Using overlay districts as a tool for cultural protection

APA Alaska Chapter


Monday, November 17, 2014, 2:45 p.m.
Monday, November 17, 2014, 3:45 p.m. AKST

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Learn about how an overlay district was used as a tool to protect the cultural and subsistence lifestyle of the Native Village of Eklutna, the only Native Village within the Municipality of Anchorage. The overlay district was created to protect the Village from development pressures and to provide development standards more in line with tribal shareholder’s values and needs. This session will discuss the process to create the overlay district, outline the challenges encountered, and share the importance of the district to Anchorage’s First People. Overlay districts can be a powerful and useful tool in a state such as Alaska where there is a strong property rights sentiments and where zoning is often minimal. It allows the ability to place more specific standards on defined areas rather than a community as a whole. This session is designed to teach participants how an overlay district can be useful in a planner’s toolbox. It has been designed for planners with more than 2 years’ experience as it will go in depth on understanding zoning standards and their implications on development, whether it is contextually appropriate or not. This presentation is not selling a product, service, or firm, but rather highlighting the value of a tool for planner’s to use. The session will clearly communicate the methodology for developing an overlay district and the process to get approved as an ordinance. Very few overlay districts exist in the state, this presentation will address demonstrated educational need in showing planner’s the importance of an overlay district as a tool and how to develop and get adopted an overlay district.