Alaska REALTORS® Protect Private Property Rights
Ensuring that private property owners’ rights are protected in Alaska, where only 3 percent of land is privately owned, is a constant priority for the Alaska Association of REALTORS®.
After a 2005 United States Supreme Court case that expanded the constitutionally permissible uses of eminent domain to include economic development and raising government revenues (Kelo v. New London), the Alaska Association of REALTORS® supported legislation to prohibit the state from using its eminent domain power to take property for recreational purposes, such as playgrounds, parks or sports facilities.
More difficult work came after that victory. The Alaska Association of REALTORS® soon recognized that the legislation they supported left an important group of property owners unprotected: owners of recreational structures. Recreational structures are defined as permanent structures used seasonally; for example, a fishing or hunting cabin. Over time, many of these recreational structures end up as primary residences, either when they are sold or when their owners retire. It is common for Alaskans to have recreational property they use seasonally but then move into permanently upon retirement.
Through a multiyear effort that included testimony before the state legislature, the Alaska Association of REALTORS® helped pass changes to the law that expanded the eminent domain protections to include recreational structures. Now, the state is prohibited from taking recreational structures or residences for recreational purposes.
The rights of private property owners in Alaska have been strengthened by the efforts of the Alaska Association of REALTORS®.