The Borough Assembly Takes a Step Towards Declaring Killarney Hills Surplus Land

Mitch Borden/KMXT

The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly failed a resolution that’d retain the parcel of land known as Killarney Hills at its regular meeting Thursday night. The piece of land is within the City of Kodiak, but the Borough owns it. There is a grass football field on the parcel and a variety of community activities including Relay for Life are held there.

Borough manager Michael Powers explained to the assembly that borough staff recommends the parcel of land be labeled surplus to signal to developers the borough would be open to selling it. This would allow for development planning to begin.

The planning and zoning commission, on the other hand, recommended the land be retained and not labeled surplus. The chair of the commission, Scott Arndt, said this would allow P&Z to begin its process of figuring out how Killarney Hills could be developed. If the assembly passed the resolution it’d be agreeing not to label the parcel of land surplus.

Upon hearing all of these details, Assemblyman Larry LeDoux said both options sounded similar.

“What a conundrum here. Voting yes leads us to the conclusion that we really want to develop this land. Voting no leads us to the same conclusion that we really want to develop this land.”

Many of the assembly members agreed they’d like to see Killarney Hills developed, but they weren’t sure how to go about it. The assembly eventually voted 4-2 to fail the resolution. Assembly members Matthew Van Daele and Dave Townsend voted in favor of it. Assemblywoman Rebecca Skinner was not present at the meeting, so she couldn’t vote.

Borough manager Powers said staff would submit a resolution to the assembly in the future to declare Killarney Hills surplus. At the end of the regular meeting, City of Kodiak councilman Richard Walker gave the assembly a message as a private citizen.

“Kodiak City is very interested in negotiating and bring that up for an agenda item here in the near future of doing a land exchange on some properties the city has in the borough for Killarney Hills because we would like to keep it as a park.”

He said there aren’t enough sports fields in the City of Kodiak and it’s a good place to hold community activities. Walker said the city wants to officially offer an exchange for Killarney Hills to the borough soon.

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