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Mountain View long-range plan is reason to celebrate

  • Author: Kirk Rose, Daniel George
  • Updated: October 5, 2016
  • Published October 5, 2016
Bob Shumaker, of Black Bear Farms in Palmer, makes a sale. The Mountain View Farmers Market, in its first year this summer, operated on Thursdays through August along Mountain View Drive. It was hosted by Anchorage Community Land Trust. (Marc Lester / Alaska Dispatch News)

Bob Shumaker, of Black Bear Farms in Palmer, makes a sale. The Mountain View Farmers Market, in its first year this summer, operated on Thursdays through August along Mountain View Drive. It was hosted by Anchorage Community Land Trust. (Marc Lester / Alaska Dispatch News)

At the Sept. 13 Anchorage Assembly meeting, approximately 70 Mountain View residents, business owners and stakeholders showed up to testify and support the Mountain View Neighborhood Plan.

Unique in all of Anchorage, Mountain View is a neighborhood that for the last decade has been pulling itself up by its own bootstraps. The neighborhood has been revitalizing by working together to add new and improved housing options, make Mountain View Drive a successful commercial corridor, bring in new businesses and enhance the quality of life for all residents.

The neighborhood plan is a community development strategy residents, business owners and stakeholders have agreed to carry out to make the area an even better place to live. It serves as a blueprint for residents and neighborhood partners to use to target efforts and resources effectively while continuing to ensure Mountain View exists as a vibrant community of choice in Anchorage.

In 2012, the planning process began with the Mountain View Community Summit, a three-day event where residents and stakeholders came together to envision the future of the neighborhood. Four years later, and with the participation of over 1,000 people in our neighborhood of 7,000, the neighborhood plan emerged as a unified vision for Mountain View by Mountain View.

The plan demonstrates more public participation than any neighborhood plan before it — in fact, it was remarked by Assembly members it would make an excellent template for any other neighborhood embarking on such a monumental task.

The unanimous adoption by the Assembly last week made it part of the municipality's official planning documents and will ensure resident priorities guide future development in our community. This is a first-ever, historic occasion for our neighborhood, and will begin the next 20 years of growth in Mountain View.

The vision for Mountain View outlined in the plan is focused around six categories:

  • Community and resident leadership and engagement
  • Community safety
  • Business development and a vibrant business district
  • Transportation and green spaces
  • Real estate development and housing
  • Building successful family resources.
  • The plan's top priorities include improving Davis Park, enhancing pedestrian amenities, adding new bus routes serving the neighborhood, paving alleys, and encouraging redevelopment of blighted and vacant properties. You can read the entire plan at anchoragelandtrust.org/mountain-view-neighborhood-plan/.

    The plan is intended to be a living document; the Mountain View Community Council will revisit it every year to check off accomplished items, and focus attention on goals requiring further work. Goals in the plan will be accomplished cohesively by residents, businesses, nonprofit organizations, the MVCC, the municipality, and anyone else who wants to partner.

    When combating the negative perceptions that remain of our neighborhood, it is more critical than ever to recognize the advancements it has made. Unfortunately, the plan's adoption fell amid a string of breaking news stories that led to virtually no coverage of the plan.

    During a week full of disheartening events and growing concerns of public safety and health in our neighborhoods, we feel it is as important as ever to celebrate this positive and transformative accomplishment for Mountain View.

    The plan envisions a Mountain View that is healthy, thriving and prosperous, and lays out a long-term road map for getting there. It exemplifies what is possible when a community unites to face its challenges head-on.

    Though it did not generate any headlines, it is defining news for our neighborhood. The plan will not be implemented overnight, but one thing is certain — Mountain View is a worthy  investment.

    We are thrilled to see it passed and wanted to share the good news with the Anchorage community. You are all invited to come celebrate the passage of the Mountain View Neighborhood Plan with us from 6-7:30 p.m. Oct. 19 at Resolution Brewing Co., 3024 Mountain View Drive.

    We'll show you all the reasons we have to celebrate our strong and growing neighborhood, with a pride we hope is contagious.

    Kirk Rose is executive director of the Anchorage Community Land Trust. Daniel George is past-president of the Mountain View Community Council.

    The views expressed here are the writer's and are not necessarily endorsed by Alaska Dispatch News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a piece for consideration, email commentary@alaskadispatch.com. Send submissions shorter than 200 words to letters@alaskadispatch.com or click here to submit via any web browser.

     

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