Girdwood Inc Issue VIII – Prop 7, Housing Survey, Police Contract & Seward Highway Safety Project

Greetings! Welcome to issue VIII of the Girdwood Inc newsletter! We will cover topics such as the exact language in Girdwood-specific proposition 7, an online survey for housing types supported by the community, an update from Girdwood’s Public Safety Advisory Committee, Department of Transportation’s new project to improve safety on the Seward Highway and information regarding upcoming meet and greet with Anchorage Public Library’s new director Virginia McClure.


Below you will find the language that is included on the mail-in municipal election ballot due April 4th.


This proposition would add to the existing powers of the Girdwood Valley Service Area the power to provide services in support of policies that promote local housing and economic stability. This proposition would not authorize the Girdwood Valley Service Area to levy any additional taxes. Exercise of this new power, if approved, would be paid for by taxes levied under the service area’s current maximum mill rate of 6.0 mills.

Shall this new power be added to the existing powers of the Girdwood Valley Service Area? ​(AO 2022-118, As Amended) Yes Or No.

Looking for housing feedback:

Girdwood Community Land Trust held a Housing Social at the community room on March 11th. They registered participants and gave them sticky notes to attach to posters of various housing types that the individual would personally support.

Girdwood CLT has created an online version to get as much input as possible. Please take a moment to CLICK HERE and provide your feedback. The results will be shared publicly after April 12th on their website and Facebook page. Thank you!

Community Spotlight: Public Safety Advisory Committee, Authors: Amanda Sassi, Emily Lewis

Here in Girdwood, public safety is overseen by the Public Safety Advisory Committee. This committee was formed in 2016, with the initial purpose of helping to find the best way to police our community after the Alaska State Troopers left their Girdwood post. The public voted to partner with the Whittier Police Department (WPD), and we signed our first contract for their services.

When that contract expired at the end of 2022, Girdwood Valley Service Area Manager Kyle Kelley and City of Whittier administration worked in conjunction with the Public Safety Advisory Committee to update the contract. A new three-year contract was signed at the end of December by the Municipality of Anchorage (MoA) and the City of Whittier, with an option for two one-year extensions, if agreed upon by both parties at that time.

Our newest member of the Girdwood Public Safety Advisory Committee, Emily Lewis, recently had the opportunity to ride along with one of our Whittier Police officers for an afternoon.

“After getting to spend some time learning about all that policing our community entails, I feel really grateful for our partnership with the Whittier Police Department. Even though Girdwood isn’t the primary residence of most officers, because they spend so much time here, they’re a part of our community and really care about helping to keep us all safe,” said Lewis.

Officers spoke of embracing a community policing model, and shared that they are seeking engagement and participation from the community.

“People often assume that we know something that’s happening in town or residents’ general safety concerns because they were posted on the Girdwood Facebook page, but we don’t monitor Facebook. If there’s anything happening that we should know about, we need people to call it in,” said Officer Hager, who’s been with the WPD since 2014. Residents are encouraged to call 911 or the WPD Non-Emergency Line, 907-382-3223, and to be prepared with detailed descriptions.

“If you see or hear something unusual, call it in. Even if you don’t think a police response is required, they would rather have it on their radar so they’re ready to respond at a later time if needed,” said Lewis.

Dispatch for the WPD is based in Sitka. This recent change came after WPD’s contract with Cordova Police Department for dispatch services expired. A request for proposal was issued for dispatching service and three bids came back. Cordova asked for a substantial increase and Sitka ultimately won the bid. So far, officers have reported a high level of responsiveness from Sitka’s dispatch service, as well as a solid familiarity with the layout of Girdwood, the Seward Highway, and Turnagain Arm communities.

As in the past, any 911 calls placed from the Girdwood valley go first to the Anchorage Police Department dispatch. When you state that you’re needing police assistance in Girdwood, you’ll be patched through to Sitka dispatch, which can then dispatch the Whittier Police Department.

In other public safety related news, Girdwood Valley Service Area Manager Kyle Kelley is working with the Department of Transportation to obtain mobile speed radar signs for use along the Alyeska Highway, hopefully by this summer. The Department of Transportation will also be doing a traffic study sometime in 2023 on the Girdwood roads that tend to see the most speeding.

