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Alexandria Waterfront News Update | Bert Ely and Mark Mueller | Friends of the Alexandria Waterfront

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Alexandria Waterfront News Update —

Monday, June 1, 2015

 

Dear Friend of the Alexandria Waterfront, here is an important update on key waterfront issues:

Robinson Terminal North project —

Planning Commission hearing deferred for the time being

On May 26, an attorney for McGuireWoods, which represents CityInterests, the developer of Robinson Terminal North (RTN), sent a letter to the city requesting a deferral of public hearings on the RTN project.  The Planning Commission was supposed to consider the terms and conditions of the Development Special Use Permit (DSUP) for RTN this Thursday evening, June 4, with Council consideration of the DSUP on June 13.  No reason was given for the requested deferral.  It is quite likely that the Planning Commission will not consider the RTN project until the fall.

Outcome of OTAPS meeting last Wednesday

The Old Town Area Parking Study (OTAPS) group met last week to consider Old Town parking issues, specifically parking-meter times and residential parking-permit bans for residents of new developments in Old Town, including the North and South Robinson Terminal developments.  At the conclusion of a somewhat contentious discussion, the group voted to recommend to Council that it consider parking-permit bans for new developments on a case-by-case basis.  That recommendation should leave in place the parking-permit ban for the Robinson Terminal South project that Council adopted at its April 18 public hearing on this project.  OTAPS will vote on the actual language of this recommendation when it next meets, on Thursday, June 11, at 6:00 p.m. in the Sister Cities Conference Room, which can be entered from City Hall’s Cameron Street lobby.

Final Council action on

Robinson Terminal South not yet scheduled

City Council has not yet scheduled final action on the Robinson Terminal South (RTS) project as the ordinance to enact the 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 RTS 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

Waterfront Construction Monitoring Group

meeting next Monday, June 8

The next meeting of the Ad Hoc Monitoring Group on Waterfront Construction will be held next Monday, June 8, most likely in the Sister Cities Conference Room.  The starting time for this meeting has not been established — it may be earlier than the usual 6:00 p.m. — nor has the agenda for that meeting been posted to the Group’s website, which can be found here:  http://www.alexandriava.gov/special/waterfront/default.aspx?id=82590  As has been the case at earlier meetings, substantial discussion will be devoted to the schedule for various waterfront construction activities and steps being taken to mitigate construction impacts on nearby buildings and streets.

Mayoral primary a week from tomorrow, Tuesday, June 9

The Democratic mayoral primary will be held a week from tomorrow, on Tuesday June 9.  Voting will occur in the usual precinct voting locations; polls will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.  The three mayoral candidates in this primary, in alphabetical order, are:

                        Kerry Donley, a former Alexandria Mayor

                        Bill Euille, Alexandria’s current Mayor

                        Allison Silberberg, Alexandria’s current Vice Mayor

There is no primary contest for candidates running for City Council in November.  In the eastern part of Alexandria, there also will be a Democratic primary that day for candidates seeking to run in November for election to represent the 45th district in the Virginia House of Delegates.

Because Virginia does not have party registration, the mayoral primary is an open primary — any registered voter — Democrat, Republican, or independent — may vote in this primary, which most likely will determine who will be elected in November to serve as Alexandria’s mayor for the following three years.  Although many waterfront issues have been resolved, some of those issues will be decided by the mayor and council members elected in November.

Registered voters unable to vote in person on June 9 can vote by absentee ballot.  The deadline for applying to have an absentee ballot mailed to you is tomorrow, June 2.  The deadline for voting absentee in person is this coming Saturday, June 6, at 5:00 p.m.; in-person absentee voting takes place at the Voter Registration Office, 132 North Royal Street.  Here is the link to the City’s webpage on elections:  http://www.alexandriava.gov/Elections  Here is the link to instructions for absentee voting:   http://www.alexandriava.gov/elections/info/default.aspx?id=1720

Rep. Beyer to speak to OTCA on Wednesday, June 10

Rep. Don Beyer will be the featured speaker at the monthly membership meeting of the Old Town Civic Association (OTCA), which will held on Wednesday, June 10, in its normal meeting spot, the second floor of the Lyceum at Prince and South Washington Streets.  Socializing with neighbors will begin at 7:00 p.m. and the program will start at 7:30.  A brief annual business meeting also will be held at which OTCA officers and directors will be elected; nominations for those offices were made at OTCA’s May meeting.  Here is the link to the OTCA website:  http://www.oldtowncivic.org/  Membership applications will be available at the meeting.

BAR hearing on June 17 on Alexandria Marine building

On Wednesday, June 17, at 7:30 p.m., the Board of Architectural Review for the Old & Historic District (BAR) will consider a request by EYA to demolish the historic Alexandria Marine building at 226 Strand Street.  That now-vacant building is just north of Point Lumley Park and across Strand from the site of the proposed Carr hotel.  Here is the link to agenda for that BAR meeting: https://alexandria.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=A&ID=367183&GUID=0675C340-773C-4BAF-967E-C452B04691EB  Here is the link to the application to demolish the building:  http://alexandria.legistar.com/gateway.aspx?M=F&ID=69391acd-1327-4458-b078-2e598f420d3d.pdf

This historic structure, which was likely constructed in the late 1890s, is located on the site where, according to the Waterfront Plan, a civic building will eventually be constructed.  Although no specific plans have been developed for the use of this civic building, potentially it could house the soon-to-be-homeless Alexandria Seaport Foundation and its boat-building activities; those activities have been housed in the soon-to-be-demolished South Robinson Terminal building.  There is no reason why the existing building at 226 Strand could not be incorporated in the construction of the proposed civic building.

Architectural symposium June 19-20

Alexandria’s Department of Planning & Zoning will host its first symposium on contemporary architecture in Alexandria on Friday evening, June 19, from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., and Saturday, June 20, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  The symposium, which will be held at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial, will feature guest speakers and explore what Alexandria’s urban fabric might look like in 50 years.  Some are concerned that the intent of this symposium is to open the door to more contemporary architecture in Old Town, thereby undermining historic preservation in the Old & Historic District.  The event is free and open to the public.  RSVPs are strongly encouraged.  Here is the link to information about this symposium, where you will find a link to an RSVP form: http://www.alexandriava.gov/planning/info/default.aspx?id=84690

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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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