Push for affordable housing may alter Juneau skyline

August 1, 2012 

JUNEAU -- Juneau's skyline may become taller and denser as changes to area zoning codes require more densely built neighborhoods.

Recently approved changes are meant to increase the availability of affordable housing in Juneau, but the new rules may also alter the look and feel of some neighborhoods, the Juneau Empire reported.

Planners designed this increase in both density and height of Juneau's residential structures for one major purpose -- affordable housing, planner Greg Chaney said. The idea is to encourage affordable housing without creating regulation that requires building below-market-rate houses, condominiums and apartments, he said.

Housing is considered affordable if renters or owners spend 30 percent or less of their income on housing, including utilities, Chaney said.

Currently Juneau has a 3.2 percent vacancy rate for rentals and 1.4 percent for homeowner units, well below the national average.

Juneau's single-family home prices averaged a record high of $294,818 in 2011, including condominiums and "mother-in-laws."

Anchorage Daily News is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service