(Corrected 21 April 2008.)
Hoorah! The FNSB Planning Commission voted unanimously last night (Tuesday) to endorse the Vision Fairbanks plan for downtown’s revitalization. While the Planning Commission doesn’t pass ordinances, their endorsement is key (as is that of the Fairbanks City Council) to getting the Assembly to adopt the plan.
Roughly a dozen citizens gave public testimony, some with concerns but nearly all supportive. Perhaps the most persuasive testimony came from Gerry Jerry Colp of the City Engineer’s office. He said, in essence, “The house my wife and I built years ago is located right where the plan calls for the development of a grocery store. And yet I think it’s a good plan.”
He’s right. Everybody who looks through the plan will find at least one thing to disagree with. (For example, I think that “bike boxes” painted on the intersections are futile in a place covered with snow so much of the year.) However, after the plan is adopted, there will be a thousand small details to iron out, and there is not a single detail that couldn’t be negotiated or fudged a little. The planning process for downtown will not be completed with the adoption of this plan; it will involve all the hearings — and probably legal wranglings — that planning involves now. But it is still a good direction for our community to go.
I’m glad the Planning Commission sees it that way, too.
Still ahead are the public hearing before the City Council, now slated for April 7, and the public hearing before the Borough Assembly, which will probably take place in June.