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Ballot Measure 2 results in an efficient permitting process

Posted: August 24, 2012 - 12:02am

The absence of a Coastal Management Program (CMP) has resulted in a slowing of the permitting process for projects compared to when we had the CMP in place. My knowledge stems from over ten years of experience with the CMP permitting process as part of my employment. I have successfully obtained local, state and federal permits for a range of projects for the City and Borough of Juneau, City of Petersburg, numerous private developers, non-profits, and many others. These projects have ranged from trail and road projects to waterfront cruise ship facilities. In my experience for all of these projects, the CMP provided an efficient process that resulted in permits being obtained quicker than what we are now seeing without a CMP in place.

The CMP provided a one-stop permit center that coordinated all the local, state and federal agencies that possess permitting authority. Regardless of whether we have a CMP or not, we are still required to submit applications to these agencies. What CMP did was: coordinated these agencies through the creation of a project questionnaire and permit application package, provided a conduit for communication between the agencies, and assisted in maintaining the comment period and scheduled ruling periods for these agencies. With the loss of the CMP, individual permit applications are now required for each agency. This results in significantly more work and time, including each agency awaiting review comments from other agencies without any one taking the lead. Without a single coordinating agency or program such as the CMP, the result is the potential to individually coordinate over twenty agencies and departments that have permitting jurisdiction.

I support Ballot Measure 2. The Ballot does not create more “red-tape”, rather it restores a program that cuts through confusion and creates a simplified permitting process. As Alaskans, we want to see our state and citizens prosper through smart and balanced development. Ballot Measure 2 ensures that we have a coordinated permitting process and local voice in the development of our state, including the issues that we all value and makes Alaska the great state it is.

Christopher Mertl

Juneau

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