- Alexandria Mayor and City Council
- United States of America
For more than ten years the Eisenhower West Small Area Plan has met with continual delays. As a direct consequence, development along Eisenhower Avenue continues to languish but for light industrial uses such as auto body shops and storage facilities. The Victory Center remains empty. Portions of South Pickett Street contained within the Plan area fare no better.
The City is long overdue in letting property owners know what the future does and does not hold. In the meantime, the City is failing to benefit from the potential of dramatically increased commercial real estate taxes that could be realized from both improved and new commercial development.
The purpose of this petition is to let our City Council and Administration know that there is widespread desire to see this long overdue Small Area Plan undertaken without further delay.
1. for more than ten years local property owners have been promised that preparation of the West Eisenhower Small Area Plan was imminent; and
2. on November 28, 2006, the Alexandria City Council approved the Special Use Permit for the Virginia Paving Company with wording that included “…the Eisenhower West Small Area Plan…anticipated for adoption in 2009”; and
3. the aforementioned Special Use Permit included a “sunset clause“ which provided that “In the event the Council determines that the continued operation of the use is inconsistent with such SAP” the operations could be terminated but “not sooner than seven years after adoption of the SAP”; and
4. the continued delay in preparing the Eisenhower West Small Area Plan continues to delay the commencement of the aforementioned seven-year “sunset clause” and prolongs the industrial use in close proximity to many current and future residences, a school, and a city park; and
5. the absence of any urgency to address the Eisenhower West Small Area Plan has significantly contributed to the ongoing delays in the City focusing attention on the long-contemplated “multimodal bridge” to serve the City’s Transit Corridor C; and
6. the continued delays in addressing the multimodal bridge result in an ever-decreasing list of what might, at one time, have been viable options for the traffic route; and
7. in the absence of the Small Area Plan, development along the Eisenhower West corridor continues to be frustrated by a lack of clarity as to what the City foresees in the future; and
8. continuing to issue Special Use Permits for light industrial purposes, which the City frequently refers to as ”interim uses”, can only further delay upscale commercial development along the Eisenhower West corridor; and
9. on April 30, 2013, the owners and developers of a number of sizable properties wrote the Mayor and City Council making known their frustrations about the lack of progress and stressing that ”without a viable plan and vision the Eisenhower West planning area will continue to be an underutilized asset”; and
10. those same developers are willing to make a significant financial contribution to the cost of developing the Eisenhower West Small Area Plan, providing it is substantially undertaken in fiscal year 2014 (which begins July 1, 2013); and
11. the development and leasing of buildings in the Eisenhower West corridor is frustrated by the continuing lack of quality support amenities; and
12. vacant and underutilized properties are generally assessed at substantially less than they would be were they more financially viable businesses, resulting in the real estate taxes paid the City amounting to substantially less than they might otherwise be; and
13. there would appear to be an immense untapped commercial tax base dormant in the Eisenhower West corridor as a direct consequence of the lack of any Small Area Plan; and
14. residents face significant increases in their property taxes that could be mitigated to some degree were opportunities to materially increase the commercial tax base more aggressively pursued; and
15. the extensive unfunded capital requirements of the City beg for a substantial increase in commercial real estate tax revenue; and
16. the City “work plan” currently calls for a transportation study of the Eisenhower West area to be undertaken in fiscal year 2014, but only contemplates the Small Area Plan being undertaken in fiscal year 2016;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT:
The Alexandria City Council is urged to immediately commence a dialogue with West End property owners and potential developers to expeditiously move forward with and complete the Eisenhower West Small Area Plan without further delay.
Those that have already invested so much in the future of the West End deserve nothing less and the residents of this City deserve to have untapped opportunities and significant, much needed revenue sources pursued as a matter of priority.