February 22, 2024
Alexandria considers extension of public remark interval for controversial zoning for housing plan
Alexandria considers extension of public remark interval for controversial zoning for housing plan
What two further tales appears to be like like on a 45-foot-tall construction. (By way of Metropolis of Alexandria)

After a request from the Del Ray Residents Affiliation, Alexandria is leaning towards extending a public remark interval by two months after it releases its controversial zoning for housing plan later this yr.

The huge plan would upend various zoning ordinances. Considered one of them is a bonus top modification that might incentivize builders so as to add inexpensive housing to initiatives in alternate for 2 further tales of development in areas the place top limits are 45 ft or extra.

Many Del Ray residents are against 70-foot-tall house buildings alongside Mount Vernon Avenue.

“The Del Ray Residents Affiliation requests the Planning Fee and Metropolis Council present a 60 day overview interval between the discharge of the evaluation/findings and the primary public listening to to make sure the general public has sufficient time to overview and touch upon the Zoning for Housing proposals,” DRCA wrote. “This 60 day interval offers the DRCA adequate time to investigate the proposal and have our membership vote on the initiatives.”

The proposal is in the neighborhood engagement part between now and June. Metropolis workers suggestions might be made in July and August, adopted by extra neighborhood engagement periods in September and October after which public hearings in November and December with the Planning Fee and Metropolis Council.

Karl Moritz, the director of planning and zoning, stated that town will work with DRCA to accommodate their request.

“(DRCA) prompt to us that they’d discover it very useful if there was at the very least a 60 day interval between the discharge of workers’s suggestions and the primary public listening to,” Moritz stated at a public assembly final week. “It’s high of thoughts, and one thing that we’re taking a critical take a look at.”

Areas of town that might be impacted by the proposed change to top restrictions. (By way of Metropolis of Alexandria)

The Planning Fee deferred a vote on the bonus top proposal final summer time after protests from Del Ray residents. The transfer would affect properties alongside Mount Vernon Avenue in Del Ray, in addition to in Arlandria, Alexandria West, the Beauregard space, the Landmark space, Eisenhower West, Previous City North and Carlyle.

Metropolis leaders, together with Mayor Justin Wilson, say that the proposed insurance policies will desegregate Alexandria, which handed various zoning ordinances within the twentieth century that resulted in dividing town by race.

“That actuality was enforced by a patchwork of ordinances, restrictive covenants, intimidation and lending practices that served to successfully segregate our Metropolis for generations,” Wilson wrote in his publication final month. “Whereas de jure insurance policies that explicitly enforced segregation had been made unlawful way back, the legacy of those insurance policies dwell on right this moment. In truth, lately, Alexandria has grown MORE segregated.”

Nancy Williams, the assistant director of the Division of Planning and Zoning, stated that town is evaluating whether or not racist zoning ordinances nonetheless exist.

“I simply wish to underscore that what we’re doing right here is analysis,” Williams stated. “We didn’t make a declare that there’s racism. We’re making an attempt, with everybody’s help, to generate an understanding of previous legal guidelines and the way they might affect land use patterns… It’s price our whereas, I believe, to have a look to analysis whether or not or not any of those boundaries nonetheless exist, and may prohibit us from transferring ahead in a method that gives alternative for everybody.”

In line with town, the initiative contains:

  • Bonus top textual content modification — This initiative would incentivize extra use of Part 7- 703 of the zoning ordinance that enables further top in new residential initiatives in alternate for inexpensive housing. Present regulation permits the availability for use in areas with a top restrict better than 50 ft, and the proposal is to permit it for use in areas with top limits of 45 ft or extra. A objective of the initiative is to develop housing decisions and dispersion all through extra areas of the Metropolis in a fashion that’s harmonious to the encircling bodily context of the visible depiction of neighborhood
  • Historic improvement patterns —  The aim of this initiative is to establish land use patterns, similar to the combination of makes use of and constructing varieties present in historic neighborhoods (Del Ray, Rosemont, Previous City, and Parker-Grey) that may now not be constructed beneath present zoning. Traits of historic land use patterns which can be fascinating can be recognized together with suggestions for adjustments to the Zoning Ordinance to permit these patterns to be thought-about
  • Coordinated Improvement Districts and inexpensive housing — CDDs set up the zoning for giant tracts of land deliberate for redevelopment. The aim of this initiative is to make sure that the creation of inexpensive housing is supported in every new CDD. The latest CDD for the Potomac River Producing Station web site is a mannequin that workers will study for potential utility in future CDDs
  • Increasing housing alternatives in single household zones — This initiative will suggest a zoning framework to develop housing choices in single household zones by enabling new typologies in neighborhoods the place they don’t exist now. These choices might by their nature be cheaper than the standard new single household residence, however this initiative is not going to be inspecting the potential for these new models to be “dedicated inexpensive” as we have now interpreted that with out particular instruments or public funding to make them so
  • Analyses of business, townhouse and multi-family zones — These initiatives will search to create a typical algorithm for industrial, townhouse and multi-family improvement and cut back pointless regulatory boundaries to development
  • Growth of transit-oriented improvement — This initiative will overview present permitted densities inside the walksheds of present and deliberate Metro stations and bus fast transit stations. It will additional analyze any present boundaries at the moment in place that restrict elevated densities round transit stations
  • Workplace-to-residential conversions — This initiative will overview Alexandria’s latest expertise with office-to-residential conversions, together with an analysis of the impacts of conversions from a wide range of views, together with housing provide, financial improvement goals, and monetary affect. The undertaking will decide whether or not the Zoning Ordinance contains impediments to office-to-residential conversions and whether or not there are areas the place we wish to encourage or restrict conversions
Town’s upcoming public conferences on the problem are on Wednesday, Could 10, from 6 to 7:45 p.m. on the Charles Beatley Central Library (5005 Duke Road) and on Monday, Could 22, from 6 to eight p.m. on the Lee Recreation Middle (1108 Jefferson Road).