The CBJ Comprehensive Plan provides guidance and policies when it comes to private land use and is designed to protect and enhance the livability of Juneau. It was adopted by ordinance on November 4th, 2014 and became part of the CBJ code.
It describes adequate and cost-effective provisions for transportation, water, sewerage, schools, parks and other public requirements (none of which are covered under state or federal permitting). The Plan covers areas such as sustainability, community form, land use, natural resources and hazards, and protection of cultural and historic resources.
This is of particular concern in cases like the AJ Mine, which is on private property and where, after the mine closed in 1944, the City became the majority owner. This means that the city is in a unique position of being required to both protect the citizens of Juneau from harm from the mine and maximize profits. The current ordinance gives city staff the opportunity to review any plan to mine the property and required mitigation necessary to protect the city and its citizens. This ensures that any gap in state and federal oversight is filled, protecting the citizens of Juneau to the fullest extent possible.
There are many more plans that are included (by reference) in the Comprehensive Plan, allowing it to encompass many critical issues. They include:
- The Juneau Coastal Management Program.
- The Downtown Historic District Development Plan
- The Long Range Waterfront Plan
- The Last Chance Basin Land Management Plan, which sets the protection of the watershed as the highest priority.
- Watershed Control Program - Salmon Creek Source
- Watershed Control and Wellhead Protection Program - Gold Creek Source
- Chapter 5 of the Willoughby District Land Use Plan, and
- Municipal Drinking Water Supply Plan
How could CBJ implement any of these goals without an impact study measuring the effects of a mine would create? How could the CBJ ask the mining company to mitigate impacts to these goals? Without a Socio-economic Impact Study, the Planning Commission would effectively be neutered.