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Alexandria City Council Prepares To Vote On Waterfront Plan

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A rendering of part of the vision for the new Alexandria waterfront plan, which comes up for a final vote at the Alexandria City Council Saturday.
Alexandria Department of Planning and Zoning
A rendering of part of the vision for the new Alexandria waterfront plan, which comes up for a final vote at the Alexandria City Council Saturday.

 

Members of the Alexandria City Council will vote Saturday on a waterfront plan that has divided the city for a year.

At least four of the seven council members have indicated they are leaning toward adopting the proposal, which would overturn a longstanding ban on hotels in the waterfront zone and increase the allowable density at three sites slated for redevelopment.

But opponents are calling on Vice Mayor Kerry Donley to recuse himself from the vote because he's a vice president at a bank that has approved loans for a waterfront restaurant. Former Vice Mayor Andrew McDonald is one of those opponents.

"We feel very strongly that the current city plan has been tainted by what we consider to be a cozy relationship with developers," McDonald says.  But he doesn't have any evidence Donley has direct ties to the loans, McDonald adds. City Attorney James Banks has concluded that the vice mayor has no conflict of interest.

"Reasonable people differ, and I guess unreasonable people differ even more," Banks says. 

Opponents have collected signatures on a petition calling for a supermajority vote of six members to pass the plan, but the city attorney says the group does not have a legal basis to submit such a petition. 

 

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