Waterfront Strategic Analysis
and Improvement Plan
Step 1 Summary Report
Background and Data Gathering
Waterfront Strategic Analysis and
Step 1 Summary Report
Background and Data Gathering
Brought to you by
The City and Borough of Juneau, Docks & Harbors Board
Peratrovich, Nottingham, and Drage, Inc.
Norton-Arnold and Janeway
Belyea, Sorensen, Trottier, & Associates
The McDowell Group
MAKERS architecture & urban design
Kittelson and Associates, Inc.
Table of Contents
Step 1 Summary
Economic Analysis .................................................................. 2
Public Outreach Summary........................................................ 4
Step 1 Conclusions ................................................................. 8
Step 2 Approach
Establish Dock & Harbors Board’s Priorities .................................. 9
Develop Strategic Planning Options ............................................ 9
A: Economic Trends Report
B: Public Outreach Efforts
Summary of February 2001 Stakeholder Interviews
Summary of March 2001 Public Workshops
Executive Summary, Key Findings, and Topline Analysis of Household Phone
Step 1 Summary Report - Final Submittal August 2001
This map shows the main focus of our planning area.
We will also be considering waterfront areas as far
south as Douglas Harbor, and as far north as Auke Bay.
Step 1 Summary
The purpose of the CBJ Waterfront Strategic Analysis & Improvement Plan is to provide the
Docks & Harbors Board with:
An informed estimate of what may happen to the waterfront in the next fifteen years.
A description of projects the Docks & Harbors Board can implement that will participate
in and foster waterfront development in a sensible and community-minded fashion.
Reasonable and well-documented conceptual solutions to identified needs and policies.
The work plan created to accomplish these objectives includes the following four steps:
Step 1: Background and Data Gathering
Step 2: Creation of Strategic Planning Options
Step 3: Preferred Strategic Plan Elements
Step 4: Implementation Program
Step 1 of this project began in January 2001 and was completed in August. This report is
intended both to summarize Step 1 activities and to set the stage for creating strategic
planning options in Step 2. Completion of Steps 2 through 4 is expected within the next
year, pending further authorization by the Docks & Harbor’s Board.
Step 1 background and data-gathering tasks included reviewing local plans and infrastructure
information, forecasting the economic future of Juneau’s waterfront, and determining
community priorities and concerns regarding existing waterfront activities and potential water-
front development. An economic analysis and public outreach effort were the primary focus of
this work step. These efforts answered the following project objectives: What might happen
to Juneau’s waterfront over the next 15 years? What priorities and issues should community-
minded development take into account? Conclusions from the Step 1 analysis are summarized
in this report.
Step 1 Summary Report - Final Submittal August 2001 Page 1
Future demand for waterfront land in Juneau will be based on the industries that
currently exist on the municipal and private sector waterfronts. An economic analysis
reviewed these maritime activities. These activities encompass the spectrum of
waterfront-oriented land uses and include industrial (cargo transshipment and fueling),
commercial fishing and processing, tourism (small-vessel, cruise-ship, and floatplane), and
commercial and recreational moorage.
The analysis evaluated local public and private activities based on local, regional, and
national trends. It forecasted areas of growth and decline on Juneau’s waterfront over
the next 15 years. Strategic implementation options created in Step 2 will focus on
accommodating these growth areas and capitalizing on opportunities for revenue-
generation highlighted in the analysis. Please refer to Appendix A for the complete
economic report by Belyea, Sorenson, and Trottier Associates (BST) and The McDowell
Group. Their conclusions are summarized below:
The relative importance of the visitor industry,
and the tourism industry in particular, in the
Juneau economy has escalated significantly in the
past decade. For example, Juneau is expected to
host over 680,000 cruise ship visitors in the 2001
summer season. The cruise industry is projected
to increase its total Alaska passenger capacity by
an average of 5% per year for the next six years.
Juneau appears to be in a good position for
growth as compared with other southeast Alaska
ports. This conclusion is based on its having a
high level of awareness among cruise passengers,
a location that fits well logistically in most cruise
itineraries, its port content, glacier viewing and
scenic cruising opportunities.
The small-vessel cruise market and floatplane
markets are also healthy and growing. An addi-
tion of at least one small-vessel per year in
southeast Alaska is projected. Demand for
floatplane services is also expected to increase in
pace with increasing cruise ship capacity.
Juneau’s visitor industry is positioned for growth,
at least for the next six years. However, the
crowding of ships, increasing physical and social
impacts, potentially deteriorating port experi-
ence, the political climate, customer perceptions,
and increasing cost to the industry may impact
the visitor industry’s growth in the CBJ. Growth
of the floatplane industry may be impacted by
other community pressures.
Step 1 Summary Report - Final Submittal August 2001 Page 2
Commercial Fishing and Processing
Juneau’s seafood processing industry has experienced recent
growth. Growth is expected to continue, although the numer of
local residents engaged in the industry and their respective
earnings have declined.
