Eagle River Community Council hears Powder Ridge plans

Sunday, March 19, 2017 - 13:56
  • Eagle River’s Powder Ridge subdivision, March 13, 2017. Tentative development plans call for approximately 23 new single family homes on a vacant parcel nearby. (Star photo by Kirsten Swann)
  • A vacant property adjacent Eagle River’s Powder Ridge subdivision, March 13, 2017. Tentative development plans for the lot call for the future construction of approximately 23 new single-family homes. (Star photo by Kirsten Swann)

Eagle River’s Powder Ridge neighborhood is about to expand, with local developers looking to build on a wooded 5.97-acre lot situated between the Glenn Highway and Konrad Drive.

Residents of the 144-home subdivision heard about the tentative plans during a March 9 Eagle River Community Council meeting.

“The idea is to keep new construction in Powder Ridge,” said Andre Spinelli, vice president of design and development at Spinell Homes.

Reaction was mixed. Some neighbors mourned the loss of trees and said they were disappointed to hear the parcel would be developed at all.

Others said they appreciated a planned rezone. They asked questions about lot size, expected traffic impacts, sidewalks and sound barriers.

The home-building company would like to develop plans by the fall and be ready to build by next spring, Spinelli said, but there’s still no firm timeline for construction.

Before building, they must complete several steps, from a rezoning to a plat, all of which should unfold over the next several months. They’d seek to rezone the land — known as the Hamilton property — from a Residential-Office District (RO) to an R-1 Single-Family Residential District (R-1), Spinelli said. While the former includes a mix of low to medium-density residential and professional office uses, the latter is marked by large lot sizes and low density, according to the Municipality of Anchorage planning division.

When rezoned and developed, the lot could hold up to 23 new homes. It wouldn’t be cheap, and Spinelli said it would be important to match the feel and look of the existing subdivision.

“Eagle River, I feel like, has a more traditional market,” he said.

The March 9 ERCC meeting also covered community crime, public transportation and the upcoming municipal elections: Attendees heard from Anchorage Assembly candidates John Brassell, Fred Dyson and Gretchen Wehmhoff, who touted their community experience and plans for future public service.

A group of Chugiak-Eagle River commuters, longtime riders of the local Route 102, stood to ask the council to protest planned cuts to area bus service.

And in response to concerns about crime in the area, some residents suggested forming an Eagle River Community Patrol — an idea the council agreed to explore at its next meeting in April. For more information on local community councils, visit communitycouncils.org

Contact reporter Kirsten Swann at kirsten.swann@alaskastar.com