The Kenai River Overlay District (KROD) is a special zoning district designed to provide opportunities for the development and use of land along the Kenai River, while also safeguarding and enhancing riparian habitat, controlling erosion, and protecting ground and surface water. The district includes all lands within 100 feet of the ordinary high water mark (OHW) of the Kenai River, or 25 feet back from a cut bank, whichever is greater.

Any development proposal occurring within 50 feet of the OHW is also subject to review from the Donald E. Gilman River Center.

Depending on the specific type of development or activity, a project will fall into one of three permitting categories:

No Application Required

The following developments or activities are exempt from KROD requirements and require no further review from the City of Soldotna:

  • Minor vegetation management, including the trimming, pruning, removal of dead or hazardous trees or shrubs, or ordinary care of gardens or lawns;
  • Private non-commercial recreational land uses that do not involve construction, excavation, removal of live vegetation or fill of land; and
  • Any land development or use listed within 21.18.065 Kenai Peninsula Borough Code of Ordinances, and located within the KROD boundaries, provided the applicant has received appropriate permits from the Kenai River Center, Kenai Peninsula Borough; State Parks Division, Alaska Department of Natural Resources; Alaska Department of Fish and Game; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; or any other applicable agency.

KROD Administrative Permit

If not exempt by the above section, the proposed land development or use may qualify for a KROD Administrative Permit.  An applicant shall submit an KROD Administrative Review Application with a site plan for review and action by the Administrative Officer.  The following conditions must be met in order to grant a KROD Administrative Permit.

  • No live vegetation removal is allowed, except to accomplish work described below;
  • There is no significant erosion, ground or surface water contamination, or adverse alteration of the riparian habitat;
  • The proposed land development or use involves one or more of the following:
    • Excavation of not more than 5 cubic yards;
    • Removal of existing structures;
    • Attached structural improvements or additions to existing conforming structures will be allowed one time only, not to exceed 25 percent of the structural footprint, to ensure that incremental improvements do not occur in the overall development;
    • Reinforcements, repair, and maintenance of existing structures; and
    • Habitat protection projects including:
      • Construction, installation, repair and maintenance of ladders, steps, cantilevered walkways, platforms, docks; bank restoration and protection projects; and maintenance dredging activities which are regulated and permitted by the Kenai River Center, Kenai Peninsula Borough; State Parks Division, Alaska Department of Natural Resources; Alaska Department of Fish and Game; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; and other applicable agencies.
      • Walkways, stairs, steps and ladders with a minimum of 50 percent light penetration and elevated to at least the height of the supporting framing with no part of the supporting structure other than supporting piles or posts in direct contact with the ground.
      • Walkways, stairs, steps, and ladders with less than 50 percent light penetration and having an average elevation of no less than 18 inches above the ground measured to the bottom of the decking.

KROD Conditional Use Permit

If not exempt by section A, and all requirements for a KROD Administrative Permit cannot be met in section B, the applicant shall follow the procedures under the Soldotna Municipal code for Conditional Uses.  This includes preparing a KROD Conditional Use Application, which will be evaluated by the Planning and Zoning Commission at a public hearing.  The applicant will be required to meet any conditions imposed by the Commission to mitigate the potential for significant erosion, ground or surface water contamination, or adverse alteration of the riparian habitat.