City prepares to set boundaries for junk
Fri, 06/09/2017 - 2:50pm admin
By Sandra L. Medearis
The Nome Planning Commission was set to take up junk again Tuesday evening at a work session before its meeting, then hash it some more during the meeting.
In Nome, lots of folks, from the thrifty to the hoarders, want to hang onto junk—as valuable collections, or to fuel memories, or hold themselves harmless from needing a repair part and not being able to find it in a remote arctic town, or the historic value of collectible defunct snow machines or vehicles, or to conserve scrap wood against the time when they install a wood stove.
However, not all are enamored of the revered relics. Getting rid of junk, aka attractive nuisances, fire and safety hazards, and eyesores has topped the list in surveys of things community members would like to stop seeing.
The Nome Planning Commission has worked to get consistent definitions of junk and junk vehicles into the City’s laws and has set out to see if junk can find a place in some land use zones and get out of other zones set up in the 2008 zoning law. The NPC can only suggest changes to the zone law; the Nome Common Council has the power to approve or discard the proposed changes.
These definitions are already in the City’s codes:
Junk means any worn out, wrecked, scrapped, partially or fully dismantled, discarded, tangible material, combination of material or items, stored on a lot but not including a commercial operation and not constituting a public safety, nuisance, or hazard concern.
Junk motor vehicle is defined as a discarded, dismantled, wrecked, scrapped or mined motor vehicle or parts thereof, an unregistered motorhome not connected to water and/or sewer, or a vehicle other than an on-premises utility vehicle, which is allowed to remain unregistered for a period of 30 days from the date of discovery. (Adopted by Nome Common Council on May 22.)
Junkyard, commercial, means any lot, or portion of a lot, which is used for the purpose of outdoor storage, handling, dismantling, wrecking, keeping, or sale of junk, used, discarded, wrecked, or abandoned airplanes, appliances, vehicles, boats, buildings and building materials, machinery, equipment or parts thereof, including, but not limited to scrap metals, wood, timber, plastic, fiber, or other tangible materials.
The NPC at its May 2 meeting asked City staff to draw up an ordinance that would address junk vehicles and would establish the abatement of junk vehicles in Nome. The NPC was to consider the draft law that would add junk vehicles as an allowed use in the Industrial Zoning District, but would not allow junk vehicles in other zoning districts. The proposed transaction for limiting junk vehicles to the Industrial Zoning District would provide for a public hearing on the issue.
Along with the discussion on amending Title 18 of the zoning law, it is likely that the NPC will continue to work on incentives to get junk vehicle owners to give up their vintage vehicles. On May 2, the Commission brainstormed on what would turn people on to having their vehicles hauled away and came up with the following ideas:
Develop a lottery system that owners of junk vehicles could enter to have their junked vehicles moved to the landfill.
Every year 25 people would receive $200 to have their junk vehicles removed.
The owner of a vehicle must have the vehicle registered and drained of all fluids.
On an annual basis the City would hold a lottery to draw the 25 names.
A limit of $2,500 or 25 people would be set for each year.
An open house could be conducted to make an event out of the lottery.