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Anchorage REALTORS® Helping Property Owners Stop Govt. Overreach

By HOM Editorial Team
April 2015

Homeowners in a secluded rural area near Chugach Park in Anchorage, Alaska, could lose some of the solitude they enjoy if a park-access ordinance proposed by the Municipality of Anchorage is approved. The Anchorage Board of REALTORS® is fighting the plan, and is working to protect homeowners from unwanted government intrusion into the use and enjoyment of their property.

The proposed ordinance would largely adopt a state access plan for the park, most of which is located within Anchorage’s borders. It would designate 163 access points that fall on private property. The proposed ordinance would require property owners at these access points to obtain multiple approvals and be subject to an “access point analysis” before developing their property. The ordinance’s language also implies that the burden of developing access points would fall on the property owners. Increased traffic, trash and property damage would likely be unintended consequences of these access points.

In addition, the proposed ordinance raises a number of legal and ethical issues. These concerns include the question of whether the ordinance would constitute taking property without compensation in violation of state and Constitutional rights. The ordinance also raises the issue of the propriety of effectively forcing private property owners to carry out the state’s plan.

These and other concerns prompted the Anchorage REALTORS® to attack the issue from multiple angles. In early 2015 they adopted a formal resolution opposing the ordinance. REALTORS® also developed alliances with Municipal Assembly members who understand the ordinance’s flaws and risks. Mayoral candidates are being asked about their stances on the ordinance. Since the issue involves the interaction of state and local government, the Anchorage REALTORS® have also engaged the state REALTORS® Association on the issue. Interaction with state legislators is on the horizon.

So far, these efforts have led to increased public awareness. The final vote on the ordinance has been postponed twice. The Anchorage REALTORS® are dedicated to continuing to fight to protect private property rights and to prevent government overreach.

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