DOWNTOWN REVITALIZATION FACES WATERSHED DECISIONS

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Vision Fairbanks is downtown’s master plan.  The first two pieces of the plan will take definite shape this spring and early summer through the actions of the City Council, Borough Assembly and FMATS.  Coming almost two years after the plan’s adoption, a series of votes and decisions will reveal our civic leaders’ attitude to economic development downtown. 

Restoring 2-way traffic circulation to Cushman and Barnette streets will change the game downtown by ridding the Borough of its only one-way streets, making businesses more viable, and improving the investment environment.  Developing new zone types will get ahead of the curve of downtown’s re-development by expressing in a regulatory framework the types of ground floor uses and design features that buildings themselves can furnish to make downtown good for pedestrians – and good for business.  

Traffic circulation is the domain of government, so the City will decide whether or not to proceed with the 2-way restoration, with some FMATS involvement.  Zoning authority vests with the Borough, so the Borough Assembly will decide whether or not to allow the creation of new zone types downtown. 

Shaping our civic leaders’ attitude is up to those of us who want more from our only downtown.   Below are important deadlines and  meeting dates at City Council and the Planning Commission (the Borough Assembly has yet to schedule hearings).

April 5 – public hearing and vote on resolution supporting Vision Fairbanks ordinance 2010-09 at City Council at City Hall.  Public comment starts at 7 PM.

April 6 – public hearing on Vision Fairbanks ordinance 2010-09 at Planning Commission.  7 PM in Borough Assembly chambers.

Mid-April – interim report due on the City’s 2-way restoration to Cushman and Barnette streets.

June 16 – final report due on the City’s 2-way restoration to Cushman and Barnette streets; decision will ensue to proceed, not to proceed or some third option.

For more information on the Vision Fairbanks plan or the upcoming decisions, please call David at 452-8676 or email dvandenberg@downtownfairbanks.com