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By Dan Rudy 

Meetings scheduled for waterfront development

 


A pair of meetings will be held at the Nolan Center Jan. 12 and 14 to collect public input on the City and Borough of Wrangell’s upcoming waterfront master plan.

The Borough has been working with private firms to develop a master planning project for the waterfront area between the Marine Service Center and City Dock along Campbell Drive. The overarching goal is the creation of a site-specific master plan intended to direct development of social and economic opportunities in that location.

This will include possible commercial development and public-use areas, and identifying potential access linkages between the waterfront and lately-renovated downtown corridors. Similar to the business district revitalization, the waterfront plan will seek to engage the public in directing development.

From 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. on Monday, Borough staff and the design team will present an economic analysis and site inventory, and residents can give their feedback on project priorities. Director of Rain Coast Data Meilani Schijvens will present a Wrangell-specific economic assessment on its maritime economy, in line with the regional overview she presented at last fall’s Southeast Conference.

At the same time on Wednesday evening, a conceptual draft of the master plan based on Monday’s input will be presented by Chris Mertl of Corvus Design for further discussion.

In between and through Thursday, the waterfront planning team – consisting of Corvus Design, PND Engineers, Rain Coast Data and NorthWind Architects – will be holding an ongoing open-door workshop, working with local stakeholders to set development goals for the short-, mid- and long-term.

This team was also largely involved in the development of Wrangell’s downtown revitalization plan last decade, of which the waterfront project will be the next stage.

“They’re trying to get an idea of what the community really wants to do,” said Carol Rushmore, Wrangell’s economic development director. “It’s really a question of ‘How does the community want to see that area used?’”

She pointed out that the section in question is the last stretch of open waterfront in Wrangell’s developed area, and Rushmore explained the Borough has an Army Corps of Engineers permit to continue filling it, if necessary. Whether the expense to do so should be taken on and to what purpose are details which will have to be decided by community.

“Now is a good time to get people involved,” said Rushmore.

After this month’s meetings, a second round is planned for the week of Feb. 23 to present a draft of the project. A third round of public meetings will eventually be held to present the final version of the waterfront plan.

Updates on the project will be posted online at http://wrangellwaterfrontmp.blogspot.com/. To receive project notifications, one can sign in at the public meetings or send an email to Schijvens at meilani@raincoastdata.com. She can also be reached by phone at 723-0859. Mertl can also be reached regarding the master plan, at cmertl@corvus-design.com or by phone at 988-9000.

 

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