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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

The Subdivision That Never Was

By Harlan Heaton

March 18, 2019
Monday AM

About forty years ago the State of Alaska designed a ninety six lot subdivision in the Mountain Point area. The State sold over half of these lots to the citizens of Ketchikan. When these lots were sold forty years ago, the buyers were told by the State that there would be access to their lots.

Fast forward to the present. These property owners still have no access to their property, and have been paying property taxes for the past forty years. The Ketchikan Gateway Borough owns eighteen of the lots in this subdivision, and pay no property tax. Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority was granted several lots in the subdivision from a settlement with the State of Alaska. These lots are also tax exempt.

Last year the Borough put their lots up for sale. I received a five year option to purchase the eighteen lots the Ketchikan Gateway Borough has owned since this subdivision was sold forty years ago. In order for any development to happen the lots that are owned by the Borough and Alaska Mental Health that are tax exempt need to go into private ownership. The Borough and Alaska Mental Health will not accept any portion of the construction cost. I made an offer to purchase eleven lots from Alaska Mental Health so this construction could start to happen. This purchase agreement is set to expire on April 1, 2019 at this time Alaska Mental Health wants twice the appraised value of the lots. Because of the high cost of construction, I cannot pay more than the appraised value.

Your local representatives on the Borough Assembly have done their part in trying to get this subdivision completed. Unfortunately, the same can't be said of Representative Ortiz and Senator Stedman, neither one have responded to any of my repeated requests for help for these lot owners that have been stuck in a land locked nightmare for almost forty years, sold to them by the State of Alaska!

 If any of these lot owners want this subdivision completed they will need to call the office of Representative Ortiz and Senator Stedman. Additional information can be found on the kgb website under assembly meetings packets, date 12/17/18.

There is only a couple more weeks to keep this option open and to develop an access for this subdivision, or it will be another forty years or longer before another opportunity comes along.

Harlan Heaton
Ketchikan, Alaska


Editor's Note:

This letter has been corrected due to typing errors made by the editor and republished.


Received March 11, 2019 - Published March 13, 2019 - Deleted. Corrected & republished March 18, 2019

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