Zoning In The Mat-Su Borough

Flood Zone Map

Flood Zone Map

There ARE land use regulations in the borough. Before you purchase any property you really need to know what you can and can’t do on the property. Here are a few of the things to watch:

SPUDs stand for Special Use Districts. These govern land use within their specific area and each are different. Here is a link to the current SPUDs. Notice that one is even specific to sled dog Use. This one specifically allows sled dog use within the district. Talkeetna, Sutton, Chickaloon among others all have SPUDs. Meadow Lake is currently considering a SPUD. Here is the info on the proposed Meadow Lake SPUD.

Flood Zones require permits for any improvements. Thankfully the mapping program at the borough website identifies the flood zone areas. You can just pull it up here.

Setbacks…The borough has setback regulations from bodies of water, side lot lines, and rights of way. Even experienced builders have run afoul of these setback regulations because they weren’t careful enough. Remember, these are horizontal distances. If you run a tape 75 feet up the hill from the lake to your building site you are going to be too close to the water. And once you build to close to the water you cannot fix the problem short of moving your house…or the lake, whichever is easier. I wrote a whole article about setback regulations here. Make sure to read that.

Driveway permits., You are required to get a permit from the borough to build a driveway onto a borough road. if it goes onto a state road you need one from the state. Not only will you be bringing traffic onto the road, you will likely be encroaching on borough property to get the drive from your lot to the road. You need a permit for that. I have found that while many people complete the permit application, very few have the borough come out to approve their driveway after it is built. That is a requirement that can keep you out of a big mess in the future.

Covenants.…Many, perhaps most properties have covenants that also govern how you can use the land. The borough does not enforce covenants. These are a private concern that can be enforced by neighbors, home owners associations, or mortgage holders. Ultimately they are enforced by civil action in a court of law.

This is not a complete list of the possible regulations. There are others concerned with multi-family units, commercial structures and use, as well as other miscellaneous regulations.