The Public Safety Advisory Committee’s purpose is to serve as a conduit between the community and law enforcement. Residents are encouraged to share any public safety-related concerns at the committee’s monthly meetings. Public comment can be offered in person, called in, or given virtually. Meetings are typically held at 7pm on the first Monday of each month in the Community Room. Details can be found on the Girdwood Board of Supervisors homepage.

Department of Transportation’s Project: Safer Seward Highway

Governor Dunlevy recently declared the Seward Highway a priority for safety improvements.  The focus will be on the stretch from the end of the divided highway near Bird, to Potters Marsh.  This current “safety corridor” is critical because it has a very high rate of accidents and related casualties.  This new project is called “Safer Seward Highway” and has a website set up at

Most important, now is the time for people to get involved and give input on how they think the project should be done.  The goal is an outstanding highway corridor that improves safety while providing important recreation and use features such as a bike corridor, wildlife and scenic viewing, and more trailhead and viewpoint parking.  

The Department of Transportation is drawing together a team of experts from all over the state to explore new design concepts such as tunnels that might have been previously dismissed. This team has been tasked with looking at various design options to improve highway safety, including dividing the north & southbound sections, adding lanes and especially designing a highway that includes many critical recreational and scenic enhancements.  They also must consider the substantial increases in traffic that are forecast well into the future. We will continue to keep Girdwood informed about this important project.

Upcoming meetings:

Library Director Meet and Greet

When: Friday, April 14, 2023, 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Where: Scott and Wesley Gerrish (Girdwood) Library

Anchorage Public Library’s new director Virginia McClure is coming to Girdwood! Join her and get to know what your library has in store for you and your community. 

Girdwood Inc Newsletter Issue VII – Housing Edition

Welcome to Issue VII of Girdwood Inc’s newsletter. With housing as a major need in our community, that will be the main focus of this issue.

Holtan Hills:

On Tuesday February 7th, the Anchorage Assembly voted 7-5 to “indefinitely postpone” the disposal of the 3 large tracts to CY Investments, more commonly referred to as the Holtan Hills Project. The 3 parcels contained a total of 450 acres. Sixty acres would be removed from the 450-acre tracts and the remainder transferred back to Heritage Land Bank.

This decision came after over a hundred Girdwood residents came to testify on December 6th and the December 13th special meeting for continued testimony. It was postponed at the January 10th Assembly meeting to February 7th. The indefinite postponement means the item may not come back before the Assembly body, unless it’s been “substantially changed.”

South Townsite:

Girdwood Community Land Trust has been working to secure South Townsite as a potential location. This is the area near the ballfield, and was once platted out as “the squirrel cages.” Meetings were recently held with the watershed department at the Municipality. The discussions raised serious questions as to if this was a viable location to develop. Due to flood plain constraints, building at the convergence of the two waterways (Glacier Creek & California Creek) may be a cause for concern. Any HUD funding is very difficult, if not impossible for getting grant and financing for flood plain areas. Although there is a section of this parcel outside of the 100- and 500-year floodplain (based on the 2009 FEMA maps), old documents discovered in a Girdwood crawlspace dating to 1969 show the entire south townsite under the flood plain. The municipal hydrologist discussed rivers changing course and direction as a common theme, and this section of land may be safe for the time being, but uncertain in the long term.

2009 FEMA Flood Plain Map Shows “Island” outside of 100-500 year Flood Plain, but all access via Flood Plain

This means that going up valley to higher elevations is the most realistic and plausible location for long-term community expansion. Given this new information, Girdwood Community Land Trust is still interested in pursuing South Townsite as an area for arts, culture, temporary uses (non-permanent structures, such as yurts) and expansion of park areas.

What is next:

Girdwood needs more housing, especially workforce and affordable housing. Girdwood Inc would like to see a plan come forward that can be supported by our community and incorporates needs which have already been identified as well as thinking about growth into the future and appropriate conservation. Girdwood Community Land Trust, as a Girdwood Inc sponsored organization, has already been working on possible housing solutions. A presentation was given at January’s Land Use Meeting and included in the GBOS packet. Girdwood Inc is in support of Girdwood Community Land Trust’s vision of “community-led, community-owned development.”

