For Immediate ReleaseFor More Information, Contact
June 28, 2006
PIO# 165-06/jbh
Brian Hannigan, Director of Communications orRaynard Owens, Communications Officer, at 703.838.4300
Raynard Owens, Communications Officer, at 703.838.4300



Council Funds Nonprofit ParcView Apartment Renovation
to Maintain City’s Affordable Housing Supply

The Alexandria City Council approved emergency legislation at its Tuesday meeting that responds to widespread concern about development of large homes on small lots. The amendment to the City’s Zoning Ordinance specifically addresses the heights allowed for front-door thresholds and regulations for subdividing new lots for construction in established neighborhoods.

Under the new regulations, front-door thresholds can not be built more than 20 percent higher than the average height of other thresholds on a block without a special use permit.

The legislation also allows the City to consider how the proposed lot or lots compare to other lots in the immediate area in addition to those within the original subdivision. Existing regulations require that newly created lots must be of substantially the same character as other land within the subdivision.

“This legislation addresses the ‘mansionization’ that threatens to undermine the harmony of several Alexandria neighborhoods,” said Alexandria Mayor William D. Euille. “It gives us some needed relief while we seek to find a workable permanent solution to this problem.” The emergency legislation will expire on December 31, 2006 unless extended by the City Council.

The City Council also gave preliminary approval to a proposal by Wesley Housing Development Corporation to expand the city’s affordable housing inventory by acquiring and renovating the ParcView Apartments at 5380 Holmes Run Parkway in the City’s West End. The renovated complex, formerly known as Landmark Apartments, will have 146 units, including 79 one-bedroom and 67 two-bedroom apartments. Wesley will set aside 80 percent (117) of the units as affordable housing.

“This program will provide a significant number of needed rental units for moderate-income residents of the City,” said Mayor Euille. “I am very pleased that established nonprofit developers such as Wesley are continuing to work with the City to preserve expanded affordable housing opportunities for our residents.”
The City Council approved loaning Wesley up to $9 million from its Affordable Housing funds toward the total purchase price of $24 million.

Wesley Housing Development Corporation is a nonprofit organization that develops and preserves affordable housing for limited income individuals and families in the greater Washington area. Wesley currently owns and operates two affordable rental properties in the City, the 28-unit Lynhaven Apartments on Commonwealth Avenue and the 41-unit Beverly Park Apartments on Notabene Drive. Both were acquired with the assistance of loans provided by the City of Alexandria.

In other action Tuesday, the City Council:

Approved the Declaration of Local Emergency issued Monday by City Manager James K. Hartmann to expedite the City’s response to the ongoing flood emergency;

Received a report from Alexandria’s eGovernment Manager, Craig T. Fifer, on responses to the City’s request for proposals for the private sector to fund creation of a citywide wireless network;

Approved a resolution urging the United States Postal Service to find a new location for the George Mason Station Post Office as close as possible to the current location near the intersection of Prince and Washington Streets. In May, the Postal Service informed the City that the owner of the station’s current building at 126 South Washington Street would not renew its lease. The postal service has solicited site proposals for a new location for the George Mason Station. Proposals are due by July 23 and the Postal Service expects to select a new location by late August.

Honored retiring Councilwoman Joyce Woodson for her six years of service on the City Council, and Police Chief Charles E. Samarra for his sixteen years of service as chief of the Alexandria Police Department.
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