Bringing Back the Triplex +1
AO 2023-103 sponsored by Assembly Members Kevin Cross, Randy Sulte and Daniel Volland
Per Anchorage Municipal Code (AMC) Title 21, dimensional standards require a minimum lot size of 8,500 square feet for three units plus 2,300 square feet for every additional unit in the R-2M zone. That means a fourplex, with the same footprint as a duplex neighbor, would need a 10,800-square-foot lot.
It's no wonder why
so few triplexes and fourplexes are built these days. In fact, 326 triplexes were built in Anchorage between 1970 and 1985, about 22 per year.
Since 1999, we’ve only built 31.
AO 2023-103 aims to resolve this issue and cut red tape to
make it easier to build small multifamily in residential zones where they are already allowed.
Public Engagement History
October 5 | Community & Economic Development Committee: The sponsors presented the project at the October 5 Community & Economic Development Committee Meeting and issued a memo in response to questions during that meeting.
December 4 | Planning & Zoning Commission Worksession and Public Hearing: The sponsors presented the project and their draft substitute version to the Planning & Zoning Commission on December 4. Following the presentation, the commission held a public hearing on the item and voted unanimously in support of the S version.
What's Next for AO 2023-103?
The ordinance was referred to the Planning and Zoning Commission to take up in advance of the Assembly Public Hearing on December 19.
Short Term Rental Permitting
AO 2023-110 sponsored by Assembly Members Randy Sulte and Meg Zaletel
During the October 10 Regular Assembly Meeting, Assembly Members Sulte and Zaletel introduced AO 2023-110, a proposal to establish a municipal permit process for licensing short term rentals throughout the Municipality.
As proposed, the ordinance would establish an annual $400 permitting process for properties to be used as short term rentals, including AirBnB, VRBOs and independent rentals. The licenses would be issued to property owners, and would not be transferrable through the sale or transfer of a property to a new owner.
What's Next for AO 2023-110?
The ordinance is scheduled for a public hearing at the December 5, 2023 Regular Assembly meeting.
The HOME Initiative
AO 2023-87(S) sponsored by Assembly Members Anna Brawley, Daniel Volland and Meg Zaletel
This fall, Assembly Members Brawley, Volland and Zaletel introduced
AO 2023-87 to establish the
Housing Opportunities in the Municipality for Everyone Initiative, or the
The HOME Initiative proposes establishing five residential zones in the Anchorage bowl, as identified in the Anchorage 2040 Land Use Plan (LUP) :
- LLR – Large Lot Residential
- STFR – Single Family and Two-Family Residential
- Compact Mixed Residential – Low
- Compact Mixed Residential – Medium
- Urban Residential – High
The proposal excludes Girdwood and Chugiak/Eagle River, communities whose land use is not determined by the 2040 LUP.
About the HOME Initiative
What's Next for the HOME Initiative?
On September 26, 2023, the HOME Initiative was referred to the
Planning & Zoning Commission and Planning Department to identify and draft the needed revisions to Title 21, the Anchorage Comprehensive Plan and the 2040 Land Use Plan in order to implement the changes proposed by the initiative.
The proposed changes are expected to come back to the Assembly in spring 2024.
At the April 25 Regular Assembly Meeting, the Anchorage Assembly approved legislative items to finalize the 2023 General Government Operating Budget in the first quarter. Amendments emphasized the Assembly’s top priority of 2023: Housing Action.
1st Quarter General Government Budget Amendments toward Housing Action
- Fund the 2023 Assembly Housing Summit to set a long-term, community-driven vision and action plan for housing development across the Municipality
- Fund a municipal-wide housing study of short term rentals (STR)
- Fund a feasibility study for developing manufactured housing communities
- Fund a real estate consultant to protect Heritage Land Bank’s public interest in the potential Holtan Hills land development
- Fund the revival of the municipal Graffiti Busters Program
- Leverage private, federal and state grant funding to restore some public transit services to South Anchorage, Eagle River and Chugiak, increase evening, weekend and holiday service and accommodation services
- Fund a direct grant to the Anchorage Affordable Housing and Land Trust (AAHLT) to support tenants, enhanced staffing operations, security and training
Accessory Dwelling Units
Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are housing units built on private property in addition to existing housing structures. Often smaller than most single-family homes, ADUs are an important component of the Anchorage 2040 Land Use Plan, which sets a target of 1,000 new ADUs in the Anchorage Bowl by 2040.
On January 10, 2023, the Assembly passed AO 2022-107, As Amended, an ordinance amending Title 21 to make building ADUs and increasing this type of housing more efficient, affordable and desirable to property owners. Changes include:
At a worksession on December 16, the MOA Planning Department and community stakeholders presented their proposal for the ADU Code Update Project, including the research prompting proposed changes.
Elimination of Parking Minimums
At the November 22 Assembly meeting, the Anchorage Assembly voted unanimously to eliminate parking minimum requirements in all areas of the municipality and add requirements for bicycle parking through the adoption of AO 2022-80(S), As Amended, sponsored by Assembly Members Daniel Volland, Kevin Cross and Forrest Dunbar.
Get the Facts: Abolishing Parking Minimums
The approved version of the ordinance makes the following changes to Title 21 in the Anchorage municipal code that addresses parking and site access:
Eliminates parking minimum requirements citywide - as a result,Title 21 will no longer require developments in the Municipality to provide a minimum number of off-street parking spaces and developers will decide how many parking spaces to include on each site.
Increases accessible spaces (ADA parking) ratios when parking is provided.
Creates requirements for bicycle parking.
Establishes a menu of alternative transportation amenities that developers can choose from for larger developments.
When crafting the ordinance, the sponsors set the following goals:
Make it more affordable to build housing and commercial development in Anchorage
Give designers and developers increased flexibility
Simplify proposed changes to Title 21
Encourage adaptive re-use of vacant properties
Prioritize the creation of connected public spaces over empty swaths of pavement
Help accommodate non-motorized, multimodal travel
Holtan Hills Development Proposal
The Holtan Hills project in Girdwood has brought the attainable housing crisis to the forefront. In simple terms, the plan brought before the Assembly proposed to sell three Heritage Land Bank Parcels to CY Investments, LLC in order to develop a new housing subdivision.
At the February 7 meeting, the Assembly voted to postpone AO 2022-103(S-1) indefinitely, effectively stopping the plan as proposed.
January 6 worksession:
December 2 worksession: