1. Calling the Roll.
Mayor Euille called the meeting to order and the City Clerk called the roll. All members of Council were present, with the exception of Councilwoman Hughes, who was absent.
2. Public Discussion Period.
(a) Dr. Stephen Kauffman, 3450 N. Beauregard Street, representing the Beauregard Medical Center and its patients, spoke of the King Street/Beauregard project, which is scheduled to begin construction in 2011, and said the project will take away one-half of the parking spaces in front of the medical center, which will lead to the inability of his patients to park and for the Center to continue to practice in that area. He said the Department of Transportation hasn't been completely honest in their depiction of how it will go about, as in 2007, they produced a booklet that said no businesses would be impacted by it, and in 2009, there is an absence of that statement in the book. Dr. Kauffman said the biggest problem is they want to build the median strip along Beauregard Street, and they want to build two turn lanes on King Street. He said there is already a median on Beauregard Street and it allows perfect access into their medical clinic. Also proposed is a bicycle path, but the path stops before Braddock Road, so no one will be able to use the bicycle path to hook up with the W&OD trail in Arlington and access to the Northern Virginia Community College.
(b) Oscar Fitzgerald, 206 W. Monroe Avenue, vice chair of the Alexandria Library Board, asked Council to not significantly cut the library budget, as the library is a cheap investment, and last year the library suffered a $2 million cut, the largest budget reduction on a percentage basis of any City department. He noted the various community groups and citizens that use the libraries. He asked Council to keep the library doors open for maximum usage and the shelves stocked with the latest materials.
(c) Annabelle Fisher, 5001 Seminary Road, spoke of the meeting on the King Street Beauregard transportation intersection improvements on November 18, and she said the advertised public meeting did not start as a planned meeting by the Engineering staff, who stated it was a meeting to talk one-to-one. She said the City staff filibustered and refused to answer questions from citizens and staff has swept the matter under the carpet for two years, and she thought the City would have had transparency in government. She said the proposal will allow u-turns at King Street and Beauregard in any direction, and consultants will be talking with the various businesses and condo owners about right-of-way property acquisition - buying up their land to make the project happen. She asked what has happened to the $500,000 the City paid to tear down the former hospital on King Street where a business deal would have been made to have the Alexandria School Board headquarters move to that site. She asked that there be other public meetings on the matter.
Transportation and Environmental Services Director Baier said they are looking at several mitigating areas for the parking, noting that they have had several meetings over the last four years, and the last one was about a month and a half ago, and they have given several presentations to both the Transportation Commission and the Traffic and Parking Board. He said they will continue to work with the community and all of Alexandria and are doing so in an analytical way.
(d) David Caplan, 418 Queen Street, thanked Council for buying the hybrid trolleys for Old Town/King Street using stimulus grants, and he offered Council a challenge to take some of the elements that made the trolley so successful and apply that to other parts of the fixed route bus system, like Del Ray. He said it misses a great opportunity to better leverage the bus routes and bring in additional revenue to the system, and the DASH AT10 route would make a great demonstration project. Mr. Caplan said it runs every day from King Street to Potomac Yard via Mt. Vernon Avenue and it is one of the most productive routes in the DASH system, yet it runs only hours on weekends.
(e) Gary Carr, 218 Aspen Street, spoke of the needs for running tracks at Frances Hammond and George Washington Middle School, and he asked the Council to fix the tracks at the schools.
(f) Rodger Digilio, 1110 King Street, president, King Street Gardens Park Foundation, a foundation that was set up to assist the City in operating the largest piece of public art in the City - King Street Gardens Park, said the Foundation tries to raise revenue that can support much needed improvements in the park and they had instituted a buy-a-brick campaign when the park was built, and the bricks and elements are still available for purchase. He said they are trying to raise $8,000 to allow the City to replace the irrigation system so they can make the park look more presentable.
(g) Amy Slack, 2307 E. Randolph Avenue, spoke about strategic planning for goal #1, and she thought about how it did a great deal to do outreach to people who are not engaged in the process. She said they have an entire industry which is vital to goal #1 - it is an industry that employs 800 people - and that is the taxi industry. She said she would like for the SBD, the ACVA, and Economic Policies to address the industry and do outreach to the industry. Ms. Slack said it is important to bring the providers into the system and make them realize how vital they are.
