Residents chat with the City Borough of Juneau’s senior project planner Beth Mckibben about the CBJ’s public review draft of its blueprint area plan for the future of downtown Juneau. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Residents chat with the City Borough of Juneau’s senior project planner Beth Mckibben about the CBJ’s public review draft of its blueprint area plan for the future of downtown Juneau. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Foodland and area plan: Residents get a chance to speak with officials on Juneau’s downtown blueprint

Blueprint and blueberries.

Saturday’s grocery list: Apples, coffee beans, chicken and information on downtown Juneau’s draft area plan blueprint.

For the Juneau residents who spent their Saturday heading to downtown’s Foodland IGA to grab some grub or other provisions, they might have run into City Borough of Juneau’s senior project planner Beth McKibben as she sat outside the store to answer questions about the public review draft of the city’s draft blueprint plan for the future of downtown Juneau. The project is still in the drafting stage and open to public comment which runs July 21-Aug. 20.

Residents chat with the City Borough of Juneau’s senior project planner Beth Mckibben about the CBJ’s public review draft of its blueprint area plan for the future of downtown Juneau. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Residents chat with the City Borough of Juneau’s senior project planner Beth Mckibben about the CBJ’s public review draft of its blueprint area plan for the future of downtown Juneau. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

“We’re trying to get people interested and involved again,” McKibben said. “This plan’s mission is to take 20 years of planning and quilt them together into one plan.”

The blueprint has been in the making since 2018 when the committee in charge of making it, known as the steering committee, was appointed. Now, four years later, the blueprint is finally open for public comment. Once the period ends, the comments will then be taken into consideration by the committee and will continue to change before heading to the Assembly. The road to the Assembly will feature many more steps and take an undefined amount of time.

The blueprint is CBJ’s developing vision of what it believes the public and community would like downtown Juneau to look like in the long-term future. The plan includes goals like providing more future housing of different sizes and costs downtown, reducing the number of vacant storefronts, completing the Seawalk and Harborwalk among other efforts.

This is a graphic of the City Borough of Juneau’s six goals in its public review draft on its website that outlines its blueprint area plan for the future of downtown Juneau. (Courtesy / City and Borough of Juneau)

This is a graphic of the City Borough of Juneau’s six goals in its public review draft on its website that outlines its blueprint area plan for the future of downtown Juneau. (Courtesy / City and Borough of Juneau)

Though the planning has been underway since 2018, there is still a while to go said McKibbon, and she said was hosting the popup table because she wanted to continue to keep the public informed and involved in the process as it moves along.

She said she’s had a steady flow of people stopping at the table to learn more about the blueprint, and said many people were “very interested” in what the plan entailed.

“I think it’s great and I fully support it, but I’m frustrated with the amount of time and how long it quill take,” said Judith Mitchell, a Juneau resident. “We’re talking about years long.”

Mitchell said some elements of the blueprint have been in the works for decades with little in the way of visible progress. Overall though, she said she is supportive of the plan but wished it could be a speedier process.

• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at clarise.larson@juneauempire.com or (651)-528-1807. Follow her on Twitter at @clariselarson.

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