CBJ works on deal with Aurora Arms

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - An out of compliance condominium community could get assistance from the CBJ as the borough tries to find additional areas to develop housing.

    The CBJ Lands Committee renewed an effort to find more land for housing developments through a tentative deal with the Aurora Arms Condominiums Association.  The CBJ would trade a lot of .4 acres of upland property for a vacant lot that measures .22 acres at 1870 Glacier Highway.  The appraised value of the properties will be determined.  The CBJ will pay for the appraisal and pay the difference in cash in the land value.  It will allow the CBJ to build a road to access eight acres owned by the CBJ for a housing development.  The CBJ will also build a small parking lot the condominium owners can use on the new road.  The extra land will help the condominiums comply with zoning laws.   CBJ staff said the property is one of the last available areas outside of avalanche hazard zones in the downtown area.  Current zoning would allow five units per acre and allow a maximum of 40 units.

    The lands committee adopted a motion of support for lands staff to draft a formal land trade agreement for review by the lands committee and full assembly.

    The Committee adopted a motion of support to work with Vertical Bridge Holdings LLC towards the lease of city property on Crazy Horse Drive.  The firm wants to lease an area of 75 by 75 feet to put up a 150 communications tower with cellular ground equipment and a backup generator.  The facility would have security fencing and have ground equipment for emergency services.  If required by the state or federal authorities, Vertical Bridge will install tower lighting.  The application must also be considered by the CBJ Planning Commission.

    Chief Housing Officer Scott Ciambor updated planning for a senior housing assisted living project in Vintage Park.  The property is currently assigned to Torrey Pines Development Bayshire Senior living for $1.52 million.  They are willing to relinquish their option on the property.

    The committee supported an updated appraisal on the property, recommended funds be taken from fund balance to purchase the property and agreed to forward the proposal to the Assembly Committee of the Whole for discussion.

    Chairwoman Mary Becker said the CBJ should closely examine the Mendenhall River and any impacts it could have on this river front property.

    "We already have our Mendenhall River problem and we certainly don't want to open up another problem,"  Becker said.

    Erosion along the river has impacted a number of properties along the river.

    Another question the CBJ must answer is will they provide a tax abatement for the project.  They would have to consider types of housing that would be eligible, the targeted area for tax abatement, the length, the coverage of the abatement, and if they will require a certain number of units to be affordable in order to qualify.


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