenai Peninsula.


b)         The Borough must adhere to adequate standards for water and septic systems when it considers subdivisions and developments.


c)         The ADEC must enforce at least its minimum standards for on‑site septic systems. It should consider increasing the standards if site‑specific conditions identify 40,000 square feet as inadequate.


2.         Toxic and Hazardous Substances


The Moose Pass community wishes to enjoy at least the current level of a healthful, clean environment. To that end, Moose Pass supports effective monitoring and enforcement of existing Federal, State and Borough regulations regarding toxic and hazardous substances. Local support exists for restricting the commercial use, transport, storage and/or disposal of these substances in the area. Moose Pass supports continued improvement in convenient hazardous waste collection sites and continued prohibition of disposal of toxic and hazardous wastes on Borough lands.


3.         Scenic Quality and Tourism


One of the Moose Pass goals encourages tourism. Moose Pass will promote tourism by preserving the local scenic quality. Financing to promote tourism shall come from private business and not from community or public funds. Moose Pass welcomes tourism, as long as its rural lifestyle and its scenic quality are maintained.


To encourage tourism by preserving scenic quality, the community supports the following actions:


a)         Designation of the Seward Highway as a National Scenic Highway;

b)         Inventorying the scenic resources of the area;

c)         Recognition and preservation of any local sites listed on the Alaska Department of Natural Resources Alaska Heritage Resource Survey or the National Register of Historic Places, or of local historical value.




Based on a well attended public meeting in April of 1990, and based on the results of a community questionnaire in October of 1991, the community of Moose Pass adopts the following as community goals:


1.         Residential development should occur on relatively large lots of one acre or greater.


2.         Moose Pass should encourage economic growth and tourism in a manner that will enhance, not threaten, the citizens' rural lifestyle.


3.         Continue to maintain the community hall and its services to the community.  Improve the library located in the community hall.


4.         Maintain the volunteer fire department and make improvements as required by the growth of the area.


5.         School facilities should be maintained and improved as warranted. Urge the development of new facilities.


6.         Refuse disposal facilities should be maintained at an adequate level to serve the area.


7.         Extend the Moose Pass 35 mph speed limit to the north as well as to the south, and strive for enforcement of the speed laws.


8.         Extend the bike path to the north as well as to the south.