FAQs: Waterfront Small Area Plan Implementation at Foot of King Street
does the City need to move forward now?
The City has hired a renowned landscape consultant to design the parks
and public spaces along the Waterfront consistent with the Waterfront Small
Area Plan (“Waterfront Plan”). Additionally,
a number of development sites within the Waterfront Plan are being prepared for
development in compliance with the Waterfront Plan. These projects, through conditions in their respective
development approvals, will be an important source of funds and other resources
to complete the public portions of the plan.
Therefore, the City needs to take an action on the Old Dominion Boat
Club (ODBC) parking lot and adjacent areas now to better formulate appropriate
conditions for the development projects moving forward and to coordinate the
improvements at the foot of King
Street with the remainder of the Waterfront
the Waterfront Plan be built without the use of eminent domain?
The City of Alexandria,
like many local governments, reserves eminent domain as an action of last
resort. Many elements of prior and
current Waterfront Plans have been and are currently being implemented without
the use of eminent domain. The portion of
the Waterfront Plan for the foot of King
Street up to Waterfront Park,
which is the heart of the Plan, has proven to be difficult to implement given
the land ownership issues. While most of
the Waterfront Plan can and will be implemented, there is not yet a clear path
to achieve the goals that the Waterfront Plan calls for on the ODBC parking lot.
the City Council attempted to come to an agreement with the ODBC prior to this
City Council and City staff have been in discussions with the ODBC, on
and off, for at least the last 15 years.
Some of these discussions have come very close and reflected compromises
that would achieve the public goals and fair solutions for ODBC without the use
of eminent domain. However none of the
negotiations have resulted in a final agreement that can be implemented. While the City has made every effort to offer
the ODBC fair solutions, the ODBC’s requests remain outside of what the City considers
necessary for the public good.
is eminent domain?
Eminent domain, sometimes referred to as condemnation, is the
government’s ability to acquire private property for public use after fair and
just compensation to the property owner.
This is a tool used by governments when the public good or public
exigency requires that the government take this action on behalf of the people.
There is an established judicial process in place so that property owners are
fairly and adequately compensated for any land acquired by eminent domain.
the City Council decided to use the eminent domain tool in this case?
Eminent domain is just one tool in the City’s toolbox of implementation
measures. The City Council has called a
public hearing to discuss the options for implementing the public
infrastructure aspects of the Waterfront Plan, particularly as they pertain to
the land at the foot of King
decision has been made yet about what tool the City Council will use to
implement the Waterfront Plan.