Despite Public Outcry, Creek Realignment Plans Move Forward
ANCHORAGE - Community members in East Anchorage said the Anchorage Assembly is moving forward on a development project, despite public outcry.
The question of what to do with this piece of land, near Muldoon Road, is one that's been asked for several years.
The Municipality of Anchorage bought the 29-acre parcel from the federal government back in 2006, with the intention of selling it for commercial use.
But first the creek needs to be realigned.
“It’s been long enough, [the] first plan I saw for this was in 2007, right after property acquired by the prior administration with [the] understanding that dollar would revert back to taxpayers,” said Chris Birch, an Anchorage Assemblymen.
Northeast Community Council members said residents don't want the project.
Roger Shaw is one of them.
“We don't want another big box store in the area and there’s nothing to prevent there being another big box store if that were sold commercially,” said Shaw.
He wants a city park instead.
“It’s only within the last two years that the people on the East Side have recognized the gem that we have there and how important to the future that it is for it to be a park, rather than commercially developed or housing or anything else,” he said.
Shaw said the city isn't listening to what the community wants.
“It really felt like they were thumbing their nose at us, that to me is the most disturbing part,” he said.
Assembly member Chris Birch said the project had to move forward.
“That funding was time-critical, in the interest of getting the funding secured, and getting the creek alignment,” said Birch.
Exactly what will happen to this piece of land remains to be seen.
The mayor’s office said the realignment project is expected to be complete by next summer.