The Planning and Zoning Commission approved the sale of tidelands and property near the Stikine Inn Thursday. The sale is part of a plan to expand the hotel and restaurant. Owners Cheryl and Bill Goodale addressed the Port Commission earlier this month.

“The purpose of this is to expand our operation. We’re hoping for 30 rooms plus retail space on the lower floor where the visitor shed sits now,” said Goodale.

The hotel currently has 34 rooms.  The Goodales offered about $64,500 for the property, significantly less than the appraised value of $101,200. They plan to fill tidelands in front of the hotel, adding about 27,000 square feet to the property.

A permit from the Army Corps of Engineers is required for the project. Goodale cited the uncertainty of the acquiring the permit as his reasoning for the offer. Goodale estimates the expansion will generate up to $125,000 in sales, bed and property taxes.

Economic Development Director Carol Rushmore, who was not present, wrote a letter recommending the sale. She explained the difference from the appraised price will be easily recouped through additional taxes. 

Commissioner Apryl Hutchinson added that the commission agreed.

“We are all in agreement on this request. Just to clarify a few things, it will not reduce their property taxes. It’s just to reduce the sale of the property,” she explained. “It is an incentive for the purchase of the property next to the Stikine Inn that we approved the plat last year. We’re moving forward.”

The sale still needs to be approved by the Economic Development Committee and the Wrangell Borough Assembly.

In other business, two bed and breakfasts were approved near Mount Dewey. Both rentals could be used for long-term residents as well. One request on Mt. Dewey Lane, Mt. Dewey Extended Stay, was met with resistance. Frank Warfel Sr. was among a few neighbors who complained about parking and possible traffic.

“I don’t have really issue about people renting out their home if they want to. That’s their prerogative, but I do have a real problem with the traffic and parking up there, especially around snow removal time,” noted Warfel.

Another neighbor, John Taylor, runs a bed and breakfast at the end of the dead-end street and supported the request.

“With the hospital continually adding more employees, with Harding’s lodge turning into long-term care and the Thunderbird Hotel shutting down, the tourism industry has lost a substantial number of places for folks to sleep,” he explained.

Both bed and breakfasts are required to provide two off-street spaces. The Commission approved both unanimously.