Workshops will focus on community reaction

Posted: Sunday, June 15, 2003

Miami-based consultant Scott Lagueux will return to Juneau on Wednesday with the latest draft of a 20-year plan for Juneau's waterfront.

"This is a very community-driven plan, and the results we've gotten reflect the central direction the community wants to go," said Lagueux of the consulting firm Bermello, Ajamil & Partners. "What I want is for the community to react."

In a series of workshops, Lagueux will gather feedback on the new draft, which incorporates suggestions gathered from two rounds of community meetings. The workshops will be held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 18, at the Aspen Hotel, and from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, June 19, at Centennial Hall. The plans also will be on display and Lagueux will be available for questions at two day-long public information displays from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, June 19, at Centennial Hall's Hammond Room, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, June 20, at the Mendenhall Mall Suite 360.

This latest draft represents the general direction community members have said they would like to go, Lagueux said. There are many areas, such as a sea walk and trails, where members of the public have come to a general consensus, he said. There are also a few areas, such as further development of cruise ship docks, that still need more discussion.

"I have characterized the areas where we have general consensus to how they should develop over time," Lagueux said, referring to how the latest draft was drawn. "Where stuff is in contention, I have left the language liberal."

The most recent draft has been separated into six geographic zones. For each zone Lagueux has developed a series of possible development schemes. Zone A, for example, comprises the area from the Douglas Bridge to the business center housing the Alaskan and Proud grocery store, and Lagueux will forward a plan for the area that emphasizes outdoor recreation and scaled-back office and residential areas.

"There is clear community consensus on tidelands protection and recreation," he said. "That was a clear mandate for enhancement of the environmental areas."

Workshops and public displays

Workshops:

Wednesday

Aspen Hotel

6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Thursday

Centennial Hall

6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Public displays:

Thursday

Centennial Hall

Hammond Room

8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Friday

Mendenhall Mall

Suite 360

10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Project Web site: www.juneauwaterfrontplan.com

Community members also have suggested creating some kind of artistic gateway in this area that would welcome people into downtown.

Zone B comprises roughly the area from Alaskan and Proud to the Goldbelt Hotel, and is the most controversial area in the plan because community members are divided over whether to build a new cruise ship dock or docks there. Lagueux has forwarded three development schemes for the waterfront area, each of them representing a different scale of development: a marina with yacht berths, a marina with a single cruise ship dock, and a pier that can accommodate two cruise ships.

"There's lots of ideas, but when we are talking about the big idea, those are the three that work," he said.

Lagueux is particularly excited about Zone C, and a plan to demolish Merchants Wharf and extend Marine Park, creating a central town green, which he has suggested might one day connect to a new Capitol on Telephone Hill.

"The whole notion of creating a green space right in the center of downtown that ultimately is associated with a new state Capitol facility, I think that's interesting in terms of planning," he said.

Zone D, most of South Franklin Street, is the most popular tourism area in Juneau.

Lagueux's plan would fortify a sea walk along the shore to help relieve the pedestrian pressure on South Franklin. In the draft plan, an interlocking system of sea walk and trail stretches from the Douglas Bridge to the Thane Road rock dump.

The last two zones, E and F, are made up of the light industrial area at the end of South Franklin and the undeveloped area at the beginning of Thane Road.

The draft plan recommends further development of maritime activities in Zone E, and developing a small marina and recreational area in Zone F.

"A No. 1 priority, from the community, is that the plan have diversity and be multi-use," Lagueux said.

"I think you can get some sense of that in terms if how this organizing plan directly relates to what the community was telling us to do."

Julia O'Malley can be reached at jomalley@juneauempire.com.

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