Alexandria waterfront News Update — Thursday, April 16, 2015
Dear Friend of the Alexandria Waterfront, here is an important update on key waterfront issues:
City Council to consider EYA’s South Robinson Terminal project this Saturday, April 18
This Saturday (April 18), City Council will hold a public hearing and then vote to approve or disapprove a Development Special Use Permit (DSUP) for EYA’s Robinson Terminal South (RTS) project, which the Planning Commission signed off on at its last meeting. The Council meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. and will be held in the Council chambers on the second floor of City Hall. Here is the link to the agenda for the meeting: https://alexandria.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=A&ID=324821&GUID=24FBE194-E236-492A-83F7-A6D134212994 The RTS project is agenda item #8. It is difficult to say when Council will begin deliberating the RTS DSUP, but Council’s progress in working through its agenda can be monitored on Cable Channel 70; plan to come to City Hall while Council is considering the previous agenda item.
Here is the link to the 29-slide PowerPoint presentation staff will give Council; it provides a good overview of the proposed project and the key issues Council will address: http://alexandria.legistar.com/gateway.aspx?M=F&ID=485d149a-f4fb-4893-a215-9d2c1d49f3d9.pptx
Here is the link to the 219-page report that City staff has prepared for Council’s consideration of the RTS project: http://alexandria.legistar.com/gateway.aspx?M=F&ID=6676be8d-2643-41cd-b8d0-02e04dbe4ef8.pdf. A key section of the report sets out the staff recommendations for conditions Council should impose on the project; the proposed conditions run from pages 52 to 81 of the staff report.
There is much that is wrong with EYA’s RTS proposal — its height, mass, and architectural style are incompatible with the Old Town. Worse, its proposed restaurant and other retail activities will overload the waterfront’s fast-shrinking supply of parking. The RTS’s parking impacts can be alleviated somewhat if RTS residents are barred from obtaining Residential Parking District permits. FAWers are strongly encouraged to ask each member of Council to include in the conditions imposed on the project a specific prohibition on RTS residents obtaining residential parking permits as that will force EYA to provide sufficient parking within the RTS project for resident parking, and specifically for those residents who own more than two vehicles, as some will.
City staff will contend that EYA’s RTS project is “adequately parked.” If in fact that is the case, then neither EYA nor City Council should object to banning residential parking permits for RTS residents. We have it on good authority that EYA can live with this restrictive condition as it will not impede EYA’s marketing of RTS’s townhouses and condominium units. Council has imposed similar restrictions elsewhere in Old Town — it can certainly do so at RTS!
It is extremely important that FAWers let Council members know what changes they believe are needed in the RTS DSUP as supporters of the project (and there are some) are telling Council members of their support. There are three ways you can do this. Most important of all, speak at this Saturday’s public hearing. You can sign up in advance by calling the Council Clerk’s office, at 703-746-4550; on line at http://survey.alexandriava.gov/s3/City-Council-Speakers-Form (indicate that you want to speak on Docket Item Number 8), or you can sign up at the Council meeting. If you cannot attend the meeting, leave a message for members of Council by calling the Clerk’s office (703-746-4550), or send an email to each member of Council by tomorrow; here are their email addresses:
Here is the link to the statement Bert gave to the Planning Commission explaining why a residential parking-permit ban is needed for the RTS project: http://02a2030.netsolhost.com/images/FAW_–_Ely_statement_to_Planning_Commission_–_4-9-15.pdf Feel free to draw upon this statement when you communicate to Council.
Council to adopt changes in parking requirements for new apartment projects
Later on at its meeting this Saturday, Council will consider changes in parking requirements for new apartment projects. The overall impact of these changes will be to reduce on-site parking requirements! While these changes in the Zoning Ordinance are intended for new apartment projects close to Metro stations, they will affect apartment projects everywhere in the City, including the forthcoming North Robinson Terminal project as well as other redevelopment projects in Old Town, such as the bus-barn site and various public-housing projects. This parking matter is Item Number 10 on the Docket for Saturday’s Council meeting. Here is the link to the 41-page staff presentation on these changes; http://alexandria.legistar.com/gateway.aspx?M=F&ID=3e706318-afd9-4243-ad1f-f755a99fb4c8.pptx; here is the link to the accompanying 60-page staff report: http://alexandria.legistar.com/gateway.aspx?M=F&ID=ed14d4dc-3d10-4f64-91cb-c8727b078f3a.pdf
Planning Commission to consider North Robinson Terminal project design on Tuesday, June 2
On Tuesday, June 2, the Planning Commission will consider City Interest’s proposed design of its North Robinson Terminal project. The design is little changed from what the Board of Architectural Review considered earlier this year. Here are links to three documents related to this project currently posted on the City’s website: http://alexandria.legistar.com/gateway.aspx?M=F&ID=200c1bf9-252f-471b-8609-19f6c258c3cd.pdf, http://alexandria.legistar.com/gateway.aspx?M=F&ID=66557d65-8f6d-4826-b74f-0623cf749e1c.pdf, and http://alexandria.legistar.com/gateway.aspx?M=F&ID=3688eaa9-68be-4246-aea7-07c380c78f5e.pdf The latter document, the site plan for the project, will take a long time to down load. A future FAW News Update will address the issues raised by this project.
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.
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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.