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NEW BUSINESS ITEM NO. 1: Assistant City Manager Gates gave a status update on where they are on the Strategic Goal Planning Process.
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REPORTS OF BOARDS, COMMISSIONS AND COMMITTEES
ACTION CONSENT CALENDAR
END OF ACTION CONSENT CALENDAR
REPORTS OF BOARDS, COMMISSIONS AND COMMITTEES (continued)
Planning Commission (continued)
3. SPECIAL USE PERMIT #2009-0066 (A)
REZONING #2009-0002 (B)
MASTER PLAN AMENDMENT #2009-0003 (C)
760 JOHN CARLYLE STREET AND 1800 EISENHOWER AVENUE
CARLYLE PLAZA (CARLYLE - BLOCK P)
Public Hearing and Consideration of a request to A) amend the Carlyle Special Use Permit approval and the Design Guidelines for Block P to remove lots 803 and 804 and floor area; B) rezone the subject properties from CDD #1 (Duke Street) to CDD #11 (South Carlyle); and C) amend the Eisenhower East Small Area Plan to update the development controls for CDD #11 and include design guideline for Block 26A (formerly Block P); zoned CDD #1/Coordinated Development District -1. Applicant: Carlyle Plaza LLC represented by Jonathan Rak, attorney.
PLANNING COMMISSION ACTION: MPA Resolution Adopted 7-0
SUP Recommend Approval 7-0
REZ Recommend Approval 7-0
(A copy of the Planning Commission report dated December 12, 2009 is on file in the Office of the City Clerk and Clerk of Council, marked Exhibit No. 1 of Item No. 3; 12/12/09, and is incorporated as part of this record by reference.)
Planner Parker made a presentation of the report and she, along with Ms. Wright, Planning and Zoning, responded to questions of City Council.
The following person participated in the public hearing on this item:
(a) Jonathan Rak, attorney representing the applicant, 1750 Tysons Blvd., #1800, McLean, spoke in favor of the application.
WHEREUPON, upon motion by Councilman Smedberg, seconded by Councilwoman Pepper and carried unanimously, City Council closed the public hearing. The voting was as follows:
Smedberg "aye" Donley "aye"
Pepper "aye" Fannon "aye"
Euille "aye" Hughes absent
WHEREUPON, upon motion by Councilman Smedberg, seconded by Vice Mayor Donley and carried unanimously, City Council approved the Planning Commission recommendations. The voting was as follows:
Smedberg "aye" Fannon "aye"
Donley "aye" Hughes absent
Euille "aye" Krupicka "aye"
REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE CITY MANAGER
4. Public Hearing and Consideration of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Proposed Route I-395 Direct Access Ramp Alternatives for the BRAC-133 Project at Mark Center. (#6, 11/21/09)
(A copy of the City Manager's memorandum dated December 7, 2009, is on file in the Office of the City Clerk and Clerk of Council, marked as Exhibit No. 1 of Item No. 4; 12/12/09, and is incorporated as part of this record by reference.)
Director of Transportation and Environmental Services Baier made a presentation of the report and he, along with Deputy City Manager Jinks and Nick Nicolson, regional transportation manager for VDOT, and Paul Perdoe, with Baker Engineering, responded to questions of City Council.
The following persons participated in the public hearing on this item:
(a) Jodie Smolik, executive director, the Winkler Botanical Preserve, speaking on behalf of the Winkler family and the board of directors, asked Council to vote no impact on the Preserve. She asked those in the audience in favor of The Preserve to stand and be recognized.
(b) John Perlman, 9 East Maple Street, submitted posters from Mt. Vernon Community School, copies of 350 names on a petition and a packet with letters from the schools, and he read from some of the letters in support of saving Winkler.
(c) Jessica Miller, 61 E. Taylor Run Parkway, representing Fairfax Park Authority, Naturalists, and Northern Virginia Community College and students throughout the area, spoke in support of the design option for Sanger Avenue, providing direct access to 395.
(d) Christina Lytle, 3925 Col. Ellis Avenue, said they don't want the employees on their local neighborhood roads and destroying up to 30 percent of Winkler will not ensure that there will be less traffic, and she asked that the Council vote to not impact the Preserve.
