Assembly Issues


Candidate Responses

With regard to housing, what do you think about the city’s zoning and building codes?

Merrill Sanford

Merrill Sanford

Candidate for Mayor

We just finished up some zoning changes with the land use code that we just remodeled here, and there’s a couple more that are coming forward with land use issues of driveways and access to individual lots that we are working on right now at the planning commission level — making it easier for developers, and less costly, also, for developers to try to either add one or two lots or four or 12 lots.

So it’s an important part of … making it better for people, private citizens to be able to build and private developers to be able to build.

Greg Fisk is running for mayor. (Photo by Jennifer Canfield/KTOO)

Greg Fisk

Candidate for Mayor

There has been some work on Title 49, which is good. We can always work to make sure that the permitting process is as unconvoluted as possible and streamlined.

The Willoughby plan was interesting because it changed allowable densities and parking requirements; I think that’s good and we need to capitalize on that. It’s really a question of the city being more active and less standoffish with developers.


Loren Jones

Candidate for District 1 Assembly

I think, overall, we have a pretty good balance. We just recently altered some of the issues around subdivisions. We moved small subdivisions from one to four lots, up to 13 or less. Those — instead of going before the Planning Commission — will go to the director of community development. Staff will still do the analysis, but the process would be a little bit quicker. We have changed some of those kind of requirements to make it easier for people to develop land that they already own.

I think overall, our zoning is appropriate for where we’re at. We probably have not as much commercial and industrial land as we should have. But we are challenged in the fact that we don’t have a lot of buildable land. A lot of the commercial (activities) require flat land. We don’t have a lot of that.

Dixie Hood (Photo by Elizabeth Jenkins)

Dixie Hood

Candidate for District 2 Assembly

Having mixed housing downtown is a way of expanding the housing opportunities. There are a lot of things that the city could do in terms of its own land as they did at Lena Point. Putting it up for bid and having persons develop it for housing. There’s also other ways in terms of private property owners and there’s a major one on Atlin Drive.

As a member of the Juneau Commission on Aging, we’ve been really trying hard to get housing that was within walking distance of stores and other resources to have it be a walkable community. And so some sort of enticements of one sort or another, tax credits in some way or other things that might encourage the private property owners in Juneau to contribute or to build housing, would be a plus. I think for seniors and young families housing is a major issue, and I’m very supportive of looking for all sorts of different ideas. And I think think looking outside of the box is one way to go for sure.

Jerry Nankervis

Jerry Nankervis

Candidate for District 2 Assembly

I think we just eased some restrictions that were in place that should make it easier for people to develop property. Either their own or a developer can come in, buy property and develop it.

We took the major subdivision and moved it from five homes, up to 13, is now considered a major subdivision. We eased some of the restrictions on sidewalks and paving and lighting and street width, that sort of thing. That hopefully will promote some housing development in town. And I believe any development increases affordability. If there isn’t anything out there for people to get, the cost goes up. With an increase in stock, we should see an increase in affordability and a decrease in cost.

Jason Puckett. (Photo by Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO)

Jason Puckett

Candidate for District 2 Assembly

Well, the zoning codes they’ve done some big changes with that. There’s the subdivision ordinance that went though not so long ago, which is really going to help build some of those communities.

But I think we really need to focus on smaller type homes, starter type homes, change some of the zoning areas. Because if you have a D-1 or D-3, you can only build one to three homes on that plot of land. We could separate them to even a D-5 or D-8 and we could build smaller, more family-friendly homes that would be more affordable for the family starting out.

Then if we have more of those, then that would help some of our housing problem. And also, they should definitely try to revamp some of the downtown housing because a lot of those apartments go unused for the majority of the year.

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