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Girdwood housing development project should be stopped

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To Jennifer Wingard

Has been updated: twenty three by the time Release: 1 1 day ago

Anyone who has been to Girdwood recently has seen many bright red ‘Holtan Hills’ signs all over the neighborhood. The ubiquity of signs represents an unprecedented level of consensus, connecting neighbors from across the political spectrum. In any case, local opposition to the development of Hortan Hills exceeds his 90%. Unfortunately, the project is on its way to approval from the Anchorage Council.

The Hortan Hills parcel is the largest and best land left for the Girdwood housing development, so its importance to the community cannot be overstated. Until the town was absorbed by Anchorage, they were Girdwood lands and were held by the city’s land management agency, the Heritage Land Bank (HLB). New to the Holtan Hills development is the scale of the project, the consistent exclusion of the Girdwood community and its concerns, and his HLB involvement as a development partner to CY Investments, essentially turning the municipality into a real estate speculator. .

Getting information about the Hortan Hills project was a struggle from the start. The Girdwood community has hunted heavily redacted documents and, unable to find his original RFP results, submitted a public record request many months ago that has gone unanswered. The Girdwood Board of Supervisors (GBOS) sought legal advice from a local government attorney, but the question was simply referred to her HLB. Our citizens have been attending meetings for hours and have been told, such as at his HLB Advisory Board meeting in September, that our views are irrelevant to the decisions being made. . Girdwood said HLB and CY Investments over the adequacy of his 16-year-old neighborhood plan, and that its presence would ultimately eliminate cumbersome tasks like community approval of projects and site-specific land-use studies. I was surprised to see him declare. .

At the developer’s request, Girdwood set up a housing commission and spent hundreds of hours trying to turn the project into something that would actually benefit the community, but their proposal was promptly rejected. The Holtan Hills development deal between HLB and CY Investments adds his 30% to the developed land and about 20% to Girdwood’s residential units. This is a transformative project in every way, reinforcing the importance of getting it right. Instead, the process systematically eliminates girderwoods, devastates acres of forest, exacerbates the current strain on girderwoods’ economy and infrastructure, and causes a further exodus of community members who can no longer afford to live here. , all led to a profitable project. A developer and city department that seems to view Girdwood more as a strip mine than a town.

Both GBOS and the Housing Commission say Girdwood sees great value in developing Holtan Hills land, but the current development deal is absolutely unacceptable. Simply put, the Holtan Hills project will do us more harm than good. Additionally, any development of the Holtan Hills area should address community concerns and needs from the outset. That’s what other communities in Alaska want, and it’s ridiculous that we have to ask.

The Holtan Hills project must be abandoned in order for development to proceed correctly. Other areas of Anchorage, as well as other towns in Alaska, will need six municipal officials to decide what’s best for their communities. Please reach out to members of Congress, elected representatives and friends to let them know Girdwood needs help. The future of our community depends on it.

Jennifer Wingard Member of the Girdwood Supervisory Board and several other Girdwood Boards. Her views expressed here are her own.

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