Kenai Spur Highway Rezoning Referendum (2009)

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Kenai Spur Highway
The Kenai Spur Highway Rezoning Referendum, also known as Kenai Proposition A, appeared on the October 6, 2009 ballot in the Kenai Peninsula. The referendum called for the reversal of the Kenai City Council's rezone of 14 parcels across to "limited commercial" in order to allow small businesses to locate along the highway.[1]

On July 15, 2009 city of Kenai officials approved $15,000 towards a public information campaign regarding the October referendum. The council voted 4 to 3. Councilman Mike Boyle suggested an amendment "ensuring unbiased information" but the measure failed 3-4. Some said that the use of taxpayer money will be viewed as "an abuse of power." On the other hand some council members said, "Your bipartisan team is right here," speaking about the council.[2]

A "yes" vote on the referendum is a vote to overturn the council's action. A "no" vote is a vote in favor of the council's rezoning decision.[3]

Unofficial results: This proposition was passed with a vote of 56.34% in favor.[4]


The controversy surrounding the Kenai Spur Highway began in 2008 when a Kenai dentist, Dr. Todd Wortham, applied to have a vacant 2.97-acre parcel rezoned so he could build a new professional building for his practice. However, instead of considering just one parcel of the land, city officials looked at rezoning 13 parcels. All originally zoned "conservation."

Currently, the city council's vote on April 1 to rezone the property goes into effect on May 1,2009.[5]


Proponents for the referendum said that they hope to reverse a decision made on April 1, 2009 by the city council to rezone in total 22 acres along the Kenai Spur Highway to "limited commercial." Petitioners argue that changing the parcels along the highway to limited commercial negatively alters the quiet, low-density profile of their community.[5]


Opponents of the reversal said that the change is necessary for continued development of the city and that there is a need for commercial development. The limited commercial zone permits businesses with buildings no larger than 3,000 square-feet.[5]

The Kenai City Council is publishing a brochure before the election in which it outlines why it thinks its original decision is the correct one.[3]


The petition for the Kenai Spur Highway Rezoning Referendum to appear on the October 2009 ballot requires a total of 395 signatures from registered Kenai voters before May 1,2009.[5] In June 2009 officials announced that the required signatures were verified and the referendum petition was certified, therefore allowing the referendum to be placed on the October 2009 ballot.[6]

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