Protest a Rezone

More Questions? Contact the Zoning Division at 343-7943

What is a protest petition?

Throughout the rezoning process there are opportunities for property owners and adjacent land owners to make their positions known to the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Municipal Assembly. However, when the matter reaches consideration by the Municipal Assembly the protest petition is an additional means to prevent a rezoning from occurring.

What does a protest petition do?

The Assembly must have at least 6 yes votes to approve a rezoning. However, when a valid protest petition has been filed on a rezoning petition, the Assembly is then required to have 8 yes votes to pass the rezoning.

What do I need to apply?m

You must prepare a document or documents that contain the following information:

  1. A means to identify the rezoning: its legal description, the Planning and Zoning Commission case number, the Assembly ordinance number.
  2. The printed name and signature of the person protesting.
  3. A legal description of the property owned by the signer.

When and where does the protest petition need to be filed?

All protest petitions must be filed with the Municipal Clerk. The petition can be filed no sooner than after the notice of the Assembly public hearing has been mailed to property owners and no later than one business day in advance of the Assembly public hearing date. This means that any protest petition must be filed before 5:00 p.m. on the Monday before the Assembly meeting.

Who determines if the protest petition is valid?

The Planning Department does the verification of the signatures by comparing the property owners names and legal descriptions against the municipal tax rolls. The Planning Department also performs the required area calculations.

How are the area calculations done?

The protest petitions are categorized into one of 2 types:

  • A petition inside the area to be rezoned; or
  • A petition of neighboring property owners.

In each case it requires property owners controlling 1/3 of the land area to constitute a valid protest petition. The calculations are based on the following:

  1. All rights-of-way are not  included in the calculation;
  2. All Municipal property is not  included, unless the Municipality or another governmental agency is protesting the rezoning;
  3. Where a protest is inside the area to be rezoned, the total area of property inside the petition area (except as in 1 and 2 above) is calculated to arrive at the total acreage involved (A). The acreage of the property protesting inside is also calculated(P), and the percentage is obtained. If there is land area of 33 1/3% or more found to be protesting then the petition is valid. P/A=%
  4. Where neighboring property owners are protesting, the protest the area is defined as the area within a 300' perimeter of the property being rezoned. The 300' perimeter is drawn from the location of the new zoning boundary. For instance, the zoning boundary line will follow property lines except where the property abuts a right-of-way. For properties abutting the right-of-way, the zoning boundary line follows the center line of the right-of-way. Therefore, the zoning boundary lines perpendicular to the right-of-way would be extended to the right-of-way centerline and then a 300' perimeter drawn.
  5. The total area of the property inside of the 300' perimeter excluding the rezone property and 1 and 2 above is calculated (A). The area of the properties that are protesting is calculated (P), but only that part of the property that is actually within the 300' perimeter. A percentage obtained from the 2 totals. If the land area percentage is 33 1/3% or more the petition is valid. P/A=%

Can names and property be added to the filed protest petition?

The Municipal Assembly ruled, August 20, 1985, that alterations to a protest petition can be made. Names can be added or withdrawn up to the close of business the day before the Assembly public hearing. This action of the Assembly stabilizes the petition at a point in time so an evaluation can be made to determine validity of the protest petition.

Where can I find the actual laws regarding protest petitions?

The text of the Municipality Code of Ordinances and the Code of Regulations is available at the Municipal libraries, the Planning Department, and on the Internet at municode.

For protests review the following:

  • Protest procedures AMC 21.20.110 and 21.20.120B
  • Zoning districts AMC 21.40

Illustration depicting a protest and its calculations

Example of a protest petition

We, the under signed property owners within three hundred feet of the area described below, hereby file a protest to the Municipality of Anchorage Assembly (pursuant to Chapter 21.20.110) against the proposed zoning map amendment for the area described as:

Legal Description:______________________________________

Planning and Zoning Commission case number: _________

Petitioner: _______________________________________

Name (please print)  Mailing Address   Legal Description Signature      

What is... ? (terminology)

The Assembly?  The Assembly is the elected legislative body for Anchorage and is the final authority in rezoning.

An ordinance packet?  The documents presented to the Assembly which include the original Commission packet plus meeting minutes, the Commission resolution, a rezoning ordinance following the Commission's recommendation, and an Assembly memorandum explaining the rezoning.

The Planning and Zoning CommissionThe Planning and Zoning Commission is made up of 9 citizens appointed by the Mayor to hear, examine the proposed rezonings and the law, and decide on whether to grant or deny rezoning. The appointed Commissioners are not municipal employees. The Commission meets once a month on the 1st Monday to consider zoning items.

A special limitation? Special limitations or SL's are unique restrictions placed on a property with a rezoning. The restrictions can limit or prohibit land uses or require improvements such as landscaping or specific building design.

Zoning?  Zoning is a system of laws to regulate use of property. It includes provisions to separate land uses and provide minimum or maximum dimensions on for instance building height, distances from property lines, and the amount of land that can be used. (Top)