Alexandria planning staff are crafting a proposal to make affordable housing contributions mandatory for developers, and they are reportedly not happy about it.
City staff are recommending that council adopt a commercial-to-residential conversion contribution policy (proposed at $1.53 per square foot) and senior housing contribution requirements.
Staff are also asking for an option allowing a developer to not contribute by having an independent third party analyze whether “extraordinary circumstances” would prevent the developer from meeting the requirement.
“One of the points that we heard through the Housing Contributions Work Group process is that staff needed to be aware that an increase in an affordable housing contribution could impact other community benefits,” Alexandria Housing Planner Tamara Jovovic told City Council on Tuesday night. “They didn’t name which ones but they said that, in general, there is a community benefits bucket and that if we put pressure on the affordable housing side, that something else would have to decline.”
The affordable housing contributions are currently voluntary.
City Councilman Mo Seifeldein said that staff should not be led in their recommendations by developers within the work group.
“I don’t like the discussion when it begins with (what) the developers want, the developers need,” Seifeldein said.
Councilman Canek Aguirre said city staff had a “defeatist tone” regarding developers.
“The developers are going to do what’s best for their bottom line,” Aguirre said. “People aren’t going to want to stop living here. That’s just not going to be the case. So, we need to be able to play that asset as much as possible to be able to push the envelope on what we’re trying to do and what we’re trying to achieve here.”
Alexandria is currently experiencing an affordable housing crisis, and the city has pledged to produce or develop 2,000 affordable housing units by 2025. The city has also agreed to produce an additional 1,950 units by 2030 in order to meet its regional housing goal set by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, which aims for the region to produce 320,000 affordable housing units.
The Alexandria Sheriff’s Office and Alexandria Police Department are investigating an in-custody death at the jail. Ahntais Lucas, 39, from Fairfax County, was found unresponsive and alone in his cell…
Good Monday morning, Alexandria! 🌥️ Today’s weather: Mostly sunny with a high near 65. Partly cloudy tonight with a low around 46. 🚨 You need to know An economic analysis said that…
A bit of a slower news week in Alexandria. The fight over the Potomac Yard arena was still ongoing and Metro funding got tied up into the mix. Over the…
A new pilot program to step up parking enforcement in Old Town netted 4,000 citations in its first month. A staff memo (page 8) to the Traffic and Parking Board…
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Peace in Gaza: Prayer Liturgy and Community Discussion for Peace in Arlington VA, Sunday, Feb. 11, 10:15 AM
Prayer, liturgy, and community discussion for peace in Gaza, an immediate cease fire and resumption of humanitarian aid will be hosted by Nova Catholic Community. The focus will be Pope Francis’ call for an immediate ceasefire, the release of all hostages, resumption of humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Gaza, and peace talks for a lasting and just peace for all people in the region.
Discussion will follow at Noon on US military role in the conflict and appropriate steps the US should take to foster peace and rebuilding. Light lunch served.
Again this year, The Critical Mass, LLC, the Made in ALX store and local Ukrainian-American artists are throwing a Pysanky Party — and partnering on a fundraiser for the nonprofit organization Razom for Ukraine.
The free event, from 5 –