Mat-Su ordinance prevents a new 'Felony Flats' beyond Wasilla

AnchorageJune 11, 2013 

Parks Highway cabins

A strip of cabins at mile 49 of the Parks Highway in Wasilla will soon be moved. Alaska State Department of Transportation is negotiating with the owner to buy the strip of land the cabins sit on as part of a plan to expand the highway from two to four lanes. To some, the area is known as "Felony Flats," due to its reputation for crime. Others say the reputation is not deserved.

MARC LESTER — Anchorage Daily News Buy Photo

From The Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman: The collection of ramshackle dwellings along the Parks Highway on the west edge of Wasilla -- known to its detractors as "Felony Flats" -- is being removed to make room for highway improvements. The rental cabins' owner also owns land elsewhere in the borough, and some folks feared the cabins might end up in their neighborhood. But Monday night, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assembly passed rules that would prevent another dense collection of "substandard housing units." 

The problem with the kind of rules the assembly passed is that plenty of people with large rural lots want to put up cabins for their kids. A straight prohibition would likely curtail that.

But, [Assemblyman Vern] Halter said, the key here is that it targets substandard housing used for commercial purposes as rentals.

“It doesn’t apply to somebody that’s going to build two or three cabins on their own property,” Halter said. “It’s a commercial transaction and that’s kind of key to it, I think.”

Read more at The Frontiersman: Borough bans new 'Felony Flats' developments

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