Dark blue represents state-owned land. At the invitation of Governor Bill Walker, the city is seeking to acquire four parcels, including Starrigavan/Katlian Bay and Indian River Valley for community development. (Credit: Planning Commission)

During its regular meeting on Tuesday night (04-12-16), the Assembly voted to request the state sell some of its land holdings to Sitka. 

Governor Walker has informally extended invitations for land on the basis the land would be used for housing, community growth, and/or economic development.

Assembly member Matthew Hunter said the offer was too good to pass up. “This is probably the time that you could most get the state to say, ‘Hey, we can’t give you any money, but because we can’t give you any money, here’s 1000 acres.’ Use it wisely.”

The Indian River Valley. Cpl. Ewers says that it's easy to get turned around in these woods, "especially after the lights go out." (Flickr photo/ablong3)

The Indian River Valley, a 1440 acre parcel of land the city hopes to purchase from the state (Flickr photo/ablong3)

Assembly member Tristan Guevin asked if the land in question could be used for recreation and conservation. In response, City Planner Maegan Bosak said, “I would imagine the purposes are mainly for housing and economic development, but we all know recreation fits within that, so whether that’s a green space or a park that falls within housing, I think the uses are compatible.”

Click here to see a detailed Land Ownership Map of Sitka. 

The Assembly approved the request of four vacant parcels of state land. Measuring nearly 3000 acres, they include areas of Indian River Valley and Starrigavan/Katlian Bay, as well as two smaller parcels on Japonski Island and the end of Seward Avenue. 

  • Parcel 1: Indian River Valley Parcel
    1443.32 acres
  • Parcel 2: Millersville
    Lot 15E, Amended Japonski Island Subdivision Seward and Tongass Improvements
  • Parcel 3: Starrigavan/Katlian Bay
    1522.07 acres, Lot 2 and 2
  • Parcel 4: Parcel at end of Seward Avenue

If some or all of the land is acquired, City Administrator Mark Gorman said its use would be determined by a public process.