Processing of halibut, black cod, salmon, and shellfish is a grow-
ing industry. By 1999, the number of processors doubled from six
to 12. Reasons for this include the CBJ’s transportation links,
relatively strong markets for local product (halibut, black cod, and
chum salmon), and Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) stabilization of
the fresh halibut and black cod markets. Demand for chum roe is
also expected to remain good.
Juneau’s large population base and its central location in southeast Alaska are the reasons behind
the large volume of freight shipped through its port. This is primarily one-way trade into Juneau;
inbound tonnage traffic far exceeds outbound tonnage. Total shipments have remained stable over
the past 10 years and are expected to continue at this level.
Commercial and Recreational Moorage
Boat ownership in Alaska and in Juneau has in-
creased steadily over the latter half of the past
decade. The ratio of recreational vessels to total
vessels is higher in Juneau than statewide, where
commercial vessels are more prevalent as a per-
centage of the total. With persistent waitlists and
a modestly growing population, a continued strong
demand for more boat moorage, boat launching
facilities, and transient vessel moorage in the CBJ
Step 1 Summary Report - Final Submittal August 2001 Page 3
Public Outreach Summary
The public involvement process included 21 stakeholder interviews 1, four open public work-
shops, and a household phone survey that polled a random sample of 300 residents. A mailer
sent to every Juneau address and two newspapers ads notified the community of the public
The compiled results of Step 1 public involvement efforts communicate clearly what is
important to Juneau residents and where there are areas of concern. Efforts identified
community priorities for future waterfront use and development. They also identified
primary issues, or areas of concern that impact quality of life and warrant improvement.
Themes emerged from participants in the stakeholder interviews and public workshops and
were supported by the phone survey results. Options to strategically address these commu-
nity priorities will be explored in Step 2 of this planning process. Please refer to Appendix
B for the complete summaries of these public involvement efforts. Conclusions of these
efforts have been summarized below and on Pages 5 and 6.
= high priority
= medium priority
= low priority Random
Stakeholder Public household City Vision
ISSUES interviews workshops phone survey 20/20
Improve public access to and along the
Increase public recreation areas/open space
Address impact of large cruise ships
(including harbor capacity)
Improve/expand small boat facilities
(launches, moorage, and repair facilities)
Make waterfront interesting year-round
Alleviate downtown congestion (pedestrians
Increase available parking downtown
Prevalence of tourist oriented business
Float plane landings and take-offs
Cleanliness of waterfront and harbor
1. Those interviewed make up a partial list of waterfront stakeholders in Juneau, as the Docks and Harbors Board considers all residents
and businesses to be waterfront stakeholders. A complete listing of those interviewed is contained in Appendix B.
2. Refers to "The Capital City Vision Project", Created by the Citizens of Juneau, 1996-1997.
3. This issue was of medium concern in the aggregate total of stakeholder interviews. It was, however, a high priority with several
interviewees and workshop attendees.
Step 1 Summary Report - Final Submittal August 2001 Page 4
Priority: Improve Public Access and Recreation Opportunities to and along the
COMMUNITY SUGGESTED A CTIONS:
Expand the Sea Walk from the Rock Dump to Douglas Bridge.
Develop various amenities along the downtown waterfront, including water access
points and park areas.
Priority: Improve and Expand Facilities to Support Boat-Owners.
COMMUNITY SUGGESTED A CTIONS:
Expand permanent moorage in all three harbors.
Provide more transient moorage downtown for small local craft tie-up.
Add additional boat launch facilities, with Auke Bay being the preferred location.
Expand or add additional boat maintenance yard capabilities.
Step 1 Summary Report - Final Submittal August 2001 Page 5
Priority: Provide for a Balance of Uses and
COMMUNITY SUGGESTED ACTIONS:
Encourage businesses that serve Juneau
Support the “working waterfront”, including
commercial fishing and fish processing, research
functions such as NOAA, and the US Coast
Focus resources to support small cruise vessels,
whose visitors spend more time and resources
within the community.
Consider alternative pier locations or
configurations that minimize the impact of
large cruise ships.
Priority: Alleviate Downtown Congestion Areas.
COMMUNITY SUGGESTED A CTIONS:
Relocate some cruise ship berthing facilities
away from the central South Franklin Street area.
Consider an off-waterfront parking facility with
frequent shuttles to downtown.
Provide improved signage with interpretive and
Priority: Make the Waterfront More Interesting
COMMUNITY SUGGESTED A CTIONS:
Relocate non-water-dependent facilities, such as
the CBJ street maintenance facility, and replace
with facilities that have community benefit, such
as a transit center, community center, museum,
Encourage a mixed-use commercial area that
provides goods and services to residents.
Redevelop the sub-port with mixed-use
Consider development of housing near downtown
Juneau that will foster development of year-
round, community-focused waterfront activities.
Step 1 Summary Report - Final Submittal August 2001 Page 6
Although a variety of issues were raised, the following list summarizes the community’s
primary concerns regarding use and development on the downtown waterfront:
Lack of public access and recreational areas.
