By Lilly Milman
Skagway Development Corp. (SDC) is distributing a survey — online and in locations around town — to gauge community sentiment toward housing development options on two blocks of borough land currently occupied by the Garden City RV Park.
The survey will be available at the SDC building, City Hall and the library. The online version can be found online on SDC’s website and Facebook page.
Year-round and seasonal residents are encouraged to fill out the survey to assist in writing the housing development plan. The primary questions ask people to rank which different groups — such as low-income residents, seasonal residents or senior citizens — should be targeted with the new housing, and to rate how comfortable they are with municipal involvement on a scale of one to 10.
The survey requires that participants fill in their first and last name to prevent people from filling it out multiple times, said Kaitlyn Jared, SDC’s executive director.
Survey forms are due no later than Aug. 31.
SDC is working with the Skagway Borough Planning and Zoning Committee to create a plan to develop the land, covering 24 lots, with a focus on housing. The land cannot be developed until the RV park moves, which cannot happen until water and sewer lines have been extended to a new site for the RV park across the Skagway River — a project estimated to cost around $6 million, according to Assemblymember Orion Hanson.
Once utilities are available across the bridge, the plan is to relocate the RV park and build housing units on the vacated land. Jared estimated that the housing construction will begin within the next three to five years.
At a July 18 work session between SDC and the Planning and Zoning Committee, three design concepts were outlined for the new housing: high-density housing only, with triplexes built on every lot totaling 72 dwellings; a combination of high-density housing and communal green space; and a mixture of residential and commercial units. The conceptual design plans will be completed for free by the Juneau-based firm MRV Architects, Jared said at the meeting.
SDC and the committee hope to have a plan for using the land completed by December. The committee would then forward its suggestion to the borough assembly.