Everyone recognizes a well designed city. It's fun to walk in Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, or on the streets of our nation's capital.
Thus the reason why hundreds of Juneau residents have turned out over the last few years to participate in the planning of our waterfront.
Obviously, a successful product doesn't happen by chance. There is a mixture of inspiration and prevention (i.e., moratoriums and zoning).
In Juneau's case there has been plenty of public inspiration but no prevention by the Borough Assembly. While we wait for the Waterfront Plan to be implemented the Assembly is allowing the construction of eyesores.
Madsen has built four buildings (hotels) on the waterfront, just below the Douglas Bridge. These square, barn like buildings can only be described as ugly.
Now, Van Dort, employing the same architect, is proposing a 12-condominium structure on the spit near the Department of Labor and Fish and Game buildings. This 8,000-square-foot footprint would be on pilings. It's sheer size will dominate the landscape.
If this kind of building can slip in before the waterfront plan goes into effect, it will make all the planning and all the meetings of the public a mockery.
All concerned citizens should come to the Planning Commission at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 24, in the City Hall Assembly chambers. Let's make our voices heard.
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