Effort invested in Envision Soldotna pays off

  • Thursday, February 25, 2016 4:47pm
  • Opinion

Kudos to the city of Soldotna, as the community and city government have made significant strides in achieving goals outlined in its most recent comprehensive plan.

During a recent planning and zoning meeting, Director of Economic Planning and Development Stephanie Queen updated the commission on progress made in the five years since the city completed its Envision Soldotna 2030 plan. Of nine high-priority goals, the city has addressed six in some way, with the remaining three to be addressed in the future.

Items such as a downtown improvement plan, increased programming and events at city parks and library expansion have been checked off the list. City parking, better signage and an evaluation of incentive programs, such as the storefront improvement program, are in the works.

While comprehensive plans are required by state law, municipalities don’t always seem to stick with them when it comes to planning. Envision Soldotna 2030, however, was the result of not just the work of government panels, but also numerous public work sessions and open houses. In short, the effort put into developing the comprehensive plan was itself comprehensive. The community for the most part embraced the plan’s development, though some parts, such as potential annexation, are controversial. Buy-in from city residents has kept the document at the forefront when the city’s development and growth are discussed.

“Having been on the commission for a long time, this is the first actual comprehensive plan that we’ve actually used as a tool and governed our zoning based by that,” Colleen Denbrock, planning and zoning commission chair, told the Clarion.

We’re glad to see that the effort invested in Envision Soldotna 2030 continues to benefit the city and its residents — and should continue to do so in the future as well.

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