Residents can weigh in on the Haines Borough’s draft comprehensive plan at two town meetings next week.
Each meeting is scheduled for 6-8 p.m. The first is Wednesday, May 16, at the Haines School and the second is Thursday, May 17, at Mosquito Lake School.
The comprehensive plan is “a community blueprint” for the future, and last was updated in 2004, said Barbara Sheinberg, a Juneau consultant coordinating the project.
The yearlong process of preparing a new plan was expected to cost the borough around $100,000.
The effort launched with a town hall meeting last spring, when Sheinberg shared results from a scientific survey of about 200 randomly selected households.
Members of the Haines Borough Planning Commission have since met with Sheinberg in several work sessions to discuss the plan.
“This is a really important time to get community review and feedback,” Sheinberg said. “The planning commission has really been steadily working through things, and we’ve got a pretty decent draft out now, and our intention is to take whatever comments and input we get after the series of town meetings and we’re going to re-publish it as a draft plan in late May.”
She said the planning commission would have public hearings in June and then the Haines Borough Assembly would have public hearings of its own in July and August as part of the adoption process.
“It’s the planning commission’s job to accept the plan, and it’s the assembly’s job to adopt it by ordinance,” Sheinberg said.
She said attendees at the town meetings would break into small groups, each focused on one of five topics: economic development; land use and future growth; public services and public safety; recreation; and transportation and utilities.
“At each table, there will be planning commissioners and assembly members there to facilitate conversation, and for each table, we have key questions that we’re really looking for public input on,” Sheinberg said. “We’ll also have the objectives and actions for that topic at the table, and that’s another thing to look at.”
Land use and future growth is “the chapter, especially, where there’s a number of questions,” she said.
The draft plan can be viewed at www.hainesborough.us under “Hot Topics.” The plan also is available at the Haines Borough Public Library and the borough administration building on Third Avenue.
Written comments will be accepted until Friday, May 18. Comments can be dropped off at the borough administration building, e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to Sheinberg Associates; 204 N. Franklin St., Suite 1; Juneau, AK 99801.