Juneau appeals Petersburg boundary to state Supreme Court

Petersburg Borough boundary map.

Petersburg Borough boundary map.

The court challenge of Petersburg’s borough boundaries is not over yet.

The city and borough of Juneau has appealed to the state’s Supreme Court to reverse a decision by the Local Boundary Commission on the northern boundary of the Petersburg borough.

Juneau argues the LBC did not consider the Capital City’s competing claim to land in the northern part of Petersburg’s borough formed in 2013. A superior court judge in February affirmed the boundary approved by the LBC in 2012.

Petersburg mayor Mark Jensen said the latest appeal prolongs the process and will end up costing more money. “It’s unfortunate I think that they did,” Jensen said Friday. “I’m hoping the supreme court will go along with the local boundary commission and the superior court’s ruling. The last appeal to the superior court cost the Petersburg borough 30,000 dollars. So we can only recoup a third of that if you’re on the prevailing side, which we were. So in my mind it’s just a waste of money but I guess it’s just business but I can understand why Juneau would do it I suppose.”

Juneau officials submitted a petition to the boundary commission seeking to annex some of the same territory on the mainland between the two Southeast communities. The contested lands are on the mainland from the middle of Holkham Bay to Cape Fanshaw. Both sides made their case before the boundary commission in May and June of 2012, citing use of the land and water in the contested area by fishing fleets, tourism operators and residents.

Juneau’s appeal to Supreme Court argues the commission violated the state constitution by not considering a competing claim and not allowing evidence that Capital City attorneys planned to present in an annexation petition.

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