Also Present: Mr. Johnson, Acting City Manager; Mr. Banks, City Attorney; Ms. Evans, Deputy City Manager; Mr. Jinks, Deputy City Manager; Police Captain Ogden; Fire Chief Thiel; Ms. Ehrhart, Office of Emergency Management, Fire Department; Mr. Baier, Director, Transportation and Environmental Services; Mr. Lerner, Deputy Director, Transportation and Environmental Services; Mr. Maslanka, Transportation and Environmental Services; Mr. Melkerson, Transportation and Environmental Services; Ms. Hamer, Director, Planning and Zoning; Ms. Ross, Deputy Director, Planning and Zoning; Ms. Wright, Planning and Zoning; Mr. Cox, Planning and Zoning; Mr. Randall, Planning and Zoning; Mr. Wagner, Planning and Zoning; Ms. Escher, Planning and Zoning; Ms. Willger, Planning and Zoning; Mr. Catlett, Director, Office of Code Administration; Ms. Davis, Director, Office of Housing; Mr. Frederick, Office of Housing; Ms. McLean, ITS; and Mr. Lloyd.
Recorded by: Jacqueline M. Henderson, City Clerk and Clerk of Council.
1. Calling the Roll.
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Euille, and the City Clerk called the roll. All members of Council were present.
2. Public Discussion Period.
(a) Marguret Wohler, 103 E. Nelson Avenue, suggested the establishment of a safe bike lane to connect four of the five Alexandria high schools along King Street and Braddock Road - T.C. Williams, Minnie Howard, Episcopal and St. Stephens. She said they have 59 signatures on a petition supporting the creation of more bike lanes in the City. She challenged Council to go car-free on September 22 and get to know the City from the seat of a bike.
(b) Alex Wolz, 1021 Allison Street, a junior at T.C. Williams High School, said that he bikes to school everyday and has done it for the past two years. He asked why it was so out of the ordinary for someone to bike to school, work or the grocery store. The answer is in the many paved roads throughout the City, where traffic is dominated by cars and two lane streets and where cyclists are pushed to the shoulder or sidewalk. He said the main routes to schools need bike lanes.
(c) David Cavanaugh, 4008 Fort Worth Avenue, spoke regarding the Beauregard Small Area Plan process. He said the Council and Planning Commission scheduled a joint work session for September 19, and Donna Fossum and Don Buch have been asked to discuss the current process and recommendations. He said the stakeholder group has made progress, however, they have not discussed or approved any recommendations and no discussion has been initiated by the group to discuss any of the proposed recommendations, as it is too soon. City staff is in the process of preparing a report on existing conditions: demographics, traffic, transit, schools and recreation as part of the plan. Mr. Cavanaugh said the only vote that has occurred is a straw vote to maintain zoning at the current level. Mr. Cavanaugh requested the agenda be revised to show that the chair and vice chair will be discussing draft recommendations. He asked that the agenda also be revised to include an opportunity for members of the public to speak on ways to make the small area plan process less confrontational and more constructive.
(d) Nancy Jennings, 2115 Marlboro Drive, said she has participated in the development of the Beauregard Corridor Small Area Plan since 2009 and reenforced what Dave Cavanaugh said that they were no where near to making any sort of recommendations. She said the stakeholders group has not yet made a recommendation nor have they decided if there should be a bucket list of amenities that the developers should proffer, much less what should be on the list and how to rank the items. She said Mr. Baier's meeting with homeowners on Seminary Road west of Beauregard has brought more citizens to the stakeholders group and at the meeting last Monday they wanted to discuss additional issues.
(e) Jack Sullivan, 4300 Ivanhoe Place, said they have heard from two other civic leaders about the idea that there would be recommendations provided to Council at the meeting on Monday is not realistic. The only recommendations that have come to a vote in the entire set of meetings is the one that was adopted overwhelmingly on Monday. He requested the Mayor to direct the staff to amend the agenda to allow representatives of area civic associations - Seminary Hill, Brookville-Seminary Valley, and Alexandria West - to put forth their concerns about the process and the substance of the stakeholder group plan.
(f) Van Van Fleet, 26 Wolfe Street, said he is a member of the Old Dominion Boat Club, but he never had or has a leadership position. Mr. Van Fleet asked why is it that the latest land grab by the City is to take two-thirds of the Old Dominion Boat Club's parking lot and if the club won't agree, then intend to take it by eminent domain. He said the Boat Club won its lawsuit and was awarded ownership rights to the club's building and parking lot. He asked who on Council voted to give the City Attorney authority to use eminent domain as a tool to take the property. The Boat Club has tried to work with the City to create a continuous path along the waterfront, to no avail. He said the negotiation tactics used by the City Attorney are not negotiations. He said that each time he threatens to take away more land than the last time, and he asked how much money the City would expend to acquire two-thirds of the Boat Club's parking lot. He asked what is the status of Judge McGrath's contempt charges against everyone for failing to enforce his ruling regarding the Boat Club's easement in Whales Alley.
