No more single-family zoning in Anchorage

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Assemblywoman Meg Zaletel led the effort to eliminate single-family zones in Anchorage.

After public testimony on Tuesday that went both ways, the Anchorage Assembly voted to take apart the single-family zoning in Anchorage neighborhoods.

The change to the Title 21 zoning that makes all single-family zones subject to duplexes exempts Eagle River, Chugiak, or Girdwood. But for all other neighborhoods, the housing can double.

The vote was split, 7-5 on the HOME Initiative.

Voting in favor was Anna Brawley, Daniel Volland, Chris Constant, Meg Zaletel, Felix Rivera, Karen Bronga, and Kameron Perez-Verdia. Voting no was Mark Littlefield, George Martinez, Scott Meyers, Zac Johnson, and Randy Sulte.
 
The final version voted on was a compromise after an earlier version made a free-for-all zoning plan or all residential zones. The Assembly majority believes this new plan will alleviate the housing shortage in Anchorage.

An amendment approved srequire administrative site plan review for two-family construction in the R-10 Zone, a zone intended for areas with environmental factors including slopes, alpine, forest vegetation, and geologic hazards.

Critics raised concerns about how parking and snow storage will be handled, with neighborhoods already unable to cope with heavy snows in Anchorage.

39 COMMENTS

  1. This has been happening all over Marxist controlled cities. The twin cities cited “ending systemic racism” as their reason.
    Single family homes are apparently a White standard and therefor must be eliminated.

    • REMEMBER: The end game is you’ll OWN NOTHING and be happy….
      Population density in-fill is one step towards the WEF’s 4th industrial revolution

    • Please study history. Euclid v Ambler at SCOTUS, and earlier cases. Zoning was originally intended to be discriminatory. What is happening now is the result of land mis use. Both the Trump Administration as well as the Biden Address realised land misuse. In the case in this article, if there is, an injustice then the law has a remedy, it is called a taking. Rather than complain, study th,e history, the law, and take action.

  2. Apartment buildings will solve addiction and mental illness! Yeah! Who wants to be the first owner of a low income multiplex? Don’t worry about not being able to kick them out. They always pay the rent and never burn the place down.

  3. Can someone kindly translate the following into plain English: “The change to the Title 21 zoning that makes all single-family zones subject to duplexes exempts Eagle River, Chugiak, or Girdwood. But for all other neighborhoods, the housing can double.”

    What does it mean for a zone to be “subject to duplexes? What does it mean to say, “housing can double?”

  4. There should be no zoning. Anyone wanting privacy or distance should make a lot of money and build their home in the center of their own 40-acre tract. The problem with housing in this culture is the NIMBY people who don’t want apartment buildings in their neighborhoods. The most commonly heard comment in planning commissions across the nation is “I support this project but this is just the wrong location for it.” Pinnacle hypocricy.

    • Wayne, you’re a developer. Folks like you can build multiplexes and stack people like cordwood. Will you live amongst them? Will you help upgrade electrical, water, and sewer infrastructure? How about emergency services when an area doubles in population? What about fires and pandemics?

  5. I emailed Karen Bronga about this because she prefers not want to discuss topics in conversation on the phone. I told her that her vote in favor of this was a bad decision. The sum total of her email response to me was that the change to Title 21 and her vote are a “compromise”.

    A bad compromise is a bad decision, Karen.

  6. Wasn’t the reason for the Knik River bridge was to make more land available for housing? How’s that coming along?

    • They waited too long. In the 1950s, the bridge was estimated to cost $25 million. Decades of studying it to death may have provided lots of paychecks to those doing the studies, but the cost became unjustifiable in the process. Development alone is no justification. Notice how Sitka got a bridge but Ketchikan didn’t? There are far more governmental interests at stake on Japonski Island than on Gravina Island.

  7. Maybe some investors ought to buy a house next door to one of these assembly members (make an offer the owner can’t refuse), tear the house down, and build a 50 unit, 7 story tall apartment building?
    Then sell it.

    • If you actually read the ordinance (or even this article) your proposal would still be prohibited. All it says is that duplexes are now permitted in all areas currently restricted to single-family. If you want to argue against that feel free to do so, but let’s stick to the facts please.

  8. It’s going to be a bumpy ride for the fools that live in Anchorage. I wonder if the beautiful encampment in front of Walmart on A is the first example of how the new zoning laws will work. Lots of multi home tents!

  9. One of many reasons this terrible idea will fail has to do with engineering, a subject the loonie left doesn’t understand. Their IQs are just too small.

    If one were to double electricity consumption on a given lot- stuff a second house next to the original house- then there must be an engineered upgrade to the electrical service. No, one can’t just run extension cords from the first house to the second. This requires an entirely new meter/disconnect/service. To follow NEC there would need to be one on each, detached structure. This, then, requires upgraded lines from the transformer. Do this for an entire block/neighborhood, etc. and pretty soon the utility will not have enough capacity. That’s the short story. Then the utility will refuse to do these ‘upgrades’ unless substantial investments are made in the primary-side electrical infrastructure.