Girdwood Community Land Trust is planning a Girdwood Housing Solutions Brainstorm and Social on March 11, 2023. The event begins at 6:00 PM in the Girdwood Community Room. Mocktails and appetizers will be provided. More details are available at Those who are interested in providing input, ideas, suggestions or interested in engaging on Girdwood housing matters are encouraged to attend.

Housing Power for Girdwood Valley Service Area (GVSA) Ballot Measure:

We are approaching the April Anchorage municipal election and ballots will be mailed to voters in late March.  This coming election is especially important to Girdwood because there is an initiative to establish a Girdwood Housing Power within the service area. This ballot item will be for Girdwood voters only.

A little background: Girdwood is unique across Anchorage for managing many of our own local services.  This came about because we are so physically separated from the rest of Anchorage.  Under direction of the elected Girdwood Board of Supervisors (GBOS), we have provided our own Fire, Roads, Parks & Recreation services for decades. In 2015, we voted to add a power to allow GVSA tax dollars to be spent on a Cemetery. Additionally, most of us remember the very close local vote in 2016 to provide police as a power of GVSA after the Alaska State Troopers left.

This Girdwood Housing power would be most like our existing Cemetery power. It provides the Girdwood Valley Service Area (GVSA) the ability to apply for grants, accept funds from other parts of the Municipal government, and use local property taxes to develop specific housing policies. For example, GVSA can hire and direct mountain resort housing experts, rather than through a contract written by other Municipal departments such as Planning. It also allows the GVSA to manage Municipal land, in the same way as Girdwood already manages land for its parks, roads and drainage services.

The upcoming 2023 Anchorage Municipal ballot will also have the typical mix of Assembly, School Board and GBOS elections, bond measures (most of which are not paid for by Girdwood property owners), and several ballot measures including a $25,000 increase in residential property tax exemption.  Municipal vote-by-mail ballots will appear in our PO Boxes in late March.

An Update Regarding Holtan Hills:

Girdwood residents numbered over 100 at the Anchorage Assembly meeting of December 6th. This was despite the blizzard occurring outside and what would become the beginning of 3 storms nicknamed “Snowmageddon.” The range of testifiers spanned a vast demographic from young adults to retirees, service workers to credentialed professionals. The vast majority spoke in favor of development but voiced unease that the Holtan Hills project, as currently envisioned, would help the Girdwood housing crisis. Many residents held signs that said, “Listen to Girdwood” and “Public land should equal public benefit.” The testimony went late into the evening and was postponed to a special meeting regarding this agenda item only.

December 6, 2023 Anchorage Assembly Meeting – Photo Credit Mike Edgington

Just five days prior to the December 6th public hearing, a new substitute version (or S-version) was put forward for the ordinance, which outlines the disposal of the 3 large tracts. The most substantial change was an addition of a lot to be reserved for Girdwood. It reads, “One multi-family lot to be drawn from HLB’s portion of profits will be designated for future disposal to a Girdwood housing authority, if and only if a housing authority entity is established which can legally receive and own property, and if and only if the housing authority is established within five years of this disposal. Otherwise, the multi-family lot reverts to Heritage Land Bank ownership.” It is important to note that Girdwood does not have a Housing Authority, nor does the Municipality of Anchorage have one.

At the special meeting held December 13th, hours of testimony continued to express concerns about the project. Examples included questions regarding the fiscal burden the municipality is taking on via the joint venture, developers competing against the municipality, process missteps, lack of affordable housing and proper planning, among others. The meeting went nearly 4 hours long and once again, not even historic snowfall occurring outside would stop Girdwood residents from coming to testify.

In final comments of the Special Meeting Assemblymember Forrest Dunbar stated, “I want to thank the folks that testified today and earlier. Despite the obvious passion that people brought, it was incredibly respectful and substantive public testimony. One of the best I’ve encountered on this body and in almost seven years. I really appreciate the specifics that a number of folks in the community came forward with.” Dunbar has since resigned from the Anchorage Assembly and is now representing District J, East Anchorage in the State Senate. He has since been replaced by Assemblymember Joey Sweet.

