Citizens for an Alternative Alexandria Waterfront Plan has announced new leadership and said its co-chairman, Andrew Macdonald, has stepped down from his position as he runs for the mayor’s seat, which will be decided in November.
CAAWP co-founder Boyd Walker earlier this year announced he also would step aside to run for City Council.
The group has elected vocal CAAWP supporters Bert Ely and Mark Mueller as co-chairmen.
The group, which largely opposes the city’s plan to redevelop the waterfront, said in a statement: “In the coming months, CAAWP will be focused on raising funds to support a two-part challenge to the legality of the waterfront plan and rezoning that City Council adopted on Jan. 21.”
City Council passed a plan to redevelop the waterfront on Jan. 21 by a 5-2 vote.
One legal challenge is an appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court, of the Alexandria Circuit Court’s decision to throw out the lawsuit brought by three CAAWP activists: April Burke, Beth Gibney and Marie Kux.
Secondly, the group intends to fight the city’s appeal of a decision made by the Board of Zoning Appeals, a board appointed by City Council.
“The three plaintiffs in this litigation already have incurred nearly $100,000 in legal bills trying to get the city to act lawfully,” said Co-chairman Mark Mueller. “Much more will have to be spent to win this battle.”
Bert Ely, who was a member of the Waterfront Plan Work Group and issued his own dissenting minority report, said: “Alexandria taxpayers will bear the huge cost of the city’s legal bills as the city tries to avoid playing by its own rules, as set forth in the zoning ordinance council enacted.”