Alexandria Waterfront News Update — Monday, May 4, 2015
Dear Friend of the Alexandria Waterfront, here is an important update on key waterfront issues:
Ad Hoc Waterfront Construction Monitoring Group to meet this coming Thursday, May 7
The Ad Hoc Waterfront Construction Monitoring Group will meet this coming Thursday, May 7, at 5:00 p.m. The meeting will be held in the Sister Cities conference room, which can be entered from the lobby of the Cameron Street entrance to City Hall. Here is the link to the Monitoring Group’s webpage: http://www.alexandriava.gov/special/waterfront/default.aspx?id=82590 and here is the link to the agenda for the May 7 meeting: http://www.alexandriava.gov/uploadedFiles/special/WaterfrontPlan/Agenda%20for%20the%20May%207%202015%20AdHoc%20Meeting.pdf
After the Monitoring Group is updated on the status of the various waterfront construction projects, there will be a discussion of truck-haul routes related to the waterfront projects — both the general criteria for establishing such routes as well as haul-route alternatives for the proposed Carr hotel and Robinson Terminal South projects. There will be an opportunity for public comment on all issues addressed at the May 7 meeting, including haul routes. Concerned citizens are encouraged to attend and participate.
Petition for rehearing filed with Virginia Supreme Court
Last Monday (April 27), a Petition for Rehearing was filed with the Virginia Supreme Court requesting that the Court reconsider its March 27 decision affirming a December 16, 2013, Alexandria Circuit Court decision dismissing a lawsuit challenging the process by which the Alexandria waterfront was rezoned to permit greater height and density, as well as hotels, along the waterfront. The lawsuit, brought by the three Iron Ladies — April Burke, Beth Gibney, and Marie Kux — has been strongly backed by FAW.
The Iron Ladies’ lawsuit and subsequent appeal were triggered by then Planning Director Faroll Hamer’s, unlawful denial of a hearing before the City’s Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA), which should have heard a citizens’ protest against the proposed rezoning of the waterfront. Had the BZA ruled in favor of the zoning protest, a supermajority vote (at least 6 to 1) would have been required for the waterfront zoning changes to have taken effect. The petition also asks the Supreme Court to reconsider a crucial assumption on which it based its decision — that Council would have voted 6 to 1 to rezone the waterfront even if the BZA had held a hearing on the zoning protest. A prior case demonstrated that that might not have been the case.
While the Supreme Court has no deadline for ruling on the petition, its pendency continues to keep a dark cloud over waterfront development projects, and specifically the start of construction of the proposed Carr hotel. The Court’s ultimate resolution of this case will have a citywide impact on the efficacy of the zoning-protest process.
Council likely to take final action on the Robinson Terminal South project on Saturday, May 16
City Council will likely take final action on the Robinson Terminal South (RTS) project at its Saturday, May 16, meeting, provided that the ordinance enacting the RTS Development Special Use Permit (DSUP) is introduced at Council’s May 12 meeting. FAWers will closely review the ordinance to ensure that it properly reflects what Council agreed to at its April 18 meeting, following the public hearing it held on the RTS project, specifically with regard to a residential parking-permit ban for RTS residents. The ordinance language should become available this coming Thursday, May 7, when the agenda for the May 12 meeting is published on the Council website.
Next OTAPS meeting Wednesday, May 27
The next meeting of the Old Town Area Parking Study Group (OTAPS) will be held on Wednesday, May 27, at 6:00 p.m. in the Sister Cities Conference Room. The agenda has not yet been published for this meeting, but residential parking permit restrictions most likely will be a key topic of discussion. These permit issues was discussed extensively at the last OTAPS meeting on April 29, but no clear policy recommendations were presented, much less agreed to by OTAPS members.
OTAPS’ task has been complicated by City Council’s conditioning of the permanence of a residential parking permit ban for RTS residents on recommendations Council has asked OTAPS to make with regard to changes in the city’s residential parking permit program. Hopefully Council will provide that guidance before the next OTAPS meeting.
Here is the link to the OTAPS webpage: http://alexandriava.gov/tes/info/default.aspx?id=77053 Here is the link to background information that has been provided to the OTAPS Group members: http://alexandriava.gov/uploadedFiles/2015-04-24%20OTAPS%20Data%20Requests_FINAL.pdf
Old Town Civic Association will meet Wednesday, May 13
OTCA will hold its regular monthly meeting a week from Wednesday, May 13 on the second floor of the Lyceum, 201 South Washington Street. Socializing with neighbors will begin at 7:00 p.m., with the program commencing at 7:30. The featured presentation will be “The Demographics of Old Town” and how those demographics have changed over time. Yvonne Callahan and Bert Ely, OTCA’s representatives on OTAPS, will provide an update on what that group has been doing, specifically with regard to the residential parking permit issue. If you are not already an OTCA member you can join this great organization at its May 13 meeting. You can learn more about OTCA at: http://www.oldtowncivic.org/
Robinson Terminal North will be considered by the Planning Commission on Thursday, June 4
The Planning Commission hearing on the proposed design of the Robinson Terminal North (RTN) project will be held on Thursday, June 4 at 7:00 p.m. If approved by the Commission, the RTN project would then be considered by City Council at its Saturday, June 13 meeting. Here are the links to the documents currently posted on the Commission website pertaining to the RTN project:
DSUP Application http://alexandria.legistar.com/gateway.aspx?M=F&ID=200c1bf9-252f-471b-8609-19f6c258c3cd.pdf; Special Use Permit Application http://alexandria.legistar.com/gateway.aspx?M=F&ID=66557d65-8f6d-4826-b74f-0623cf749e1c.pdf; Preliminary Site Plan http://alexandria.legistar.com/gateway.aspx?M=F&ID=3688eaa9-68be-4246-aea7-07c380c78f5e.pdf
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 lets Old Town Post 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.