More Data Needed on Workforce Housing Problem

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

The two city seat holders on the Planning and Zoning Commission presented to the Kodiak City Council at its work session last night and shared their knowledge and concerns about accessory dwelling units, or ADUs.

Permitting ADUs would allow a property owner to house another person on their land – for instance in a space above their garage or in a tiny house on the property. A permit for an ADU also comes with a number of requirements, which commission member Alan Schmitt said many properties within city limits don’t satisfy.

“Staff went through the Aleutian home area and I think maybe about 10 percent of the lots there could conceivably support one. You’d have to be able to have four off-street parking spaces and that’s a big problem, and you’d also have to meet your setbacks, and that the size we’re talking about is 650 square feet.”

The other commission member, Barry Altenhof, said he needs more data.

“I know that there is some population figures, there is some growth figures, that all currently exists but I’m also looking for information from realtors, contractors, the Chamber of Commerce, any sources of information that will validate the notion that in fact, yeah, Kodiak has a workforce housing problem. I know we’ve said that.”

And while many people have expressed that concern, he said he’d feel more comfortable about advocating for ADUs as a solution if he had further statistics and facts to back it up. Mayor Pat Branson acknowledged the need for data.

“I think that’s really smart, especially for this community. We can have those comparisons with other communities in the outside world, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that might work here. I’m not saying I’m for or against it, I’m just agreeing with you about getting as much solid information that you can.”

The two commission members said the subject of accessory dwelling units would be on the agenda for tonight’s Planning and Zoning Commission work session.

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