Impact of large cruise ships.
Insufficient small boat facilities.
Concentration of tourism-oriented businesses.
Areas of “bottleneck” congestion.
Lack of convenient parking downtown.
Secondary concerns included noise related to float plane activities and cleanliness of water-
front areas outside of downtown.
Step 1 Summary Report - Final Submittal August 2001 Page 7
Step 1 Conclusions
According to its mission, the Docks & Harbors Board exists to promote the health of Ju-
neau through planning, development, and management of its marine-related property and
facilities on a self-supporting basis. Step 1 planning efforts identified encouraging eco-
nomic vitality and protecting the area’s quality of life as two fundamental components of
“promoting the health of Juneau.”
Economic vitality is fundamental to the health of Juneau.
Promoting year-round marine-related commerce, industry, fisheries, cargo transportation, recre-
ation, and visitors is what will sustain this economic vitality for the future.
Economic trends indicate growth in tourism. Tourism’s dependence on in-water and upland infra-
structure currently exceeds local supply. Modest growth in the CBJ’s population, in fish processing
and in cargo transshipment also put pressure on existing infrastructure.
The Waterfront Strategic Analysis and Improvement Plan should support positive economic
growth areas. It should create revenue-generating opportunities to offset the capital expendi-
tures inherent with improvements and maintenance of water-related infrastructure.
Quality of life is fundamental to the health of Juneau.
Despite significant positive benefits of economic growth, the public involvement process has
highlighted many quality-of-life impacts to Juneau’s local community. Impacts of growth include
overcrowding, congestion, increased noise levels, lack of moorage (both permanent and transient),
lack of boat launching facilities, lack of access and recreational areas, etc.
Tourism dollars can also provide the opportunity to develop local interests in a community-minded
approach. The interviews, workshops, and household phone survey clearly identified community
priorities and areas of concern. The Waterfront Strategic Analysis and Improvement Plan should
protect the community’s quality of life, mitigate many impacts of economic growth, and provide
amenities focused toward satisfying community priorities.
Step 1 Summary Report - Final Submittal August 2001 Page 8
Step 2 Approach
The Economic Analysis and Public Involvement portions of Step 1 outlined the challenges
facing the Docks & Harbors Board and reinforced the need for this planning effort. An
effective strategic plan for Juneau’s waterfront will include projects that support future
economic vitality while maintaining and improving the quality of life for citizens and visi-
tors of Juneau. Step 2 will focus on creating strategic planning options with a community
focus in mind. Key components of the Step 2 approach are listed below:
Establish Dock & Harbors Board’s Priorities
The first and most critical part of Step 2 will be to
establish the Dock and Harbors Board’s priorities for fund-
ing existing and future infrastructure improvements. The
project team will work closely with the Board to define
project priorities and to coordinate projects with the
information received during the Step 1 data-gathering
program. The product of this work step will be a coordi-
nated list, presented to the public, of projects that support
the Board’s mandate and address community priorities and
Develop Strategic Planning Options
The second Step 2 task will be to group the list of high
priority capital improvements into strategic planning op-
tions. Each improvement project will be scoped and bud-
geted as part of this work step. The objective is to create
a strategic capital improvement plan the Board can afford
to implement. The preferred strategic plan elements and
Implementation Program will be developed in Steps 3 and 4
of this project. To be successful, the plan will need to
accomplish the following:
Carefully time projects to leverage political and
economic capital. The public process highlighted
areas that have tremendous community support. These
include extending the sea walk, providing additional
recreational areas in downtown Juneau, and providing
additional commercial and recreational boat moorage
and launching capabilities. The Waterfront Improve-
ment Plan must strategically incorporate these
projects into an implementation plan that enhances
the community’s quality of life.
Step 1 Summary Report - Final Submittal August 2001 Page 9
Develop projects that will be implemented. The community of
Juneau has been saturated in recent years with a number of community-
oriented planning efforts. The Docks & Harbors Waterfront Strategic Analysis
and Improvement Plan should differentiate itself by actively beginning the
Most communities fear dramatic change. Therefore, discussing unrealistic
options often results in negative perceptions of the planning process. Projects
should not be included in the options examined if they are not functional,
fiscally responsible, or supported politically.
Continue an open public process that allows a free exchange of ideas. The
public involvement process begun in Step 1 will inform the options developed in
Step 2 by providing a framework to guide Docks & Harbors’ projects in a
community-minded fashion. This open process will be continued throughout the
remaining steps of the planning process.
Often communities, given an opportunity for involvement and an understanding
of the issues, are instrumental in finding the best solutions to difficult problems.
Honoring the commitment made to the public during Step 1 of this process will
garner support and momentum for the projects contained within the plan’s
preferred development options.
Coordinate with existing planning efforts. Make sure elements of the strate-
gic analysis and waterfront plan are coordinated with other local planning
efforts, including “The Tourism Study” and the “Sub-port Development Plan”.
Step 1 Summary Report - Final Submittal August 2001 Page 10