The Alexandria City Council approved the creation of a new work group Tuesday charged with addressing outstanding issues with the city’s controversial waterfront plan.
The council accepted Rob Krupicka’s proposal of an eight-person group composed of five citizens at-large, one member of the Waterfront Committee, one member of the Old Town Citizens Association and one member of the City Council, who will not vote.
“We need to bring in new voices… maybe ask different questions and bridge gaps,” Councilman Krupicka said. “All should have qualifications, reputations in the community that has us feeling they’re fair in their decisions.”
The members of the group will be appointed by Mayor Bill Euille.
The City Council discussed groups ranging from 12 to 16 members with representatives from different organizations at Saturday’s public hearing. Councilwoman Alicia Hughes asked Saturday that other civic groups be considered, as well as a member of the Old Dominion Boat Club.
On Tuesday, Councilwoman Del Pepper reiterated that she would like to have a member of the city’s Archeology Commission in the group.
“There are certainly many ways to skin a cat,” Euille said.
“I’d like a member of the planning commission in the group, but this [eight-person] group affords different perspectives and is small enough for a good discussion,” Vice Mayor Kerry Donley said Tuesday.
Krupicka said the Old Town Citizens Association and the Waterfront Committee are represented because they have “been involved since the very beginning.” He encouraged every stakeholder to attend the workgroup meetings, which will be held throughout the summer.
According to a city memo, the work group will be charged with identifying elements of the plan where this agreement and then focus attention on remaining issues where large divides remain, including the addition of hotels and more parks and cultural uses.
The group wouldn’t need to develop a consensus on every issue or even take formal votes. The group would categorize outstanding issues that should be addressed in the actual waterfront plan and those that are better addressed in the planning implementation phase.
The group will report to City Council in the fall. Council hopes to vote on the waterfront plan before the end of the year.
“This is a positive thing, not a negative thing,” Krupicka said. “This is a once in a lifetime thing to create something our kids and grandkids can enjoy.”