(e) Lucie and Leslie Lytle, 3925 Col. Ellis Avenue, students, spoke in favor of protecting Winkler and not putting a road through Winkler.
(f) Freeman Jelks, 611 N. View Terrace, spoke in favor of protecting the Preserve.
(g) Andrew Macdonald, 217 N. Columbus Street, spoke in favor of protecting the Preserve, noting that it needs to hire an independent group, form a citizen committee, set up a bond on the developer and evaluate the option, preferably no road anywhere near the Preserve, to establish oversight over VDOT.
(h) Chet Humberd, 4850 Mark Center Drive, representing the Institute for Defense Analyses, proposed that VDOT consider another alternative, which is to use a flyover ramp from the HOV lanes, except it would go further north on 395, short of the Seminary Road interchange and would come across the top edge of the remote inspection facility.
(i) Peter Benavage, 5066 Fairbanks Avenue, said A1 and A2 won't work and proposed that a transportation hub be put in in the northeast quadrant of the Seminary/Beauregard intersection, and it should look at the Small Area Plan as a whole.
(j) Susan Miranda, 600 West View Terrace, spoke in favor of protecting the Winkler Preserve, and she said the Sanger intersection should not be accessible to or from the highway.
(k) Laura Plaze, 402 Cambridge Road, spoke on behalf of Friends of Winkler and in support of protecting the Preserve.
(l) Ralph Erickson, 8123 Saxony Drive, Annandale, spoke in support of Winkler and the programs it provides to the community.
(m) Kay Arndorfer, 2920 Richmond Lane, president, Charles Barrett Elementary PTA, spoke in opposition to any development that would encroach into the Winkler Preserve.
(n) Timothy Dickson, 500 Cathedral Drive, entered his letter into the record in support of protecting Winkler and the testimony of David Dale, co-chair of the Mt. Vernon Council of Civic Associations.
(o) Annabelle Fisher, 5001 Seminary Road, spoke of her concern for using Sanger, noting the traffic on Seminary and Beauregard, and noting that she liked the idea of a flyover ramp. She said there needs to be a shuttle bus that will take people directly from the BRAC site to the Pentagon and Springfield Metros.
(p) David Dexter, 5600 Harding Avenue, spoke in support of eliminating consideration of the Winkler Preserve, and he said the Sanger Avenue alternative for direct access option needs to be more fully evaluated by the Transportation Commission and the community before VDOT is directed to pursue it.
(q) Matthew Fenimore, 9320 Ludgate Drive, along with Rosemary Williams, said they are students at Blessed Sacrament School and they spoke in support of not destroying Winkler and they submitted a petition with 350 signatures by students and teachers at Blessed Sacrament.
(r) Susan Pettey, 220 N. Royal Street, spoke in support of preserving the Winkler Foundation without infringement of paving it.
(s) Ivy Sinaiko, 6101 Larstan Drive, speaking as a board member and past president of the Lincolnia Hills/Heywood Glen Civic Association, spoke in support of preserving the Winkler Preserve and supporting the Transportation Commission's recommendation to consider how a larger area of study may offer transportation solutions, support including the Duke Street interchange in VDOT studies and will remain open to what may be possible at Sanger Avenue if it is a realistic plan.
(t) David Kauffman, 6345 Woodside Court, Columbia, Maryland, said his civic association has the same issues as is on this site, and with regard to the Beauregard Medical Clinic at the Beauregard/King Street area, part of the design is for paths for bicycles, and he asked why 32 feet is necessary, as he didn't think people would bike in from out of the area to go to this facility. He said it won't help BRAC and it will not help traffic.
(u) Don Buch, 389 Livermore Lane, asked Council to not confine itself to selecting an option from a list of non-solutions. He asked if it was realistic to build an interstate off-ramp to serve 1,800 vehicles, and they deserve to know if the City is prepared to take a stand on The Preserve and if it can protect The Preserve, noting that they need a broad, holistic approach to traffic in, through and around the area.
(v) Katherine McGrady, 4825 Mark Center Drive, Chief Operating Officer, CNA, said their concern is the proximity of DOD's remote inspection facility at the corner of the property adjacent to I-395, and she questioned safety and security. Ms. McGrady spoke of the traffic issues and the lack of a plan to funnel thousands of cars into the roads within Mark Center and also of pedestrian traffic. She asked Council to authorize the Transportation Department to conduct a study of how future traffic will flow during peak and non-peak hours and authorize work to be done.
