Alexandria's waterfront plan is back in court, but there's no resolution in sight. According to the scoreboard, supporters have won two legal victories: one several months ago involving adequate notice of a hearing, and the other last week, challenging the vote as arbitrary and capricious. Ultimately, however, the voters may have the final say in November.
Last week, the Alexandria Circuit Court took action in two separate legal challenges to the controversial waterfront plan to allow hotels and increase density. One was dismissed after the plaintiffs withdrew. In a separate case, the circuit court set a trial date in March — after the election of all six City Council members and the mayor.
"I think that the November election will be a litmus test on whether Alexandrians are comfortable with the level of development that s being pushed in various places around the city," says Boyd Walker, who opposed the plan. He say it's important to win in court and at the ballot box.
The stakes are high because one potential outcome of the court challenges is that the plan might need a super majority vote. Right now, that's not the case, but supporters of the plan, such as Dennis Auld say voters have a wide variety of candidates for and against the waterfront plan.
"It could go either way. I mean, we could all play guesstimates on who's going to win, but there s a possibility that a super majority of those council members that supported the plan may not occur," says Walker.
Now that one of the cases has been dismissed, the court system will still have to deal with two other cases and an appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court.