Anchorage Assembly asked to approve deal that would pave the way for major housing development in Girdwood

The Anchorage Assembly is asked to approve a deal that would pave the way for a major housing development in Girdwood.
Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 5:53 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Anchorage Assembly members are considering a proposal Tuesday to give a substantial amount of public land in Girdwood to a private developer that would pave the way for a 60-acre housing development called Holtan Hills.

The land, owned by the Heritage Land Bank, would go to long-time Anchorage realtor Connie Yoshimura, whose company CY Investments would develop the lots and split the profits with the municipality when the lots are sold.

Girdwood resident Emma Kramer sits on the advisory council for the project. Kramer said that many community members are against it and have added their names to a petition opposing the development.

“Our Girdwood Board of Supervisors member said that she’s computed it to be about 90-95% in opposition,” Kramer said. “That comes from over 1,000 signatures that have been collected online but are Girdwood residents.”

Kramer said most residents are not against development outright and that no one disputes Girdwood needs more affordable housing. She said the main concern is that the housing built will not be affordable, or that it will be used primarily as vacation homes and not serve community needs.

Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson’s administration strongly supports the project. Bronson’s Chief of Staff Adam Trombley said there has long been a plan to put more housing in Girdwood.

“The community has always wanted this to be residential development,” Trombley said. “We have multiple plans showing they want it to be residential development. We are simply supporting CY Investments and the process to make that happen.”

Trombley said the development will include different types of housing including single-family, multiple family and condominiums with different price points to appeal to different buyers. He said nothing can happen if the land disposal isn’t approved.

“The land disposal is just one step of many public processes that are going to take place before housing is ever built,” Trombley said.

Kramer said she and many other Girdwood residents remain unconvinced the project is a good fit.

“Where I do stand is that this is not right for Girdwood and that we need to start over,” Kramer said.

Girdwood residents planned to pack the assembly meeting on Tuesday and testify against approving the deal.