The Anchorage Assembly on Tuesday passed ordinances opposed by residents across the city and also objected to by operators of homeless shelters and facilities.
The first ordinance expands the zoning for homeless shelters into areas called B-3 business districts. Most of the B-3 areas are in Midtown Anchorage. Assemblywoman Meg Zaletel of Midtown was the sponsor of the ordinance that will bring more crime and social problems to Midtown neighborhoods.
Zaletel is the subject of a recall effort that is now underway.
The B-3 district in Anchorage “is intended for primarily for general commercial uses in commercial centers and area exposed to heavy traffic. These commercial uses are intended to be located on arterials, or within commercial centers of town, and to be provided with adequate public services and facilities,” according to the Municipality, but the zone butts up against residential neighborhoods. The purpose of the ordinance is to spread out the homeless problem to reduce its impacts on the downtown district and make other neighborhoods share the burden.
The second ordinance is going to require homeless shelters to be licensed by the municipality by 2023. This ordinance was objected to by faith-based organizations who say that the Assembly, run by a leftist majority, is trying to force women’s shelters to admit transgendered individuals.
Only Chugiak/Eagle River Assemblywomen Jamie Allard and Crystal Kennedy voted against the ordinances, which passed 8-2.