Rep. Chuck Kopp Facilitates Agreement between the Alaska Railroad Corporation and Right-Of-Way Adjacent Property Owners
Wednesday, April 12, 2017 Juneau, Alaska – Freshman Legislator, Representative Chuck Kopp of South Anchorage has succeeded in helping hundreds of Alaska property owners along the Alaska Railroad right-of-way by facilitating an agreement that protects property owner rights to access and use their own land without being charged fees by the Railroad for such use.
Negotiations started when Rep. Kopp introduced House Bill 93 after hearing hundreds of complaints and concerns from his constituents and Alaskans from Fairbanks to Seward. He coordinated efforts with the Governor’s office, US Senator Dan Sullivan and affected property owners.
“We are pleased to announce the completion of successful negotiations with the Alaska Railroad Corporation,” said Rep. Kopp. “My house district in South Anchorage has a large number of property owners adjacent to the right-of-way, including an air park that has been in continuous operation since 1952 which has a portion of its taxiway in the Railroad right-of-way.”
A new Residential Right-of-way permit system has been agreed upon by the Alaska Railroad Board of Directors and Representative Kopp that benefits property owners along the right-of-way. In the new permit system, annual fees will no longer be charged for current users of the right-of-way, and all existing permit uses will be grandfathered in without further ARRC approval. Permits will be for 20-year terms and will be transferable, and automatically renewable as long as the scope of use has not changed.
“We have reached our objective of striking a balance on this issue - restoring property rights to landowners, while still giving the Railroad control to stop any activity that materially interferes with operational safety in the right-of-way,” said Rep. Kopp. “I want to thank my colleagues in the House and Senate who supported this measure.”
For more information contact Representative Kopp at Rep.Chuck.Kopp@akleg.gov