Downtown Juneau

Downtown Juneau. (Photo by Sam Beebe/Flickr Creative Commons)

The Juneau Assembly Monday night put its final approval on the Comprehensive Plan for development over the next 20 years, with the clear message that it wants more input at the beginning of the process.

The Assembly has adopted the 2013 update to the 2008 long-range plan. The revisions have been in the works for more than two years.  After public meetings throughout the borough and lots of fieldwork, city staff turned the changes over to the Planning Commission, which did more work then held a public hearing and passed the plan in May.

It was August before the Assembly first reviewed the draft.  Assembly member Carlton Smith said that’s way too late:

“It’s unfortunate in my view that the Assembly in this process is at the very end of the process. And I really would like to see with the new update that the Assembly possibly meet with the (Planning) Commission on the front end so that we could possibly give that direction.”

The document is more than 300 pages long.  Assembly members said it should be condensed so it’d be more workable.

On a motion from Mary Becker, the panel voted 5 to 4 to delete some references that take the plan out 20 years to 2033.

“That’s a long time,” Becker said.  “I know we can make changes, but it’s still a long time.”

Becker also called for an update once the city completes a Juneau economic development plan the Assembly wants.

City Attorney Amy Mead said the Assembly can initiate a change to the Comprehensive Plan any time, but the Planning Commission must be involved.

CBJ Community Development Director Hal Hart said the Assembly will be brought into the process sooner next time or when it initiates a review:

“Communication is the name of the game so we have to have good communication especially between the Planning Commission and the Assembly, but also between other groups and the Assembly and Planning Commission as well.”

The Comprehensive Plan update reorganizes some chapters, fixes errors found in the 2008 document, and updates sections on housing, economic development, energy, transportation, land-use maps, and utilities.

Recent headlines

  • A satellite view of Western Alaska and the Bering Strait, taken Feb. 4, 2014. (Photo by NASA)

    Will Obama look north for his legacy?

    These are the days when a president turns to thoughts of legacy. As the months tick down on this Administration, President Obama has created a marine national monument off new England and last month vastly expanded one near Hawaii. Alaska interest groups are working to get his attention, too. Some want him to take bold action in the 49th State before he leaves office, and others are urging him to resist those calls.
  • Homer Electric Asssociation holds an informational meeting in Homer on September 28, 2016. (Photo by Shahla Farzan/KBBI)

    Homer residents question association deregulation

    Homer Electric Association held an informational meeting on September 28 to answer questions about the upcoming vote on deregulation. The meeting, which was held at Islands and Ocean Visitor Center, attracted more than 100 people. The overwhelming majority were HEA customers who expressed concerns about the consequences of deregulation.
  • Juneau’s Pat Henry, right, and Bob Banghart, left, performing as We’re Still Here in April’s festival. The two are the only musicians to have played at all 40 events.

    Museum curator returns to the stage for ‘The Snow Child’ production

    Bob Banghart is developing the musical score for the upcoming stage adaptation at Arena Stage in Washington D.C.
  • Prince William and Kate Middleton visited Carcross after a trip to Whitehorse. (Photo by Abbey Collins/KHNS)

    Prince William and Kate Middleton visit Yukon communities

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, were met by a large crowd, music and dancing in Carcross this week. They event was part of a larger tour around the Yukon after traveling through British Columbia. The visit focused on First Nations issues and culture.


Playing Now: