A Community Land Trust for Girdwood?

This post is meant to create dialogue regarding a possible Community Land Trust (CLT). And for the public to provide comment below.

Question: What is a community land trust?

Answer: A community land trust is a nonprofit corporation that develops and stewards affordable housing, community gardens, civic buildings, commercial spaces and other community assets on behalf of a community.

In short, Heritage Land Bank, holds somewhere near 5,000 acres of land surrounding Girdwood. This is public land and some of it may be available for development to meet the citizens and residents needs. By comparison, all Girdwood homeowners share 300 acres of land collectively. A theoretical Girdwood Community Land Trust would apply to HLB for land to be transferred to a local Girdwood entity, and developed in a way that the community sees fit. This could include affordable housing, alongside parks, dedicated trails, greenhouses, etc.

This entity could begin with 1 acre or 10. There is likely not a need for thousands of acres, unless the land is being designated for permanent conservation. A question as to what residents think would be a reasonable amount of acreage to request will be included in the form below.

Private land is scarce and expensive in Girdwood. Our eclectic little town is appealing to many, and it’s personality and charm continues to win over locals and tourists alike. To create a sustainable community however, we need to make sure the people who make Girdwood run, can have an opportunity to make it a permanent home and a place to call their own.

A rent-to-own situation would be an ideal way for Girdwood lovers to beginning gaining equity and make it possible to stay for longer than a season. Examples of rent-to-own through Cook Inlet Housing Authority can be found in Anchorage. To be clear, there is no magic bullet to make Girdwood’s housing issues disappear, but this could be a step in the right direction. Most, if not all communities struggle in some way to meet their housing needs. CLT research culminated after hearing the results presented at the Girdwood Area Plan Update Committee / Imagine Girdwood presentation. The things which residents said they were interested in having, such as a future recreation center, fit nicely into a CLT, in addition to solving some other wants and needs.

A CLT can do “Deed Restrictions.” That means they can place rules onto the property via the Deed of Trust. These rules could include “no short term rentals” or “must be primary residence.” These restrictions would be voted upon by the CLT board, which again is 2/3rds locally controlled.

Question: Who would run the CLT?

Answer: It could be you! The structure of the board is the primary component that sets apart a CLT. Also know as a tripartite board, a CLT is comprised of 1/3 residents living on the land, 1/3 is made of surrounding community members (Girdwood at large), 1/3 is made of Government Officials or local non-profit leaders. If you want to be engaged, please fill out the form below.

CLT Board Structure

This concept has been primarily discussed at Housing Committee as a potential tool. In November, it was the primary presentation topic of the meeting. Out of 20 participants, the CLT received 18 letters of support from those in attendance. And more have been collected since that time. A CLT introduction has also been presented at Girdwood Alliance board meetings and Imagine! Girdwood (GAP). The Executive Director for Girdwood Alliance has been learning and sharing how other communities nationwide have utilized CLTs, usually in partnership with local governments and land banks.

If you want to learn more, there are lots of resources and videos listed below. If you have concerns or questions on this topic, please include them by submitting the form below.

If you think this is an interesting idea and want to voice your support, participate on the CLT board or ask a question, please fill out the CLT Form below. Each one matters and your time is appreciated in doing so.

Thank you for taking the time to read, submit your form and participate at a local level!

Here are some CLT learning videos, arranged by how much time you have available! Some individuals will only require short and sweet, while others will want to dive into the deeper longer discussions below. Don’t feel obligated to review all these, just tools for those who want them.


2 Minutes:

Explanation of CLT:https://youtu.be/ujaSjnFSHTY

5 Minutes:

https://youtu.be/Zw9y3SfJbmA

15 Minutes:

https://youtu.be/dNKhMfnFH0Q

15 Minutes:

Place Based Economy- Food co-op plus CLT

https://youtu.be/31PyAjy6Nl0

30 Minutes: (very good and helpful!)

https://youtu.be/mxE4tjFK0PI

1 Hour:

https://youtu.be/SuzrEeyyxg0

Great over view by lawyer and Board Member of Toronto CLT, some technical issues but good info. Audio begins at 50 seconds: https://youtu.be/5WCkBcj9oSc

Related:

Freddie Mac CLT Program – 3 Minutes

https://youtu.be/evS1dRtckLQ

City of Lakewood: Utilize CDBG & HUD Home – 3 Minutes

https://youtu.be/fzm5iHFnDyY

Additional References: 

CLT Information Resource:

https://groundedsolutions.org

How to start:

https://community-wealth.org/sites/clone.community-wealth.org/files/downloads/tool-burlington-startingCLT.pdf

Girdwood Alliance 2020 Annual Banquet

This year’s Annual Banquet will be held on 1-25-2020, starting at 5:30 PM. 1-17-2020 UPDATE – All Banquet Tickets are SOLD OUT. After party tickets are still available and may be purchased at www.girdwood2020.givesmart.com

A new “After Party” will follow the banquet in Kahiltna Court 9 PM – 11:30 PM. Live music featuring The Jangle Bees! It is a themed event, more info below!

If you have an auction item to donate, please email: executivedirector@girdwoodalliance.org

The Swoops!

At our summer board meeting, Girdwood Alliance decided to take action regarding ”the swoops.” Over the past few weeks, we helped move motions through Trails Committee and Land Use for GBOS to pass a resolution regarding applying for Community Transportation Program funds, which passed with GBOS support on 8/19/2019. Within days, Girdwood Alliance arranged for top officials with DOT to meet us on the bike path and walk the swoops. It was very productive! Multiple members of Girdwood Alliance were present (Chair – Eric Fullerton, Board member & GBOS – Mike Edgington, Executive Director – Krystal Hoke, Advocate/Member – Dave Parish) alongside Kyle Kelley (MOA/GVSA). In the next 4-6 weeks, we should see an agreement come together for signage to be present ON the bike path to deter vehicles from driving in it. It was agreed the path swoops will be pushed back further from the Edge of the Traveled Way. New painting and stenciling is in the future. The CTP funds should reap a long term solution. Excited to see a safer bike path for all to enjoy!

