This can only be brief right now, since it’s late and I need to go to bed.
The good news is, Vision Fairbanks passed the Assembly 8-0-1. (Nadine Winters had a conflict of interest and had to recuse herself.)
The bad news is, the version that passed was the weaker of the two proposed — one that seems not to really restrict the Assembly in its future decisions. Oh, it must be consulted, but here it is, in black and white:
The Vision Fairbanks Downtown Plan may be modified in the course of implementation decisions and it should not be interpreted as restricting the Assembly’s ability to accommodate the actual development of the downtown core area and the changing needs of the community. It is a set of recommendations that should be considered in future land use determinations including requests for future zoning changes, development, and public investments in infrastructure inthe downtown core area.
(Ordinance No. 2008 – 30, Attachment 3)
Dammit, I wanted the Assembly’s power restricted! So did two-thirds of those who testified!
The room was full of cheers when the clerk announced that the ordinance passed. Not my cheers, though. I’m profoundly concerned that, lacking any meaningful promises about how the Borough will develop the downtown area, fewer private investors will be willing to locate there; this plan will become a mixed success at best and a major waste of public funds at worst; and all the naysayers will be able to say, “See, we told you downtown wasn’t worth investing in!”
A few other people who have worked long on this project were optimistic. I’m trying to be.
Anyhoo, I’ll give a fuller report tomorrow or the next day, when I’ve had some sleep. There were surprises and drama this evening. (Here’s a teaser: it appears that Mayor Whitaker, who proposed the weaker ordinance, was afraid of what his Director of Community Planning might say if given permission to do more than answer direct questions….)