Members of the Kenai City Council convene at a work session on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Members of the Kenai City Council convene at a work session on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai seeks input on waterfront revitalization

The forum will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center

The City of Kenai is holding a public forum Thursday to gather input on plans to develop a section of waterfront property along Bridge Access Road. The forum will be held at 6 p.m. at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center.

The project, first identified as a priority in the city’s “Imagine Kenai 2030” comprehensive plan, was formally put up for consideration earlier this year, with Kenai City Manager Paul Ostrander describing the project area — which runs from the city dock to Millennium Square — as “untapped potential.” The council held a public work session to discuss the project with stakeholders in August.

Revitalization of the waterfront would be promoted in tandem with economic development incentives, such as exempting economic developments from city property tax, which the plan says would incentivize capital investment, and exempting depreciating properties from city tax, which would encourage the development of deteriorating buildings.

City documentation shows that of the 19 pieces of land included in the project area, 74.4% are privately owned, 9% are owned by the City of Kenai and are leased and 16.5% are owned by the City of Kenai and are not leased. The parcels combined total about 112.6 acres. The largest parcel, owned by the Port of Kenai, covers about 16.5 acres.

The Kenai City Council approved, after a brief delay, $95,000 for study that would assess the feasibility of moving forward with redevelopments. Part of that study includes engaging the community to help envision the program’s core concepts and vision.

More information about the Kenai Waterfront Revitalization Program can be found on the city’s website at kenai.city.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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