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Alexandria Waterfront Plan Would End Hotel Ban, Increase Density

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The height limit for development at part of Robinson Terminal North would increase from 55 feet to 66 feet.
The Alexandria Department of Planning and Zoning
The height limit for development at part of Robinson Terminal North would increase from 55 feet to 66 feet.

The small-area plan would overturn a longstanding ban on hotels along the waterfront, increasing density at three sites.

Critics of the proposal are planning to speak against changes at the public hearing. Former Vice Mayor Andrew Macdonald says increasing density along the waterfront and raising height limits would make the waterfront look like Crystal City: "High-density development, big boxes, immense monolithic strucutres that impede views of the water and reduce affordable, public access to the waterfront and river."

Council member Paul Smedberg says allowing higher density would be a way to pay for amenities.

"The challenge is going to be balancing...giving maybe slight concessions on certain properties to get all the things we want, like more open space, you know, another large park, the flood mitigation," he says.

Council members could decide to defer until June, but a final plan is expected in the next few months.

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