Solution floated to resolve Chicken Yard Park

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) The CBJ lands committee supported a resolution to resolve the long issue of access to Chicken Yard Park.

    Chicken Yard Park has been a contentious issue that has gone on for 50 years, City Manager Rorie Watt said.

    Having a vehicle drive through a kids playground in 1950 is very different from 2019, Watt added.

    The neighborhood would like a modern, safe playground for kids.  The plan is for two parking spaces for permanent use and pedestrian

    access to their home.  "We get the maximum amount of area for a park.  The neighborhood will not have kids and swings and cars mixing."

    Watt said litigation would cost the city funding and ask did something exist 68 yeras ago.  "Either party could be wrong.  The court would have to decide."

    The Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee, the Planning Commission, and the full Assembly would eventually get to comment and decide.

    A resolution will come before the Assembly on March 4.  There are additional funds in this years capital improvement plan to fund the two parking spaces.

    "We can have a nice park and resolved the access issue.  The owners of the home plan to move on and find a home where they can have driveway access right up to the home.  This will help them sell the home."

    The use of the driveway is non-exclusive. The CBJ would also provide the home owner $5,000 and the homeowners would remove any interest in the right of way.

    Watt said the neighborhood wanted to support their neighborhood but also wanted a new park.

    Lands Committee Member Chris Mertl said this was the best possible scenario and that the solution doesn't give everyone what they want but is a compromise.

    Committee Chair Mary Becker said it was a very good solution and she always was scared that a child would be struck by a vehicle should it be allowed to drive through the park.

    The park is located on Starr Hill at the corner of Sixth Street and Kennedy Street.  It is the oldest playground in Juneau's park system.  The home in question is located at 626 Fifth Street.

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