Plans to offer a raptor tour in Skagway are in limbo again.
It seemed like the permit might be resolved a month ago, when the Skagway Planning Commission approved a conditional use application for the tour in a 3-1 vote.
In 2014, the commission rejected Alaska Mountain Guides’ application. But AMG appealed to Alaska Superior Court. Earlier this year, a Juneau judge remanded the decision back to planners, saying the reasons for denial were ‘unclear.’
That’s why the conditional use permit for the Liarsville tour reappeared before the commission in July. It was approved with certain stipulations.
But that wasn’t the final step. The commission needed to adopt a formal resolution to make the decision official. That’s where the tour hit another roadblock.
The resolution was on the agenda at a meeting Thursday. Only three planners were present, which meant that planning chair Orion Hanson’s ‘no’ vote was enough to kill the resolution. Hanson has repeatedly voted against the tour, citing public safety concerns.
Commissioners Mavis Henricksen and Matt Deach voted in favor.
What will this rejection mean for the tour, and for the borough, which was told by a judge to come up with more sound reasoning if it was going to deny the permit? Skagway Borough Clerk Emily Deach said Friday she was in touch with the borough attorney to find out the implications of the denial.
AMG has ten days to appeal the decision to the local Board of Appeals, which is made up of assembly members.