FAIRBANKS NORTH STAR BOROUGH

907 Terminal St. Fairbanks AK 99701 (907) 459-1000

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 FAQs

  • How can I view a code enforcement case file?
    • Simply submit a public records request form​ to view or receive copies of documents within code enforcement case files.  There is no charge to view the file or be emailed copies of documents unless staff hours exceed five (5) hours per request.  A $0.25/page ("8.5"x11") charge will apply to physical copies once the total exceeds $5.00/month/person.​

  • How do I file a complaint?
    • Learn about the process to file a complaint.  Or, go ahead and submit a complaint form.​

  • How does the FNSB handle reported code violations?
    • Learn about the code enforcement process.​

  • If I think that a property owner is violating FNSB code, what should I do?
  • My neighbor keeps trespassing onto my property. What can I do?
    • This is a civil matter.  If you are unable to reach an agreement with your neighbor, you may wish to contact the AK State Troopers, City Police, or a private attorney to pursue a restraining order or other civil means.  For contact information, go to the Emergency contacts section.  Knowing where your property corners are located will assist with this process.​

  • My neighbor's stuff or vegetation is crossing our shared property line. What can I do?
    • This is a civil matter.  If you are unable to reach an agreement with your neighbor, you may wish to contact the AK State Troopers, City Police, or a private land use attorney.  For contact information, go to the Emergency contacts section.

      If you are not sure where your property corners are, Community Planning's Platting Office is available to assist with finding any existing plats/subdivisions that show where property corners were placed historically.  You may then be able to use a metal detector to find your corner marker.  But, if that doesn't work, you will need to hire a professional surveyor to physically locate existing. or place new, markers in the ground​.

  • Who do I call for an immediate fire or life/safety emergency?
    • For emergencies requiring medical, fire or police response, please call 9-1-1.  the Code Enforcement Office does not consist of emergency responders.  For less immediate concerns, please contact the AK State Troopers, City Police, or your local fire department.  For contact information, go to the Emergency contacts section.​

  • My neighbor's pickup is parked on the road. Is that an encroachment?
    • ​Encroachments are generally semi-permanent in nature and might include "buildings, billboards, walls, fences, driveways, earthworks, culverts, pipe, poles, towers, gates or ditches placed so as to obstruct or impair proper use."  But , the most common inquiry about encroachments seems to involve vehicles.  

      To determine if your neighbor's pickup (or anything else) is an "encroachment," let's walk through this together.​

      1.  Does the alleged violation involve a "structure, object, operation or material?" If yes, continue.

      2.  Is it occurring in, on, under or over a "public road" or dedicated "public area?"  If yes, continue.

      "Public road" means a highway, road, right-of-way, street, alley, bridge, walk, trail, tunnel or similar or related facility dedicated to public use.  It does not include a private road or easement.

      "Public area" means land dedicated to public use for a square, park, greenbelt or recreational area.

      3.  Is it placed in such a manner as to either 1) "impair, impede or obstruct proper use of the public road or area" or 2) "affect drainage patterns that will impair, impede, or obstruct proper use?"  If yes, continue.

      4.  Is it "within the traveled way" or "obstructing the public use" and it could not be considered a "minor temporary object?"  If yes, then you have an encroachment and are ready to submit a complaint form.

      If the encroachment is occurring on a road or within a road right-of-way inside a Road Service Area (RSA), your complaint form will be forwarded to Rural Services​.  If it is occurring outside of an RSA, then it will be processed by Code Enforcement.


  • What can I do about an abandoned vehicle at the end of my cul-de-sac?
  • What can I do about someone who has blocked off or is parking vehicles in a road right-of-way, trail easement, or private easement?
    • ​The answer to this question can get quite case-specific.  But, below is some generalized information that is intended to give some initial direction to get you started in the right direction.

      If the alleged violation is occuring on a road or within a road right-of-way inside a Road Service Area (RSA), contact Rural Services.  If it is occurring outside of an RSA or if the encroachments spilling into the road are connected to a "junkyard" (visit, "What qualifies as a junkyard?"​), contact Code Enforcement.

      If the alleged violation is occurring in a trail easement, contact the Trails Coordinator at 907-459-7401.  If you are not sure whether or not a trail easement exists, contact Subdivision Platting at 907-459-1260.  When ready, submit a complaint form​.  Please note that existing trails may or may not be legally established across private property and the FNSB might not have jurisdiction.

      If the alleged violation is occurring on a private easement, the FNSB has no jurisdiction.

  • What qualifies as a junkyard?
    • "Junk" means "worn out, dismantled, inoperable or wrecked aircraft, vehicles or machinery or parts thereof, mobile homes or trailers, appliances or furniture, scrap building materials, metals, rubber, paper, plastic or other scrap or discarded materials."

      "Junkyard" means "the use of more than 1,000 square feet of a lot or parcels under common ownership for a salvaging operation, including but not limited to the storage or sale of junk or the collection, dismantlement, storage or salvage of junk.  This definition does not include:

      1.  Any unlicensed or inoperative vehicles that are not dismantled, salvaged or otherwise in a state of disrepair and which are totally obscured from view from adjacent property at all times of the year by a sight-obscuring fence; and

      2.  Any unlicensed and operative vehicles which are used in the normal course of business on the property on which they are stored."

  • When is a junkyard required to have an approved drainage plan?
    • ​Junkyards are required to make provisions "to prevent any contamination of the domestic water supply or excessive surface run-off from the property into adjoining lands or streams."  For automobile salvage yards, a drainage plan must be approved by the DEC "specifying the method of disposing of surface run-off from the site" (FNSBC 18.96.130.C).