(g) Owen P. Curtis, 5465 Fillmore Avenue, said he co-chairs the Institute of Transportation Era Committee, which just published the proposed recommended practice for planning urban roadway systems. Mr. Curtis said roadway planning is in the broadest sense in this document and it considers the entire public right-of-way for the use of all transportation modes. He said he wished to advocate for better community-based planning in the City, which is planning that reflects the values the citizens, voters and business interests of the impacted neighborhoods. He stated that the BRAC Advisory Group, the Beauregard Corridor Study Working Group, and the High Capacity Corridor Working Group are three inter-related efforts over the past several years which have taken up too much citizens time, too many tax dollars and have generated significant concern about the impacts they are beginning to feel in the West End. He said the Beauregard Corridor Study Area is not an historic small area plan, as they have several that cover that area, but the City staff gerrymandering the area to cut out all of the single family homes around the Mark Center development interests, with the exception of the Westridge townhouses and the Foster Fairbanks single-family homes, and that is not community based planning. He urged staff and leadership to revisit what needs to be planned, stop the charade of doing the developers bidding and work toward reflecting the preservation of the assets it has, fix the multi-modal transportation issues and consider the implications of capping the development of the current by-right levels.
(h) Ada Aston, 39 Babbling Brook Lane, Martinsburg, West Virginia, said she is a farmer at the Farmers Market and is speaking on behalf of her customers who would like to have the market extended another hour to 12:00 noon, as a lot of them have trouble getting to the market before 11:00, and to have it changed on the website as well.
(i) Jesse Dunhamtt, 639 Norman Silver Place, Glengary, West Virginia, said he is a farmer at the Farmers Market, said his customers would love to see another hour of the market until 12:00.
(j) Poul Hertel, 1217 Michigan Court, said he and his wife care deeply about his neighborhood, and their actions speak for themselves in which they have continuously strived to make it a better place for themselves and everyone else. He said that practically every meeting he goes to is now political, and the scientific endeavor that brings them forward and allows them to come up with creative solutions is being diminished vastly. Mr. Hertel said staff cannot treat citizens like cart cattle. He said Council is ultimately responsible, and the processes they now have in place and the way they are being conducted is conducive to filling the Chamber and people screaming.
(k) Carol James, 1000 N. Vail Street, said the Army Corps of Engineers turned over the keys to the BRAC facility last month to DOD's Washington Headquarters Service, with assurances that the building meets all metrics, and the move in for 6,400 works began August 9. Ms. James said the WHS, the Army Corps and the City have all admitted they have no first responders strategy for protecting the workers at the site, Alexandrians who live nearby and commuters. She said the City has no fire station on the west side of I-395. Council will hear a progress report on Monday night on the Beauregard Stakeholders Group and will likely hear that the developers adjacent to the Ft. Belvoir Annex are being asked to pay and are agreeing to pay for a new fire station as part of a bucket list exchange of proffers to purchase community approval in return for more than tripling population density in the neighborhood. She said those who attended the stakeholders meetings did not agree to such a quid pro quo. She said they must build the new first responders structure, build it now and pay for it themselves.
(l) Kathleen Burns, 1036-N Pelham, said she wished to plead for mercy to whoever schedules meetings in the City, as there were some nights when there are three meetings at once. She said that at a meeting on September 12, things got so out of hand that it became dangerous, where someone hit her with a book. The City should think about some sort of code of conduct, both for people in the audience and the people representing the City. She asked Council to re-think the Waterfront, as most people cannot take a vacation day to attend the meetings during the daytime, and the same happens with Parks and Recreation, where they only meet at 7:00 a.m. during the week. She said that with the announcement at the Mirant Power Plant, they should no longer be having a waterfront plan that deals with the tiny chip - it should go from the northern border to the southern border. Ms. Burns said she wished to second the comments of others with regard to the firehouse, as it is a municipal responsibility and should not be used as a bargaining chip. She said staff have been placed in very difficult positions, and it needs to recommend that they be allowed to remain neutral.
(m) Adam Froehlig, 5990 Richmond Highway, member of the Alexandria Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee, spoke in support of the first two speakers about bicycling in the City, and he requested that the City improve bicycle and pedestrian transportation and improve existing facilities and get a better bicycle and pedestrian network across the City. Mr. Froehlig said that in response to Mr. Hertel's comments, he was at one of the meetings he referred to - the high capacity transit corridor A - and there was a lot on both sides. Some may have been citizen frustration or they are dead set on a certain outcome regardless of the available options.
(n) Lynn Bostain, 5695 Rayburn Avenue, said she wished to echo what others said. The neighborhood they live in is already a walkable, friendly, welcoming neighborhood, and it is about to change. She said she appreciates the work of the review of the Beauregard Corridor recommendations, but clearly it is not enough. She said on Mr. Sullivan's straw poll of the Beauregard Stakeholders that indicates there is considerable objection to the way things have been presented and conducted, and that is something they need to pay attention to. She said with respect to Mr. Curtis' comments, community planning has been seriously lacking in the Beauregard Corridor, and obviously citizens don't feel they are being included. She said citizens aren't used to having to defend themselves against City officials and decisions that are made that people think are inappropriate. She said it makes it difficult for citizens to respond to something that has not been given due process.
2.1 Consideration of a Resolution Affirming City Manager Declaration of Local Emergency on Thursday, September 8, 2011, in Response to Extensive Flash Flooding Resulting from Tropical Storm Lee. [ROLL-CALL VOTE]
(A copy of the City Manager's memorandum dated September 12, 2011, is on file in the Office of the City Clerk and Clerk of Council, marked Exhibit No. 1 of Item No. 2.1; 9/17/11, and is incorporated as part of this record by reference.)
WHEREUPON, upon motion by Councilman Krupicka, seconded by Vice Mayor Donley and carried unanimously by roll-call vote, City Council adopted the resolution affirming the declaration of local emergency for flooding from Tropical Storm Lee. The voting was as follows:
Krupicka "aye" Fannon "aye"
Donley "aye" Hughes "aye"
Euille "aye" Pepper "aye"
The resolution reads as follows: