Haines Borough Mayor Jan Hill created a joint committee this week charged with “monitoring” the aesthetic design of the waterfront and Small Boat Harbor expansion project, but many community members who showed up said the project’s problems go beyond merely tweaking appearances.

The new committee will consist of Hill, a Planning Commission representative, a Tourism Advisory Board representative, a Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee member, a Port and Harbor Advisory Committee member, a Chamber of Commerce representative and a community representative. The manager will also be an ex-officio, or non-voting, member.

The committee’s first meeting is 5 p.m. Monday, July 27.

Residents critical of the current design packed the assembly chambers for Monday’s meeting that established the committee, with several stating the assembly should re-open discussion of the fundamental design rather than just talking about how to make the current design – referred to as “Concept 14B” – more visually appealing.

“I’ve heard a lot of community concerns about the overall project, which could mean modification to (concept) 14, which I realize you don’t want to get into. I think there is a need there. It really needs to be opened up to look at the whole thing,” said Bill Kurz.

Resident Rhys Williams asked the assembly to step back and address some of the “hard and sticky questions.”

Debra Schnabel questioned whether Concept 14B even leaves enough room for aesthetic maneuvering and urged the assembly to reconsider option 3A, a less expensive alternative. “If we want to save money for aesthetics, I think we need to have the option of relooking at 3A,” she said.

Karen Hess said she wants bathrooms included in the development, including “six ladies’ stalls.”