Virginia Supreme Court Upholds Decision Supporting Alexandria’s Waterfront Plan

by Lee Hernly, Editor

The Virginia Supreme Court today upheld the Alexandria Circuit Court’s dismissal of Burke v. City Council, the last remaining lawsuit challenging the zoning underlying the City’s Waterfront Plan. The Court found that the Plan had been lawfully adopted by Alexandria City Council.

The plaintiffs protested the City’s rejection of an appeal that would have required at least six of City Council’s seven members to approve the zoning changes instead of the usual four. In March 2013, City Council approved the zoning by a 6-1 “supermajority” vote, which the Court found addressed the plaintiff’s request. As a result, there was no additional relief the Court could provide.

“The Court found that the plaintiffs were not actually aggrieved, and therefore dismissal of the case was proper,” said City Attorney James L. Banks, Jr. “This puts an end to all of the pending litigation on the Waterfront and allows approved and pending redevelopment projects to move forward.”

The zoning changes that were the subject of the court case increased the amount of development on the three major “redevelopment parcels” identified by the Waterfront Plan, and permitted up to two hotels of no more than 150 rooms each. One hotel, proposed by Carr Hospitality, was approved in early 2014. A second hotel is proposed as part of the Robinson Terminal North redevelopment, currently scheduled for public hearings in June 2015.

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