Lemon Creek sees some love

Last March, the Juneau Assembly adopted the Auke Bay Area Plan, a blueprint of sorts to help guide future development in a manner appropriate for the area. Almost exactly a year later, city planners are in the beginning stages of creating a similar plan for Lemon Creek.

“Right now we’re just starting to kick off the public interest piece with the intent that the draft plan will be completed in one year,” said Jill Maclean, a senior planner with the city’s Community Development Department. Maclean and department Director Rob Steedle sat down with the Empire Thursday morning to talk about the plan, which they are working on together.

Right now the plan is in its infancy. So far, Maclean and Steedle have held one public meeting to start taking community input. About 70 people met in Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School on March 10 to begin discussing what Lemon Creek should look like in 20 years.

“There was a diverse cross section of people there, which was great because there’s a diverse mix of uses in that area,” Steedle said, adding that the mix of uses is one of the reasons why the CDD is interested in putting together a plan for the area.

Lemon Creek is a zoning hodgepodge where eight different zoning districts abut one another. Residential zones of various densities are shoehorned in between industrial and commercial zones, and as the community grows, Steedle and Maclean want to make sure the conflicting zoning doesn’t create conflicting neighbors.

“We expect there will be growth in the community, and in this area we have residential, commercial and industrial uses all in close proximity to one another, so we want to shape the plan so that people don’t get annoyed with each other.”

In order to do so, Maclean and Steedle will be leaning heavily on public input. The CDD is currently accepting applications for an 11-member steering committee that will help work on the plan. The Planning Commission will review the applications and make appointments at some point next month if everything goes smoothly, Maclean said.

She is also looking to form nine focus groups, which will consist of Lemon Creek property owners. Each group will focus on a specific aspect of the plan, such as housing or recreation.

Maclean said that public input is particularly important in this process to help CDD staff avoid relying on preconceived notions, which she said causes “tunnel vision” in planning. Steedle agreed and made sure to reinforce this point.

“We are not creating a plan sitting in our offices,” he said. “We’re the scribes recording what people say, synthesizing that and saying, ‘Is this what the community wants?’”

Currently, the CDD doesn’t have any more public meetings scheduled to discuss the Lemon Creek Area Plan, but Maclean and Steedle said that should change in a couple months. Once the steering committee is set, the CDD will begin planning public meetings to run from May to June or possibly July.

• Contact reporter Sam DeGrave at sam.degrave@juneauempire.com or at 523-2279.

More in News

The Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Encore docks in Juneau in October, 2022. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
Ships in Port for t​​he Week of Sept. 23

Here’s what to expect this week.

A person departs Bartlett Regional Hospital on July 26, a day after a board of directors meeting raised issues about the hospital’s leadership and quality of care, with then-CEO David Keith resigning a week later. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire File)
New Bartlett CEO has lots of experience with mergers, transitions as hospital confronts struggles

Meanwhile former CEO still getting paid for post-resignation ‘transition’ despite leaving the state.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023

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

Former Coppa Cafe co-owner Marc Wheeler and current owner Maddie Kombrink smile for a picture at the downtown cafe Wednesday morning. Last week the cafe celebrated its 10-year anniversary in Juneau. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
‘It’s a wonderful milestone’: Coppa Cafe celebrates a decade of service in Juneau

Ten years is just the beginning, says current and past owners.

Ian Worden addresses Bartlett Regional Hospital’s board of directors via Zoom during a meeting Tuesday night where he was subsequently hired as the new interim chief executive officer. He is expected to begin the job within a month. (Screenshot from Bartlett Regional Hospital video)
Bartlett Regional Hospital, during unusual board meeting, makes yet another interim CEO hire

Longtime Seattle-area executive unanimously chosen as hospital’s third leader in past two months.

Lt. Krag Campbell with the Juneau Police Department smiles for a photo Tuesday evening outside of City Hall. Campbell is one of two finalists seeking the chief position at the department. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Juneau officer seeking department’s top spot says 21 years in community an asset

Lt. Krag Campbell one of two finalists for chief of police.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Monday, Sept. 25, 2023

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

U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola, a Democrat who became the first Alaska Native in Congress a year ago, discusses issues and adjusting to the national political scene on Sept. 8 as part of a three-day visit to Juneau. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
A year after surprising victory, Peltola a popular target in Congress

Spending 9/11 with Biden, being top target of GOP now part of job while dealing with family matters.

Most Read