1. Calling the Roll.
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Euille, and the City Clerk called the roll; all the members of Council were present. (Councilwoman Hughes arrived at 9:45 a.m.)
Mayor Euille noted the death last week of former City Councilmember Winfield McConchie.
2. Public Discussion Period.
(a) John Stephenson, 133 N. Payne Street, president, Alexandria Taxpayers United, thanked Council for its decision to publish on-line detailed information about the City's contracts for services, and they hope Council will continue to make the information about the City contracts available and easily accessible to the public in future budget cycles and hope they will consider expanding the scope of the database to new areas in encouraging transparency at the Alexandria City Public Schools.
(b) Don Buch, 389 Livermore Lane, spoke about BRAC and asked the City to provide the community a cost-benefit analysis of the development, as there appears to be more costs to be bourne by the community. He said it appears the City could be out of pocket $150 million as the cost of having BRAC locate at Mark Center. The citizens are overdue an explanation as to why the City was so eager to attract this target to a site that VDOT said was not viable from a traffic perspective.
Mayor Euille asked the City Manager to provide a response to Mr. Buch's request.
(c) Bert Ely, 200 S. Pitt Street, spoke of the Waterfront Planning process, noting that his concerns are that the plan has gone too far down the road based on assumption and untested assertions and is being built on a foundation of quicksand. The time has come for Council to say stop to peddling a waterfront vision until questions are answered which will shape what the waterfront will become, specifically: outcome of the pending waterfront litigation, docks and piers extending into D.C. waters and into the shipping channel, the money issue for constructing the public sector portions of the plan, and parking and specifically valet parking.
(d) Yvonne Weight Callahan, 735 S. Lee Street, spoke about Jones Point Park and asked for Council to appoint a neighborhood task force to oversee the construction at Jones Point Park.
(e) Gary Carr, 216 Aspen Street, spoke to the need for running tracks in the City. He also spoke about Potomac Yard and spoke of his statement before the School Board regarding the benefit of the Potomac Yard school to the children of Alexandria. He asked where will the children play and run.
(f) David Cavanaugh, 4008 Fort Worth Avenue, spoke of transportation planning in the West End and of the traffic studies for development as a result of the BRAC complex. He recommended that Council deny applications for increases in permitted density in the Beauregard Small Area Plan until transit, road improvements and systems will be in place to accommodate the expected growth; the City should slow down the Beauregard Small Area Plan process until it has a clear picture of transit options, benefits and costs; it should adopt dedicated funding for a local transportation and transit projects; it should include funding in the 2012 CIP budget for phase I improvements; and it should ensure transitway and transportation improvements are scheduled, funded and coordinated with adjacent jurisdictions.
(g) John Gosling, 208 S. Fayette Street, president, Old Town Civic Association, endorsed the idea of creating a task force to look after the reconstruction of the Jones Point Park. Mr. Gosling spoke of the Waterfront Small Area Plan, noting that the new materials created some issues that the members need to absorb before they can endorse the plan, including the creation of a plaza at the end of King Street, Fitzgerald Square, the relocation of the new marina to the south in front of Robinson Terminal, and the idea that the buildings that frame the open-space elements of the Plan are beginning to emerge in greater detail and some degree of transparency between how the Torpedo Factory or the food court may be re-worked to engage with the open space. He said their main issue is of parking for visitors that penetrates deep into Old Town.
(h) Katy Cannady, 20 E. Oak Street, said Council needs to take the pulse of the public, and needs to know what the citizens think, and she said it was a real error to not schedule a public hearing on the criteria for rezoning without a master plan. She said she has problems related to affordable housing and the general attitude toward affordable housing. Revitalizing Arlandria could mean the end of a lot of affordable housing that is located there and the City should not do anything that threatens that housing. She said she was concerned about the Hamlets in the Beauregard Corridor Plan, which is unsubsidized affordable housing for people that work for a living and the planning process will bring an end to the Hamlets, and she would like a stated public policy that unsubsidized affordable housing must be preserved.
(i) Roger Waud, 501 Slaters Lane, #1203, president, North Old Town Independent Citizens Association, spoke of spot zoning and said it looks like it is a way for developers to get their nose under the tent and put them on a course toward the "Rosslynization" of Alexandria.
(j) Nancy Jennings, 2115 Marlboro Drive, said her trust of the City is at an all time low since the Army came to build BRAC at Mark Center and now the City wants to increase the density in the Beauregard Corridor Plan to heights that are 3-5 times what they said they wanted when the Mark Center CCD was done. She said there is a new proposal for a commercial tax that will fund infrastructure projects. She said she lacks the City Manager's optimism that the economy is recovering, as houses are selling in her neighborhood for $100,000 less than they were in 2008. Ms. Jennings said that given the economy and the City's past record on delivering solutions, she didn't see how they could allow more density in the West End until they have transportation in place and some of the other infrastructure problems solved.
(k) Jack Sullivan, 4300 Ivanhoe Place, spoke to the criteria for rezoning without a master plan study and he submitted an amendment, which speaks to the section under "type of area" and suggested it read: "the need to protect residential neighborhoods would weigh in favor of not proceeding without a thorough study and, if necessary, an areawide rezoning plan."