(w) Geoffrey M. Goodale, 493 Naylor Place, president, Brookville-Seminary Valley Civic Association, urged Council to consider requesting VDOT and T&ES to think of alternative solutions that might better serve the goals, including getting efficient traffic into the facility while protecting the Preserve. He said they support the Transportation Commission's recommendations to further analyze options A1 and A2, to instruct VDOT to only consider options that will not harm the Winkler Preserve, to adopt the BRAC Mark Center Advisory Group's guiding principles and urge VDOT to consider them, and request Duke Realty to work on completing the local road improvements as quickly as possible. He requested that Council not adopt the Transportation Commission's recommendation that Council direct VDOT to pursue a design option at Sanger Avenue, providing direct access to I-395, and they ask Council to work with the Congressional delegation to urge the RIF not be put there.
(x) Nancy Jennings, 2115 Marlboro Drive, speaking as president, Seminary Hill Association, Inc., said she would like to have better alternatives to chose from and combinations of measures before deciding on a plan and working on the acquisition of funding. She said the Seminary Hill Association passed a resolution urging the Council to persevere for a solution that improves access to and from I-395 into the BRAC-133 site and Mark Center to minimize impacts on the Seminary Road interchange and the local streets and the City should ask VDOT to explore more alternatives that give access to the Mark Center from I-395, and to explore improving traffic flow on I-395 by adding another lane on I-395 between Seminary Road and Duke Street and widening Seminary Road exit from the south.
(y) Danny Blum, 1653 B North Van Dorn Street, said there is not a single mention of local residents in the area in the report, and he said the 35 foot high ramps will be in peoples front yards. He encouraged Council to add a sixth recommendation to provide protection to local residents.
(z) Stephanie Booth, 1653 B North Van Dorn Street, said Van Dorn and Parkside of Alexandria are not included in the area to be studied to see what happens. She said she was concerned that there is no mention of local residents and hasn't heard it discussed. She also spoke of the noise from the BRAC-133 site, noting that the City has exempted them from weekend construction regulations.
(aa) Susan D'Amico, 1511-C North Van Dorn Street, said their community in Parkside of Alexandria has windows facing the Army headquarters construction site. She said their concerns relate to human health, quality of life and property values. She said they support the Winkler Preserve but want to make sure there is a perspective on the impact on homeowners and the design on C, D and E and the height of the ramps, and she spoke of the design of the direct access ramp from the HOV lanes that would hug the current Seminary Road bridge.
(bb) Owen Curtis, 5465 Fillmore Avenue, spoke of the City's response to the BRAC environmental assessment in August 2008 and noted that all the parties need to take a broader more comprehensive view of the issues and neighborhoods west of 395 which are to be preserved and protected. Mr. Curtis asked that they not build until a broader review has been accomplished. He said they need to think beyond preserving The Preserve, as the objective is the preservation of the quality of life of the residential and mixed use neighborhoods of the West End, and the City needs to work with the Army to run the access through the Army's site.
(cc) Diane Costello, 5840 Lowell Avenue, spoke of the guiding principles, in particular on protecting The Preserve, and the Transportation Commission took the Winkler Preserve off the table, and the City Manager's memorandum as part of today's docket says to instruct VDOT to eliminate from consideration any access alternatives within their preliminary interchange justification report which would impact the land area of the Winkler Botanical Preserve, and she said that didn't sound like the Winkler Preserve had been taken off the table. She asked if the VDOT proposals cross resource protection areas as designated in the RPA buffer map, and she asked if it was a State mandate that exceptions to the RPA requirements must be heard by the Planning Commission at a public hearing.
(dd) Joanne Lepanto, 4009 North Garland Street, said what matters most is the traffic and she said the impending gridlock from BRAC traffic will have a devastating impact on their daily lives and make a dangerous situation even worse in the case of an emergency. She said none of the VDOT options are adequate, but VDOT appears to be willing to consider other alternatives and the City should pursue it, noting that they need options to provide direct access to the entire Mark Center site and they need options to provide stacking capacity on-site, and they need options that will keep BRAC and Mark Center traffic out of the Seminary Road interchange and off Alexandria streets. Ms. Lepanto asked Council to explore the Sanger option and Mr. Humberd's option and do not reject option D or other BRAC access options because they will impact The Preserve and leave those options on the table until the VDOT meeting in February.
