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​Our Downtown is a multi-year, multi-step project to update and implement the Anchorage Downtown Comprehensive Plan, including amending its zoning regulations, in order to meet Downtown's contemporary needs for growth and revitalization.

Our Downtown, Step 3

August 10, 2023

PZC Case No. 2023-0086, Title 21 Text Amendment to Make Technical Corrections to Adopted Downtown Code Update (AO No. 2023-43)
Planning and Zoning Commission Work Session and Public Hearing on August 14

On Monday, August 14, 2023, the Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a work session at 5:30 p.m. and a public hearing will follow at 6:30 p.m. to review and make a recommendation to the Anchorage Assembly on ​the  proposed text amendements to the recently adopted downtown code update. Below are the staff packet items.

July 13, 2023

PZC Case No. 2023-0086, Title 21 Text Amendment to Make Technical Corrections to Adopted Downtown Code Update (AO No. 2023-43)

A public hearing will be held by the Planning and Zoning Commisson on Monday, August 14, 2023, for a text amendment to Title 21 to make technical corrections necessary to resolve errors, provide clarity and consistency, and avoid unintended consequences in a recently adopted Downtown code update (AO No. 2023-43).

The review documents are below.

May 8, 2023​

​AO No. 2023-43 (PZC Case No. 2022-0129) Approved by the Anchorage Assembly​

The Anchorage Assembly approved AO No.​ 2023-43, As Amended, on April 25, 2023.

​​January 2023

Case No. 2022-0129 Approved by the Planning & Zoning Commission​​

​The Downtown Code updates were recommended for approval by the Planning and Zoning Commission at its December 12, 2022 Regular Meeting. 

Case No. 2022-0129, Title 21 Text Amendments to Update the Downtown Code, Chapter 11

Throughout the spring and summer of 2022, a working group convened to review and provide recommendations for updates to Chapter 11 of Title 21. The ordinance was before the Planning and Zoning Commission for a public hearing on December 12, 2022. 

The code update staff report and attachments are below, as well as the staff packets for two plan amendments that are affected by the code update. These two cases were also for public hearing on the same night.

The above documents and any future Planning and Zoning Commission action on this code update can be viewed ​on the CityView Portal. ​

Town Square Park Shadow Modeling

Overview of height limitations on Blocks 69, ​70, & 71.

  • 1985: AO 1985-173, As Amended, was signed on December 17, 1985. This ordinance created special height restrictions for Blocks 69, 70, and 71 of the Anchorage Original Townsite (pages 18, 29).
  • 1990-1991: The YMCA sues the Municipality for the application of a height restriction at variance or different from like zoned property.
    • AR 1991-138 indicates that the Municipality lost the case (Case No. 3AN-88-05401CI) and was required to pay a financial settlement.  The judge's order declared AO 85-173 invalid for Lots 5 and 6 of Block 70 of the Anchorage Original Townsite.
  • December 12, 2022: The Planning and Zoning Commission recommends removing new proposed height restrictions for property around Peratrovich Park.
  • March 3, 2023: The Planning Department and Anchorage Community Development Authority (ACDA) held a public event at the Anchorage Museum to collect feedback on preferred development activity Downtown.  Many attendees mention a desire to redevelop the JC Penney Garage sitting on Block 71 of the Anchorage Original Townsite.
  • April 13, 2023: After a meeting with JC Penney and Simon Properties, the Planning Department receives feedback that the height restriction applying to that parcel is a significant impediment to redevelopment.
  • April 25, 2023: The Assembly votes to approve AO 2023-043, As Amended, which updates Chapter 11 of Title 21, as well as other chapters relating to Downtown.​

The Anchorage Municipal Code does not provide for any special restrictions to B​locks 69, 70, or 71. The Planning Department has been unable to locate any documentation about any deed, easement, covenant, purchase of air rights, or any other transaction which would provide the Municipality special ownership over building heights on these blocks. 

​​​5.18.23 DT Shadow Heights Memorandum

Shadow model for Blocks 69, 70, & 71:

Below is a video of the Public Open House and Public Engagement Process for the Downtown Code Update.


Our Downtown, Step 2​

Our Downtown: Anchorage Downtown District Plan 2021 (A.O. No. 2023-22​)

This plan is a “targeted" review and update of the 2007 Destination Downtown: Downtown Comprehensive Plan. Anchorage Municipal Code (AMC) 21.03.070B.2. “Targeted Plan Review (10-year intervals) directs a targeted review of the plan at least once every 10 years, or in conjunction with an areawide rezoning, to make it consistent with: (1) economic and demographic trends, (2) recent and proposed land use decisions, and (3) adopted studies and plans."

This plan provides the goals, policies, and action items needed to support economic recovery. It is intended to give the present and next generations a Downtown where residents and visitors will want to live, work, and play. The plan also advocates for bringing focus and concentration of limited municipal and community resources to Our Downtown - The Heart of Anchorage.

