Among the speakers at this year’s State of Our City Forum, put on by Anchorage’s Community Councils and Community Patrols, was John Weddleton – a businessman and a Title 21 advocate.
If you haven’t heard of Title 21, you are in good company. However, your ranks will soon be dwindling.
Title 21 is the city’s land use code; the legal framework we use to figure out how to build our city for the foreseeable future. The code that we end up with has very real consequences when it comes to our property value, our quality of life, as well as how both of those transfer to future generations.
Weddleton delivered a ten minute primer to bring the forum’s attendees up to speed on one of the most important issues immediately facing the Anchorage community. The full video of the presentation is below the following transcription of his introduction. More information can be found at the Anchorage Citizens Coalition and the muni website.
The state of the city is remarkable. It’s very good. That’s now, but change is coming. The city has grown since I’ve been here and it will continue to grow. And our Comprehensive Plan was written in 2001 and thought we’d have twenty or thirty thousand more people in twenty years, and that won’t happen. But we just did another housing market study earlier this year, and it figured around the next twenty or thirty years, we’ll have twenty or thirty thousand people show up. And the interesting part of that is that if we develop like we’ve been developing in that time, we will be nine thousand housing units short of what we need to house these people.
So, things are going to change. We’re going to get a little more crowded. And something that is going to be very different from the previous change is [in the past] we could kind of spread out and just go to the next empty lot. But that’s not going to happen so much because we’ve kind of bumped into the boundaries.
The change will be coming to your neighborhood. And what we’ll be doing is tearing down the old building and building in the vacant lots and it will be a very different kind of growth than we’ve seen in the last many decades. So how are we going to handle it?