The CBJ assembly is on its way to adopting an updated comprehensive plan. During last night’s committee of the whole meeting, Community Development Director Hal Hart introduced the new update, which has been in the works since 2011. The document contains 123 policies that guide and direct public and private land activities within the CBJ.
Hart says most of the changes are technical and are found in the chapters on housing, economic development, energy, transportation, land use maps, and utilities. Sections of the plan were substantially rewritten by the Affordable Housing Commission and the Juneau Economic Development Committee.
Between the 2008 plan and the current update, Hart says significant changes have been made to maximum residential density making it easier for developers to put more units in certain areas, “We’ve said where you have sewer and water and the kinds of things that support growth, you can get a little higher density.”
This is the first time the Assembly is seeing the update. Hart plans to work with the body in interpreting the changes, especially to the chapters on housing, economic development, and energy.
- Heli-skiing has long been a controversial topic in Haines. The interests of the industry often clash with people who live near heliports and don’t want the noise disturbing their peace and quiet. But there’s another group that’s impacted by helicopter noise: mountain goats.
- In the Northwest Arctic, caribou hunting has been contentious for years. Alaska’s largest herd continues to decline while tensions have emerged between rural subsistence users and outside hunters.
- From the Aleutian island of Akutan to the arctic village of Kiana, 13 communities have been crowned champions of a rural energy competition. The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced that it will help these communities cut their energy use by 15 percent by training local utility providers.
- It’s costing 14 percent more to take the ferry to and from the Lower 48. The higher fare is part of another round of tariff increases aimed at boosting income and equalizing rates across all routes.