Fairbanks borough bans urban outhouses

Posted: Friday, June 15, 2001

FAIRBANKS - Outhouses in urban neighborhoods have been banned by the Fairbanks North Star Borough.

In an 8-2 vote, the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly approved an ordinance to require people who live near sewer and water lines to either hook up or dig a septic system. New outhouses may not be erected in urban neighborhoods and existing outhouses must be taken down in the next 10 years.

Residents said a landlord's renting of recycled shacks, some with privy plumbing, brought down subdivision property values and posed a public health problem.

"As the substandard construction continues, the value of my house goes down," said Michael MacCheyne.

Assemblyman Jim Holm said he didn't like having to support the ordinance, but was sympathetic to the property value issue.

"As a society, we can make rules that inhibit activities of other people," he said. "And if they don't like it, they can move farther out into the woods."

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