Envision Soldotna 2030 is the City of Soldotna's Comprehensive Plan, adopted in 2011 after a 2-year public involvement process. The City and consultant team lead by DOWL, worked to gather input from hundreds of members of the community, in drafting the policy document. The plan sets vision statements and goals for economic development; neighborhoods; natural resources and the environment; parks, trails, and recreation; arts, education and culture, public infrastructure and services; highways and transportation; regional growth and development, and general land use.
Accomplishments of Envision Soldotna 2030
Many of the goals and objectives identified in the plan have already been accomplished, and the City is working hard to continue moving forward with implementation of various projects. In early 2014, we provided an update of our work in meeting the goals of the plan, which is available here. Some of our noteworthy projects include:
Promoting Development of the Downtown Area
The city is currently working with consultants on a Downtown Improvement Plan to design and implement gateway signs to delineate the boundaries of downtown, utility pole banners and landscaping suggestions to enhance the aesthetics and experience of downtown, and wayfinding signs to help navigate downtown. All of these developments taken together will create a high-quality sense of place and encourage people to visit and linger in our commercial areas.
Redevelopment and/or Reuse of Key Areas
The city created and administers the very successful Storefront Improvement Program, a reimbursable grant program which encourages business owners to upgrade facades, signs, landscaping, and other elements that define the streetscape of downtown Soldotna. The city has invested close to $40,000 in this program to date, which has leveraged additional private investment of $212,500.
Provide for Increased Connectivity in Soldotna for both Vehicular and Non-Motorized Users
The city obtained a grant and hired a consultant to develop a Safe Routes to School plan, to evaluate our infrastructure and provide recommendations on improvements to promote safety and encourage children to walk to school. Capital funds have already been appropriated to address the plan's high-priority projects.
Improvements to the Birch Street/Sterling Highway intersection will provide signalized pedestrian crossings, allowing for safe access to Soldotna Creek Park from the residential neighborhoods to the north and west of the Sterling Highway. AK DOT+PF is schedule to begin these improvements in 2014/2015.
The Binkley Street improvements (2014) emphasized the green boulevard concept as put forth in Envision Soldotna 2030, with the inclusion of additional landscaping and enhanced pedestrian amenities.
Bring Community Leaders Together around Economic Development
The Soldotna Economic Development Council formed out of this suggestion in the plan, and consists of leaders from Central Peninsula Hospital, the Kenai Peninsula College, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Administration and School District, the Chamber of Commerce, the City of Soldotna, business owners, and lending institutions.
Increased Planning for Infrastructure and Parks & Recreation
The city secured a grant from EPA to help fund the Water & Wastewater Master Plan and Capital Improvement Plan, currently in development. In early 2014, the Recreation and Trails Master Plan was completed.
Learn more about Envision Soldotna 2030
The planning department can provide hard copies of the Comprehensive Plan or an electronic version can be downloaded by clicking here.
For more information about Envision Soldotna 2030, feel free to stop by City Hall to speak with anyone in our Economic Development and Planning Department, or give us a call at 907.262.9107.