Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion  A Soldotna man waves as he drives past a lot on Riverview Avenue on Thursday May 28, 2015, that the city council recently voted to sell to the owners of a neighboring home in Soldotna, Alaska.

Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion A Soldotna man waves as he drives past a lot on Riverview Avenue on Thursday May 28, 2015, that the city council recently voted to sell to the owners of a neighboring home in Soldotna, Alaska.

Soldotna council votes to sell parcel scheduled for public auction

  • By Rashah McChesney
  • Thursday, May 28, 2015 9:46pm
  • News

For some, like the 17 neighbors who signed a petition supporting the purchase, the small undeveloped lot on Soldotna’s Riverview Avenue belongs in the hands of a neighboring property owner who has been tending to it for years.

But critics of a city council-generated proposal to sell the lot said the council was not acting fairly when it pulled the lot from a list of those available in the city’s public auction and elected to sell it directly to the neighboring property owner, rather than to the highest bidder.

At least one other organization, Habitat for Humanity, contacted the city in writing to express interest in buying the Riverview property. However Soldotna City Planner Stephanie Queen, said she told prospective buyers for all of the parcels included in the land sale that city administration was recommending the lots for purchase at auction rather than through sole-source negotiation with the city.

The one-third acre lot, which acts as a buffer between Riverview Park and Marcus and Lisa Guidry’s home, is primarily covered in cottonwood and birch trees — though the Guidrys have maintained a 10-foot green space between the woods and the road.

“We like to sit outside in the summer and it’s just a nice piece of land,” he said after the council decision to sell the lot to him.

Buying the lot also meant that the Guidrys could maintain the quality of their neighborhood, he said.

They’ve been interested in buying the plot for several years.

City administration has records of the Guidrys attempting to purchase the property dating back to 2009.

“It’s obvious that the Guidrys have brought forward some past history on wanting to purchase this property,” said council member Regina Daniels, during an April meeting when the council voted to remove the questioned property from the list of those to be put up for auction. “(That) side of the street is spotless all of the time.”

But some residents thought differently.

Penny Vadla spoke during a public hearing on the meeting and asked why the city would favor the Guidrys request to purchase the property through sole-source negotiation over other requests to buy other parcels available in the land sale.

“I think you’re setting a precedent that might not be fair and equitable to everybody,” said Vadla during an April 22 city council meeting.

Council members Meggean Bos and Pete Sprague opposed the sale. Both said they had reservations about favoring one party over another in the sale.

“I get the point that the neighbors … have taken care of this land,” Bos said during the council’s Wednesday meeting. “But at the same time, the other properties that we currently have on the market have people who have contacted us … and we ended up putting those other six parcels on the market for a sealed bid.”

Council members also wrestled with the idea that the Guidrys would be purchasing the property for $30,000, or the price the borough set as a minimum bid when it was to be considered for sealed auction.

Currently, the property is assessed by the borough at $33,300. The Guidrys got an estimate of fair market value at $27,492, according to documents they submitted to the council.

Council members wondered if the city could get more money if the parcel was up for public auction. Council member Keith Baxter disputed that notion.

“I would say we’re not in the business of making a profit off of our residents from land sales,” he said, during an April meeting.

After the council voted to sell the property to the Guidrys, Marcus Guidry said he and his wife did not have plans to develop it any time soon.

“We’re just going to enjoy it right now,” he said.


Reach Rashah McChesney at or follow her on Twitter @litmuslens.

More in News

A map shows the location of a safety corridor project along the Sterling Highway between Sterling and Soldotna. (Photo courtesy of DOT&PF)
Sterling highway project to have limited environmental impact, assessment finds

The stretch highway to be improved reaches from Fred Meyer in Soldotna to the bridge over Moose River in Sterling

Donated blood is prepared for storage and eventual transport at the Blood Bank of Alaska’s Juneau location. There is a statewide shortage of donated blood. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
‘National blood crisis’ presents challenges in Alaska

Donation centers contend with COVID, weather and other disruptions as they work to stock hospitals.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., speaks to reporters alongside, from left, Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif., during a press conference regarding the Democratic party’s shift to focus on voting rights at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades)
Big voting bill faces defeat as 2 Dems won’t stop filibuster

This is the fifth time the Senate will try to pass voting legislation this Congress

Members of the Kenai and Soldotna chambers of commerce listen to a briefing by Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan during a joint luncheon at the Soldotna Sports Complex on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Sullivan reports in from D.C.

The senator touched on infrastructure, voting rights, defense spending and the pandemic

The Alaska State Capitol building seen on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022 in Juneau, Alaska. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
State lawmakers face proposed salary hike, allowance limits

A commission voted 3-1 to raise the base salary from $50,400 a year to $64,000

Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
House Speaker Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, gave a stern warning about decorum to members of the Alaska House of Representatives on the first day of the legislative session on Tuesday, Jan 18, 2022. Last year the Legislature was so divided it took a full regular session and four special sessions before work was completed.
1st day of session brings familiar tensions to Legislature

The session opened with calls for bipartisanship, but tensions were evident

Image via Alaska Board of Fisheries
Statewide shellfish meeting rescheduled

This comes after the board bumped back its Southeast and Yakutat shellfish meeting

A State of Alaska epidemiology bulletin can be found at
State updates STI protocol after reported drop

The state has been experiencing an outbreak since 2017

The Kenai Fire Department headquarters are photographed on Feb. 13, 2018, in Kenai, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion file)
Police identify remains found in burned car

Kenai Police and Fire departments responded to a car fire at Beaver Creek in Kenai on Jan. 7

Most Read