Buy Spuhn Island

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, June 04, 2004

On Tuesday, June 8, at 7 p.m. the planning commission will meet in the Assembly Chambers to discuss the proposed subdivision on Spuhn Island. We Juneauites should attend the meeting and make our wishes known on the issue.

Spuhn Island ought to remain a natural place. It is so close to the end of Fritz Cove Road that people of modest means can explore it with only a row boat. Also, the surrounding area provides good salmon fishing and crabbing. The Southeastern Alaska Land Trust has been trying to buy it from the developer. Help from the borough could make the purchase possible.

However, if the subdivision is approved, Fritz Cove Road is not a suitable access place. The road is dangerous. It is substandard, too narrow and windy to support increased traffic. Fritz Cove began as a one-way road. Several houses are nearly on the pavement as a result of the last widening. Also Smugglers' Cove is overcrowded with boats and cars.

If the subdivision is approved the developer should be required to pay for all the necessary services. She talks of making slips available at Auke Bay marinas. There aren't enough slips or parking spaces to take care of the owners of her large subdivision and she hasn't mentioned paying for the rental of the slips herself. The only way we can be assured of adequate parking and skiff storage is if she buys a beach lot for that purpose and makes it part of the subdivision package. The developer also needs to assume the cost of underwater utilities, garbage disposal, and the island's own sewage treatment plant if it is needed.

It is unfair for the citizens of Juneau to pay dearly to make the developer rich. Let's buy the island for a marine park.

Sylvia Gard

Juneau



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