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Meet Anchorage’s New Building Official

The Anchorage Home Builders Association is pleased that Mayor Ethan Berkowitz appointed a building official for the municipality. We have been advocating to have this vacant position filled for a long time because we believe it will reduce inefficiencies in the municipality’s building process.

Bob Doehl is the new director of the development services department and building official. Previously, he was the deputy commissioner for the State of Alaska Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs. He also served 32 years in the Army National Guard, Army, Army Reserve and the Alaska Air National Guard.

Anchorage’s building official is responsible for overseeing divisions that handle permitting, construction inspections and municipal enforcement of land use, right of way and building codes. “My background is in making organizations more efficient and effective,” said Doehl. “When a developer or homeowner comes in, I want to make sure it isn’t a confusing maze of different places to go, but rather a well-defined and straight-forward process to get approval.”

Doehl plans to look at the processes and target areas for improvements. He says redundancies can prolong wait times. “We need to shape the process to better deliver what our customers, builders and developers, need for quality projects in Anchorage,” said Doehl. He also hopes to address conflicting codes and requirements. “If you just accept conflict in the code and don’t deal with it you just have vacant land, so you have to find a way forward toward development,” Doehl said. “I remain very flexible in terms of figuring out what I can do to resolve inconsistent provisions and comply with the code.”

Doehl is excited to make an impact and encourages AHBA’s members to approach him with concerns. “The department exists to enable great development to make Anchorage a great place to live and work. Please stop by if you want to discuss your ideas.”

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