Wednesday, May 15, 2013
City Council has many questions and little recourse when it comes to railroad company's request to expand operations.
Alexandria City Council members lamented Norfolk Southern's request to double the number of rail cars offloaded per day at its ethanol transloading facility in the West End at Tuesday night’s meeting at City Hall. Earlier this year, Norfolk Southern filed for a permit with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to increase offloading from the current 14 rail cars to 30 cars per day. Increased emissions under the plan mean Norfolk Southern needs an air quality permit to expand the scale of operations at the facility at 1000 S. Van Dorn St. Council unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday expressing its opposition to the issuance of a permit because of “increased air emissions” and requesting an informational meeting and separate …
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Council's Saturday action on two amendments enables further implementation of the city's Waterfront Small Area Plan designed to revive the riverside.
City Council voted 6-1 Saturday afternoon to allow new kinds of development along the Alexandria waterfront and allowing the city to curb litigation currently stalling the city’s plans to redevelop its riverside. Council also voted 6-1 on an amendment clarifying a part of the zoning code governing property owners’ protest petitions. Deputy Director of Planning and Zoning Karl Moritz explained Saturday that the text amendment “is needed to implement elements of the small area plan such as permitting hotels.” The newly adopted text amendment would allow hotels under certain circumstances, permit cultural institutions and offer rules governing size and height of new development.’ It also would allow structures 5,000 feet or larger that “…
Friday, March 1, 2013
Carr Hospitality to build 109-room boutique lodge near King Street Metro Station.
Alexandria City Council approved plans last week to build a six-story hotel at the corner of Prince Street and Daingerfield Road in Old Town. The project plan, submitted by Carr Hospitality, will remove the existing parking lot at the site and replace it with a 54,013 square-foot hotel with 109 rooms and a small on-site restaurant. The building will have a five-story wing along Prince Street and a six-story wing along Daingerfield Road. The hotel will also have meeting space, a rooftop pool, sundeck and green space. • See: Planning Commission Approves Prince Street Hotel The room count would put the hotel on par with The Lorien Hotel on King Street. Nearby residents expressed concerns about the hotel’s impact on parking in the neighborhood…
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Measure offers City Council's support for private fundraising efforts aimed at preserving the building, but also reiterates that the city will not purchase the structure.
Alexandria City Council adopted a resolution Tuesday night offering its support for private fundraising efforts aimed at preserving the Carver Nursery School building and also reiterating that the city will not be a purchaser of the property. “There are some beginnings of some fundraising efforts in the community to purchase the property, unfortunately those are very tardy efforts,” said Councilman Justin Wilson, who created the resolution with Councilman Paul Smedberg. “But I think the city wants to show support for those efforts but also simultaneously convey that the city will not be the purchaser of last resort for this property as we move forward.” Local preservationists worked frantically over the last several months to circumvent …
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Pilot program will take 10 to 12 public parking spaces away from public use.
Alexandria City Council unanimously approved a pilot program Tuesday for on-street carsharing in the Carlyle and East Eisenhower area. The program will take 10 to 12 parking spaces away from public use so Hertz can set up its carsharing vehicles in the area. The company will pay the city $1,500 per space annually. The program was approved for two years, at which point city staff will return to council with data and other considerations. Mayor Bill Euille called the program “a move in the right direction and long overdue.” Zipcar currently operates 16 carsharing vehicles in off-street spaces in private parking facilities and at Metro stations primarily in the Old Town area. The area for the pilot program was chosen because of its density …
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
ACPS staff confident school construction will go smoothly.
Alexandria City Council approved a $44-million proposal to rebuild Jefferson-Houston School on Saturday. Alexandria City Public Schools cited rising maintenance costs, student population growth and a need for modern learning facilities as reasons to rebuild the struggling school, which was designated a priority school by Virginia’s Department of Education in October and has failed to meet accreditation standards. “This is the school that has received the least amount of capital investment of all our facilities,” School Board Chairman Sheryl Gorsuch said. “It needs to be brought up to the 21st century.” The plan calls for replacing the current school with a 130,000-square-foot L-shaped building framing a new turf athletic field. The …
Friday, November 16, 2012
Session dealt with discussion of the acquisition of open space, though few details are known.
Alexandria City Councilwoman Alicia Hughes refused to take part in a closed meeting with Mayor Bill Euille and other members of council Tuesday night to discuss pending or possible city litigation and potential acquisition of real estate. What exactly was discussed in the session is unclear. Councilman Paul Smedberg announced that the closed session was called under reasons stipulated in the Code of Virginia, adding that it was called specifically to discuss “the acquisition of real property for public open space and likely litigation that may result from the acquisition of real property to support infrastructure, safety and other public purposes.” Just before councilmembers exited the City Hall chamber for the closed session, Hughes, who …
Monday, November 5, 2012
Alexandrian Paul Friedman says City Councilman Frank Fannon is a nice guy, but should not be re-elected.
Monday, November 5, 2012
I have met City Councilman Frank Fannon and he is a nice guy. Unfortunately, he should not be taking up one of just six precious seats on our City Council. Frank actively opposes the interests of the people of Alexandria and should not be re-elected. While there are many, I offer three reasons. First, Frank has opposed funding needed to build and maintain the public schools we need. Second, Frank actually called for cutting a million dollars from our education budget in order to spend more money for the Alexandria Pipe and Drum Corps. No offense to the corps, but children should be our community’s highest priority. Third, even though Alexandrians had long been united in their desire to see the Mirant/GenOn plant close as quickly as …
Friday, November 2, 2012
Alexandria resident Linda Couture questions the Sierra Club's endorsement of four Democratic candidates for City Council.
Friday, November 2, 2012
To the Editor: Are you kidding me! That was my reaction when I read the Sierra Club’s endorsements of four of the Democrat candidates for Alexandria’s election: Del Pepper, Tim Lovain, Justin Wilson and Paul Smedberg. That being said, this is actually not a laughing matter at all. These are the very four folks who did nothing to prevent the BRAC from being built in the Seminary area requiring hundreds of mature trees to be sacrificed and replaced by cars and noxious fumes arising from congestion. Obviously these “environmentalists” misuse the term “smart growth.” Smedberg and Pepper also voted for the Beauregard plan that again will cause the loss of hundreds and hundreds of beautiful and mature trees as well as destruction of the bucolic…
Monday, October 22, 2012
The group is supporting John Taylor Chapman, Tim Lovain, Del Pepper, Paul Smedberg, Justin Wilson and Bob Wood in their bids to win a seat this November.
The Mount Vernon Group of the Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club has endorsed six candidates running for a seat on the Alexandria City Council in the November election: Democrats John Chapman, Tim Lovain, Del Pepper, Paul Smedberg, Justin Wilson and Republican Bob Wood. The environmental advocacy group made its endorsements after reviewing candidates’ answers to club questionnaires and interviews with members of its executive committee. The club said it makes its endorsements on a nonpartisan basis. The review included an evaluation of each candidate’s environmental record and “ability to run a viable campaign,” according to the Sierra Club. The questionnaire considered candidate views of top environmental priorities for the city; complex…