City of Alexandria Responds to Board of Zoning Appeals Decision on Waterfront Plan

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At their meeting on April 12, the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) overturned the Planning Director’s decision that a protest petition, filed by residents regarding the zoning changes for the waterfront plan, was invalid.

“We respect the BZA’s decision in this matter; however, I believe the BZA decision did not fully address the legal issues brought before them regarding the protest petition,” City Attorney Jim Banks said. “I will present our options to City Council so they can provide direction on this matter.”

While the protest petition could affect the implementation of the zoning, it does not overturn the City Council’s approval of the Waterfront Plan, which they voted 5-2 to approve on January 21, 2012. The plan was incorporated into the City’s master plan for development on February 25. City Council will meet with the City Attorney and City Manager Rashad Young in a closed session on Saturday, April 14, to discuss and evaluate all options, including a legal appeal of the BZA’s decision.

“The Waterfront Plan, which was approved by a majority of City Council, is officially part of the City’s Master Plan,” said Mayor William D. Euille. “The BZA decision on the protest petition will not halt the Plan’s implementation; however, ensuring a change in zoning use is a critical element of the plan.  City Council will need to discuss the BZA’s decision and determine how to move forward, because this component is not only important to shaping the future of Alexandria’s waterfront, but also critical to the future of development in our city.”