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Affordable housing taking center stage in West End planning discussions

The future of Alexandria’s West End is being reevaluated with a series of open houses in the coming days.

City staff are working to update Alexandria’s long-term vision for the  1992 Alexandria West Small Area Plan and integrate it with the 2012 Beauregard Small Area Plan.

City Council directed staff last year to start updating the plans to include new policies on affordable housing, open space and “address current community needs and incorporate current City policies and best practices,” according to the city.

“We need more deeply affordable housing, current numbers/goals are not enough,” one meeting participant recently recommended.

“We need a more livable community, both in terms of quality of life and affordability,” said another.

The following open houses will include interactive stations to allow participants to leave feedback on land use, open space, mobility and sustainability in the West End, according to the city.

“All are welcome to participate in these open houses which are free and open to the public,” according to the city. “We invite you to come to any or all three open houses to share your thoughts on the future of Alexandria West and hear about different concepts for open space, sustainability, land use, and mobility. Each open house will have the same general content.”

Many of the city’s proposals over the past year have included data on residents who are housing cost burdened (in gallery above).

According to the city, the updated plan will:

  • Enable the 10-to-30-year-old land use plans to be updated comprehensively to address current community needs and incorporate current City policies and best practices
  • Address the issue of housing vulnerability and affordability by leveraging housing resources, policies, and funding opportunities to meet this challenge; and
  • Develop an approach to guide and shape future development and make expectations clear for the community, City and developers

The city anticipates releasing a draft plan in March/April, a community comment period next summer and then Council approval in September.

Below is a video update on the Alexandria West Planning Project.

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