The empty lot at Third and Main Street used to be the site of the middle school. (Berett Wilber)

The question of what to do with an empty lot in downtown Haines went back to the planning commission last week. But the group didn’t change its opinion on the property.

The lot at the corner of Third and Main Street used to be the site of the Haines Middle School.

Now, the grassy space in between the Haines Brewing Company and the borough administration building is mostly empty.

Last year, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee proposed turning the spot into a park. The planning commission did not designate it as such, but also didn’t classify the lot as eligible for sale.

Last month, the parks committee brought the lot up again, asking the assembly to designate it as a recreation area for public use. The assembly sent the request to the planning commission.

At a meeting last week, Donnie Turner pointed out that it wasn’t long ago that the group discussed the lot.

“That lot, we want to leave it alone,” said Turner. “Not designate it a park, not designate it for sale. But just leave that piece of property alone and if someone comes along with a great use for that property then we can put it up for sale if somebody wants to.”

The conversation goes back to 2012. Commission chair Rob Goldberg said that’s when the group voted to retain the lot for at least 10 years.

Jeremy Stephens said, even though the commission is in the same position it was in last time the lot was on the table, it is good the assembly sent it back to the planning commission.

Stephens also said, if the parks committee wants to move in a certain direction with the property, they need a more developed plan.

“I think that if they really did want it to proceed with this method, they’re going to have to put a lot more work into it and dig up some funding because the borough’s in the red,” said Stephens.

The planning commission did not change its stance on the property.