(ee) Ana Humphrey, 1314 DeWitt Avenue, said she goes to Maury Elementary School and she presented a petition signed by 82 students and teachers regarding saving the Winkler Preserve.
(ff) Lynn Bostain, 5695 Rayburn Avenue, Seminary West Civic Association, said they will have a massive transportation problem due to poor planning. The West End residents five years ago objected to the three left turn lanes off of Seminary onto Beauregard, not because they wanted to halt development, but because they knew that it alone would not solve the transportation problem. She said they don't have years to wait for VDOT to put the new roadways in place. Ms. Bostain said there would now have a major terrorist target located in their residential neighborhood due to the remote inspection facility. She said some of the solutions are direct access off of I-395. She asked Council to consider Seminary Road both east and west of the development, piecemeal solutions are impractical and will not work, and they need to consider rail and Metro service for the future.
Mayor Euille said there needs to have a meeting with Duke Realty, VDOT, City staff and others to talk about the issue in terms of pedestrian and traffic issues and Mark Center Square.
WHEREUPON, upon motion by Councilman Krupicka, seconded by Councilwoman Pepper and carried 6-0, City Council closed the public hearing. The voting was as follows:
Krupicka "aye" Donley "aye"
Pepper "aye" Fannon "aye"
Euille "aye" Hughes absent
WHEREUPON, a motion was made by Councilman Krupicka and seconded by Councilwoman Pepper, that City Council received the final public testimony on the seven direct access ramp alternatives being considered by VDOT for their preliminary IJR analysis and adopted the following five recommendations from the Alexandria Transportation Commission: 1. direct staff to prepare a letter to Duke Realty encouraging Duke Realty to move with all speed to complete the local roadway improvements as approved by Council; 2. request VDOT to retain alternatives A1 and A2 which provide direct access from I-395 to the Department of Defense (DoD) garage; 3. direct VDOT to work with City staff to evaluate additional alternatives to relieve traffic pressures on Seminary Road and to address traffic impacts from BRAC, provided that such alternatives meet the following criteria: A. do not harm the integrity of the Winkler Preserve; B. minimize disruption to all local residents from BRAC-133 traffic as well as from any potential solutions to such traffic; C. take into consideration a broader view of transportation issues in the corridor, specifically by coordinating the study of alternatives with the on-going Beauregard planning effort; and D. take into consideration the guiding principles of the Alexandria's BRAC-133 group when developing alternatives; 4. instruct VDOT to eliminate from consideration any access alternatives within their preliminary interchange justification report which would impact the land area of the Winkler Botanical Preserve; and 5. is incorporated it into 3D above.
In response to a question from City Council, Mr. Duncan Blair, attorney for the Winkler Foundation, said that from an ownership standpoint of what is The Preserve, it is clearly defined as a tract of land with 1,944,125 square feet of land owned by a non-profit. He showed a land records paper showing that it is known as 1100 Mark Center Properties Limited Partnership, parcel F2. He said the documents were given to him yesterday by the Department of Real Estate Assessments.
After discussion and comments, Councilman Krupicka clarified the motion, with the following notations: On items 1 and 2: change the word "direct" to "request," understanding that VDOT has its own powers to be accountable to. Item #3 is amended and replaced with the following language: 3. request VDOT to work with City staff to evaluate additional alternatives to relieve traffic pressures on Seminary Road and to address traffic impacts from BRAC, provided that such alternatives meet the following criteria: A. do not harm the integrity of the Winkler Preserve; B. minimize disruption to all local residents from BRAC-133 traffic as well as from any potential solutions to such traffic; C. take into consideration a broader view of transportation issues in the corridor; and D. take into consideration the guiding principles of the Alexandria's BRAC-133 group when developing alternatives. 4. "instruct" to be changed to "request." Add #5 to read: "look at the Transportation Management Plan (TMP) when developing a final proposal and recommendation on the issues." City staff is directed to take this, submit it as their position as of today, but to give staff the ability to bring back to Council some additional clarification so they can evolve their position as they learn more over time.
There was discussion among Council about directing staff to develop a cover letter to accompany a copy of the motion, with the understanding that the cover letter would be shared with Council before being finalized.
