Mayor expects to receive rewritten city zoning code

Rosemary Shinohara

An independent contractor will give Mayor Dan Sullivan final recommendations Tuesday for the rewrite of Anchorage's land use and zoning code, the mayor said Monday.

A year ago, Sullivan hired ally and former Anchorage Assemblyman Dan Coffey to review a draft rewrite of Title 21, the zoning code. Coffey is just finishing up, Sullivan said. In July, after Sullivan reviews it, his administration's version will go public, he said.

Meantime, there's a group of people protesting the process Sullivan set up. Cindee Karns, a representative of a coalition of groups, said the coalition is behind an online petition urging the Anchorage Assembly to immediately adopt the draft version it has already given preliminary approval to.

The mayor and others can amend it later, she said.

The petition is titled "Free Title 21."

The coalition has another issue this week, too. Some members who wanted to talk to the Assembly about their protest during an "appearance request" time in the middle of tonight's Assembly meeting were turned down.

Assembly chairwoman Debbie Ossiander said she said no because Title 21 isn't before the Assembly yet.

People can still speak at the end of the meeting, Ossiander said, just not during the earlier time reserved for public comment.

The city has been trying to redo Title 21 since 2002. There were Outside consultants, Planning and Zoning Commission hearings and votes and Assembly "provisional" votes -- chapters approved but not going into effect until the whole thing is done.

Sullivan said when he came into office in 2009, he wanted to address remaining issues of those who were still concerned about the zoning code.

Building owners, builders, architects and engineers are among them. Some in the industry say the code is too costly and overly restrictive.

Coffey met with industry representatives to hear them out, said Sullivan.

"I know some of the Free-Title 21 people are worried about public process," Sullivan said. "There was no reason to meet with those who were satisfied with the document."

But he said Title 21 will soon be back before the public, with new hearings before the Planning and Zoning Commission likely in August and before the Assembly after that.

Reach Rosemary Shinohara at or 257-4340.