Councilmen Paul Smedberg and Rob Krupicka have asked that Planning Department staff look at the way in which Special Use conditions are enforced.
The two new members of Alexandria’s City Council asked for the review in a memorandum to fellow Council members at Tuesday night’s meeting. “This isn’t just as a result of the discussions over the Duke Street concourse and the Patent and Trademark Office, but because this issue has arisen about other development projects as well,” Krupicka said. “We just think it is time for a review of just how conditions that are put in Special Use Permits are enforced.”
Smedberg agreed, saying, “I know that there was discussion about this issue during the Eisenhower East process and maybe this is dealt with in various documents. But I would just like one or two pages that can be given to business owners or developers so that they can easily understand what the Special Use Permit process is all about and just how conditions that are imposed as part of that process are going to be enforced,” he said.
Planning director Eileen Fogarty explained the process at Council, noting, “Over the past two to three years, we have begun to insert triggers into the development process,” she said. “For example, buildings can be built in certain projects or occupied as the infrastructure is ready to handle that level of development. Where we see the most problems is on projects that were approved more than three or four years ago where these triggers were not in place. We are happy to take a look at what you have proposed, of course, and get something back to Council,” she said.
Mayor William D. Euille asked that the Planning Commission be included. “We should involve the Planning Commission in this discussion as well,” he said. “Perhaps the city manager could schedule a work session with them at the appropriate time.”