Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Frank Putzu questions the city's transparency and ability to engage with its citizens when it comes to redeveloping the Alexandria waterfront.
Wednesday, April 3
On March 16, 2013, the Alexandria City Council passed controversial and sweeping planning changes that are already the subject of litigation. The City passed these changes to transform an honest policy disagreement into Through the Looking Glass litigation tactics, where nothing is as it appears to be. There are two cases in court. The first, city-initiated litigation attacks a Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) decision finding that citizens have a right to petition their government in accordance with state law (the BZA is a creature of state law, not the city) and zoning ordinance. The second, citizen-initiated litigation, which is before the Supreme Court of Virginia, is whether the city can manipulate the process to deprive its citizens of …
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Judge denies motions by the city and its opponents in a case brought by the city asking the court to rule that the Board of Zoning Appeals does not have certain authorities.
An Alexandria Circuit Court judge last week denied separate requests by the city and its opponents in a case brought by the city asking the court to rule that Alexandria’s Board of Zoning Appeals does not have certain authorities. The judge’s rulings mean the case is still on course for an April hearing next year. The Board of Zoning Appeals last spring sided with citizens who had asked it to reconsider a ruling by the director of Alexandria’s Planning and Zoning Department. Faroll Hamer had ruled as invalid their petition requesting the city not rezone some waterfront land near their homes and so not allow hotels. The city filed suit in circuit court to express it disagreed with the BZA ruling and at the time, City Attorney Jim Banks said…
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Old Town resident Michael Peck is pleased with the Alexandria Circuit Court's decision on Wednesday.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Letter To The Editor: The people who play by the rules won an important legal battle against a predatory and rapacious city government Wednesday. In a valiant neighborhood-wide effort to defend basic property rights against the Mayor’s hidden eminent domain agenda, to ensure open city-wide resident access to as much of Alexandria’s waterfront as possible, and to push back against arbitrarily increasing ecologically and community destructive density to the benefit of special outside developer interests threatening those who live in what has become “waterfront harm’s way,” Wednesday’s court ruling by the Honorable Nolan Dawkins gives cause for hope. Judge Dawkins denied the Burke Respondents' Motion to Strike the City of Alexandria's Second …
Monday, May 21, 2012
Board of Zoning Appeals members say they are uncomfortable having no legal counsel or city legal counsel after city appeals BZA decision to Alexandria Circuit Court.
Alexandria’s Board of Zoning Appeals is requesting that City Council give it an outside lawyer who could advise the body on matters relating to the city’s appeal of the BZA’s decision on the waterfront petition. The BZA in April sided with a group of citizens who appealed the city planning director’s decision to reject their petition asking that the riverside area near their homes not be rezoned allowing development such as hotels. In turn, the city filed a suit in Alexandria Circuit Court, asking it to reconsider the BZA’s ruling. The case was filed as City Council for the City of Alexandria and Faroll Hamer, Director of Planning and Zoning for the City of Alexandria v. the City of Alexandria Board of Zoning Appeals and April Burke and …
Monday, May 14, 2012
City says Board of Zoning Appeals failed to understand essential underpinnings of the law.
The city has filed suit in Alexandria Circuit Court to express it disagrees with the decision of its Board of Zoning Appeals for overturning a ruling by Alexandria’s planning director who determined a citizens’ petition was invalid. The BZA in April ruled in favor of citizens who had asked it to reconsider a ruling by Planning and Zoning Director Faroll Hamer. She ruled as invalid their petition requesting the city not rezone some waterfront land near their homes, allowing more and different development like hotels. Mayor Bill Euille said the city would appeal the BZA’s decision because “it could have implications on future land use decisions throughout the city.” He commented during Saturday’s general City Council public hearing that in …
Monday, May 7, 2012
Co-chairman Andrew Macdonald will step away from the group as he runs for mayor. Fellow Chairman Boyd Walker earlier this year announced his intentions to resign as he runs for council.
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 …
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Alexandria City Council candidate Boyd Walker says his vision for the waterfront can come to be if court upholds Board of Zoning Appeals' opinion.
Democratic Alexandria City Council candidate Boyd Walker said the recent decision from the Board of Zoning Appeals on the city’s waterfront plan represented “a ruling in the citizens’ favor that upholds the right to protest the rezoning of the waterfront” during a press conference Monday evening at West’s Point along the Potomac River. Last week, the BZA opted to side with a group of citizens who appealed the city planning director’s decision to reject their petition asking that waterfront area near their homes not be rezoned to allow new development. The city has said it will appeal the BZA’s ruling. “It is important that we uphold the right of adjacent property owners to protest any rezoning across the city,” Walker said to an assembled …
Saturday, April 14, 2012
City said it seeks appeal to help clarify how the board's decision could affect future land use.
The City of Alexandria will appeal the Board of Zoning Appeals’ decision last week that overturned the planning director’s decision that a protest petition related to waterfront rezoning was invalid. The city will appeal the decision because of its influence on the future of the waterfront plan and to get clarification from the Circuit Court as to how the appeals board’s decision could affect future land use. “The BZA’s decision could have broad implications on future land use decisions throughout the city,” Mayor Bill Euille said in a Saturday statement. “To suggest that any text amendment be subject to a 6-1 supermajority vote of council and the requirements of determining who is eligible to protest is both unreasonable and impractical. …
Friday, April 13, 2012
Speakers before Board of Zoning Appeals were largely critical of the city's process and said the system needs to be repaired.
Members of the Board of Zoning Appeals heard harsh remarks about the city’s conduct and the appeal process during Thursday night’s public hearing on a petition calling for the rejection of city rezoning of the waterfront area. Public speakers largely represented a group of activists who have staunchly opposed the city’s plan to redevelop the waterfront although a few voices supported the city’s actions. Co-founder of Citizens for an Alternative Alexandria Waterfront Plan Andrew Macdonald, who is also running for mayor, characterized the city as a “spoiled child who has done everything under the sun to thwart a fair and decent and honest process…There were a lot of meetings, but it doesn’t mean a good open dialogue and fair process.” CAAWP …
The 4-2 vote in favor of the petitioners could trigger another City Council vote on the zoning portion of the waterfront plan.
The Board of Zoning Appeals has sided with a group of citizens who appealed the city planning director’s decision to reject their petition asking that waterfront area near their homes not be rezoned allowing more and different kinds of development. The City Hall meeting was a cliffhanger until the bitter end as members flipped and flopped during discussion over which way they would vote – ultimately delivering a victory to the citizens with a 4-2 vote around 1 a.m. Friday. BZA Chairman Mark Allen recused himself from the debate and vote at the beginning of the meeting due to a long-standing relationship with one of the parties involved. Member John Keegan said his membership in the Old Dominion Boat Club, which does not favor much of the …