Waterfront Debate Key To Alexandria Mayoral Race | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Waterfront Debate Key To Alexandria Mayoral Race

Play associated audio
 
A view of some of the development that's already along the Potomac Riverfront in Alexandria.
 
Adam Fagen (http://www.flickr.com/photos/afagen/6811967296/)
  A view of some of the development that's already along the Potomac Riverfront in Alexandria.  

Alexandria’s waterfront plan is back in court this week, and it's become the key point of distinction in the city's mayoral race.

Opponents of the plan, which would allow more real estate development on several parcels along the Potomac River, have two separate legal challenges — one in the Circuit Court and another in the Virginia Supreme Court. In a third case, supporters of waterfront redevelopment are challenging in Circuit Court a February ruling against the plan by the Board of Zoning Appeals. 

Lawyers for the city and opponents are back in court this week, scheduling a trial in one of the cases. That legal limbo is also playing out on the campaign trail. Independent candidate for mayor Andrew Macdonald, one of the chief opponents of the plan, says the court challenges are an indication that the waterfront project is fraught with problems.

"The plan hasn't received enough of the approval of the community, so it's not progress in that sense, and I don't think it was well thought out," he says. 

Three-term Democratic Mayor Bill Euille disagrees. The legal challenges aren't surprising, he says, considering the scale of the plan.

"Just because a legal hiccup or process is underway doesn't mean that things can't continue to move forward," he says. 

That includes considering a proposal from a developer interested in building a hotel on the waterfront, which has become a point of contention in this election cycle. Euille’s opponent, independent candidate Andrew Macdonald, has been one of the chief opponents of the plan.

Macdonald says his and Euille's differences on the waterfront are indicative of their differing views in general. 

"I think the mayor and I disagree strongly on what is meant by progress in Alexandria from a big picture point of view, whether it be on the West End or Potomac Yards or on the waterfront," Macdonald says.

Lawyers on both sides expect the cases to come to some kind of resolution this fall, just in time for Election Day. So far, no one-on-one debates have been scheduled between the two candidates.

NPR

Kids' Films And Stories Share A Dark Theme: Dead Mothers

Why do so many animated movies star motherless kids? Sarah Boxer, a graphic novelist, cartoon-lover and mother, talks to NPR's Kelly McEvers about the phenomenon and the message it sends to children.
NPR

What If The World Cup Were Awarded For Saving Trees And Drinking Soda?

We thought you'd get a kick out of seeing how the four teams in the final World Cup matches stack up in global health and development.
NPR

What Will Become Of Obama's Request For Immigration Relief Funds?

NPR's Arun Rath talks to political correspondent Mara Liasson about the chances of a political agreement over how to handle the migration of thousands of Central American children.
NPR

Looking For Free Sperm, Women May Turn To Online Forums

Bypassing commercial sperm banks, thousands are logging on to websites where women can connect with men at no cost. Anecdotes abound, but the scope of the unregulated activity is unclear.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.