By Larry Persily
Wrangell Sentinel 

Borough surveys public to help decide how to sell Alder Top subdivision lots

 

November 1, 2023 | View PDF



The borough wants to hear from the public as officials work toward deciding the best way to sell the several dozen residential lots that will be created at the Alder Top Village (Keishangita.’aan) subdivision upland from Shoemaker Bay.

“The borough is considering two methods of disposing of the land — through an auction and a lottery,” according to the survey announcement issued by the Economic Development Department. “This dual approach is intended to enhance affordability and fairness in the land allocation process, ensuring a more equitable opportunity for all interested parties.”

To help staff and, ultimately, the borough assembly decide on the best sales process, the borough is conducting an online survey.

“Your valuable insights will play a vital role in this endeavor,” last week’s announcement said.

The dozen questions focus on gauging public interest in the lots.

The survey is available at: https://bit.ly/3tPFJ81.

Borough staff will compile the results and present them to the economic development board, which will make a recommendation to the assembly, explained Kate Thomas, department director. The board is scheduled to meet Nov. 16 to discuss land sales options and to hear from the public.

“The primary objective of this (subdivision) project is to offer a solution to the local housing shortage … and to stimulate economic growth,” the survey announcement said.

Ground clearing at the property was scheduled for completion by this month, with engineering work underway for roads, water, sewer and electrical utilities. The property, formerly home to the Bureau of Indian Affairs Wrangell Institute Native boarding school, will be developed in two initial phases, totaling 40 residential lots.

The road and utility work for the first phase of 20 lots could start next summer or fall. A completion date will not be known until the work is bid out and a contract awarded.

The borough could sell the first phase of 20 lots or all 40 lots from both development phases at the same time, as soon as next year. The assembly will make those decisions.

“It’s important to note that lots may not be accessible until the road and utility construction projects are finished, potentially in two phases of construction, making immediate residential development unfeasible,” the borough explained in its survey announcement.

The lots in Phase 1 range from 0.39 to 0.54 acres. The 20 lots in Phase 2 have not been measured but appear on the map to be slightly larger in size.

The borough took ownership of the property in 1996.

 

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