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16B plan moves along

Posted: December 23, 2012 - 1:10am

Juneau’s Assembly has denied an appeal to halt construction of two new cruise docks downtown.

This leaves the courts as the remaining avenue for those who appealed the project — and they said they haven’t yet decided their next course of action.

The Docks and Harbors 16B project would create two new cruise docks downtown near Fisherman’s Memorial and Taku Fisheries Dock. The docks would accommodate larger panamax cruise ships.

The City and Borough of Juneau Planning Commission approved a permit for the project in June. Shortly after Arthur and Linnea Osborne co-owners of the Mongoose fishing vessel appealed the commission’s decision. The Osbornes were joined in the appeal by the Alaska Commercial Fisherman’s Memorial in Juneau and Juneau resident Dixie Hood.

The Planning Commission’s decision was upheld in an appeal hearing. The Assembly then took up the issue in November and approved a draft version of its decision in executive session Monday.

Docks and Harbors is pleased with the administrative decision by the Assembly reaffirming the Planning Commission’s actions, Carl Uchytil CBJ port director said.

Docks and Harbors plans to continue design work with a start date expected in Oct. 2014.

“Including all necessary and prudent steps to facilitate safe navigation for commercial fishermen, recreational boaters and the cruise industry,” Uchytil said in an email interview. “The modifications to the design, driven by a careful and deliberate process have resulted in an improved project for those dependent on the waterfront.”

The appellants have 30 days to file an appeal to Juneau Superior Court.

Linnea Osborne said she and husband Arthur submitted their objections to the Assembly’s draft decision on Dec. 16.

Osborne said the appellants haven’t decided what to do next.

“Right now I’m feeling really disillusioned,” Osborne said. “You have to wonder how much special interest is involved in this.”

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

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