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Title 11 . Natural Resources
Chapter 53 . (No Regulations Filed)
Section 450. Buffer strips, reserved areas, and public easements

11 AAC 53.450. Buffer strips, reserved areas, and public easements

(a) When the division subdivides land adjacent to a highway that is part of the state's primary or secondary road system, a strip of land having a common boundary with the highway right-of-way must be reserved and retained in public ownership as a buffer strip. The width will be approximately 300 feet, measuring outward from the boundary of the right-of-way, but the director may require that a wider or narrower buffer strip be reserved, depending on vegetative cover, the view from the roadway, topography, highway noise levels, expected future needs for additional transportation facilities, or other relevant factors. However, no buffer strip need be reserved if

(1) the parcel being disposed of is an isolated one already surrounded by private land cleared and developed to the right-of-way, so that no reasonably continuous buffer strip is feasible; or

(2) existing land use on adjacent parcels, or existing land use policy as set forth in a local comprehensive plan or a land use plan prepared by the division, clearly indicates that retaining a buffer strip is unnecessary or undesirable.

(b) The director may dedicate open space, parks, trails, or recreation areas in the plat of a residential subdivision and will base the amount of land to be dedicated on the proposed population density of the subdivision. Land dedicated under this subsection must be reasonably adaptable to active park and recreation uses and must be in a location convenient to the subdivision's residents. Factors the director must use in evaluating the adequacy of the proposed open space, park, trail, or recreation area include size, shape, topography, geology, tree cover, access, and location.

(c) As required by sec. 330 of this chapter, the director shall reserve public access easements to and along navigable or public water when the division subdivides land adjacent to or containing the water. In addition, if the water is coastal or if it has or is likely to have substantial present or future public use, the director shall either retain in public ownership a strip of land along the mean high water line or ordinary high water mark, or state in the preliminary written decision referred to in sec. 310 of this chapter why retaining the strip of land is not in the public interest. In determining whether the water has or is likely to have substantial present or future public use, the director shall consider information received under secs. 310(b) and 330(d) of this chapter. The strip of land must be at least 50 feet wide, but may be wider, or wider at periodic points, if appropriate because of floodplain width, bank characteristics, size of the water body, extent of present or expected future public use, the need for campsites, and other relevant factors. The strip of land must be of sufficient width to allow for public access as well as to screen the subdivision, where possible, with an undisturbed strip of vegetation.

History: Eff. 3/27/80, Register 80

Authority: AS 38.04.005

AS 38.04.015

AS 38.04.045

AS 38.04.055

AS 38.04.900

AS 38.05.020

AS 38.05.127


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Last modified 7/05/2006