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AHBA Thanks Anchorage Assembly for Passing ADU Reform


The Anchorage Home Builders Association wants to thank members of the Anchorage Assembly for making changes to the regulations on accessory dwelling units. These changes will make it easier for Anchorage residents to build ADUs, which are part of the complex answer to Anchorage’s housing problem.


An ADU is a housing unit that’s built on the same property as another home. For example, a cabin or above-garage apartment. They often house aging relatives, young families, generate rental income and increase property values. ADUs provide an opportunity for builders and homeowners because they add housing to land that’s already developed.


On Jan. 11, 2022, the Anchorage Assembly adopted changes to the code that will make it easier and more efficient to build ADUs. These changes include: allowing ADUs on any lot with a dwelling; allowing ADUs in all residential and commercial zones; capping ADU size at 1,200 square feet; height is limited to 25 feet, except if it's over the garage then it can be 30 feet; require the planning department to track ADU production; retain existing special setbacks for R1/R1a; and change the effective date to February 2023 so that there is time to add some of the old restrictions into Girdwood’s chapter of the zoning code.


The Anchorage Assembly previously revised Anchorage’s ADU ordinance in 2018. This revision allowed for ADU construction to account for 20% of annual residential building permits. However, that’s not happening. ADUs have only accounted for 7% of residential permits. These new revisions are meant to further remove some of the barriers to construction.


AHBA believes in building a thriving community for Alaskans. We applaud the Anchorage Assembly for helping us create more homes.


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