On December 20th, a new substitute S-1 version was introduced by Assemblymember Meg Zaletel. In reference to the community lot (1 lot out of 52 lots), the ordinance had been amended to: “At least one multi-family lot for the development of at least 8 units to be drawn from HLB’s portion of profits will be designated for future disposal to a Girdwood housing trust or non-profit entity for the purposes of developing community housing for residents, if and only if a housing trust or entity is established which can legally receive and own property, and if and only if the housing trust or entity is established within five years of the recording of the plat for Phase I of Holtan Hills Subdivision entitlements being complete on the parcels. Otherwise, the multi-family lot reverts to Heritage Land Bank ownership;”

Anchorage Assemblymembers came to Girdwood for an in-person and hybrid worksession held at the Gerrish Library Community Room on January 6th. Girdwood Board of Supervisors Mike Edgington and Jennifer Wingard explained the concerns regarding the project, disposal, and the S-1. Emma Kramer represented the Holtan Hills Housing Advisory Committee. Ms. Zaletel asked questions about the community lot to Adam Trombley, Mayor Bronson’s Chief of Staff and lead for the Holtan Hills project. It was clarified that the community lot would only be transferred to a local entity if Phase I produced a profit and not until all other lots had been sold. Chris Constant encouraged the transfer to be noted on the title, rather than only in the ordinance. Even though no participation from the public was allowed at the worksession, many Girdwood residents attended and listened in on the discussion.

At the January 10th Assembly Meeting, the agenda item was postponed until February 7th. This meeting marked Assemblymember Jamie Allard’s last meeting, as she moves to represent District 23 Eagle River in the State House. Her seat has since been filled by Assemblymember Robin Dern.

On January 16th, Girdwood Board of Supervisors passed a Resolution stating “WHEREAS, in its current unamended form GBOS determined by a vote of 5-0 that the S-1 does not provide adequate guarantees that the core needs for community housing in Girdwood will be advanced by this project;” and requested the disposal “be postponed until adoption of the 2023 updated Girdwood Area Plan.”

With two new Assemblymembers becoming appointed in the last month, we encourage those to reach out to Mr. Joey Sweet and Ms. Robin Dern, who may have missed out on hearing the Girdwood community testify, or previous emails sent out.

Girdwood Inc continues to follow this historic land disposal and will continue to provide updates, summaries, and links to more information on our website. Additional links and videos below.

Go to 3 hours 31 minutes for start of Agenda Item Regarding Holtan Hills
Special Assembly Meeting for Holtan Hills Testimony Continued December 13, 2023
January 6th 2023 Worksession held in Girdwood

January 6, 2023​​ – Worksession No. 3 re Holtan Hills, AO 2022-103 Competitive Disposal of HLB Parcels to CY Investments

Holtan Hills moves to Assembly vote, Tribute to Girdwood Legend & Girdwood Nordic Ski Club Spotlight

Welcome to the 6th issue of Girdwood Inc’s newsletter! We are pleased we have been able to bring our community information and updates over the past year and look forward to what next year will bring. This issue, we will give tribute to a local Girdwood legend, provide an urgent update regarding Holtan Hills and a brief history and news for Girdwood Nordic Ski Club.

Community Champion:

This fall, Mr. John James Trautner left a hole in the hearts of many, as he departed this world on September 19, 2022. John was a Girdwood staple, whose footprints are known throughout the community for making an impact wherever he had tread.

John arrived to Alaska in 1958 and moved to Girdwood in 1969. He was a photographer, logger, gold miner, fisherman, businessman and entrepreneur. He was also a fire boss for BLM, a fire Chief for Girdwood, a dog musher, real estate investor and skier. He owned the Texaco Service Station on the Alyeska Highway 1977-1995, and developed it into the Tesoro Mall. During that time he ran a wrecker service and pulled many terrified drivers out of ditches in the very worst weather the old Seward Highway had to offer.

His service through Lions Clubs International since 1953 was very important to him and he was a proud district officer and charter member of the Girdwood Lions Club. He treasured special friends through Lions as well as through the Chaine des Rotisseurs. He was very proud of his service in the Army with time served in Korea, U.S. Army Intelligence in North Carolina and in Hawaii.

