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Bethel City Council votes to change planning appeals process, to rezone Kasayuli, and to hire a union negotiator

Bethel City Hall
Olivia Ebertz
Once they’re settled back into city hall, the Bethel City Council will consider a resolution to stop allowing the public into meetings.

The Board Of Adjustment

The Bethel City Council voted to change who considers appeals from the planning commission. Previously, residents or business owners wishing to appeal the way the planning commission ruled had to go through a body called the Board of Adjustment, which was made up of all the city council members. The new Board of Adjustment will be one administrative law judge trained in municipal law. Bethel City Clerk Lori Strickler said that since the Bethel City Council members can be lobbied by their constituents to rule one way or another, having an impartial judge makes the process better for all involved.

“Taking that role away from the council protects you guys, and it protects the city and making sure that the appeals that we make are fair to both parties in the process,” said Strickler to the council.

The vote to change the planning appeals process passed 6-1, with council member Mary "Beth" Hessler in opposition.

Kasayuli Subdivision will get a zoning plan

The council voted unanimously to rezone Kasayuli Subdivision. Kasayuli will be primarily zoned as residential. The new zoning plan will also allow for a small part of Kasayuli to be developed as a park or recreational area, and it will grandfather in the McCann Treatment Center.

Bethel will hire a labor union negotiator

The Bethel City Council voted to allow Bethel City Manager Pete Williams to move forward with hiring a labor negotiator. City employees are represented by a local labor union and enter into negotiations with the city each fiscal year. This professional labor negotiator would represent the city in these discussions.

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