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Soldotna Council considers city property

Members discuss selling land parcels

Posted: June 27, 2013 - 7:53pm

At Wednesday’s Soldotna City Council meeting, the council discussed the possibility of selling some city-owned property.

City administration presented the council with several land parcels for the council to consider either auctioning, selling through another forum or keeping.

Stephanie Queen, director of planning and zoning and community development said, according to city code, the preferred method of city property sale is through an auction unless the council determines it’s in the city’s best interest to sell through another method, such as a sole-source negotiation.

City Manager Mark Dixson said the administration has gotten the OK from the Kenai Peninsula Borough to sell properties at the borough’s annual fall auction.

Queen said the borough also offered to coach the city on the borough’s process, so Soldotna could host its own auction.

If the city decided to do its own auction, council member Dale Bagley said, it would have to hire an auctioneer, a real estate broker and pay for advertising.

“Ultimately, at the end of the day, I think there’s only going to be … a handful of properties that the council collectively says, ‘put on the market,’” Bagley said. “So then you’re doing a big song and dance for just a few properties, so it would be to our advantage to dovetail on what the borough does every fall.”

Ten city-owned properties surrounding Karen Street Park are being considered by the council. The properties surrounding the park are situated on a fairly steep bank, which causes concern about the safety of building on the lots.

“Every one of these lots, is on pretty much a very steep hillside there,” Bagley said. “In fact, the old sledding hill is right there … if you remember how steep that is.”

“If we do put them up for sale, hearing all the constraints, what type of person, business, use do we foresee?” council member John Czarnezki said. “Is there going to be any potential interest, and would we be okay with something going in on a steep slope like that? Is there going to be a market for it?”

Council member Regina Daniels said she thinks the city should keep the Karen Street properties because she sees potential for recreational expansion, especially with the skate park right there.

One piece of property Bagley suggested trying to sell to one of the neighboring land owners was a 0.09 acre, triangular piece of land on Kobuk Street between Marydale Drive and Knight Drive. He said he doesn’t want to see someone try to develop on that lot.

There are three other city-owned land parcels up for debate in the Mooring Estates area, all of which Bagley said the city should sell. He also thinks the city should consider selling the 0.2 acre property on Smith Way, the 0.46 acre property on Redoubt Avenue and the 0.59 acre property on Griffen Avenue.

Bagley thinks the city should keep the Karen Street recreation area properties, the three Porcupine Court properties and the two adjoining Riverview Avenue properties.

The council will consider the options for each property and make decisions regarding the various land parcels at a future date.

Maps of the properties are available on the city’s website.

The next scheduled council meeting is July 10 at 6 p.m.

Kaylee Osowski can be reached at kaylee.osowski@peninsulaclarion.com.

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