The independent investigators hired by City Council to look into the circumstances surrounding the city staff’s response to the establishment of Norfolk Southern Railway’s Ethanol Transloading Facility in Alexandria last April have reported. Readers can find a link to the full report in our news story if they would like to peruse it for themselves.
The Army had a community meeting last week to brief interested citizens on its office project in the Mark Center business park in the west end of the city. Most of the discussion revolved around traffic that will undoubtedly increase as the result of the development. Unfortunately, this traffic increase would occur whether the site is developed by the Army or anyone else. The time to have debated that was years ago when the master plan was developed.
Dr. Morton Sherman, Alexandria’s new School Superintendent, will face his first public test when he presents his budget for FY 2010 to the School Board in December. This is certainly not an easy year for budgeting in the face of massive revenue shortfalls at the state and local levels. Dr. Sherman will have to move through many obstacles.
The Planning Commission voted 6-0 with one abstention to deny the Map Amendment for increased height and to defer the balance of the application submitted by IDI for its Hunting Terrace site. IDI sought to increase the density on Hunting Terrace while offering to preserve some of the Hunting Towers site across the George Washington Memorial Parkway as affordable housing.
The Cameron Station Community continues to be concerned and upset about the new Ethanol Transloading Facility established in their neighborhood in April by Norfolk Southern Corporation on railroad owned property.
Alexandria’s interim Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Bill Symons, left office last week as our new permanent Superintendent, Dr. Morton Sherman, arrived. Although Dr. Symons’ tenure in Alexandria was brief, it would be a mistake to believe that it was not important nor extremely helpful to the future of the school system.
Voters in the central school board district of Alexandria go to the polls on Tuesday, August 12 to vote for a candidate to replace Claire Eberwein who resigned. There are four choices. The campaign has been spirited. The candidates have been energetic. Many individuals have been involved which is good for the school system and the city.
City Council adjourned for the summer after a year filled with interesting issues. On balance, Council has done very well.
A number of amendments to the Potomac Yard Master Plan are making their way through the approval process in the arcane world of our city planners. It seems that Mid Atlantic Realty Partners, current owners of Potomac Yard, want to concentrate commercial office density in the town center. They would take approved square feet of office space from other areas of Potomac Yard to do this.
Alexandria City Council discovered recently that while they had been hard at work on their budget, Norfolk Southern Railroad was hard at work setting up an ethanol transfer station on railroad property in the west end of Alexandria. Nearby citizens discovered the station and complained about this hazardous use appearing in their backyard.