    Some of the same logic applies to the water service. You can’t just double consumption without an upgraded water line. Same applies to gas services, etc. All of this is very expensive, and requires major trenching/excavation- in quiet, well established neighborhoods where the residents simply want to live in peace.

    The loonie left is not just stupid, they are dangerous.

  10. What???? Kameron Perez was awake when it came time to vote and not snoring….
    The boy is finally growing up and wearing real shorts and not pull-ups.

  11. Stack em up Meg….now you can add on as many units you wish to maximize your investment property.
    Did that come out of Pelosis playbook?

  12. 2. “So, we’re swapping ‘Home Sweet Home’ for ‘Maximum Occupancy’? By the time this assembly is done, I’m going to start charging admission just to enter my own driveway! 🚗”

  13. Anchorage does not have a housing shortage they have a problem with to high property tax which makes home ownership almost impossible.

  14. This is going to drastically change the face of Anchorage. Back in 2016, I heard that Obama wanted to get rid of single family homes because they were racist and the conservative pundits were claiming that the single family home lifestyle was in danger. Now, 10 years later, it’s here! You will own nothing and be happy! Unfortunately, Building Services was already moving in this direction expecting the Assembly would approve this change. We live in an area where it’s zoned single-family and our neighbor just broke ground for a three-plex. He clearcut the lot and his parking area is right on the property line with his building 10 feet from it. The lot is too small for this type of structure but that doesn’t matter. It provides more crappy housing and decreases property values. Additionally, there is no rule for them to landscape. We are in this position because conservatives and independents don’t vote.

    • Next step for the Assembly is to proclaim Anchorage a “Sancturary” city. Then, mass migration of “Illegals” to come shovel all the snow in the winter and process the fish in the summer, sucking up all of the social services to the maximum extent and extolling a heavy burden upon property taxpayers. Naturally, given the influx in low-quality and criminal influx, we’ll no doubt see an increase in exponential crime rates, an exodus of small businesses, an exodus of High-Value // High-Production // Entrepreneural individuals. It won’t take too long for all of this dire scenario to playout. The only attractive job opportunities will be a Guv’ment Job, working for the Gov’ment Empire. The majority ‘proletariat’ residents will be completely brainwashed.
      x-x-x-
      BTW … I’ve voted in every election except for one, consistently voting conservative, while working on the Slope. A growing number of us are finishing our careers, commuting from outside of AK907.

  15. Zoning laws were made for a reason. Are we going to see upgrades to water, sewer, electricity, garbage collection? How safe is it to stack people in an area that suffered a catastrophic earthquake some years back? What about fires? Remember Covid? It spread like wildfire in high density housing. Guess we just worry about it later.

  16. The Anchorage Assembly has systematically worked to destroy Anchorage and the character of a excellent place to raise a family and live. There is no longer any logical effort that is in the best interest of the city coming out of the assembly. And the fact of the the matter is that this rewrite is going to only impact those of us in the downtown, midtown, and Jewel Lake/Sand Lake areas. The hillside is going to be exempt due to location and South Anchorage as well. There are realities that exist that preclude all these efforts that completely escape the idiots on our assembly that may help save us from the idiocy. You cannot add endlessly to an electrical grid. It would require a rewrite of the NEC to add more housing to many lots in Anchorage.

  17. To all those who think the sky is falling consider this: First of all the only thing this ordinance does is allow duplexes in all areas currently restricted to single-family. It doesn’t allow “high density” housing all over Anchorage or even anywhere it isn’t currently allowed. Please stop the fear-mongering or at least make your arguments based on the actual facts.

    As a counterexample to all of the naysayers, I live in an area zoned single-family but my house is actually a duplex that was grandfathered in. I live alone and I rent the other unit to a couple so there are a total of 3 adults living in the structure. There is plenty of off-street parking for both units.

    Across the street is a single home that is a rental. My best guesstimate is that 6 adults live there or at least sleep there regularly. Their driveway is full of derelict vehicles so they have to clog up the street with the serviceable ones. While I’ve never caught them in the act I’m fairly certain they have put their excess trash in my bins since their landlord is too cheap to pay for even the largest single bin offered by SWS (let alone a second one) and their bin is always overflowing; in contrast the city requires me to pay for two bins even though my tenants and I can barely fill one between us.

    Between these two properties, which is more of a burden on the neighborhood?

  18. Let’s do a survey of the rulers to see who they emulate and worn an oath to really represent? my guess Sanitize Land. Toilets land. they wouldn’t take a call from you if their lives depended upon it. it is their only job. to talk to you on the telephone in public or at the publics assembly meeting. they aren’t nine to five employees. We have those but they don’t like coming to work and taking calls from the public. they are intrinsically opposed to the idea. it is is an imposition on living their best lives you now you know.

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