The Anchorage Assembly voted Tuesday to designate land at the center of a controversy in East Anchorage for a park.
The Assembly voted 9-2 to designate the land near the intersection of Muldoon and Debarr streets for use as a park.
East Anchorage Assembly member Adam Trombley, wrote the ordinance approved by the Assembly. He says the park is a win for the community he represents.
“Well I mean, my gosh, look at the area. I mean you have very high density housing – very tight. You do have some parks intermixed in there but not a lot of open green spaces,” Trombley said. “I think that’s going to enhance the property value. People are gonna want to move there because hey look – there’s a huge park there’s a huge park there. I’m from a young family. I’m gonna wanna move near the area because there’s a huge park. That’s gonna help redevelop the area according to the east district plan.”
Trombley is fighting for re-election against candidates Pete Petersen, a former state representative, and Mao Tosi, a former NFL player and community activist who manages the Northway Mall.
The municipality purchased the nearly 30 acres of land in 2006 for $5 million from the federal government, which had seized it in a drug case.
Chester Creek runs through the property, and East Anchorage residents have been pushing for a park there for several years.
Mayor Dan Sullivan has fought to keep the land near the street for commercial purposes and could veto the Assembly’s decision. Sullivan has seven days, until March 18 to veto the decision. However, the assembly could override his veto with 8 votes.
Some Assembly members said the body should have waited until the East Anchorage district was finished in August before making a decision.
Assembly members Chris Birch and Amy Demboski were the only no votes on changing the designation of the land for a park.