John was an excellent hunter/gatherer and loved picking berries and mushrooms, as much as bringing home a sheep, moose, ducks or fish. He loved his super cub and shared hair-raising stories of landing skiers on glaciers and fighting the winds along Turnagain Arm.

He is survived by his wife and partner of 42 years, Kathy Bucy Trautner , and his 5 children. His gruff exterior hid his very generous heart, and it was his kind and thoughtful heart that finally just wore out.

You are invited to join in the celebration of life and potluck on what would have been John’s 87th birthday, December 4, 2022. The event will be held at Our Lady of the Snows and Meadows Community Room. Mass is at 6:00 PM and potluck will begin at 7:00 PM. Come remember this Girdwood Champion and share food and stories with others who loved him.

John Trautner

Holtan Hills:

The land sale/transfer (disposal) of parcels containing “Holtan Hills,” a 60-acre development of CY Investments located in Girdwood, is scheduled for vote at the Anchorage Assembly on December 6, 2022. The regular assembly meeting will begin at 5:00 PM. The public hearing portion is scheduled to begin at 6:00 PM. As of now, the disposal is the 2nd hearing item on the agenda. We encourage all those in the community with an opinion on the matter to come testify in front of Anchorage Assembly decision makers.

Girdwood Inc believes this disposal is relevant, as it represents a large portion of developable lands in Girdwood. As of this time, all lots are set to be market-rate, with no community housing or lots set aside for workforce housing, which we believe is a top priority for our community.

What does GBOS say?

The GBOS subcommittee, Holtan Hills Housing Advisory Committee (HHHAC) on October 24 sent a letter to Girdwood Board of Supervisors stating “In conclusion the HHHAC does not support the Holtan Hills Development in its current form.” After hearing from HHHAC, Girdwood Board of Supervisors passed a Resolution of Support for Revision or Revocation of the Development Agreement between Heritage Land Bank (HLB) and CY Investments to address Girdwood community housing needs.”  The resolution ended with “THEREFORE, GBOS cannot support the disposal of land under the Holtan Hills Development Agreement, to which the Girdwood community has consistently voiced their objection; ALSO, the GBOS and the Holtan Hills Housing Advisory Committee see tremendous value in developing the Holtan Hills lands in a way that benefits the Girdwood community as well as the MOA and requests that the HLB and MOA engage in open dialog to address Girdwood’s concerns and needs.”

Many Girdwood residents testified in opposition to the project at the September Heritage Land Bank Advisory Committee (HLBAC) Public Hearing. On October 27th, despite non-support of the Girdwood community, HLBAC voted in favor of the disposal 5-1, with several suggested amendments to the Development Agreement. The vote was done by private ballot. After an ombudsman complaint was filed for violation of Open Meetings Act, the HLBAC was required to re-vote in November. This time, the item was passed, again with amendments proposed incorporated into the Anchorage Assembly Ordinance with 3 in favor, 1 no, 1 abstention and 2 absent.

Girdwood Board of Supervisors voted to send a formal letter of objection regarding the development agreement on November 21, 2022.

Girdwood Inc agrees with Girdwood Board of Supervisors, which has repeatedly stated identified community concerns regarding the RFP/Holtan Hills Project including process, infrastructure & impact study, indirect link to housing and housing affordability.

To learn more about this project, please visit and read Newsletters Issue I-V.  If you have any questions, please email Also, please keep your eye on Girdwood Inc. Facebook page in the event of changes to the Assembly Meeting Agenda, etc.

Source: 11-4-2022 Assembly Worksession Presentation

Community Spotlight:

The Girdwood Nordic Ski Club (GNSC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing and maintaining a sustainable world-class Nordic/multi-use trail system in the Girdwood Valley, and encouraging responsible use through advocacy, education, and stewardship. The GNSC was founded in 2008, but the proposition of building Nordic ski trails in the Girdwood Valley had been tossed around since the 1960’s. The community of Girdwood even established a cross-country ski trail at one time.  In 1969, Girdwood hosted the Junior Nationals on the Alyeska Racing Trails built by community volunteers, the Anchorage Ski Club, and Army National Guard.  These trails existed for approximately a decade before fading back into the forest.

