Lands committee looks at why property owners sit on land

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

There’s plenty of land in the Kodiak Island Borough, but land owners may be hesitant to develop it.

That’s what the Kodiak Island Borough Lands Committee talked about at its meeting last week.

Lands committee chair Dan Rohrer said he would like to know why private enterprise might be holding onto the land.

“I guess when I was thinking of this I was thinking less of large scale development and more of the one-off parcels. There’s hundreds of ‘em held throughout the community that are just held for whatever reason.”

Committee member and Planning and Zoning Commission chair, Scott Arndt, said many land owners may be keeping properties for family members.

“I can give you dozens of people that are doing that. We’re not just talking one lot next to ‘em. We’re talking they’ve got two or three. And I can’t oppose ‘em and fault that philosophy.”

Arndt said it might also be about waiting for the best market value.

“There’s some people hoping the price will come up to justify, one, the money they paid for it when they bought it and paid too much and then – ‘cause I’ve asked a few people. They’re, over the course of the next couple of years, looking to try and take two lots, put it into four.”

The Lands Committee determined that it should think more about reasons why land development has remained stagnant and how to motivate people to move forward.

The committee has a special meeting scheduled for Dec 27. It’ll focus on gravel extraction in order to control flooding.

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