Chugiak-Eagle River Advisory Board to meet
A meeting of the Chugiak-Eagle River Advisory Board has been called to look into proposed changes to the Municipality of Anchorage’s water and sewer code.
The meeting will be held at noon Saturday, Oct. 28 in the community room at the Eagle River Town Center building (12001 Business Boulevard).
Birchwood Community Council member Debbie Ossiander said the meeting will primarily deal with what the re-write could mean for Chugiak-Eagle River residents.
“There’s an ordinance coming that tightens up and increases the standards for septic systems,” she said.
Anchorage Assembly member Amy Demboski urged the advisory board to meet after she learned of the planned rewrite. At an Oct. 19 meeting of the Chugiak Community Council, Demboski said the rewrite has the potential to have significant impacts in Chugiak-Eagle River.
“It’s super important,” said Demboski, who said she asked the assembly for a two-week delay in taking up the matter so locals could examine the issue further.
Ossiander said she plans to ask someone from the municipality to explain the rewrite in detail at the meeting.
“I’m trying to find somebody who can speak to that,” she said.
Made up of representatives from all six area community councils, the advisory board has no set meeting schedule; instead, it meets whenever two or more councils decide an issue warrants areawide discussion, or when an assembly member calls for one.
Although the meeting is primarily concerned with discussing the sewer issues, Ossiander said the board will also likely discuss a proposal to amend the Chugiak-Eagle River Site Specific Land Use Plan for the Carol Creek property, a parcel of land between the McDonald Center and Fred Meyer in Eagle River that’s been the subject of much debate. The municipality’s Heritage Land Bank wants to amend the plan to allow for a new water storage facility and to allow for greater housing density on the undeveloped land. The water storage facility is noncontroversial, but the increase in the number of potential residential parcels conflicts with a resolution passed by the Birchwood Community Council against any high density housing in the area.
“They seem to be proposing the same thing that we said we don’t want,” Ossiander said.
But municipal land management officer Nicole Jones-Vogel said there are no plans to develop any housing on the property any time soon.
“We have no intention in the near term of disposing any property or doing any large scale development there,” Jones-Vogel said.
She said the HLB simply wants more flexibility for any future development.
“Our intention was to make a plan that allowed for a variety of housing types,” she said.
Jones-Vogel said the economics of the project are such that no new neighborhoods are likely in the area.
“That type of development isn’t feasible,” she said.
She also said the public still has plenty of time to provide input — including at a Dec. 11 Planning and Zoning meeting in Anchorage.
“There are multiple levels of opportunity for community input,” she said.
There are currently no other issues on the advisory board’s agenda, Ossiander said, but there could be other discussions of communitywide interest if time allows. Among the topics that may come up are an ongoing land use issue in South Fork and discussions of a new community patrol in Eagle River. Ossiander said the meeting could touch on those topics, but some things may have to wait for another meeting or be worked out at the community council level.
“We’re not stopping anyone, but it all depends on time,” she said.