The Municipality of Anchorage Heritage Land Bank (HLB) commissioned a study in 2006 to determine the feasibility of constructing Nordic ski trails in Girdwood. That study was completed by The Boutet Company in 2007. After positive results of the study, neither The Alyeska Resort, Anchorage Parks and Recreation, nor the Girdwood Trails Committee had interest in becoming the operator of a new trails system. After researching successful models of Nordic clubs throughout Alaska and Pacific Northwest, the Girdwood Nordic Ski Club (GNSC) was formed.

Since the 5K Nordic Loop’s opening in 2012, the Girdwood Nordic Ski Club has operated and maintained the trail system with user-based donations. With a growing annual membership of approximately 600 people, and a solid group of volunteer groomers, the GNSC has created more user days on Girdwood’s winter trail system. They have hosted both the UAA and APU ski teams for ski races, hosted local ski and snow bikes races, Girdwood Marathon, middle school cross-country running races, high school Nordic sprint races and more. The 5K trail is used year-round, and has become a favorite place to pick blueberries, mountain bike (thanks to new trails from Bikewood) and guided mushroom walks during the annual Fungus Fair.

New this year:  The Alyeska Resort will have cross country skis to rent and the Alyeska Ski Shop is also offering waxing for both alpine and cross country skis.  This is a great resource for visitors and will answer the number one question the GNSC receives, ”Where do I rent skis?” The number two question we receive, “Where can I get lessons?”  Lessons will be offered by both Four Valley Community School (FVCS) and Alyeska Resort this winter.   

This is the 10 year anniversary of the 5K Loop, and with the help of local businesses, the GNSC  will be celebrating the returning light and all things Solstice on Wednesday, December 21st from 6pm to 8pm.  There will be drinks and treats from The Bake Shop, colorful moose swag for sale, and a lighted loop to enjoy with your family. 

The GNSC will also be at the Girdwood Holiday Bazaar on Saturday December 10th from 12pm to 4pm at the Girdwood School Gym.  If you haven’t been to this event, you are missing out!  The food, artwork, and crafts for sale are as “local” as local can get.  You can sign up for your 2023 membership, and check out our latest shirts and hats. You can also renew your membership online at:

Until next time!

Issue V – Girdwood Holtan Hills on HLB Agenda for Disposal – Childcare & Library Boosters Updates

Girdwood Inc Newsletter – Issue V

Welcome to Issue V of the Girdwood Inc Newsletter! We would like to express thanks to the many members of the community who sent in letters of support for the Girdwood Workforce Childcare Project to assembly. We are very excited that these efforts have merited a $1.6 million dollar grant from the Municipality of Anchorage’s American Rescue Plan Act funds. Our assembly members, Suzanne LaFrance and Randy Sulte together brought an amendment for $100,000 of the funds to be made available right away for predevelopment work. The remaining $1.5 million will require a match. We will continue to pursue the goal of developing a new and safe childcare facility in the Girdwood valley. If you are interested in donating toward the building, please reach out to Girdwood Inc or Little Bears Playhouse at the information below. If any family, foundation or corporate sponsor brings a $1 million+ donation, they will be given naming rights for the building, which will be a legacy staple in the community for decades to come. We look forward to bringing you additional information on this project as it progresses.

Community Champion: Joan Lower

Joan Lower has called Girdwood home since 1979. She is currently the Little Bears Playhouse President and has served on the board since her children were Little Bears themselves, in the early 90s.

Joan earned a B.S. in Elementary Education from Louisiana State University and a Master of Education from University of New Orleans. She married her husband Jim in 1980 and together raised 3 children in Girdwood. Joan taught for several years in New Orleans and Anchorage before teaching for 31 years at Girdwood School Elementary. The last 21 years were spent as Girdwood’s Kindergarten teacher.

Joan works as the Event Coordinator for Our Lady of the Snows, where she books and manages weddings, receptions, and more. She enjoys working in her flower garden and her 2 pet pigeons, one of whom loves to photobomb zoom meetings.

