Wrangell’s Planning and Zoning Commission and Economic Development Committee held a joint meeting Thursday to discuss potential uses for the borough’s remote entitlement lands.

The state transferred 8,930 acres of land to the borough, and local committees are tasked with figuring out how to zone that land. The new parcels are at Thoms Place, Olive Cove, Wrangell Island West, Wrangell Island East, Earl West Cove, Crittenden Creek, Mill Creek, Sunny Bay and Zarembo Island.

After completing separate reviews of the entitlement lands, Planning and Zoning and the Economic Development Committee decided to use public meetings to tackle one area at a time.

The first meeting will focus on Zarembo Island and is planned for this spring.

“The patent for Zarembo will be the first one to come to us,” said Economic Development Director Carol Rushmore. “I don’t know how long it will take the state to issue it, but they have said it’s all been approved and they’re sending the patent. [Zarembo] had already previously been surveyed, and I think portions of some of the other areas have been surveyed, and that’s what I’m working on now with the state.”

Both committees agreed all zoning options and potential land uses should be kept on the table until the public has an opportunity to voice ideas and concerns.

Some ideas for the 1,632 acres on Zarembo Island near St. John Harbor include residential plots, timber harvest, mineral extraction, agriculture and recreation.

Zoning decisions will ultimately go to borough assembly for final approval and public comment.

Click here for maps of entitlement lands.