Publications and documents:

April 27, 2022​​

The Anchorage Downtown District Plan ​Public Hearing Draft (Planning and Zoning Commission Case No. 2021-0119) was before the Planning and Zoning Commission for a public hearing in December 2021.  Recommendations and findings from the Commission process were forwarded to the Anchorage Assembly for a public hearing in March 2022, which was continued to April 26. On April 26, 2022, the public hearing was reopened and closed, and the plan was adopted with amendments. ​

​The plan helps carry out implementation Action 3.9, Step 2, of the Anchorage 2040 Land Use Plan

The intent of Step 2 was to review what has been accomplished in Downtown Anchorage since the 2007 Plan was adopted; assess present day conditions by reviewing the most recent economic, housing, and demographic data and public feedback; and determine how to incorporate recent changes to municipal code, land use decisions, and reports to create future​ objectives for the revitalization and development of Downtown Anchorage.

The update makes recommendations on projects and actions that should be prioritized for funding and immediate community action. These recommendations and actions support fixes to the downtown code, foster public/private partnerships, identify processes to expedite project development, support existing public and private agency programming, and ultimately support the synergy needed to make Downtown welcoming, vital, and safe for all residents and visitors.

Below is a December 14, 2021 meeting on the Anchorage Downtown Plan Update Land Capacity Study. It is an overview of the study, which includes findings and recommendations for the Plan and the Downtown Code update. Bettisworth North assessed the amount of development achievable on representative small- and medium-sized lots throughout different districts of Downtown. A report and recommendations from their research will accompany the Downtown Plan update and be used for the Downtown Code update, to be initiated in early 2022.

For other ​information on the plan's development and public process throughout 2021, see the materials that were formerly listed on the OurDowntownAnchorage.com website below.

April 5, 2022

Assembly Ordinance No. 2022-27

On February 1, 2022, the Anchorage Assembly introduced AO No. 2022-27, the Public Hearing Draft of Our Downtown - Anchorage Downtown District Plan 2021  (PZC Case No. 2021-0119), as approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission on December 6, 2021. A public hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, March 15, 2022. The Assembly continued  it to March 22, opened the hearing, and continued it to April 26 after a meeting with the Assembly Community and Economic Development Committee on April 21.  

The Assembly documents are below.  

AO No. 2022-27 - Assembly Ordinance
AM 71-2022 - Assembly Memorandum

December 6, 2021

PZC Case No. 2021-0119, Planning and Zoning Commission (PZC) Public Hearing Draft Materials:

​​​Our Downtown, Step 1

On April 28, 2020, the Anchorage Assembly unanimously approved the reformat of the B-2A, B-2B, and B-2C Downtown Zoning Districts.  The reformatted Downtown zoning regulations (in AO No. 2020-38 as amended below) will go into effect on Thursday, May 28. 

Public Announcement re: the Approved Downtown Code Reformat and its Effective Date


Assembly Public Hearing Draft AO No.​ 2020-38 (approved by Assembly as amended by Floor Amendments 1-6 below)

(Note:  Official adopted version of AO No. 2020-38 incorporating the six floor amendments into its text is forthcoming.)


  • Floor Amendments 1-3 (to ensure that art studios, art galleries, and commercial laundries will continue to be allowed)
  • Floor Amendment 4 (to allow residential unit lot subdivisions in the B-2C district)
  • Floor Amendment 5 (to clarify the language in a provision for design amenity height bonuses)
  • Floor Amendment 6 (to make a grammatical correction to a seating design amenity standards)


Assembly Public Hearing Draft Packet - Supporting Documents


Assembly Memorandum, AM No. 188-2020, and Summary of Economic Effects (SEE)


Past Events:


​Planning and Zoning Commission (PZC) Public Hearing Draft Materials:


Exhibit A: Staff Report

  • Appendix A-1, Old Title 21 Code excerpts, 1983 CBD Plan, 1990 Urban Design Amenities
  • Appendix A-2, Structure of Downtown Chapter, Translation of Allowed Uses, and Reformat of Bonus Amenities
  • Appendix A-3, Guide to Significant Development & Design Standard Exemptions and Adjustments
  • Appendix A-4, Site Testing of Draft Code Amendment

Draft Ordinance (See final Assembly ordinance, AO No. 2020-38 above)



Links/Documents Previously Posted on the "Our DowntownAnchorage.com​" Webpage:


January 28, 2021 Public Meeting #1
Stakeholder Advisory Meeting #1
Stakeholder Advisory Meeting #2
Underutilized Lot Capacity
Utility Subcommittee
​Other Files​

Title 21 Zoning Ordinance Links

Past Events and What You Said:

Return to the main Anchorage 2040 Implementation page.