Last week, Alexandria's Board of Zoning Appeals ruled that city officials had been in the wrong when they rejected a protest petition from a citizens' group aiming to block the implementation of the city's waterfront redevelopment plan.
Now, Alexandria officials say they're planning to appeal that decision, saying the zoning board's decision could have "unintended consequences on future land use."
The group who filed the petition, Citizens for an Alternative Alexandria Waterfront Plan, has been protesting the implementation of the waterfront plan for months, saying it will contribute to overdevelopment in the area.
As part of their effort, the group filed a petition that would have required six of the seven city council members to support zoning changes related to the waterfront plan before they could be implemented. The city rejected that petition, and the residents appealed that rejection.
City officials have said the protest petition only affects zoning changes to the waterfront, and not the overall plan itself. But they added they were worried about the example the new ruling could set.
“The BZA’s decision could have broad implications on future land use decisions throughout the City,” Mayor William D. Euille said in a press release. “To suggest that any text amendment be subject to a 6-1 supermajority vote of Council and the requirements of determining who is eligible to protest is both unreasonable and impractical. We respect the BZA and the opinions of citizens who don’t support the waterfront plan, but for the good of the entire city, we must appeal this decision.”