Petersburg Pilot -

Comprehensive Plan consultants complete first Petersburg visit

 


An update to the Borough’s Comprehensive Plan is in full swing after consultants arrived in town last week for the first of four scheduled visits with community members and the planning team.

“We are in town really kicking off the process with the community. We have a series of meetings and opportunities for the community to come talk to us,” said Shelly Wade, a consultant with Agnew Beck on hand at the community open houses held Wednesday and Thursday.

The Comprehensive Plan Wade and her team will be formulating this year creates a blueprint that will guide the Borough’s future development, direction and goals.

“It’s a guide, a set of policies for guiding future direction for the community,” Wade said. “So really at a higher level it provides, what is the community’s future goals for transportation, for economic development, for waterfront development, for business development, for public facilities and services.”

To begin this process, Wade and her colleagues compiled information on the community to form the backdrop of the initial discussions.

On display at the open houses were large posters with historical data as well as future projections about everything from the population make up to fishing industry and housing trends.

In addition to the information, there were large sheets of papers and markers for residents to answer questions posed by the consultants. In fact, gathering feedback was the main goal of the initial visit.

“We’re really curious to hear from people what they feel. How’s the community changed, and how might things look in the future? How might the population change? How might land use change? How might business or commercial fishing change?” Wade said.

Additionally Wade was gathering information from residents on what the current and future opportunities and challenges are for the Borough.

Last week’s visit included open meetings with community members as well as scheduled meetings with other stakeholders. In a packed schedule, Wade and her colleagues met with high school students, seniors, municipal land selection committee members, the Petersburg Economic Development Council and others.

The team also met with harbor board members to discuss the harbor master plan, which will be updated in tandem with the Comprehensive Plan.

“It’s really two plans that we’re working on…We’re working in parallel and simultaneously and they really are integrated…waterfront development affects lands use, affects economic development,” Wade explained.

Though Wade and her team are back in Anchorage, community members can still provide feedback by participating in an online survey. A link to the survey is available on the Borough’s homepage and can be accessed until the survey closes in mid-January. Those interested can also contact Wade directly at shelly@agnewbeck.com.

Wade said she encourages as many people to give their feedback, which her team will be compiling in the coming months in preparation for another visit next year.

“We’ll come back probably late spring, early May, to share the results of what we’ve learned. So what are some of the emerging themes, or goal or priorities that people have identified,” Wade said.

The final plan is projected to be released in October 2015.

 

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