The final motion reads as follows:
City Council received the final public testimony on the seven direct access ramp alternatives being considered by VDOT for their preliminary IJR analysis and adopted the following five recommendations from the Alexandria Transportation Commission: 1. direct staff to prepare a letter to Duke Realty encouraging Duke Realty to move with all speed to complete the local roadway improvements as approved by Council; 2. request VDOT to retain alternatives A1 and A2 which provide direct access from I-395 to the Department of Defense (DoD) garage; 3. request VDOT to work with City staff to evaluate additional alternatives to relieve traffic pressures on Seminary Road and to address traffic impacts from BRAC, provided that such alternatives meet the following criteria: A. do not harm the integrity of the Winkler Preserve; B. minimize disruption to all local residents from BRAC-133 traffic as well as from any potential solutions to such traffic; C. take into consideration a broader view of transportation issues in the corridor; and D. take into consideration the guiding principles of the Alexandria's BRAC-133 group when developing alternatives; 4. request VDOT to eliminate from consideration any access alternatives within their preliminary interchange justification report which would impact the land area of the Winkler Botanical Preserve; and 5. look at the Transportation Management Plan (TMP) when developing a final proposal and recommendation on the issues. (City staff was directed to draft a cover letter to accompany the motion, with the understanding that before the cover letter is finalized, that it be shared with Council to make sure the points are covered.)
The voting on the motion was as follows:
Krupicka "aye" Donley "aye"
Pepper "aye" Fannon "aye"
Euille "aye" Hughes absent
ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS
5. Public Hearing, Second Reading and Final Passage of an Ordinance to Amend and Reordain Sections 5-8-21 (Definitions), Section 5-8-22 (Abandoned, Unattended and Immobile Vehicles To Be Removed), Section 5-8-24 (Notice That Vehicle Has Been Impounded), Section 5-8-25 (Repossession of Impounded Vehicles; Towing and Storage Charges), Section 5-8-27 (Sale of Unrepossessed Vehicles; Proceeds of Sale), Section 5-8-28 Disposition of inoperable abandoned vehicles), Section 5-8-29 (Surrender of Certificate of Title, Etc., Where Motor Vehicle Acquired For Demolition; Records To Be Kept By Demolisher) and Section 5-8-30 (Delegation of Law Enforcement Authority) All Of Article C (Disposition of Abandoned, Unattended and Immobile Motor Vehicles) of Chapter 8 (Parking and Traffic Regulations) of Title 5 (Transportation and Environmental Services) of the Alexandria City Code. (#16, 12/8/09) [ROLL-CALL VOTE]
(A copy of the City Manager's memorandum dated December 2, 2009, is on file in the Office of the City Clerk and Clerk of Council, marked as Exhibit No. 1 of Item No. 5; 12/12/09, and is incorporated as part of this record by reference.
A copy of the informal memorandum explaining the ordinance is on file in the Office of the City Clerk and Clerk of Council, marked Exhibit No. 2 of Item No. 5; 12/12/09, and is incorporated as part of this record by reference.
A copy of the ordinance referred to in the above item, of which each Member of Council received a copy not less than 24 hours before said introduction, is on file in the Office of the City Clerk and Clerk of Council, marked Exhibit No. 3 of Item No. 5; 12/12/09 and is incorporated as part of this record by reference.)
WHEREUPON, upon motion by Councilman Smedberg, seconded by Councilwoman Pepper and carried 6-0 by roll-call vote, City Council closed the public hearing and passed the ordinance on motor vehicles. The voting was as follows:
Smedberg "aye" Donley "aye"
Pepper "aye" Fannon "aye"
Euille "aye" Hughes absent
The ordinance reads as follows:
ORDINANCE NO. 4637
AN ORDINANCE to amend and reordain Section 5-8-21 (DEFINITIONS), Section 5-8-22 (Abandoned, unattended and immobile vehicles to be removed), Section 5-8-24 (Notice that vehicle has been impounded), Section 5-8-25 (Repossession of impounded vehicles; towing and storage charges), Section 5-8-27 (Sale OF unrepossessed vehicles; proceeds of sale), Section 5-8-28 (Disposition of inoperable abandoned vehicles), Section 5-8-29 (Surrender of certificate of title, etc., where motor vehicle acquired for DEMOLITION; records to be kept by demolisher) and Section 5-8-30 (Delegation of law enforcement authority) of Article C (DISPOSITION OF ABANDONED, UNATTENDED AND IMMOBILE MOTOR VEHICLES) of Chapter 8 (PARKING AND TRAFFIC REGULATIONS) of Title 5 (TRANSPORTATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES) of The Code of The City of Alexandria, Virginia, 1981, as amended.
