How can I determine if my proposed activity requires a permit?
What projects are generally not allowed?
How do I know which agency(s) have jurisdiction?
What if I need a permit from more than one agency?
How can I find out what my parcel number is?
How do I know if my property is in a mapped floodplain?
How long does it take to get a permit?
What is a Conditional Use Permit (CUP)?
What can I do to make my permit more likely to be approved?
If I use a contractor, whose responsibility is it to apply for permits and make sure the permits are followed?
After I get a permit, how long do I have to complete the work?
If my property is a wetland, can I still do my project?
Do I need to include professional schematics and drawings in my permit application?
How do I know where Ordinary High Water (OHW) or Mean High Water (MHW) is?

How can I determine if my proposed activity requires a permit?
Look over the following "Rules of Thumb." These Rules of Thumb are general guidelines only. For specific information, contact the River Center with a description of your project and its location.

Rules of Thumb:
1. River Center Multi-Agency Permit required for projects within river and/or within 50 feet of Ordinary High Water (OHW) of streams covered by the Kenai Peninsula Borough's Habitat Protection District.
2. City of Soldotna permit required for projects within 100 feet of river if in city limits, tax parcel numbers beginning in 059 or 060.
3. Moose Range Meadows subdivision parcels require Kenai National Wildlife Refuge permit.
4. Outside the cities of Kenai and Soldotna, projects in mapped floodplain require Floodplain development permits.
5. Activities below OHW of a navigable body of water require a River Center Multi-Agency Permit application.
6. Activities below OHW of anadromous streams require a River Center Multi-Agency Permit.
7. Activities in wetlands require a River Center Multi-Agency Permit.



What projects are generally not allowed?
1. Pentachlorophenol or creosote-treated wood products are not allowed below the Ordinary High Water level of anadromous streams. (may use pressure-treated wood instead)
2. Removal of vegetation other than hazard trees
3. Installation of impervious structures
4. Draining or filling of wetlands
5. Armoring of river banks
6. Placement of non-removable structures in rivers



How do I know which agency(s) have jurisdiction?
When you submit a permit application at the River Center, Center staff ensure that the application is circulated to all staff who have jurisdiction in your project area. Our staff can also advise you as to other agencies you may need to contact. If you have questions about any agency's jurisdiction, you can contact the agency with your project description and location, and agency personnel can tell you whether or not they will need to issue a permit.



What if I need a permit from more than one agency?
The River Center permit is automatically circulated to all the agencies housed at the River Center who have jurisdiction, as well as to the Army Corps of Engineers, Coastal Zone Management Program, Cities of Soldotna and Kenai, and most other agencies that have jurisdiction. However, there may be some agencies that are not included. Permit applicants should always contact agencies they think may have jurisdiction over the project area. If you are unsure just ask us and we can help you.



How can I find out what my parcel number is?
Visit the KPB parcel look-up page and enter your name to pull up a list of all properties registered under your name within the Borough.



How do I know if my property is in a mapped floodplain?
Contact the Kenai Peninsula Borough Floodplain Administrator at 714-2464, or visit the River Center at 514 Funny River Road, across from the Soldotna Municipal Airport.



How long does it take to get a permit?
Once completed, permit applications generally take 30 days to process. Floodplain permits and Conditional Use Permits may take longer.



What is a Conditional Use Permit (CUP)?
Conditional Use Permits are permits issued for projects that fall outside the normal permitting guidelines. They may be subject to special requirements, and must be approved by the KPB Planning Commission.



What can I do to make my permit application more likely to be approved?
Early in the planning phase, contact the River Center and other agencies that have jurisdiction to find out what requirements apply to your project. River Center staff are also available to work with you in the design process. In addition to ensuring that your project will meet regulatory standards, they have a great deal of experience to share.



If I use a contractor, whose responsibility is it to apply for permits and make sure the permits are followed?
Although contractors certainly should be aware of and follow regulations, and can be authorized to act as an agent for the property owner in order to obtain permits, the landowner is ultimately responsible for complying with legal requirements.



After I get a permit, how long do I have to complete the work?
All permits have an expiration date. This date should be listed on your permit, and will allow at least one season for construction. If you cannot complete your project by the expiration date on your permit, you may apply for a permit extension.



If my property contains a wetland, can I still do my project?
It depends on the nature and extent of your project. Before planning your project, contact the US Army Corps of Engineers Kenai Field Office to get more information about regulations governing wetlands. These agencies can also help you delineate the boundaries of your wetlands.



Do I need to include professional schematics and drawings in my permit application?
No. Drawings may be required, and the more accurate the drawings are, the more helpful they are in conveying the nature of your project. However, clear, labeled hand drawings with accompanying project descriptions are generally sufficient for permit applications. Photographs of the project area are also helpful.



How can I know if a stream is anadromous?
Contact the Alaska Department of Fish & Game Habitat Division at the River Center. Some streams are anadromous in some stretches but not in others. Also, streams may not be catalogued as anadromous yet still provide spawning and/or rearing habitat for salmon.



How do I know where Ordinary High Water (OHW) is?
Ordinary High Water (OHW) is the highest point on the bank where water flows for a sufficient amount of time to leave visible evidence on the landscape. It is often marked by a change in vegetation type from terrestrial to aquatic, or marks the point where vegetation transitions into sand, rock, or gravel. Kenai Peninsula rivers and creeks are generally flowing at OHW in July and August. If you have questions about OHW on your property, River Center staff can help you determine where the OHW line is.