It has always been her dream to see Little Bears Playhouse operate out of a modern, state-of-the-art building, with ample space to accommodate the need for childcare and early childhood education in our community. “Thanks to the efforts of many community members, that dream is in reach!”

Holtan Hills: Holtan Hills continues to be the largest matter facing our community. The Girdwood Board of Supervisors’ Holtan Hills Housing Advisory Committee (HHHAC) has held regular meetings in hopes of negotiating a development which can help address some of Girdwood’s needs and concerns regarding the project.

The HHHAC meetings have resulted in two important documents. One, is a list of concerns and questions discussed at previous meetings or written comments. The questions submitted to Girdwood Inc from the July 19th Assembly Member Listening Session were included and provided to the committee and relevant entity to respond. The committee has also created a document with specific requests to amend the development agreement. The committee intends to meet with developers and Heritage Land Bank on September 21st at 4:00 PM to discuss their response to these requests.

The following day, September 22, Heritage Land Bank has the disposal under “Proposed Action Items and Public Hearings” on their agenda. “HLBAC Resolution 2022-09: A resolution recommending approval of the competitive disposal of portions of HLB Parcels 6-011, 6-016, and 6-017, legally described as Tract I Prince Addition Alyeska Subdivision (Plat 87-131)(PID 075-311-04-000), Tract B Girdwood Elementary School Subdivision (Plat 85-38)(PID 075-031-32-000), and Tract 9A Section 9 Township 10 North Range 2 East (Plat 73-220)(PID 075-041-31-000), to CY Investments as described in the Development Agreement between the developer and the Municipality of Anchorage dated April 29, 2022, and amend the HLB 2021 Annual Work Program.”

“Community members are strongly urged to provide testimony. Anyone wishing to provide public testimony via telephone or Teams must email by 5:00 pm the day before the meeting. Please provide your name, phone number, and agenda item number/title for which you wish to provide testimony. The subject line should read “HLBAC Testimony.” All members of the public shall be muted until called on to testify.”

You can participate in person or online. If you are unable to attend, but want to express your thoughts to the HLB staff and commissioners, you can send an email to before Friday 9/16/2022 5:00 PM and ask that it is included in the commissioner’s packet.

These next few months will be very important to the future of this project. Before land can be disposed of, it will be voted on by the Heritage Land Bank Advisory Committee and must be approved by a positive vote at Anchorage Assembly. Make sure to follow Girdwood Inc Facebook page and website for important dates and meetings regarding this project.

Community Spotlight: A message from Gerrish Library and Community Room Boosters

“Girdwood is grappling with many issues right now and Gerrish Library is no exception. Recently Jamie White, Gerrish’s librarian and branch manager, took a position in Washington creating a vacancy. It came to our attention that the municipality intends to fill that position without meeting established standards and minimum requirements of a Master of Library Science degree (MLS). The position will be downgraded to more entry level requirements (BA and some experience). The Gerrish Library Boosters strongly oppose this move.

To the administration, an MLS means money, and the downgrade of Gerrish library manager is a money-saving move. For us, we see this as a threat to the vitality of the library and the community.

The library is a public manifestation and demonstration of what a local government can do. It is here for all of us. For most of us in Girdwood, the library is the center, the heart and soul of the community. It is dynamic and interactive. Our librarians are a pathway and funnel of knowledge, commitment, and services that help us thrive and enrich us. A librarian with an MLS brings this knowledge to the job.

We wish to keep Gerrish Library dynamic. Using the library is the best way to support the library. And providing a professional and qualified librarian is the best way Gerrish Library can serve the community.”

We hope you have been enjoying our newsletters and find them helpful in keeping the community informed on important matters. Until next time!

Donate toward Girdwood Workforce Childcare Project Building
Girdwood Inc: PO Box 1102 Girdwood, AK 99587
Little Bears Playhouse: PO Box 350 Girdwood, AK 99587


To join via Microsoft Teams click this link to enter the meeting.

To join via telephone call 907-519-0237 and use conference ID 958 050 080#

Or join in-person at the Permit & Development Center, Training Room, 4700 Elmore Road, Anchorage, Alaska 99507