Week in Alexandria

Week in Alexandria

<sh>Police To Target Drunk Drivers

<bt>This Friday, Alexandria police will increase enforcement of drunk driving laws with a mobile DWI detail. The DWI crackdown will begin around 9 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 6, and will continue into the early morning hours of Saturday, Aug. 7.

Additional officers have been assigned to patrol major corridors, targeting motorists who commit hazardous moving violations and exhibit other behaviors which may indicate a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Chief of Police Charles E. Samarra reminds drivers that the maximum penalty in Virginia for the first conviction for driving under the influence is 12 months in jail, a $2,500 fine and a 12-month suspension of driving privileges. In addition, there are now mandatory jail term sentences associated with these offenses depending upon the blood alcohol content of the driver.

<hd>Renaissance Plan Reduces Density

<bt>A new plan, submitted to Alexandria's department of planning and zoning, calls for less development and more open space than City Council approved.

In June, in spite of protests from neighbors, council gave Renaissance Homes approval to construct three houses on a 2.4-acre site at the corner of Russell Road and Lloyd's Lane. This week, Renaissance Homes submitted the final site plan, which calls for two homes instead of three and which sets aside approximately 16,000 square feet for a conservation easement. By right, Renaissance could have built seven homes on the site.

"What they have decided to do is build a home on the site of the current Shepardson home and construct only one other house," said Eileen Fogarty, the director of the department of planning and zoning. "We are very pleased."

The conservation easement will ensure that the trees and open space for the portion of the site on Lloyd's Lane will be retained in perpetuity. This will mean that 95 percent of the entire site will remain open space with homes at 701 Russell Road and 803 Lloyd's Lane, only. City staff are finalizing the details of the easement.

<1b>— Carla Branch

<sh>Vandal Damage at Robinson Terminal

<bt>A vandal or vandals caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to the Robinson Terminal last Friday.

Alexandria police said that some time between 3 p.m. on July 29 and 5 a.m. on July 30, someone forced open a door on a warehouse at 1 Oronoco St. Once inside, the suspect or suspects caused damage to the offices, plumbing and property being stored there. Walls were destroyed and doors were removed from their hinges by heavy equipment that was also stored at the facility. Rolls of newsprint were also destroyed. Four forklifts were pushed from the dock into the Potomac River.

Alexandria fire units and D.C. Harbor Patrol responded and scuba divers recovered three of the four forklifts from the water. The forklifts were filled with fuel, causing environmental concern. An ambulance was dispatched to the scene as a precaution but no one was injured.

Anyone with information about this crime should contact Alexandria police at 703-838-4444.

<1b>— Carla Branch

<sh>Fire Causes $20,000 Loss

<bt>Units of Alexandria Fire Department responded to a fire in the Hoffman Building, 200 Stovall St., at 7:23 p.m. Tuesday night, according to departmental public information officer Jane Malik.

"Upon arrival, firefighters discovered a large quantity of smoke coming from the southwest side of the building's 12th floor. It was extinguished in a short time and there were no injuries," Malik said.

The investigating deputy fire marshal has determined the fire originated in roofing materials. However, the exact cause is still under investigation, according to Malik.

The building is occupied by the U.S. Army. Damage is estimated at approximately $20,000.