Ossiander hopes to pass Title 21 by the end of 2012

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 - 23:12
Assemblywoman visits Chamber of Commerce
Assemblywoman Debbie Ossiander speaks about Title 21 during the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce luncheon Oct. 17 at the Bear Mountain Grill in Eagle River.

Anchorage Assemblywoman Debbie Ossiander has five months left in her term. And she’s dedicated to have the Municipal land use code rewrite passed by then.

“I’m absolutely committed to getting this done before I leave office,” she told a crowd gathered at Bear Mountain Grill in Eagle River for the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce luncheon Oct. 17.

Ossiander, the Title 21 committee chair, said she hopes to have the Assembly vote on the rewrite by the year’s end.

“The goal obviously is to get this done sooner rather than later,” she said in an interview Oct. 25.

Having to work on the budget has delayed her work on Title 21, Ossiander said.

Once her committee finishes work on the rest of the rewrite, Ossiander said she plans to begin on Chapter 10, which pertains specifically to Chugiak-Eagle River. Her goal is to start work on Chapter 10 in the next two weeks, Ossiander said.

After her committee completes its revisions, Ossiander — who’s spent nearly a decade working on Title 21 — said she’s optimistic the process can move forward quickly.

“We’ve improved it so dramatically that hopefully there won’t be a big hue and cry on this thing,” she said.

At the chamber meeting, Ossiander addressed several “controversial” issues and sought feedback from the audience. Those issues included snow storage, Dumpsters, stream setbacks, sidewalks, permitted uses, mixed-use districts and grandfather clauses.

Title 21 is what spurred Ossiander to seek office. The 35-year Chugiak resident said she wanted to protect Chugiak-Eagle River’s rural lifestyle.

Her effort has not gone unrecognized. Sen. Fred Dyson told the luncheon crowd that everyone owes Ossiander a debt of gratitude for her years spent working on Title 21.

“You’re probably the hardest working public servant I’ve every known,” he said.

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