Anchorage Assembly Adopts New Land Use Plan for Anchorage Bowl
ANCHORAGE – There is a new official Land Use Plan. The Anchorage Assembly Tuesday night unanimously approved the Anchorage 2040 Land Use Plan for the Anchorage Bowl. The Plan has been two years in the making by the municipal Planning Department. The Plan is accompanied by a new land use map which replaces the 1982 land use map.
Approximately 12 Anchorage residents came to speak in support of the plan, some requesting amendments on behalf of themselves, their neighbors, their community councils, and other stakeholder groups.
All the testimony offered strong support. Those testifying asked for amendments to: 1) Keep the commuter rail stations on the Land Use Plan Map (Plan Map); 2) change the land use designation in several parts of the Anchorage Bowl; 3) remove the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport potential expansion overlay from the Plan Map; and 4) state that Neighborhood and District Plans take precedence over the Plan Map. According to Title 21 (21.080.D.5), the ordinance most recently passed takes precedence when there is a conflict.
Assembly Members themselves passed a total of 19 amendments. Developers, community members, and Assembly Members complimented the Planning Department on its process and public involvement. Adam Lees, Rabbit Creek Community Council President, stated, “This is a good solid plan. I was impressed with the process and the result.” “The public input was stellar,” said Assemblyman Felix Rivera, “You reached out. You listened.” Chairman Dick Traini was complimentary as well. ”You did a great job,” Traini said. We’ll never make everyone happy.”
Mayor Ethan Berkowitz says the Plan gives residents of Anchorage a positive roadmap to respond to future challenges. “Anchorage is a city on the move and the more prepared we are the more successful we will be,” said Mayor Berkowitz. “The 2040 Plan charts the path to smarter growth, better use of our remaining vacant lands, and vitalization of our neighborhoods.”
Planning Director Hal Hart said he was impressed at the quality of the document which captured the voluminous comments of the community. Planners documented more than 228 separate consultations with community councils, municipal agencies, professional organizations, and individual citizens; as well as more than 500 pages of documentation of public comment on two separate editions of the Land Use Plan and Plan Map.
The Anchorage 2040 Land Use Plan follows the vision of Anchorage 2020: Anchorage Bowl Comprehensive Plan, and utilizes infill and mixed use development, key amendments to Title 21, and a new land use tool called a Targeted Area Rezone, to accommodate forecast population growth and demand for jobs and housing over the next 23 years. The Plan has both implementation and work plans that lay out the next steps for Anchorage to achieve its goals.
For more information, please contact the Long Range Planning Division at 343-7921, or contact Senior Planner, Tom Davis, at 343-7916 or email DavisTG@muni.org