On January 15th the Assembly will hold the public portion of the hearings before they pass their revised version of Title 21. It’s beyond belief what this particular assembly and Planning and Zoning Commission (appointed by Dan Sullivan) has done to Title 21—-and basically without input from the community.
Do we want a pro development, pro automobile, pro individual Anchorage, or do we want a connected community with wildlife, clean waterways, trails and public transport? It’s up to us. And that means you.
Start talking. Talk to everyone you know about the future of Anchorage. Share thisYouTube clip with your friends.
In 2001, Anchorage adopted a comprehensive plan for the future called Anchorage 2020. That plan was the result of a long public process with thousands participating.
Faced with the challenge of accommodating thousands more households than current code and practices allow, we chose to provide increased density without losing the things that make Anchorage a great place to live.
“’Business as usual’ development practices were unpopular.” The “community voiced a broad consensus in favor of urban features and neighborhood diversity.”
Since 2001 Anchorage 2020 has been expanded with more detailed neighborhood (or district) plans that continue to support its overall goals.
Title 21 is a comprehensive document that covers many aspects of life in Anchorage. In addition to what is listed here, it includes stream set backs, water quality, design standards for home builders, and open space requirements (to name a few). Here are a few things Anchorage citizens consistently ask for that relate to bicycle commuting:
- Safer and easier walking and biking
- Trail and walkway connections
- A walkable midtown
- Safe, convenient transit
But the Planning and Zoning Commission in 2012 has decided that “we have changed our minds” and recommended vast changes to the Provisionally Adopted Title 21, the version our elected representatives supported.
DID YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND?
A CHRONOLOGY OF COMPROMISES
* The Title 21 Rewrite project was started in 2002 to implement citizens’ vision for Anchorage’s future as presented in our adopted comprehensive plan.
* There were multiple public hearings at the Planning & Zoning Commission and the Assembly. At each stage, compromises were made.
* By mid-2010 the Assembly had provisionally adopted all but two chapter and final adoption was expected by late 2010.
* In 2011, Mayor Sullivan hired a consultant to take another look at Title 21. Most of the consultant’s recommendations were rejected.
* In 2012, the newly appointed Planning and Zoning Commission decided to reopen the entire Provisionally Adopted Title 21, having decided “we have changed our mind.” They welcomed and carefully followed the consultant’s recommendations.
* Then, the Assembly’s Title 21 Committee restarted its review from the beginning. Throwing out ten years of public process and compromise they accepted the PZC’s short term cost cutting over long term benefits and your property rights.
DRAW THE LINE HERE
- Reject proposals for sidewalks on only one side of arterials, no sidewalks on cul de sacs, optional connections to parks and adjacent neighborhoods and thin 10’ wide pedestrian easements.
- Removing sidewalks is a setback to Comprehensive Plan policies for pedestrian safety.
- Sidewalks should be required along both sides of public streets for all types of developments in class A (more urban) zoning districts, including cul-de-sacs.
- When neighborhoods are connected, it encourages more walking and biking, decreases the need to drive and leads to better health for its citizens, and a greater sense of community.
Those are just bullet points that directly relate to Active Transportation. There are many other items of concern, such as water quality and design standards to name a few.
WHAT SHOULD BE DONE?
Come to Assembly hearings and let them know WE HAVE NOT CHANGED OUR MINDS!
On JANUARY 15 the Anchorage Assembly opens public hearings on this latest, developer dominated Title 21. Come tell the Assembly why you live here, and how you want your children to have an even better place to live. Make sure they understand how important it is to you that Anchorage become more walkable and bike-able.
Work with your Community Council to adopt a resolution promoting the Provisionally Adopted Title 21 and supporting Anchorage 2020. http://www.communitycouncils.org/ Other councils’ resolutions are available for your review by contacting AnchorageCitizensCoalition@gmail.com
More info is at accalaska.org and at the Facebook site Free Title 21
The muni has posted all relevant Title 21 documents at: http://www.muni.org/Departments/OCPD/Planning/Projects/t21/Pages/Title21Rewrite.aspx