Alexandria's Approved Waterfront Plan Attracts Praise And Criticism | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Alexandria's Approved Waterfront Plan Attracts Praise And Criticism

Play associated audio
A model of the waterfront plan is displayed at Alexandria City Hall.
Michael Pope
A model of the waterfront plan is displayed at Alexandria City Hall.

When the Alexandria City Council gaveled into session Saturday morning and approved the controversial zoning change that will almost triple the density at three waterfront sites, the fate of the plan was already sealed.

After the election, when two Republican opponents of the plan were unseated, the zoning change had a clear supermajority support. But it also had a lot of opposition, including longtime state senator and former Mayor Patsy Ticer.

"I think the whole city, for a long time, has been too concerned about the fact that we don't have enough money, and everything seems to rotate around that," says Ticer.

Supporters, such as Gina Baum, say hotel money will bring amenities.

"Having small boutique hotels will certainly improve the landscape of the waterfront for everyone," says Baum. "We'll have improved parks. We'll have improved walkways."

Opponents such as Bert Ely say the city has disregarded the objections of people who live in Old Town, and have filed a number of legal challenges.

"They're, you know, just basically bullying ahead, and they need to learn how to play by the rules, and hopefully that will be the instruction that comes down from the Supreme Court," says Ely.

That decision won't be available for a few weeks. For now, though, the waterfront has a new zoning designation that allows for increased density and two hotels.

"I do not believe that it's 'Apocalypse Now.' There's enough study, there's enough people working on this together with the community that will not allow willy-nilly irresponsible development to happen," says Alexandria Economic Development Partnership president Val Hawkis.

Opponents are holding out hope that an upcoming ruling this spring from the Virginia Supreme Court will undo the waterfront plan.

NPR

Post-Ron Swanson, Nick Offerman Has The 'Gumption' To Be Himself

"I've never accused myself of being manly," Offerman says, noting his real-life persona is different from his Parks and Recreation character. His book is a set of essays about people who inspire him.
NPR

How Dangerous Is Powdered Alcohol?

Last month, the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved a powdered alcohol product, making both parents and lawmakers nervous. Some states have already banned powdered alcohol. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with Brent Roth of Wired, who made his own powdered concoction and put it to the test.
NPR

Senate Blocks Measures To Extend NSA Data Collection

The Senate worked late into the night but was not able to figure out what to do about expiring provisions in the Patriot Act that authorize the NSA's bulk collection of Americans' phone records.
NPR

The Future Of Cardiology Will Be Shown In 3-D

The Living Heart Project aims to create a detailed simulation of the human heart that doctors and engineers can use to test experimental treatments and interventions.

Leave a Comment

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