Worth watching

Tuesday’s Assembly agenda includes a proposed ordinance that would allow homeless and transient shelters in B3 zoning areas primarily intended for general commercial uses in commercial centers.

A memorandum accompanying the proposal by sponsors Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz and Assembly members John Weddleton and Meg Zaletel asserts the most incredible thing: “This ordinance has no private sector economic effects….”

Our guess is that the folks who own property, homes or businesses near such facilities might argue that point. It is difficult to imagine the facilities being a selling point for a family about to purchase a home, or a business trying to attract customers, near one of the facilities. There could be a devastating effect on property values in the area.

The city is trying to change the zoning and use $22.5 million in federal CARES Act funding to nail down the Golden Lion and America’s Best hotels, along with the former Alaska Club on Tudor Road and Bean’s Cafe campus, until funding from the sale of ML&P to Chugach Electric and the new 5 percent retail alcohol tax are available.

Until that money is available, the city would use federal CARES Act funding in a “lease with potential purchase” dodge to get around CARES Act language specifically mandating the act’s funding be used only for temporary, emergency shelter.

All the properties in question are located in B3 zoning. The facilities would be billed by the city as “rehabilitative care,” making them allowable in those zones. Once bought, there will be no need to go back to the public for input or explanation.

The move is being driven by the limited, and shrinking, availability of suitable parcels within the Public Lands and Institution district, ordinance sponsors say.

Also on Tuesday’s agenda is the ordinance authorizing the $22.5 million expenditure.

It is a meeting you may want to watch.

3 Responses to Worth watching

  1. Fred Flintstone July 13, 2020 at 8:49 am

    It’s LONG past time for tar and feathers for this Assembly.

    YOU PEOPLE WORK FOR US! Not the other way around. We say NO, and you do as you’re told!

    Is that clear enough? Give the $22.5 million to small businesses for payroll protection, as intended!

  2. John London July 12, 2020 at 10:57 am

    Dats da plan, who is in command??????????

  3. Marlin Savage July 11, 2020 at 12:44 pm

    Can’t stand it anymore; been watching Anchorage turning into sanfransicko………..


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