(l) Poul Hertel, 1217 Michigan Court, spoke to the criteria for rezoning without a master plan study and said he still had concerns about the plan. He said they understand how the confines of the small area plan might be restrictive when it stands in the way of opportunities, but to them it is a comfort when it prevents development that does not fit into the fabric of the community. Mr. Hertel said in the proposal, because the last paragraph is a boilerplate for how to avoid being caught in the spot-zoning regulations, it removes the master plan protective measures. The proposal mentions neighborhood protection but marginalizes it, especially in the type of area plan paragraph. He encouraged Council to work on that and make the changes as suggested by Jack Sullivan.
REPORTS OF BOARDS, COMMISSIONS AND COMMITTEES
ACTION CONSENT CALENDAR (3)
3. SPECIAL USE PERMIT #2010-0059
104 SOUTH IRIS STREET
HOME CHILD DAYCARE
Public Hearing and Consideration of a request to operate a home child daycare; zoned R-2--5/Single and Two-Family. Applicant: Miriam Ayala
PLANNING COMMISSION ACTION: Recommend Approval 6-0
(A copy of the Planning Commission report dated December 18, 2010 is on file in the Office of the City Clerk and Clerk of Council, marked Exhibit No. 1 of Item No. 3; 12/18/10, and is incorporated as part of this record by reference.)
END OF ACTION CONSENT CALENDAR
WHEREUPON, upon motion by Vice Mayor Donley, seconded by Councilman Krupicka and carried unanimously, City Council adopted the action consent calendar. The approval was as follows:
3. City Council approved the Planning Commission recommendation.
The voting was as follows:
Donley "aye" Fannon "aye"
Krupicka "aye" Hughes "aye"
Euille "aye" Pepper "aye"
REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE CITY MANAGER
3.1 Deferral from December 14, 2010: Consideration of Criteria for Rezoning Without a Master Plan Study. (#33, 12/14/10)
(A copy of the City Manager's memorandum dated December 7, 2010, is on file in the Office of the City Clerk and Clerk of Council, marked Exhibit No. 1 of Item No. 3.1; 12/18/10, and is incorporated as part of this record by reference.)
WHEREUPON, upon motion by Vice Mayor Donley and seconded by Councilman Krupicka, City Council adopted the criteria for rezoning without a master plan study, with an amendment to type of area, on page 3, lines 5 and 6, to delete the line "if redevelopment is appropriate, that factor weights in favor of proceeding" and replace it with "the need to protect residential neighborhoods would weigh in favor of not proceeding without a thorough study and, if necessary, an area wide rezoning plan."
Councilwoman Pepper asked for a friendly amendment under the small area plan, line 2 to add: "will the proposal be inconsistent with or a radical departure from the other existing uses in the area."
The amendment was accepted by the maker and seconder of the motion and is considered part of the motion.
The motion carried 6-1 and was as follows:
Donley "aye" Fannon "aye"
Krupicka "aye" Hughes "aye"
Euille "aye" Pepper "aye"
REPORTS OF BOARDS, COMMISSIONS AND COMMITTEES (continued)
ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS
4. Public Hearing, Second Reading and Final Passage of an Ordinance to Establish the Tier I Potomac Yard Metrorail Station Special Services District. (#36, 12/14/10) [ROLL-CALL VOTE]
(A copy of the City Manager's memorandum dated December 9, 2010, is on file in the Office of the City Clerk and Clerk of Council, marked Exhibit No. 1 of Item No. 4; 12/18/10, 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. 4; 12/18/10, 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. 4; 12/18/10, and is incorporated as part of this record by reference.)
Deputy City Manager Jinks made a presentation of the report and responded to questions of City Council.
The following persons participated in the public hearing on this item:
(a) Andrew Macdonald, 217 N. Columbus Street, spoke against the special services tax district.
(b) Katy Cannady, 20 East Oak Street, spoke against the special tax district and to the little public input on the proposal.
(c) Jim Keim, 1820 Carpenter Road, spoke against the special tax district and noted that the Metro station will benefit everyone in Alexandria and everyone should pay a little of what it will cost to put it there.
(d) Jonathan Rak, 1750 Tysons Blvd., McLean, attorney for CPYR, Inc., owner of Landbay F, requested that there be a maximum tax rate of 20 cents.
WHEREUPON, upon motion by Councilman Krupicka and seconded by Councilwoman Pepper, City Council closed the public hearing and passed the ordinance to establish the Tier I Potomac Yard Metrorail Station Special Services District.
Vice Mayor Donley asked for a friendly amendment to Section 1 of the ordinance that the tax rate for the PYM-I service district shall not exceed twenty cents per one hundred dollars of assessed value.
The amendment was accepted by the maker and seconder of the motion and becomes part of the motion.
The motion carried 7-0 by roll-call vote and was as follows:
Krupicka "aye" Donley "aye"
Pepper "aye" Fannon "aye"
Euille "aye" Hughes "aye"
Councilwoman Hughes noted that she does not support existing properties in Presidential Greens as being part of the special tax district.
The ordinance reads as follows: