Consideration of a new tidelands lease proposal is again on the Skagway Assembly’s agenda.
The assembly held a special meeting last week to hammer out details of its counterproposal to White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad.
At that meeting, the assembly seemed amenable to a 15-year lease extension. The new contract would cover a reduced section of tidelands and raise the railroad’s annual rent payments. It would also clear the way for a new floating dock and contamination clean-up.
If the two parties do agree on a lease extension, Skagway voters will get to weigh in. The assembly unanimously decided to hold a public vote on any new White Pass lease proposal. The deadline to put that question on the October ballot is Aug. 17.
Assemblyman Tim Cochran said Tuesday the municipal negotiating team is working to schedule another sit-down with White Pass before Thursday’s assembly meeting.
Also Thursday, the assembly will consider an ordinance allowing higher-density housing in residential-general zones. It would allow triplexes in standard 5,000 square-foot lots, with a conditional use permit.
Assemblyman Orion Hanson said this could help ease Skagway’s housing shortage by encouraging developers to build triplexes.
“I think this is something that we have to do to help encourage private development to help solve our housing problem,” Hanson said. “And density really is our solution because we know the topography here. It’s steep, it’s not going to be flat, and that’s our problem, and it’s not going to change. And I think this is a step in the right direction.”
A license renewal for Skagway’s only retail marijuana business is also on the agenda. If it has concerns, the assembly has 60 days to protest The Remedy Shoppe’s renewal with the state.
The assembly meeting is set for Thursday at 7 p.m. in assembly chambers.