City will incorporate Willoughby District into CBJ comp plan

Juneau’s long range plan for the Willoughby District will become part of the city and borough’s Comprehensive Plan.

The Juneau Assembly Monday night voted to include chapter five, which lays out the planning and design principles for future improvements in the area west of downtown and east of Gold Creek.

The new Willoughby District Land Use Plan is intended as a 25-year blueprint for investment and redevelopment. Including it in the CBJ Comprehensive Plan will support proposed changes to Title 49, CBJ’s land use code.

The State of Alaska and the city own a number of public facilities in the Willoughby District, including the state archives and museum that will be part of the future SLAM project – or State Library, Archives and Museum. The city owns Centennial Hall and the Juneau Arts and Culture Center.

CBJ Lands and Resources Manager Heather Marlow said the plan includes an energy district and centralized heating for public facilities, possibly through pellet boilers.

“We’ve taken a look at the square footage of public facilities in the district. We’re working with Bob Deering of the Coast Guard who’s working with the energy department and they’re trying to determine whether just from the public facilities side we have enough square footage to justify doing an energy district with distributed heat throughout the district,” Marlow told the Assembly.

Marlow said an energy district would reduce energy costs as well as Juneau’s carbon emissions.

The Willoughby District also will provide opportunity for a mix of residential and retail development, including 400 new housing units.

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