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City ponders land sale

Posted: October 30, 2012 - 11:08pm

The city is working on a permit that would allow development of subdivided land in Switzer Creek and Pederson Hill areas.

Juneau’s City State Project 2012 0015 allows the city to use CIP funds to improve for subdivision and sale of residential property at Pederson Hill and Switzer Creek areas.

The combined areas could supply land for up to 250 residential units. Two sites can accommodate 100 units without need of additional road access. Another is slated for 50 units.

Market rate sales of the subdivided city land would help fund affordable housing.

“It is not affordable housing at the exclusion of market rate housing,” said Heather Marlow, CBJ lands and resource manager.

Marlow said Juneau’s housing market could easily absorb the expected gain in housing as a result of the proposal. “Juneau has pent-up demand,” she said. “Wait lists for housing can be 200 to 300 people long.”

CBJ would have to “bring hundreds of housing units online to start to change housing prices,” Marlow said. She presented staff findings to the Planning Commission Committee of the Whole Tuesday afternoon. The commission will hear the permit proposal with public comment at a subsequent meeting.

CBJ staff recommended development of the Pederson Hill area near Auke Lake. Commissioners Nathan Bishop and Michael Satre expresses some concern that in the past the city had considered to start development first in the Switzer Creek area.

Switzer has three sections of potential development. The city selected area three, Switzer’s largest area, to subdivide first. Access to area three is up Mountain Avenue. The project includes improvements to Mountain Avenue.

Pederson Hill would be accessed by Wild Meadow Lane. To complete the project the city will have to do a land exchange with the University of Alaska Southeast, Marlow said. The city’s preferred access is at the Lutheran church.

Future development at Pederson could progress up the hill and around the south side of Auke Lake.

• Contact reporter Russell Stigall at 523-2276 or at russell.stigall@juneauempire.com.

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