SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Acquiring Coast Guard Beach
By Carrie Dolwick


May 04, 2007

The Ketchikan Beaches Association (KBA) supports the action to, "Direct staff to explore the possibility of a land trade with Mental Health Trust Office (MHTO) in order to acquire a portion of the Coast Guard Beach (CGB) as a Borough Park." We also support the consideration of the possibility of an agreement to pursue a negotiated sale for South Point Higgins Beach. The requested action was submitted by Assembly member John Harrington to the Borough Assembly for discussion at the May 7 Borough Assembly meeting.

We share our support for these actions which are concurrent with past and current adopted Borough Comprehensive plans and Coastal Zone management plans. The actions are strongly supported by past assembly resolutions and the current Parks and Recreation plan. The Current Parks and Recreation Plan states that the Borough will "facilitate the acquisition of established trail corridors and recreation sites owned by private corporations through easement, permit, or fee simple title." The Plan also states that the Borough will "manage traditional recreation areas to ensure continued recreational use." Coast Guard Beach is designated for this use.

We share our support for these actions with the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Planning Commission/Platting Board. The Board passed Resolution 3245 A, by unanimous consent on March 13, 2007 that resolves support for:

  • The Borough action to pursue a negotiated sale with the Alaska Mental Health Trust Land Office (TLO) to obtain South Point Higgins Beach.
  • Borough action to consider offering a land exchange to the TLO for a portion of the Coast Guard Beach area.

We share our support for these actions with the State Parks Regional Advisory Board who has given formal support for the project to acquire Coast Guard Beach.

Current research details the economic benefits of land conservation. Recent peer reviewed studies compiled by the Trust for Public Land present that properties adjacent to parks can increase in value up to 20% because of the parkâ s existence. In this way, the development of Coast Guard and South Point Higgins Beaches as community shoreline parks can be seen as an investment that will pay continuing dividends to the Borough through increased or stable tax revenues.

KBA requests the support of all Borough Assembly members for this agenda action item. We reconfirm our support and efforts to find the money to partner with the Borough to purchase South Point Higgins and Coast Guard Beaches in the future. Our fundraising efforts will be greatly enhanced with a possible land exchange as a match for federal and foundation grants.

Carrie Dolwick
Ketchikan, AK

Received May 04, 2007 - Published May 04, 2007

About: "Coordinator of the Ketchikan Beaches Association and resident of Ketchikan."



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