How to Participate in City Government

Participate in your City Government by attending City Council Meetings and being apart of Planning Boards & Commissions to better the city of Alexandria.

Page updated on Nov 19, 2020 at 10:17 AM

City Council Meetings

The Alexandria City Council welcomes public input on matters of concern to the community. To speak at a meeting of City Council, go to the docket for that meeting. If the meeting will include an opportunity for public comment, it will be noted near the top of the docket. All those wishing to speak at a meeting, must register in advance.

Register to Speak at a City Council Meeting

More Information

Planning Boards & Commissions

Find Out – Dockets for the Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals and the two Boards of Architectural Review give a description of the request and a link to the application, a full report outlining the proposal and recommended conditions of approval, and other related materials.  Preliminary dockets, which are subject to change, are released about 1 to 2 months before the meeting date.  Final dockets, which will include the staff report and related materials, are released about 1 to 2 weeks before the meeting. 

Speak Up – Most requests before the Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals and the two Boards of Architectural Review are subject to public hearing.  Anyone who wishes to speak at a public hearing must complete a speaker form. Speaker forms may be completed online before the hearing (available for Planning Commission only), in person at the hearing, or in the Planning & Zoning Office in City Hall.  More information about participating in Planning Commission meetings is available on the Planning Commission Primer page.

Write In – Unable to speak at a hearing?  Send your comments to the Boards and the Planning Commission be email.

Watch It – Meetings of the Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals and the two Boards of Architectural Review are broadcast live on the web.  Archive video of previous meetings are also available.

Stay Connected – Sign up for eNews to receive dockets by email.  Visit the Planning & Zoning web page for more information about upcoming projects and how to get involved.

Guidelines for Public Discussion

  • When speaking at a public meeting, please follow the Guidelines for Civic Discourse.
  • The public may speak on any item noticed as a public hearing.
  • The public may speak on matters which are not on the docket during the Public Discussion Period at public hearing meetings.
  • All speaker request forms for the public discussion period must be submitted by the time the item is called.
  • No speaker will be allowed more than three minutes.
  • If more speakers are signed up than would be allotted for in 30 minutes, speaker requests will be organized by subject or position, and allocated appropriate times, trying to ensure that speakers on unrelated subjects will also be allowed to speak during the public discussion period.
  • If speakers on the same subject cannot agree on a particular order or method that they would like the speakers to be called on, the speakers shall be called in the chronological order of their request forms' submission.
  • Any speakers not called during the public discussion period will have the option to speak at the conclusion of the meeting, after all docketed items have been heard.
  • Permission may be granted to a person, who is unable to participate in public discussion at a public hearing meeting for medical, religious, family emergency or other similarly substantial reasons, to speak at a regular legislative meeting. When such permission is granted, the rules of procedure for public discussion at public hearing meetings shall apply.