PALMER — A fight is brewing over on 49th State Street as neighbors worry what a new high-density subdivision will mean for their property.
You can see the subdivision in question if you peer through the trees heading north from the Palmer-Wasilla Highway. It’s the 20-acres on the right after the car wash.
Chuck Kaucic, who owns property bordering the development, said he’s concerned.
“You’re going to put over 500 people in this 19.55-acre parcel?” he asked.
So far, Kaucic said he’s been frustrated with the Mat-Su Borough’s process, which hasn’t required the developer to study the traffic impacts or plan for storm water runoff. That last one is of particular concern for Kaucic.
“I’m the lowest property on the east side and they have a major drainage toward my property, and I already have a drainage problem,” said Kaucic, who is also the district manager for the Wasilla Soil and Water Conservation District.
In a letter to the borough’s platting commission, Eric Henderson brings up another concern. He’s owner of Supersuds Car Wash on the corner of 49th State Street and the Palmer-Wasilla Highway.
“The proposed subdivision will infringe on the availability of water that I need to run my business,” he said.
He has rights to draw 5,000 gallons a day from the aquifer.
“These rights are registered with the Alaska Department of Natural Resources and renewed annually,” Henderson said.
Unknown is whether the aquifer could supply enough water for Henderson, the other subdivisions in the area as well as an additional 500 new people.
Wayne Willett, another neighbor, worries in a letter to the platting board about possible well contamination from such a large septic system operating so close to his well.
“I am concerned that the sewage will drain straight into our water supply,” he said.
The platting board was the most recent borough body to sign off on the subdivision plan.
Kaucic said he testified there and got the sense that the commissioners’ hands were tied by statute, that they weren’t allowed to make note of many of the residents’ concerns.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation is the next step for the subdivision plan. It will look at the plan for a community well for the buildings and for septic.
Kaucic said there are other things no one’s considering. What kind of impact will the development have on an already busy 49th State Street? How about the schools?
“There was no quality of life at all in their analyses,” he said of the platting board.
He said he doesn’t think this subdivision is in the right place and fears it could come to resemble another notoriously poorly planned subdivision.
“I don’t mind a development there,” he said. “I do mind a Williwaw subdivision.”
Contact reporter Andrew Wellner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 352-2270.