      The DEC administers a permit that covers runoff from an "automobile salvage yard."  So, if the junkyard is predominately automobiles, then the facility would need to apply for coverage under a Multi-Sector General Permit and develop a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP).  Although there is no size threshold for the junkyard, it must be a business enterprise, not an individual with 20 cars on their home lot.

      The SWPPP can be prepared by the operator and does not necessarily require hiring a professional.  The DEC has a template for the operator to fill in and an EPA Manual that helps describe the process of assembling the SWPPP.  If you are considering submitting a SWPPP, please look at the DEC website​ and then contact the Stormwater Section of the Division of Water at 907-269-6283 for assistance through the process.

  • Where are junkyards permitted? Do they have to be screened?
    • ​Junkyards are permitted uses only in the General Use (GU-1), Light Industrial (LI) and Heavy Industrial (HI) zoning districts and only when they fully comply with the requirements listed under FNSBC 18.96.130.  Section B requires junkyards to be "completely enclosed and obscured from the public view at all times by a sight-obscuring screen."

      "Sight-obscuring screen" means "a year-round shield of sufficient height and volume to block from sight one abutting or nearby structure or use from another.  This may include, but is not limited to, densely planted vegetation, decorative fencing or earthen berms, or a combination thereof" (FNSBC 18.04.010.B).

  • My neighbor has 10 dogs on one lot. Is that considered a kennel?
    • Yes, this would be considered a "minor kennel" so long as:

      1.  All dogs are on the same lots;

      2.  At least five (5) of them are six months of age and older; and 

      3.  They are maintained out-of-doors or in unheated buildings.

      To see where minor kennels are allowed, visit "Where can I open a new dog (or cat) kennel?​"

      The full definition of "kennels, minor" is included below from FNSBC 18.04.010.B:

      "Kennels, minor" means "a lot on which no fewer than five and no more than 24 dogs or cats, six months of age and older, are maintained out-of-doors or in unheated buildings."

  • Where can I open a new dog (or cat) kennel?
    • The FNSB Code includes two size thresholds for kennels:  minor & major.

      "Kennels, minor" means "a lot on which no fewer than five and no more than 24 dogs or cats, six months of age and older, are maintained out-of-doors or in unheated buildings" (FNSBC 18.04.010.B).  It is a permitted use only in the General Use (GU), Rural and Agricultural (RA) and Rural Farmstead (RF) zoning districts and is a conditional use in the Rural Estate (RE) zoning district.  In the Rural Residential (RR) zoning district, it is a conditional use on lots of not less than 80,000 square feet in area.

      "Kennels, major" means "a lot on which more than 24 dogs or cats, six months of age and older, are maintained out-of-doors, or in unheated buildings" (FNSBC 18.04.010.B).  It is a permitted use only in the General Use (GU), Rural and Agricultural (RA) and Rural Farmstead (RF) zoning districts.  In the Rural Estate (RE) zoning district, it is a prohibited use in RE-2 and a conditional use in RE-4 on lots of not less than 160,000 square feet in area.

      For all other zoning districts, raising domestic or commercial livestock is a prohibited use.

  • Can I raise chickens, ducks, geese, bees, goats, etc on my property?
    • "Domestic Livestock" means "any quantity of farm animals raised and/or kept for personal use or for occasional competitive use (i.e. 4H, FFA, etc)" (FNSBC 18.04.010.B).  It is a permitted use only in the General Use (GU), Rural and Agricultural (RA), Rural Farmstead (RF) and Rural Estate (RE) zoning districts and is a conditional use in the Outdoor Recreational (OR) zoning district.  In the Rural Residential (RR) zoning district, it is a permitted use for lots greater than 80,000 square feet in area or a conditional use on lots less than 80,000 square feet in area.

      "Commercial livestock" means "any quantity of farm animals kept with the intention of selling related goods and/or services"  (FNSBC 18.04.010.B).  It is a permitted use only in the General Use (GU), Rural and Agricultural (RA) and Rural Farmstead(RF) zoning districts.

      For all other zoning districts, raising domestic or commercial livestock is a prohibited use. [Note:  Livestock grazing is a conditional use in the Mineral Lands (ML) zoning district.]

  • Do I need a building permit before starting construction?
    • ​Building permits are only required within the City of Fairbanks​ (907-459-6720) and City of North Pole​ (907-488-8593).  Since the FNSB has not adopted a building code, building permits are not required in the Borough at-large outside of these two cities.  However, a zoning permit may still be required whether within or outside of the city limits and, if commercial, you may still be required to get approval by the State Fire Marshal​.

  • When is a zoning permit required?
    • ​You are required to obtain a zoning permit "before any excavation, construction, reloction or installation is started for a new use" (FNSBC 18.104.080.B).

      The only exceptions to this requirement are if the property is within a General Use (GU) zoning district (and outside of a special landscape area overlay zone) or​ if the lot is just being cleared or graded (FNSBC 18.104.080.B.1 & 2).  ​​

      If within the GU zoning district, you may still opt to submit a zoning permit to establish a starting point for a use or the construction date for a structure.  This could be helpful to affirm grandfather rights in the future.  Please see FNSBC 18.84.020 for other uses within the GU zoning district that require a conditional use permit.

      Please note that all commercial marijuana establishments require approval via a zoning permit or conditional use permit.

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