Alexandria Waterfront News Update — Thursday, May 14, 2015
Dear Friend of the Alexandria Waterfront, here is an important update on key waterfront issues:
Final Council action on Robinson Terminal South project delayed until June, at the earliest
Contrary to expectations, City Council will not take final action on the Robinson Terminal South (RTS) project this month as the ordinance to enact the Development Special Use Permit (DSUP) for RTS has not yet been introduced. The earliest the Council can now take final action on RTS will be during its June legislative cycle, after the June 9 mayoral primary. The ordinance enacting the DSUP would likely be introduced and considered on first reading on Wednesday, June 10, with a final vote the following Saturday, June 13, after Council held a public hearing on the ordinance.
FAWers will closely review the ordinance to ensure that it properly reflects what Council agreed to on April 18, following the public hearing it held on the RTS project. The draft of changes to the DSUP appear to be in accord with what Council did agree to on April 18, specifically with regard to a ban on District One residential parking permits for RTS residents. However, Council did provide that this ban was subject to “a comprehensive recommendation by the Old Town Area Parking Study [OTAPS] work group that addresses new development and the residential parking permit program is adopted by City Council.” In other words, this ban could be overturned at a future date. See below for an update on OTAPS’s activities.
Waterfront truck haul routes, Carr construction schedule unveiled at the May 7 meeting of the
Ad Hoc Waterfront Construction Monitoring Group
At the May 7 meeting of the Ad Hoc Waterfront Construction Monitoring Group, Austin Flajser, president of Carr Hospitality presented a schedule for the construction of Carr’s proposed hotel at Duke and South Union, which can be found here: http://www.alexandriava.gov/uploadedFiles/special/WaterfrontPlan/220%20S%20Union_Construction%20Update_050715.pdf This construction schedule is premised on the City’s issuance of the necessary permits, which has not yet occurred. Carr proposes to take preconstruction photos of and survey buildings near its project site late this month and through June to establish the current condition of those buildings should construction damage later occur. Building owners within several hundred feet of the Carr project should be receiving letters from Carr about this survey process.
City staff presented the anticipated construction schedule for the various waterfront construction projects as well as proposed truck-haul routes for the Carr and RTS projects. The staff presentation can be found here: http://www.alexandriava.gov/uploadedFiles/special/WaterfrontPlan/PPP%205.7.2015%20FINAL.pdf A map of the proposed haul routes will be found on page 13. Inbound trucks, empty and loaded, will travel from Route 1 east on Franklin Street and then north on South Union to the construction sites while outbound trucks, empty and loaded, will travel south on South Union and then west on Gibbon, past Lyles Crouch school, to Route 1. Outbound trucks will be barred from traveling during the evening rush hour, when Gibbon is badly backed up. Carr still opposes removing demolition material and excavated dirt from its site even though EYA has agreed to use barging at its RTS project across Duke from the Carr site.
Next OTAPS meeting on Wednesday, May 27
The next meeting of the Old Town Area Parking Study Group (OTAPS) has been scheduled for Wednesday, May 27, at 6:00 p.m. Most likely, it will be held in the Sister Cities Conference Room, which can be entered from City Hall’s Cameron Street lobby. 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 were discussed extensively at the last OTAPS meeting on April 29, but no clear policy recommendations were presented, much less agreed to by OTAPS members.
As noted above, City Council has complicated OTAPS’ job by conditioning the permanence of the RTS residential parking permit ban by asking OTAPS to recommend comprehensive changes in the city’s residential parking permit program; those changes could include not have parking-permit bans. 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
Robinson Terminal North consideration by the
Planning Commission still scheduled for Thursday, June 4
The Planning Commission hearing on the proposed design of the Robinson Terminal North (RTN) project is still scheduled to be held on Thursday, June 4 at 7:00 p.m. If the Commission approves the DSUP for the RTN project, that DSUP most likely would be considered by City Council at its Saturday, June 13 meeting. Hopefully that DSUP will include a residential parking permit ban for RTN residents comparable to the ban Council approved for RTS residents.
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.
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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 lets Old Town Post 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.