Girdwood Alliance Mountain Music Festival Video

The day the stars aligned and we were gifted with no wind, warm sunset and great music at 2300 FT. If you didn’t make Mountain Music Festival, sounds like we are on for next year! Watch the video and find out what you missed. If you attended and enjoyed the event, please consider donating at www.GirdwoodAlliance.org – Thank you for coming!!!

Special thanks to Alyeska Resort & Staff (way to make it happen!)

Past Our Prime, The Jangle Bees

Chugach Powder Guides VPWdesigns Ralph Kristopher, Ken Kessler, Cody Keim, Karen Toohey – Photos/Video

Mountain Music Festival – August 24 2019

Support your community and show up!

Come join us AUGUST 24 2019 from 5-9 PM for LIVE MUSIC at the TOP OF THE TRAM! Enjoy live bands play outdoors (weather permitting) or inside the Boretide! Alyeska Resort has generously donated half of all tram ticket sales for this date toward Girdwood Alliance! Tram up for $32 or HIKE UP for FREE! Hope to see you there!

BUY TRAM TICKET NOW!

Girdwood Recreation “Wild & Free” Video

Thank you for coming to watch the full video at our website! As one of our 3 pillars, recreation is a big deal in our small town.

We need your help making the video the best it can be! If you have an image of you or your family enjoying Girdwood’s beautiful recreation, please send us a note in the form below or email files directly to executivedirector@girdwoodalliance.org

In the mean time, click play below to see what we have so far. What is missing? What can you add? Please turn in your images to share with Girdwood Alliance!

Girdwood Alliance – Letter to the Editor

June 12, 2019 Featured on: Glacier City Gazette

To the Editor,

For two decades, a group of dedicated volunteers have been watching over Girdwood’s interests and navigating the fabric of Alaska politics. Initially established as Girdwood 2020, the organization’s board is made up of over 20 individuals with various backgrounds and expertise, and one similar characteristic: a strong passion for Girdwood as a mountain resort community and a great place to live. The group meets regularly throughout the year, addressing the challenges and needs of our community.

The organization was the brainchild of Chris Von Imhof and a small group of passionate Girdwoodians, who recognized that Girdwood was a growing mountain resort community that needed a strong voice to address community infrastructure with an eye towards the community’s future needs. In more recent years, Diana Livingston was the center point and lifeblood of this organization. Diana worked closely with other community organizations and community members in seeking funding for community projects like the Girdwood Public Library and Community Room and the restoration of the historic Alyeska Roundhouse.

Throughout the years, Girdwood 2020 has been a critical partner in development of the Girdwood playground, utility improvements, the Girdwood Nordic ski trails, significant improvements to the Alyeska Highway and bike path, and a tireless advocate for improvements and safety on the Seward Highway.

Passing lanes and highway improvements are a direct result of Girdwood 2020s pressure on State of Alaska/Dept. of Transportation to make the highway safer for Girdwood residents and visitors alike. Just this year, Girdwood 2020 successfully lobbied the Alaska Department of Transportation to include an improved intersection at the Tesoro as part of the Mile 79 Seward Highway improvements.

Like all things, organizations evolve. Moving forward, Girdwood 2020 continues under the new name of Girdwood Alliance to advocate for the Girdwood community. Girdwood Alliance Board Members agree Girdwood is a unique, special place, and is dedicated to having a voice in the community needs as they change and grow. Girdwood Alliance’s name best reflects today’s challenges and the collaboration needed now and in the future.

Last month, Girdwood Alliance Board Members approved a new Executive Director, Krystal Hoke, to advance their Mission “Advocating for Girdwood’s People, Infrastructure and Recreation.” Girdwood Alliance maintains the Vision of “A Sustainable Mountain Resort Community with a High Quality of Life” and showcases this mission and vision at its well-known annual banquet, both a fundraiser and an outreach to state and local officials, Girdwood Alliance’s members, and community supporters.

Aside from infrastructure and safety projects, Girdwood Alliance has lent support and guidance to the popular Lecture Series, a collaboration with Girdwood, Inc. with several lectures that have important tie-ins to life in Girdwood highlight Girdwood’s residents and people and organizations from out of town that have unique perspectives on communities with high life qualities. Additionally, Girdwood Alliance is engaged with the Girdwood Area Plan and stands ready to advocate for the completion of the plan while addressing the needs that the plan brings to light.

The sun may be setting on Girdwood 2020, but Girdwood Alliance continues bright, energized, and advocating for the people and businesses of Girdwood, along with the unique and special way of life that we all enjoy for many more years to come. We welcome your input and comments by reaching out through our website www.girdwoodalliance.org.

DNR Permitting Change – Last Day of Public Comment

Girdwood Alliance is opposed to the proposed changes in the DNR Permitting Process for the following primary reasons:

  • The proposed regulations do not adhere to the Turnagain Arm Management Plan, a community led document that outlines the approved uses of the Turnagain Arm area. 
  • The 5 year duration of a permit is not long enough to encourage appropriate investment in the area and should be extended. 
  • Relying simply on a “high bidder” model for these permits ignores critical areas of importance for recreation and appropriate stewardship of the area, and is not in the state’s or our valley’s best interest. 

Click here to read the full document regarding the permit change.

If you agree with one or more of the comments above, feel free to copy/paste them and email them to: dnr.permitting.regulation@alaska.gov