Anchorage, Alaska has introduced a package of proposed amendments and policy updates to their land use regulations designed to reduce sprawl and boost downtown revitalization.
They allow taller apartments and spur redevelopment and infill in neighborhoods near major transit corridors and the employment centers of downtown and Midtown.
The changes, which affect building standards for new apartments, townhouses and condos, come after complaints from developers and architects that the rewritten land use regulations, which took effect Jan. 1, are too burdensome and expensive. City planners also say they unearthed problems while reviewing projects under the rewritten regulations.
“The proposed ordinance provides clarity and certainty for builders, while maintaining the standards that make our neighborhoods great places to live,” Mayor Ethan Berkowitz said in a statement introducing the ordinance last month.
But some neighborhood advocates beg to differ, saying the proposed changes would threaten the character of residential neighborhoods like South Addition and winter sunlight access for homeowners.
Cheryl Richardson, director of the Anchorage Citizens Coalition and a South Addition resident, said she supports the construction of more housing, just not in residential neighborhoods where it would block winter sunlight access for existing homeowners.