Comp plan steering committee holds 1st meeting

Homer’s comprehensive plan is a long-term planning document encapsulating the city’s goals and focus

Homer’s new Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee met for the first time on Monday, Feb. 5 to discuss their scope of work. Also present at the meeting were representatives from Agnew::Beck Consulting, the Anchorage firm contracted to update Homer’s comprehensive plan and Title 21 Zoning and Planning Code.

Members of the steering committee include Homer City Council members Shelly Erickson and Jason Davis, Planning Commissioner Charles Barnwell, Economic Development Advisory Commission member Mel Kim and Homer Public Library Advisory Board member Kathryn Carssow.

During the meeting, Carssow was appointed committee chair and Erickson was appointed vice chair.

Homer’s comprehensive plan is “a long-term planning document meant to encapsulate the core of what residents believe the city’s goals and focus should be going forward,” Homer News previously reported in 2018. As such, the process of updating the plan requires a great deal of input from the Homer community.

The steering committee’s purpose, according to Homer City Council Resolution 23-129(A), is to assist in the refinement and execution of the public outreach process for the comprehensive plan and to participate in the public outreach events and activities. A draft public participation plan was included in the Feb. 5 agenda packet for the committee’s review.

“The focus of this committee is to make sure we’ve had as robust of a public outreach effort or plan as possible,” City Planner Ryan Foster said during the meeting. “We really need to have that to have the best possible outcome.”

Foster compared forthcoming public outreach events to the community housing conversation that was held last March.

“I think that’s a really good example of what we’re shooting for across multiple events,” he said.

At this time, Agnew::Beck is working toward the goal of having the first community outreach event near the end of March.

During the meeting, the committee discussed with Agnew::Beck consultants Shelly Wade and Meg Friedenauer a formal meeting schedule and goals for the firm to fulfill by the next planned meeting, including an updated draft public participation plan with a revised schedule that best reflects the project’s current timeline and engagement with Homer-based teams including the steering committee, planning commission and others.

The committee also discussed with Wade the possibility of creating a website for community members to find outreach event schedules, current documents, and more.

“We have in the queue some preliminary content for a project website,” Wade said. “All of the scheduling and any upcoming events is very clearly identified, and then notes, relevant documents, drafts as they become available, all of that is posted there.”

Wade did not yet have a specific date for when the website would go live, as Agnew::Beck wants the steering committee to review it first and provide any suggestions for additions or improvements.

Guiding Growth is also hosting a Comprehensive Plan Book Club, reviewing the 2018 plan chapter by chapter in preparation for the development of an updated plan. Their next meeting will be held at Kachemak Bay Campus on Monday, Feb. 19 from 6-8 p.m. For more information and to RSVP, visit

The full recording of the Feb. 5 meeting, as well as supplemental materials, can be found online at

The next steering committee meeting will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 2 p.m. in the Homer City Hall Cowles Council Chambers.