Anchorage Assembly Hears More Land-Use Code Testimony From Public
Years-in-the-making Title 21 still being debated
ANCHORAGE - For ten years, the Anchorage Assembly has been working on legislation that manages the city's building standards, but that process could soon be over.
Tuesday night the Assembly heard testimony from Anchorage residents on their thoughts on the over 600 pages of legislation. Last week's meeting brought many detractors, but this week it was primarily people who support the measure.
The city developer's office listed a few buildings around town that match the vision Title 21 would create. These buildings all consider pedestrian access.
For example, the Taco Bell on Northern Lights in Midtown has a driveway that wraps around the back, saving space. The structure is also close to the sidewalk with a patch of green space and windows facing the street. The sidewalk leads right to the entrance, making pedestrian access easier and safer. The Spenard Roadhouse is also a good example, with its parking lot to the side instead between the building and the road. The bike racks also consider cyclists.
George Donart, who testified in favor of the new set of rules, said he appreciates living in a part of town that where it's easy to walk to stores and coffee shops. "It is wonderful – I can walk to all kinds of different things, and it's a great way to live, and I don't know that I would ever want to live very far from where I live right now just because of the amenities that are available."
One resident said not passing legislation for more sidewalks was just dangerous. "The children who wait for the bus two blocks from my home every day standing in the street because there is no sidewalk... their parents, themselves and our city will have skin in the game when one of those children is hit and killed by a passing auto."
But detractors said making new laws changing existing zoning and asking developers to spend more money is not only unfair, but un-Alaskan. Katherine Hicks said, "When you take productive land, put bike paths, green spaces and traffic calming devices in it, you are losing the capability of having more housing and a broader tax base."
The Assembly won't vote on the measure until late February, and even after the measure is adopted, it could be changed.