Waterfront Small Area Plan
On January 21, 2012, the Alexandria City Council voted 5-2 to approve the Waterfront Small Area Plan. and Waterfront zoning changes. The Plan provides a framework for revitalizing Alexandria's waterfront through several means, including: incorporating Alexandria's history as a foundation for planning and design, expanding and enhancing public open spaces, improving public access and connectivity, promoting the waterfront as an arts and cultural destination, ensuring compatible development.
On February 25, 2012, City Council voted to approve the ordinance (No. 4749) to incorporate the Waterfront Small Area Plan into the City's Master Plan. A second ordinance required to implement the proposed waterfront zoning code changes has not yet been approved due to pending litigation. All outstanding litigation on the Waterfront Plan is expected to be resolved by the end of the year. During that time the Plan implementation activities as they relate to the public improvements will continue.
Waterfront Text Amendment
The Plan's vision for public access and other amenities is currently undergoing implementation work by an indepartmental team of City staff. First steps include solicitation for design work related to parks and public space as well as a system for flood mitigation in the Waterfront core, from Thompsons Alley to Duke Street. The City is also in the beginning phases of a study of circulation and transportation along Union Street, as recommended in the Plan. In addition, the Arts and History communities are working together on compilation of a synthesized plan, reconciling the Alexandria Waterfront Public Art Proposal and the Alexandria Waterfront History Plan in order to form holistic guidance for implementation of these important elements. More information on these and other implementation activities will be made available in the coming weeks and months.
On March 16, the Alexandria City Council voted 6-1 to adopt a text amendment that reaffirms the City’s commitment to implementing the zoning of the Waterfront Small Area Plan. The Council also voted 6-1 to approve a separate text amendment that clarifies a portion of the zoning code regarding the applicability of protest petitions.
The following is additional information related to the W-1 zone text amendment:
The purpose of the Alexandria Waterfront Commission is to advise the City Council and staff on issues related to Alexandria's historic Potomac River waterfront, and advise on implementation of the Waterfront Small Area Plan. The Commission is composed of 21 members representing a particular neighborhood, community organization, or City committee. The Commission was established by City Council on April 14, 2012, and replaces the Waterfront Committee, which was founded in 1989. The Commission meets the third Tuesday of each month at 7:30 am at City Hall Room 2000, 301 King Street, unless otherwise indicated on the agenda. The public is welcome. For additional information, call 703.746.5500.
Frequently Asked Questions
Planning Area & Goals
- Waterfront plan area - The Waterfront Plan will cover the area from Jones Point Park (where the National Park Service has completed its planning) in the south to Daingerfield Island in the north; approximately, by Union Street (south of Queen Street) and Fairfax Street (north of Queen Street) to the west, and then Bashford Lane out to the George Washington Memorial Parkway north to Daingerfield Island.
- Waterfront Plan Goals
The passionate, broad, and high level of interest in this project throughout the Alexandria community has underscored the need for a public process that is as inclusive as possible. Throughout the process, City staff has engaged stakeholders through:
- Informational meetings to identify existing conditions, study other nationally and internationally successful waterfronts, and identify potential opportunities and constraints;
- Interactive meetings to enable interested parties and groups to share their ideas for the Waterfront Plan;
- A series of community workshops to establish values, principles and options for the Waterfront plan; and
- Walking and boat tours of Alexandria Waterfront and waterfronts in other cities.
The City thanks all interested parties for their past and continued participation to the planning process.
Click to enlarge this profile view comparison of Old Town Alexandria and National Harbor under the Draft Plan
News & Media
For more information about the Waterfront Small Area Plan, contact Nancy J. Williams, Principal Planner, Planning & Zoning - 301 King Street, Room 2100, Alexandria, VA 22314 - 703.746.3851 or 703.746.4666