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Housing and economic development top joint meeting

Posted: December 11, 2012 - 10:20pm

The City and Borough of Juneau’s Planning Commission and the Borough Assembly Thursday spent a two-hour joint meeting sharing concerns about affordable housing, economic development and shaping up the permit process.

The roundtable discussion marked the beginning of a series of meetings between commissioners and Assembly members to try to address how the two bodies work together and to decide on a handful of joint priorities.

Mayor Merrill Sanford said he would like the two bodies to meet twice a year for the foreseeable future.

Assembly members recommended the Planning Commission regularly update Juneau’s comprehensive plan.

Planning Commissioner Nicole Grewe voiced concern over permits that come before the commission with work already being done on the project.

She asked that the Assembly and Commission work together to get projects done in proper order.

Assembly members and commissioners asked about attempts to ease future permit requests with ordinances that outline permitting of cell towers, eagle trees and noise ordinances.

Affordable housing ranked high on concerns for both Assembly members and commissioners. City efforts such as rezoning for greater density is expected to alleviate some housing woes.

The Assembly members and commissioners members agreed to highlight an ordinance to regulate cell tower placement, streamline the permitting process through Title 49 and develop an ordinance for development near eagle trees.

• Contact reporter Russell Stigall at 523-2276 or at russell.stigall@juneauempire.com.

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