Alexandria waterfront News Update — Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Dear Friend of the Alexandria Waterfront, here is an important update on key waterfront issues:
Virginia Supreme Court heard oral argument in the Iron Ladies’ appeal on February 26
The Virginia Supreme Court heard oral arguments on February 26 in the appeal of the Iron Ladies’ lawsuit challenging the rejection by Faroll Hamer, then the City’s Director of Planning and Zoning, of a protest against the rezoning of the Alexandria waterfront. The arguments lasted about 36 minutes. Here is the link to the audio of those arguments; there is no video: http://www.courts.state.va.us/courts/scv/oral_arguments/2015/feb/140666.MP3 A decision most likely will be handed down in the spring or early summer.
Old Town Civic Association meeting tomorrow night
The Old Town Civic Association (OTCA) will hold its monthly membership meetingtomorrow (Wednesday) evening at the Lyceum, 201 South Washington Street. Socializing with neighbors will begin at 7:00 and the program at 7:30. Yvonne Callahan and Bert Ely will brief attendees on the work of the Old Town Area Parking Study (see below), Sandra Marks from the City’s Department of Transportation and Environmental Services will present an update on the proposed Metro station at Potomac Yards, and Police Department representatives will brief attendees on what folks can do to protect themselves against identity theft and fraud. The meeting is open to all. If you are not an OTCA member, you will have an opportunity to join tomorrow night.
City Council “open mike” this Saturday morning
City Council will hold its monthly Saturday meeting this Saturday, March 14, at 9:30 a.m. One of the first items of business will be “Open Mike,” when citizens can speak to Council for up to three minutes on any topic not scheduled for a public hearing later in the meeting. Open Mike provides FAWers an opportunity to speak to Council about waterfront issues of particular concern to them. You can sign up in advance to speak at this link: http://survey.alexandriava.gov/s3/City-Council-Speakers-Form, by calling the Council Clerk’s office, at 703-746-4550, or by filing out a speaker’s registration form when you come to the Council meeting; those forms will be found on a table at the rear of the Council chamber. Open Mike, officially called the Public Discussion Period, is Docket Item #2.
Waterfront Construction Monitoring Group
The Waterfront Construction Monitoring Group, appointed by the City Manager to advise on mitigating the impact of waterfront construction projects on nearby structures (i.e. historic homes and commercial buildings), will hold its next meeting on Tuesday, March 17, at 6:00 p.m. in the City Council Workroom on the second floor of City Hall across the small lobby in front of the entrance to the Council chamber. The trucking-versus-barging issue will continue to be a hot topic of discussion.
Next Old Town Area Parking Study meeting on Wednesday, March 25
The Old Town Area Parking Study (OTAPS) Work Group will hold its third meetingon Wednesday, March 25, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Old Town residential permit parking will be discussed at this meeting, including the parking impacts of the forthcoming waterfront developments. There may also be some discussion about a recent suggestion that paid on-street parking be permitted throughout the Old Town area, utilizing a smart-phone application called Pango. It already is possible to use Pango to pay at parking meters in Old Town. In effect, Old Town residents with residential parking permits would have to compete for parking spaces with non-residents willing to pay to park on residential streets. Here is the link to the OTAPSwebsite: http://www.alexandriava.gov/tes/info/default.aspx?id=77053 The March 25 OTAPS meeting most likely will be held in the Sister Cities conference room.
Planning Commission still scheduled to consider South Robinson Terminal development on April 7
The Planning Commission is still scheduled to consider EYA’s development plan for the South Robinson Terminal property on Wednesday, April 7, at 7:00 p.m. As usual, the Commission will meet in the City Council chambers on the second floor of City Hall; the hearing will be broadcast on cable channel 70. Here is the link to the preliminary agenda for that meeting of the Commission: https://alexandria.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=A&ID=376225&GUID=BB6F3B3B-6CBA-4E49-9426-68CF4941EE28
Here is the link to EYA’s application for a Development Special Use Permit (DSUP) for the project: http://alexandria.legistar.com/gateway.aspx?M=F&ID=8ba2cd17-fa31-4f00-8773-2f04a0bab71c.pdf Here is the link to the Preliminary Site Plan for the project: http://alexandria.legistar.com/gateway.aspx?M=F&ID=e1878c62-8a9c-4487-b004-f9b90d8514e2.pdf If the Planning Commission approves EYA’s development plan, then it will go to City Council for approval, most likely at its April 18 meeting. The Board of Architectural Review (BAR) will formally consider EYA’s plan only after City Council approval; the informal “concept reviews” the BAR has conducted for this project do not constitute a formal approval of a design strongly opposed by many neighbors.
North Robinson Terminal development — Planning Commission hearing likely to be held on May 5
A Planning Commission hearing on City Interests’ proposed development of the North Robinson Terminal property still has not been scheduled, but the expectation is that the Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the project on Tuesday, May 5. The public will have an opportunity to comment on the project at that hearing. If the Planning Commission approves a DSUP for the project, then Council will consider the DSUP, possibly as early as May 16. Because this property lies outside the Old & Historic District, it will not be subject to formal BAR approval.
Please contact us if you have questions about what is happening along the waterfront. Also visit www.alexandriawaterfront.org for up-to-date news about waterfront issues.
Do you know someone who would like to or should be receiving the FAW waterfront News Updates? If so, please go to www.alexandriawaterfront.org and click on the “Join Us” tab so that we can add their address to our email list.
Bert and Mark
Bert Ely and Mark Mueller, Co-chairs of Friends of the Alexandria Waterfront
Friends of the Alexandria Waterfront let’s OTP re-publish their newsletters to our readership. Please consider getting involved with the organization. The organization is free to join though contributions are welcome. You can sign-up to become a FAWer by clicking http://www.alexandriawaterfront.org.