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Tongass Roundtable support, Petersburg Borough petition before Assembly

Atlin Drive/Loop Road rezoning issue may be revisited

Posted: September 19, 2011 - 6:56am

Resolutions on tonight’s City and Borough of Juneau Assembly agenda include one retracting a resolution of support for the Tongass Futures Roundtable and a petition that would potentially thwart portions of the Petersburg Borough formation.

About a month ago, Assemblyman Merrill Sanford called for the Assembly to consider repealing its resolution of support for the Tongass Futures Roundtable.

“We passed a resolution several years ago, about four years ago to show support of the development of the Tongass Futures Roundtable,” Sanford said in a previous interview. “About five or six of the whereas’s have never been able to be met. Some of it is because of the personalities that are on it, or were on it. Some of the statements were never worked on.”

The Tongass Futures Roundtable has had several entities pull out in the past year — around nine communities. Sanford said it’s something he wants to see cleaned up, as far as Juneau is concerned, before he leaves office. Sanford is terming-out in October.

Sanford said the group can still come to the Juneau Assembly as needed and ask for support on specific items, but he believes broader support for the group is no longer appropriate.

The second resolution calls for the Assembly to have staff submit a petition to the Local Boundary Commission to counter Petersburg’s proposal to incorporate lands south of Juneau’s borough. The lands currently proposed to be in that petition are ones listed in the commission’s “model boundaries” report. The city is working with its legal department and contracted with the Juneau Economic Development Council to come up with factual arguments as to why these lands are better connected to Juneau, and more appropriate for Juneau to incorporate.

The city has until Oct. 26 to file a petition.

The Assembly also is being called to repeal a zoning change on Atlin Drive and Mendenhall Loop Road. It had on a split vote agreed to rezone a D-10 residential property to Light Commercial. City staff believes that move never should have happened and it is actually against city law to make that determination.

Attorneys and developers for the property that was rezoned — which has World War II-vintage Quonset huts on it — argue that the city made no mistake, and that light commercial would be appropriate in that area because of a stipulation in the law that says it has to match or fit in with the surrounding area.

The Assembly may also approve $12.8 million in state funding for affordable housing, cruise ship dock improvements, school district technology upgrades and Auke Bay harbor improvements.

For a full agenda and related documents, go to http://bit.ly/pNH2t6.

• Contact reporter Sarah Day at 523-2279 or at sarah.day@juneauempire.com.

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