CBJ Planners Show Off Auke Bay Draft Plan at UAS

An aerial view of Auke Bay.

Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The topics covered included plans for a new zoning district in the neighborhood, as well as an overlay district in the heart of the community.

A community meeting regarding the draft version of the Auke Bay Area Plan was held Thursday night at the University of Alaska Southeast.

The topics covered included plans for a new zoning district in the neighborhood, as well as an overlay district in the heart of the community. Both new zoning areas call for a "pedestrian-friendly" and "village-like environment" in the historic fishing village.

The plan as it now stands, in the early stages of its development, would also substantially change the zoning requirements for the neighborhood. The city is proposing a new zone to replace the D10, D15, light commercial, general commercial and waterfront commercial zones with a new one that increase minimum lot sizes, the maximum dwelling units per acre, lot setbacks and the height of buildings.

City planner Allison Eddins made the presentation to a packed house of residents and business owners.

"The plan really wants to see ... a connected street grid and certain building design features that would help create this pretty, tight-knit, mixed-use community," Eddins said.

A number of residents expressed concern, however, about changing the nature of the Auke Bay waterfront. Eddins said that she does not foresee a change.

"I think that the waterfront commercial area is going to stay waterfront commercial, and the harbor is going to stay as is," Eddins said. "Our hope is that most of the development in Auke Bay will be in this [new zoning district and overlay] and on the uphill side of the harbor."

The draft plan calls for higher construction than what is currently allowed under borough code, a fact that Eddins said could affect private landowners with a view of the bay and Statter Harbor.

"We are not proposing any restrictions on properties in order to protect views from other private property," Eddins said.

Assembly member Wade Bryson represents the area of Auke Bay. He said he was impressed by the plan.

"I thought it was a really neat plan and it's got a lot potential," Bryson said. "It would create a really nice Auke Bay neighborhood environment; the kind of neighborhood that Juneau likes. So, it makes sense and it goes along with the way that downtown is designed. I see this having a lot of potential."

One Auke Bay native who was at the meeting, and who only wanted to give his first name Sean, said that the majority of Auke Bay residents don't want the new development.

"You want to put in high-density housing? You want to put in high-density commercial here? What are you going to get? You're going to get high-density crime. You're going to get more people here," Sean said. "You're going to get [more] people here to steal things. We already have that everywhere else in Juneau. It's time to stop that. We can't afford the police that we have right now. How are we going to put more police out here?"

The next step in the draft process is a Dec. 20 meeting of the Auke Bay Implementation Committee Meeting at 230 South Franklin Street at noon.

 

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