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Priorities: Alexandria Planning Commission to Approve Timeline on City Plans and Studies 

Alexandria City Council (file photo)

North Potomac Yard, the Virginia Tech Innovation Campusaffordable housing and more! It’s budget season, and you know what that means — the Alexandria Planning Commission will soon begin looking into prioritizing city-related plans and studies with the updated Interdepartmental Long-range Planning Work Program.

So… what plans and studies will Alexandria focus on in the near future? Don’t worry, those interested will have plenty of meetings to attend.

The Planning Commission, on Tuesday, Jan. 7, will discuss a draft work program — which will “help inform development of the City Manager’s Proposed Operating Budget,” notes the city staff report, which also states that there are only “minor updates and additions” to the the work program that the city council approved in last year’s budget.

At the top of the list is streamlining plan and zoning updates for North Potomac Yard and Virginia Tech Innovation Campus. Council will vote on developmental special use permits and the Potomac Yard Master Plan this fall, the latter of which will be a blueprint into Alexandria’s future with the development of a Metro station, Virginia Tech’s $1 billion campus, a new elementary school, and residential and retail. It’s going to be an economic juggernaut for the city, and Development Special Use Permits.

Alexandria’s neighborhoods are evolving, and this fall city staff launched community meetings on updating the two Mount Vernon Avenue plans for Del Ray and Arlandria, which the commission and council will discuss early this year. Additionally, public meetings on the Duke Street Area Plan update will be held in the spring.

Equity/affordable housing made the list of development priorities, as the city’s Housing for All policy dictates that Alexandria “develop or preserve 2,000 affordable housing units through 2025,” notes the staff report. The city’s low cost, market-affordable (non-subsidized) rental housing fell 88 percent between 2000 and 2018, and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments recently set a goal for the region to produce 320,000 affordable housing units by 2030.

Other plans to be prioritized are the Alexandria Mobility Plan and a number of park and natural resource plans, including the Pocket Park PlanUrban Forestry Master Plan Update, Stream Valley and Trail Plan, Public Open Space Policy Plan and the Dog Park Master Plan update.

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