THE CITY COUNCIL OF ALEXANDRIA HEREBY ORDAINS:
Section 1. That Section 5-8-21 of the Code of the City of Alexandria, Virginia, 1981, as amended, be, and the same is hereby, amended and reordained to read as follows:
Sec. 5-8-21 Definitions.
The following terms shall, for purposes of this article, have the meanings set forth below.
(1) Motor vehicle or vehicle means any motor vehicle, trailer or semitrailer, or any part thereof, as defined in section 46.2-100, Code of Virginia (1950), as amended.
(2) Abandoned motor vehicle means a motor vehicle that:
(a) is left unattended on public property for a period of more than 48 hours in violation of the Code of Virginia (1950), as amended, or this code; or
(b) is left unattended on the shoulder of a primary highway.
(3) Demolisher means any person or entity whose business is to convert motor vehicles into processed scrap or scrap metal or otherwise to wreck or dismantle such vehicles.
(4) Authorized city official means any of the following persons: the chief of police; any sworn member of the police department; the fire marshal; and any deputy fire marshal.
(5) Parking violation notice means a citation issued for the violation of a law relating to the parking of motor vehicles or of any other law relating to motor vehicles for which a parking citation may be issued.
(6) Scrap metal processor means any person who is engaged in the business of processing motor vehicles into scrap for remelting purposes who, from a fixed location, utilizes machinery and equipment for processing and manufacturing ferrous and nonferrous metallic scrap into prepared grades, and whose principal product is metallic scrap.
(7) Vehicle removal certificate means a transferable document issued by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles for any abandoned motor vehicle that authorizes the removal and destruction of the vehicle.
(8) Department means the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.
(9) Commissioner means the Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.
Section 2. That Section 5-8-22 of the Code of the City of Alexandria, Virginia, 1981, as amended, be, and the same is hereby, amended and reordained to read as follows:
Sec. 5-8-22 Abandoned, unattended and immobile vehicles to be removed.
Whenever a motor vehicle:
(a) becomes an abandoned motor vehicle;
(b) is left unattended on a public street or public property and constitutes a hazard to traffic;
(c) is left unattended for more than 10 days upon public property without the permission of the city;
(d) is left unattended for more than 72 consecutive hours on private property without the permission of the property owner (provided, that in the case of private property normally open to the public for parking, signs are posted on the property which provide reasonable notice that vehicles left on the property for more than 72 consecutive hours without permission will be removed at the vehicle owner's expense);
(e) is left unattended on a public street or public property, or on private property, including a private street and road, but not including property which is owned or occupied as a single family residence, and there are three or more unpaid or otherwise unsettled parking violation notices pending against the vehicle;
(f) is left unattended in a fire lane or within 15 feet of a fire hydrant or an entrance to a fire station; or
(g) is immobilized while in a travel lane of a public street by weather conditions or other emergency situation; the vehicle may, at the direction of an authorized city official, be removed for safekeeping by city personnel, vehicles and equipment, or by a towing service under contract to the city, to the city impoundment yard or another impoundment facility; provided, that a vehicle may be removed from privately-owned property only pursuant to the written authorization of the property owner or, where applicable, an association of owners formed pursuant to chapter 4.1 of title 55 of the Code of Virginia (1950), as amended.
Section 3. That Section 5-8-24 of the Code of the City of Alexandria, Virginia, 1981, as amended, be, and the same is hereby, amended and reordained to read as follows:
Sec. 5-8-24 Notice that vehicle has been impounded.
