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SpUD PENDING: Issue 004 - Building Height

posted Aug 21, 2010, 5:39 AM by Tim Swezey   [ updated Aug 21, 2010, 5:47 AM ]
Issue 004 
Page 17: L. Building Height

3. General: Building Height Issue.  
This is overly restrictive. If the issue is visual appeal, then should have allowance for taller buildings on larger lots and taller building in the more urbanized zoning areas. If it is fire related, then the risk should be on the owner - they have to purchase the fire insurance. As long as setbacks are met, their risk is not spread to adjacent owners. Regarding condo fires, I worked on the redesign of a large condo building that burned several years ago in  downtown Anchorage.  
The cause was a worker welding in an elevator shaft. The building was not sprinkled and did not have proper fire-blocking or stops and the fire entered the attic space and spread quickly across the building. Building codes, if properly followed, mitigate the risk of fire and hazard to occupants. I do not see a planning document serving this role.