The Near Island Development Plan will determine which parts of the island are zoned for development and which for recreational use, and the public comment period closes next week.
The City of Kodiak contracted with DOWL engineering to design the plan. Since last year, DOWL has been meeting with the community and the council to hear and incorporate feedback.
According to the draft packet, DOWL aims for a “balanced plan” that offers economic opportunities, but also puts aside parts of the island for public enjoyment.
Near Island has a couple of established trails, and according to Island Trails Network executive director Andy Shroeder, it’s the only urban area where they’re developing more trails.
He says the council will hopefully pass the plan soon after the comment period closes.
“That will clear the way for the rest of the trail development that needs to take place on Near Island.”
DOWL’s current proposal attempts to strike a balance by extending the industrial area supporting the harbor and turning conservation lands near the South End Park into public use lands.
Shroeder says he’s talked with city staff about how to return the south end experience to what it once was before the city built a quarry in the area.
“The plan recognizes, okay, we have rock extraction that needs to happen, but let’s preserve and improve some trails on south end, and I think what happens there and what it looks like when we get back, it’ll be different what it was, but I think it’ll still be a good recreational experience.”
The comment period for the development plan closes next Tuesday.