(a) The following notice must be provided for impounded abandoned motor vehicles:
(1) The authorized city official, a designee of the official or another city employee designated by the city manager, directing the removal of any vehicle under this article shall initiate with the Department, in a manner prescribed by the Commissioner, a search for the owner and/or lienholder of record of the motor vehicle, requesting the name and address of the owner of record of the motor vehicle and all persons having security interests in the motor vehicle on record with the Department. The Department shall check: (i) its own records, (ii) the records of a nationally recognized crime database, and (iii) records of a nationally recognized motor vehicle title database for owner and lienholder information.
a. If a vehicle has been reported as stolen, the Department shall notify the appropriate law-enforcement agency of that fact.
b. If a vehicle has been found to have been titled in another jurisdiction, the Department shall notify the city of that jurisdiction. In cases of motor vehicles titled in other jurisdictions, the Commissioner shall issue certificates of title on proof satisfactory to the Commissioner that the persons required to be notified by registered or certified mail have received actual notice fully containing the information required by this section.
c. If the Department confirms owner or lienholder information, the Department shall notify the owner, at the last known address of record, and lienholder, at the last known address of record, of the notice of interest in their vehicle, by certified mail, return receipt requested, and advise them to reclaim and remove the vehicle within 15 days, or, if the vehicle is a manufactured home or a mobile home, 120 days, from the date of notice. Such notice, when sent in accordance with these requirements, shall be sufficient regardless of whether or not it was ever received. Following the notice required in this subsection, if the motor vehicle remains unclaimed, the owner and all persons having security interests in the motor vehicle shall have waived all right, title, and interest in the motor vehicle.
d. Whenever a vehicle is shown by the Department’s records to be owned by a person who has indicated that he is on active military duty or service, the Department shall notify the city of such information. Any person having an interest in such vehicle under the provisions of this article shall comply with the provisions of the federal Service members Civil Relief Act (50 U.S.C. app. 501 et seq.).
e. If records of the Department contain no address for the owner or no address of any person shown by the Department’s records to have a security interest, or if the identity and addresses of the owner and all persons having security interests cannot be determined with reasonable certainty, the city shall obtain from the Department, in a manner prescribed by the Commissioner, a Vehicle Removal Certificate. The vehicle may then be sold to a licensee or scrap metal processor as defined in Virginia Code § 46.2-1600 (1950), as amended.
(b) The following notice must be provided for all other impounded motor vehicles:
(1) The authorized city official, a designee of the official or another city employee designated by the city manager, directing the removal of any vehicle under this article, shall, within 15 days of the impoundment of the motor vehicle, by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, provide notice to the owner of record of the impounded vehicle, as shown in records maintained by the Department; provided, that the vehicle has not already been released from the impoundment facility. The notice shall state the following: (i) the year, make, model and registration number of the motor vehicle; (ii) the address where the vehicle is being held; and (iii) that the owner and any person having a security interest in the vehicle may reclaim the vehicle within 15 days from the date of the notice, after payment of all towing and storage charges resulting from the removal and storage of the vehicle.
(2) If the owner fails or refuses to pay the cost or if his identity or whereabouts is unknown and unascertainable after a diligent search has been made, and after notice to him at his last known address and to the holder of any lien of record with the Department against the motor vehicle, the vehicle shall be considered an abandoned motor vehicle and the provisions of subsection (a) apply.
Section 4. That Section 5-8-25 of the Code of the City of Alexandria, Virginia, 1981, as amended, be, and the same is hereby, amended and reordained to read as follows:
Sec. 5-8-25 Repossession of impounded vehicles; towing and storage charges.
(a) The owner of any vehicle impounded under this article, a person duly authorized by the owner and any person possessing a security interest in the vehicle shall be permitted to repossess the vehicle up to the time of its sale by:
(1) payment of a towing charge of $100;
(2) payment of a storage charge of $30 per day;
(3) payment of a charge of $70 to cover the administrative costs incurred by the city in impounding the vehicle, in learning the identity of the vehicle owner and the holders of a security interest in the vehicle and in conducting the sale; and
(4) in the case of vehicles identified in section 5-8-22(e), payment of the outstanding parking violation notices for which the vehicle was removed.
(b) Payment of the charges and costs identified in subsection (a) shall not operate to relieve the owner of the impounded vehicle or the owner's agent from liability for any fine or penalty.
Section 5. That Section 5-8-27 of the Code of the City of Alexandria, Virginia, 1981, as amended, be, and the same is hereby, amended and reordained to read as follows:
Sec. 5-8-27 Disposition of unrepossessed vehicles; proceeds of sale.