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Title 21 committee revived to review Anchorage land use policies

Devin Kelly

The Anchorage Assembly is reviving a committee tasked with reviewing Anchorage’s land use and zoning code, also known as Title 21. 

The committee, chaired by Assembly member Jennifer Johnston, met briefly on Thursday. It last met in December 2012, two months before the Assembly approved a major, decade-long rewrite of the code.

The new code took effect in January. Seven months in, the Assembly wants to start checking in on how it’s going, Johnston said.

“The idea of prematurely starting this process didn’t make sense,” Johnston said. “We needed to wait until architects had tried both codes.”

Until the end of this year, developers and architects have the option of choosing either the old or the new code. Johnston said she knows of at least two architects that have experimented with both codes on a single project.

At Thursday’s meeting, Johnston laid out a work plan for the upcoming months. It includes a review of code changes already proposed by city planning staff, and discussions with developers and builders who have worked directly with the new code, she said.

The committee will also consider ways to incentivize residential development through changes in the city’s tax code.

For now, a “discovery period” is in the works, Johnston said.

“We’re trying to find what’s working and what isn’t working, and how does it fit in with ... what we want the community to look like in the future,” Johnston said.