Dear Friend of the Alexandria Waterfront, here is an important update on key waterfront issues:
Next meeting of the Ad Hoc Monitoring Group on Waterfront Construction to be held on Monday, October 3
The next meeting of the Ad Hoc Monitoring Group on Waterfront Construction will be held a week from Monday, October 3. Most likely the meeting will start at 5:30 p.m. and will be held in City Hall. An agenda for the meeting has not yet been published but will focus on ongoing issues at Robinson Terminal South (RTS), including air-quality monitoring, minimizing vibration damage during the next stages of the project, and the handling of damage claims arising from excessive vibration. Updates on other waterfront projects are anticipated, including for Robinson Terminal North, the Carr hotel, and the Old Dominion Boat Club. The agenda for the meeting should be posted sometime next week on the Monitoring Group website: https://www.alexandriava.gov/special/waterfront/default.aspx?id=82590 Here is the link to the most recent waterfront construction timeline: https://www.alexandriava.gov/uploadedFiles/special/WaterfrontPlan/info/AdHocLivingConstructionSchedule_08_05_16.pdf
The latest news about Robinson Terminal North
Ken Wire, the attorney representing the owners of Robinson Terminal North (RTN), provided an update at the September 20 meeting of the City’s Waterfront Commission about the current hold on development of the RTN project. He reiterated that it is unlikely that a hotel will be built at RTN because financial projections indicate that the hotel will not produce an average room rate high enough to generate a target rate of return on the investment in the project. The inability of CityInterests, RTN’s developer, to attract a hotel has caused it to reconsider the design of the entire project. Going forward, that portion of the project on the east side of North Union will likely stay much the same, although there will be refinements to the building’s architecture, specifically its façade and building angles. The much tougher issue will be what to do on the west side of Union, where the hotel was supposed to go, given zoning restrictions on how many residential units can be built there — presently 30 units per acre.
CityInterests anticipates finalizing a redesign of the entire RTN project by early next year and then going to Council during the second quarter of next year to seek a new Development Special Use Permit (DSUP) for the entire project. There will be no demolition of the existing RTN buildings until after a revised DSUP is approved. Ken hinted that CityInterests may try to lower the cost of the “proffers” (paying for projects that benefit the general public) it had previously agreed to. On the chopping block is preservation of the RTN pier as it would cost $1 million to stabilize the pier. When CityInterests seeks a new DSUP for RTN, every condition in it will be subject to public debate and reconsideration, including whether contaminated soil is barged or trucked away from the site.
Old Town Civic Association membership cruise this coming Sunday evening
The Old Town Civic Association (OTCA) will hold its annual membership cruise this coming Sunday evening, September 25, aboard the Miss Christin, which docks in front of the Torpedo Factory. Folks can begin boarding the boat at 7:00 p.m., when the party will begin; the boat will sail at 8:00 p.m. and return to the dock by 9:30 p.m. It will be a fun time for all. Tickets are $35 each (adults only, please) and can be purchased at the dock or in advance by dropping off a check at the Olinger residence, 100 Prince Street, or the Callahan residence at 735 South Lee Street. This also will be a good time to renew your OTCA membership — 1 year for $30 or two years for $50. This cruise will be an excellent occasion to socialize with neighbors, renew old acquaintances, and discuss matters of mutual interest, including waterfront development and other Old Town issues. Here is the link to the OTCA website: http://www.oldtowncivic.org/
Who to contact about waterfront construction problems
Here is who citizens should contact with regard to specific problems they encounter along the waterfront:
- In a true emergency situation (motor vehicle or bicycle accident, fire, explosion, etc.) call 911 immediately. Be prepared to provide details of the emergency.
- For non-emergency violations of law, call the City’s non-emergency number, 703-746-4444. Non-emergency events are parking violations, dump trucks with uncovered loads, traffic violations, bicycles running stop signs, and the like. Be prepared to provide details about the violation, such as vehicle license plate number, color, time of the violation, etc.
- For civil violations, i.e., violations of construction permits for the waterfront projects or other complaints related to waterfront construction activities, please contact Emilio Pundavela, the City employee designated to receive these complaints. You can call Emilio, day or night, on his cell phone: 571-221-8309. You also can email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Civil violations include trucks not traveling over the designated haul route, excessive vibrations and noise from construction activities, construction workers parking on City streets instead of in the parking places designated for them, and any other violations for which the police cannot issue a ticket.
In addition to contacting Emilio, you also can bring your complaint to the City’s attention by registering it through Call-Click-Connect, using this link: http://request.alexandriava.gov/CCC/#tab=Find City staff are supposed to respond to a complaint within five business days. In order to track your complaint once it has been filed, you need to register with MyAlex, which you can do here: https://apps.alexandriava.gov/Login/COARegister.aspx and click on Create account. However, waterfront-related complaints requiring immediate attention should be phoned in to the police or brought to Emilio’s attention.
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 gives Old Town Post their newsletters to publish to our readership. If you are not already, 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.