The Supreme Court of Virginia says an appeal filed by three Old Town residents to invalidate Alexandria’s waterfront plan is moot, perhaps clearing the way for redevelopment along the Potomac River.
The three women who live near the city’s riverside—April Burke, Beth Gibney and Marie Kux—argue that council should not have approved the plan because it did not follow an appropriate process.
Among many complaints, they say Alexandria’s planning and zoning director should have processed their zoning protest before the council’s January 2012 approval of the waterfront plan by a 5-2 vote.
A text amendment with a valid zoning protest requires a supermajority vote 6-1 by council for approval, according to city ordinance.
Virginia’s high court heard arguments in the case in June of this year.
The court issued its order on Friday saying the appeal is moot because Alexandria City Council voted and approved a substitute text amendment this year by the required supermajority.
“That new text amendment was passed in compliance with the procedure Burke sought to effectuate,” the order reads. “Although Burke claims that this Court could invalidate the Waterfront Plan, such a declaration would not be proper” because Burke's protest and appeal were only with respect to the previous text amendment. “There is no effectual relief available to Burke, and this matter is therefore moot,” the order reads.
Roy Shannon, an Alexandria attorney representing the three women who have been dubbed “the Iron Ladies,” said his clients were going to review their options and issue a statement on the matter next week.
The trio recently had a separate challenge to council’s 6-1 vote on the waterfront dismissed in circuit court. The plaintiffs were given time to amend that complaint, but they have yet to do so, according to a press release issued Friday by the city.