The Homer City Council updated the city’s leasing policy for public lands Monday. It hopes to streamline the process and give the council more say in approving leases.
Homer Harbormaster Bryan Hawkins was involved in reviewing the policies, and he said the city council will be more involved in the process under the new code.
“They would give the city manager direction to negotiate and sign a lease," he said. "In the code, we've changed that so that the city manager will negotiate and then bring the final document to city council for signing."
The updated code also formalizes some practices the city has already put in place. The code also includes more detailed information on how a lease is approved. Hawkins says that will make the process both easier and more transparent.
“This is public land, and so we have to manage it in an open public process and so that members of the public have access to that when a lease comes up at the end of it’s term," he said.
He adds that it’s critical to annually update leasing policies.
"[When] we first started leasing land out here on the spit, really the city was hoping that people would come to lease land," he said. "Now we have 27 plus leases. There's actually very little land left available to lease so it's a different style at this point. Now we've got to tighten things up."
You can read the full ordinance regarding the change in leasing policy on the city of Homer's website.