Envision Soldotna gets final touches

Posted: Monday, November 29, 2010

The City of Soldotna is in the home stretch of finalizing its comprehensive plan, dubbed Envision Soldotna 2030.

The last planning and zoning commission public hearing on the final draft of the plan will be held Wednesday.

"We are in the final stretch, and if there are things the community feels strongly about that we need to address, now would be a good time to do it," said City Planner Stephanie Queen.

Copies of the 90-page comprehensive plan are available online at the City of Soldotna's website (www.ci.soldotna.ak.us) or are available for pick-up at city hall.

Queen said the large document outlines many specific objectives for the city to tackle in coming decades.

"Whether we were talking about trails or businesses it seemed like a focus was on economic development," she said.

The plan is a state-required document that the city creates to guide itself in the right direction, Queen said.

And most of the suggestions in the document came from the public involvement period that happened early on in the two-year process.

Other things outlined in the plan include quality of life issues, like making Soldotna more pedestrian friendly and filling in some gaps in the city's parks and trails, she said.

Residents were also concerned about maintaining neighborhoods and the plan addresses what the city can do "to make our neighborhoods more attractive and clean and safe."

The Kenai River is another important focus for the next 20 years.

"We want to make sure we're doing everything we can to protect the river," Queen said.

Although the projects outlined in the plan to meet these specific objectives are not set in stone they are a good starting place to develop the city residents want Soldotna to be.

"It's a good document to have around when we're making decisions and when we're funding capital projects," she said.

Soldotna City Council is expected to hold its first public hearing on the final draft of the comprehensive plan on Dec. 22, after the planning and zoning commission makes its final recommendation Wednesday.

Brielle Schaeffer can be reached at brielle.schaeffer@peninsulaclarion.com.

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