Last week the Alexandria City Council voted unanimously to uphold a decision by the Planning Commission to allow a church on W. Braddock Road to expand.

The Alexandria Presbyterian Church’s expansion has faced increasingly pitched opposition from around two dozen neighboring households who worried about increased traffic and the size of the building (~23,000 square feet).

The biggest problem for opponents: the expansion plan was “by-right” under city zoning, meaning the councilmembers, even if inclined to agree with the opponents, had little legal standing to vote against the project.

The exact legal details aside, do you think neighbor complaints like those in this case should be addressed regardless of what zoning allows on a given site?

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