West Anchorage District Plan

Introduction & Background

The Municipality initiated the planning process for a West Anchorage District Plan (WADP) in December 2008 with the hiring of Anchorage-based URS Corporation as the project consultant. This process, expected to take about a year and a half, will culminate with a plan document that will be adopted by the Assembly as an element of the Anchorage Comprehensive Plan. The WADP is an essential “step-down” plan intended to bridge the vision and goals set forth in Anchorage 2020-Anchorage Bowl Comprehensive Plan (ANCHORAGE 2020) with implementation elements necessary to make that vision a reality.

As with other area or district plans recommended by ANCHORAGE 2020, the WADP will establish general public policy that reflects the vision of residents, landowners, and public entities for future growth in West Anchorage. The new plan will address specific issues such as residential growth, infill, and densities, commercial and industrial expansions, redevelopment sites, drainage, roads, trails, and parks. As recommended in ANCHORAGE 2020, this process will serve as the mechanism to formally identify, address, and resolve or mitigate land use issues within and adjacent to the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (TSAIA). It will also interface with the TSAIA Master Plan. Refer to the ANCHORAGE 2020 Land Use Policy Map.

Public Process

The West Anchorage District Plan (WADP) planning team has kicked off the public involvement phase for the Plan.  We presented information about the start of the WADP at the community councils and convened the West Anchorage Planning Group (WAPG) to discuss the proposed planning area boundary and gather baseline data for the West Anchorage Profile.

Focus Groups were convened in May 2009 under the following special topics:

  • Economic Development
  • Ecosystem Quality
  • Housing & Redevelopment
  • Quality of Place
  • Recreation
  • Transportation
  • Utilities

Focus Group participants worked through a series of brainstorming exercises in order to capture their perspectives on values, issues, and goals for West Anchorage.  In most cases, professionals in an array of backgrounds shared what they saw as trends within each special topic area and some solutions to address current or upcoming issues.

WADP planning boundary  was designed to capture the following features of West Anchorage (without overlapping other district planning boundaries): the majority of three major community council areas, natural boundaries and road boundaries, the majority of the West Anchorage Assembly District, Anchorage 2020 Comprehensive Plan land use features including neighborhood and town centers, and the 65-decibel noise contours of Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.

Past, Recent, & Upcoming Public Events:

Project Introduction to Community Councils  January 7-12
West Anchorage Planning Group Meeting #1 March 31

Community Councils Visioning Workshops
               Sand Lake

April 2-13
Focus Groups
               Economic Development 
               Housing & Redevelopment 
               Quality of Place 
May 28 & 29
West Anchorage Planning Group Meeting #2 June 18
West Anchorage Planning Group Meeting #3 October 6
Issues & Opportunities Public Workshop October 8
Presentation at Mears Middle School December 8
West Anchorage Planning Group Land Use Workshop January 5
West Anchorage Planning Group Airport Workshop #1 January 27
West Anchorage Planning Group Airport Workshop #2 February 10    
West Anchorage Planning Group Meeting #4 March 18
West Anchorage Planning Group #5 Internal Draft Plan July 28
West Anchorage Planning Group Worksession #1    September 16
West Anchorage Planning Group Worksession #2    September 22
West Anchorage Planning Group Worksession #3     September 30

About the Project Consultant Team

Anchorage-based URS Corporation is the contractor that the Planning Department has hired to oversee and develop the WADP. URS senior planning and engineering staff have extensive Alaska and Anchorage area experience, including work at the TSAIA, development of comprehensive plans, and managing complex planning projects with related public outreach efforts. The Planning Department is pleased to have the chance to work with URS. The community will be well served with this choice of contractor.

Project Schedule

June-August 2009
Completed District Profile, developed Issues & Opportunities Report

Completed District Profile, developed Issues & Opportunities Report

October 2009
Convened Public Workshop

December 2009-February 2010
Workshops on land use, Airport, neighborhood issues

January-March 2010
Develop draft plan scenerios and implementation strategies

March 23, 2011
Public Review Draft released

June 10, 2011 
Comments due for the Public Review Draft by the end of business day .
(Comments were originally due April 29 and May 27.)

August 2011 (tentative)
Public Hearing Draft

West Anchorage Planning Group

A BIG "thank you" to the community volunteers who have agreed to assemble throughout the duration of this planning process to serve in an advisory role to the Planning Department until adoption of the West Anchorage District Plan.  The roster includes:

 Peggy Auth  Spenard Community Council
 Jim Bowers  Spenard Community Council
 Mike Carlson  Sand Lake Community Council
 PJ Cramer  Alaska Commodity Freight Forwarders
 Ed Fogels  Citizen at Large
 Cathy Gleason  Turnagain Community Council
 Alli Harvey  Alaska Center for the Environment
 Andy Hutzel  TSAIA--General Aviation
 John Johansen  TSAIA--ADOT&PF
 Mike Mitchell  Anchorage Trails and Greenways Coalition
 Ron Peck  Alaska Travel Industry Association
 Tim Pine  Sand Lake Community Council
 Dale Shaw  FedEx
 Jae Shin  Citizen at Large
 Breck Tostevin  Turnagain Community Council


MOA Community Development Department
Planning Division, Long-Range Planning Section:

West Anchorage District Plan E-mail:  WestAnchPlan@muni.org

 Thede Tobish  343-7918  tobishtg@muni.org
 Susan Perry  343-7921  perrysu@muni.org

 URS Corporation:

 Principal in Charge Jon Isaacs jon_isaacs@urscorp.com
 Project Manager Joan Kluwe joan_kluwe@urscorp.com
 Planning Contact Kim Wetzel kimberly_wetzel@urscorp.com
 Planning Contact Paul DePalatis