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More parking woes for Rustic Goat

By Dave Leval 9:06 PM August 5, 2014

Charles Hightower enjoys the Rustic Goat restaurant.

“It’s a very successful restaurant, which is fantastic for our area,” Hightower said.

Getting to the restaurant on Northern Lights Boulevard and Turnagain Street isn’t as fun.

“It’s a challenge where to park the car, when you bring a car,” Hightower said.

The Rustic Goat thought it had the parking issue resolved in July when the Anchorage Assembly approved a new parking lot across the street.

It’s going back before the Assembly because it failed to give proper notice about the issue.

Vicki Russell lives near the restaurant. She opposes adding a parking lot to her neighborhood.

“I think it’s the wrong restaurant in the wrong place,” Russell said.

Traffic has increased since the Rustic Goat opened earlier this year. That’s a big reason why Russell opposes the project.

“Our concern is the Rustic Goat already caused these problems, and they want to eat up parkland, what we consider parkland,” Russell said.

Assemblyman Dick Traini opposed the original deal. He says there is only way he’ll support leasing public land for private use.

“I want an analysis done to tell me what the market value would be for a piece of land in that area,” Traini said.

The Rustic Goat is hoping to lease the property for $8,000 a year, well below what Traini believes the land is worth.

Traini is one of two Assembly members who opposed the original deal.

Anchorage is also considering leasing some of its land in the Government Hill area for more parking for businesses.

A public hearing for both is scheduled Aug. 26. That’s the earliest the Assembly could act on them.

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