The Mission of the Planning and Community Services Department is to protect the land and cultural resources of the North Slope Borough by creating a department that is recognized as a leader in:
establishing means to protect the land and wildlife resources within the borough;
- regulating and monitoring development;
- managing borough owned real estate;
- planning for future growth;
- enhancing community sustainability and overall health; and
- supporting local traditions and lifestyles.
The departmental is responsible for comprehensive planning and land use regulation that address environmental, health, social, and economic impacts to communities as well as the land and natural resources including wildlife; maintaining the region’s historic and cultural heritage; and management of borough owned lands including commercial real estate management.
History of the North Slope Borough Port Authority
The timeline associated with the NSPAD’s founding is illustrated below. In the early 2000s, the NSB and North Slope citizens identified the need for formation of a regional entity capable of advancing investment in hard infrastructure—ports, roads, communication networks. Hard infrastructure and its counterpart, soft infrastructure (healthcare, schools, law enforcement), are the building blocks of communities. Availability of both infrastructure types is linked to economic prosperity (Puentes, 2015). Through the work and effort of many throughout the NSB, the North Slope Borough Port Authority Ordinance was drafted and adopted in 2014. In the subsequent year, an NSPA executive director and board members were selected. Political turbulence, however, paused initial organizational steps and it wasn’t until 2018 that work commenced on the preparation of the Authority’s Long Range Development Plan (LRDP).
In 2019 while the NSB prepared its 2019 Comprehensive Plan and advanced other initiatives, the need for the Authority was again validated and the LRDP process reactivated in 2020. On December 1, 2020, the Borough Assembly adopted changes to the NSPA enabling ordinance shifting the independent Authority to a Department under the NSB. The full updated Ordinance (2014-01-1) is provided in Appendix A.