This rendering depicts Huna Totem Corp.’s proposed new cruise ship dock downtown that was approved for a conditional-use permit by the City and Borough of Juneau Planning Commission in early July. (City and Borough of Juneau)

This rendering depicts Huna Totem Corp.’s proposed new cruise ship dock downtown that was approved for a conditional-use permit by the City and Borough of Juneau Planning Commission in early July. (City and Borough of Juneau)

City says more public outreach planned as permit for Huna Totem cruise ship dock moves forward

Upcoming meeting for uplands development permit scheduled for Aug. 8.

This story has been updated to clarify that the dock will be subject to the five cruise ship limit.

Weeks after the City and Borough of Juneau Planning Commission approved a conditional-use permit for Huna Totem Corp.’s proposed new cruise ship dock downtown, the city says it plans to increase public outreach on the topic after seeing minimal public participation at the recent meeting.

“Several commissioners along with myself were shocked by how few members of the public were at the planning commission meeting about this topic that I know many people care deeply about,” said Assembly member Christine Woll at a special Assembly meeting Monday night where an update on the project was given.

In early July during a multi-hour meeting, the planning commission moved to approve a permit — subject to several conditions — for the construction of a floating steel dock located downtown along the Gastineau Channel off the intersection of Whittier Street and Egan Drive.

Some of those conditions include limiting the dock to one cruise ship per day, committing to providing shore power (when power becomes sufficient), not allowing hot berthing and conducting a study that considers the impacts of the dock to the other terminals.

The proposed dock is just one piece of a large vision for the downtown area sought by the Alaska Native corporation, which hopes to develop both a waterfront pier and cruise terminal after being donated 2.9 acres of property by Norwegian Cruise Line in late August of 2022.

The land where the project would be located, named the Àak’w Landing, was originally purchased by NCL in a $20 million bid in 2019 before being given to Huna Totem. Though the permit for the dock was approved at the early July meeting, the subsequent uplands developments for the retail/welcome center proposed were not.

A planning commission meeting to discuss the possible permitting of the uplands developments will be held on Aug. 8. City Manager Rorie Watt said the city plans to increase public outreach so more residents are aware of the upcoming meeting and have an idea of the process behind the project.

“I think people are a little confused on the process and understandably so,” Watt said Monday night.

Watt said despite the recent permit approval, he emphasized that before the project can fully move forward Huna Totem will need approval from the Assembly for a land deal to lease the city-owned tidelands the corporation plans to use. If that doesn’t happen, it could stop the project from moving forward altogether.

Along with the required tidelands approval, both conditional use permits for the dock and uplands development still need approval by the Assembly, actions that Watt said won’t likely happen until after the October election.

• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at or (651)-528-1807.

More in News

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Aurora forecast for the week of April 15

These forecasts are courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute… Continue reading

Rep. Sara Hannan (right) offers an overview of this year’s legislative session to date as Rep. Andi Story and Sen. Jesse Kiehl listen during a town hall by Juneau’s delegation on Thursday evening at Juneau-Douglas High School: Kalé. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Multitude of education issues, budget, PFD among top areas of focus at legislative town hall

Juneau’s three Democratic lawmakers reassert support of more school funding, ensuring LGBTQ+ rights.

Rosemary Ahtuangaruak, mayor of the Inupiaq village of Nuiqsut, at the area where a road to the Willow project will be built in the North Slope of Alaska, March 23, 2023. The Interior Department said it will not permit construction of a 211-mile road through the park, which a mining company wanted for access to copper deposits. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times)
Biden shields millions of acres of Alaskan wilderness from drilling and mining

The Biden administration expanded federal protections across millions of acres of Alaskan… Continue reading

Allison Gornik plays the lead role of Alice during a rehearsal Saturday of Juneau Dance Theatre’s production of “Alice in Wonderland,” which will be staged at Juneau-Douglas High School: Kalé for three days starting Friday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
An ‘Alice in Wonderland’ that requires quick thinking on and off your feet

Ballet that Juneau Dance Theatre calls its most elaborate production ever opens Friday at JDHS.

Caribou cross through Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve in their 2012 spring migration. A 211-mile industrial road that the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority wants to build would pass through Gates of the Arctic and other areas used by the Western Arctic Caribou Herd, one of the largest in North America. Supporters, including many Alaska political leaders, say the road would provide important economic benefits. Opponents say it would have unacceptable effects on the caribou. (Photo by Zak Richter/National Park Service)
Alaska’s U.S. senators say pending decisions on Ambler road and NPR-A are illegal

Expected decisions by Biden administration oppose mining road, support more North Slope protections.

Rep. Sarah Vance, R-Homer, speaks on the floor of the Alaska House of Representatives on Wednesday, March 13. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska House members propose constitutional amendment to allow public money for private schools

After a court ruling that overturned a key part of Alaska’s education… Continue reading

Danielle Brubaker shops for homeschool materials at the IDEA Homeschool Curriculum Fair in Anchorage on Thursday. A court ruling struck down the part of Alaska law that allows correspondence school families to receive money for such purchases. (Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)
Lawmakers to wait on Alaska Supreme Court as families reel in wake of correspondence ruling

Cash allotments are ‘make or break’ for some families, others plan to limit spending.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Wednesday, April 17, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Newly elected tribal leaders are sworn in during the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska’s 89th annual Tribal Assembly on Thursday at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall. (Photo courtesy of the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska)
New council leaders, citizen of year, emerging leader elected at 89th Tribal Assembly

Tlingit and Haida President Chalyee Éesh Richard Peterson elected unopposed to sixth two-year term.

Most Read