Anchorage zoning update heading for spring vote

Posted: Sunday, February 21, 2010

ANCHORAGE - Zoning changes to make Anchorage buildings more attractive are likely headed toward an assembly vote this spring despite some objections.

Under the proposed new rules, The Anchorage Daily News reports, a local builder could no longer put a windowless side of a commercial building next to the street.

City planners say buildings should attract passers-by with an interesting facade and street-side entrance.

A group called the Building Owners and Managers Association has started a petition drive to kill the seven-year-long, 14-chapter zoning overhaul. Owners say the existing code can be amended as needed.

And, some architects say the new regulations could take away flexibility in designs and lead to mediocrity.

Anchorage Assembly member Sheila Selkregg says the city needs to protect itself from fly-by-night builders who leave crummy developments.

The Assembly zoning committee is debating a planning proposal for menus from which builders would pick design features such as windows, entrances and building orientation in reference to the sidewalk and street.

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