Fossum Voted Off Alexandria Planning Commission
Maria Wasowski, Nate Macek and Derek Hyra appointed to influential board.
Donna Fossum, a member of the Alexandria Planning Commission for more than two decades, was voted off the prestigious board on Tuesday night.
Three new Planning Commission members were appointed by City Council—Maria Wasowski, Nate Macek and Derek Hyra.
Longtime commissioners Larry Robinson and Jessie Jennings stepped off the influential body, which makes recommendations to council on special use permits, requests for vacations or encroachments of public right-of-ways, rezonings, master plan amendments and other requests. Members also represent the Planning Commission on other city boards.
“I didn’t get a single vote after 23 years on the Planning Commission,” Fossum told Patch. “I didn’t get a thank you. I have no idea of why. … Don’t waste your time helping the city because they don’t care.”
The West End resident represented the Planning Commission on the Transportation Commission and the Beauregard Rezoning Advisory Group.
Last year, Fossum finished 10th in the 14-candidate Democratic primary for council.
Wasowski, co-owner of A Show of Hands in Del Ray, is a former president of the Del Ray Business Association and former chair of the Potomac Yard Design Advisory Committee. She received votes from all seven councilmembers.
Hyra is the chairman of the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority. The West End resident is an associate professor at Virginia Tech, whose research focuses on inner-city economic development, national housing policy and urban politics.
Macek, an Old Town resident, works as a consultant at Parsons Brinckerhoff specializing in financial planning for major transportation investments. He currently serves as chairman of the Waterfront Commission.
The new members of the board will join the commission for its March 5 meeting.
Council also appointed two new members to the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals—Mindy Lyle, who served on the Waterfront Plan Work Group, and Del Ray Realtor Jen Walker.
They replace incumbents John Keegan and David Lantzy on the BZA, which hears and decides appeals requesting variance from provisions of the city’s zoning code.