Soldotna planning team looks to future

  • By Kelly Sullivan
  • Thursday, December 18, 2014 10:44am
  • NewsBusiness

SOLDOTNA — Members of the public and private sectors have joined to address Soldotna’s potential for expansion.

The Soldotna Planning Team consists of city officials, council members, Soldotna Chamber of Commerce staff and business owners. The group met Dec. 9 at the Donald E. Gilman River Center.

The group was formed to identify where the city should be directing focus and efforts, said city Planning and Geographic Information Systems Technician Austin Johnson. Bolder investments and more aggressive planning were two subjects addressed at the meeting, he said.

“Investment depends on setting priorities,” Johnson said. “We need to find time and funding for everything.”

Signage projects will see the most immediate effects of the planning talks, Johnson said. Consultants from Anchorage-based Kittelson & Associates and Pennsylvania-based MERJE offered suggestions and interpretations on possible ways to improve “wayfinding,” which are the signs that direct locals and visitors to landmarks within a city, creating a unified district downtown, he said.

Nancy Casey, from Casey Planning & Design located in Soldotna conducted the majority of the presentation to the planning team.

Many of the proposed projects are rooted in Envision 2030, Soldotna’s comprehensive plan, Johnson said. Limitations on planning are budgeting and fiscal responsibilities, he said.

Casey said city residents frequently express the desire for improving the look of the downtown area. People want sidewalks that are easy to travel and safer roads, more landmarks and continuity, she said.

“People want the Kenai River to play a prominent role in the expansion of economic development opportunities for the city,” Casey said. “They want to make Soldotna a four season destination.”

There is not a specific time to implement anything besides “signage,” which will include welcome signs for the city and replacing “signage,” Johnson said.

By bringing in a variety of voices from the city, the planning team hopes to foster cooperation between the private and public sectors, he said.

The list of projects is meant to be refined over time, Johnson said. While a date is not currently set, in early spring a second presentation will be open to the public, Johnson said. Feedback from community members taken during the first meeting will be incorporated into the next review, he said.

The next meeting will be announced on the city of Soldotna website at

Kelly Sullivan is a reporter for the Peninsula Clarion.

More in News

Then Now: Looking back on pandemic response

Comparing messaging from 1918 to 2021

Damage in a corner on the inside of the middle and high school building of Kachemak Selo School Nov. 12, 2019, in Kachemak Selo, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Repair costs rise as school facilities deteriorate

About $420 million worth of maintenance is needed at Kenai Peninsula Borough School District buildings.

Golden-yellow birch trees and spruce frame a view of Aurora Lagoon and Portlock Glacier from a trail in the Cottonwood-Eastland Unit of Kachemak Bay State Park off East End Road on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong)
State Parks to hold meeting on Eastland Cottonwood unit

Meeting will include update on Tutka Bay Hatchery bill

Renewable IPP CEO Jenn Miller presents information about solar power during a meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Company looks to build solar farm on peninsula

It would be roughly 20 times the size of the largest solar farm currently in the state.

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Soldotna Trooper arrested for multiple charges of child sex abuse

He has been a State Trooper in Soldotna since June 2020.

This photo shows the Alaska State Capitol. An Alaska state lawmaker was cited for driving with an open can of beer in his vehicle that another lawmaker said was actually his. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Lawmaker cited for open beer fellow legislator says was his

Republican Sen. Josh Revak plans to challenge the $220 ticket.

Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File
This 2011 photo shows the Taku and Malaspina ferries at the Auke Bay Terminal.
Costs add up as ferry idled nearly 2 years

Associated Press The cost to the state for docking an Alaska ferry… Continue reading

The Federal Aviation Administration released an initiative to improve flight safety in Alaska for all aviation on Oct. 14, 2021. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
FAA releases Alaska aviation safety initiatives

The recommendations, covering five areas, range from improvements in hardware to data-gathering.

AP Photo / Becky Bohrer
The Alaska Capitol is shown on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Juneau, Alaska. There is interest among lawmakers and Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy in settling a dispute over the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend program, but no consensus on what the program should look like going forward.
Alaskans get annual boost of free money from PFD

Checks of $1,114 are expected to be paid to about 643,000 Alaskans, beginning this week.

Most Read