Hunting Point Plan: What and When?

Hunting Point Plan: What and When?

"Hunting Terrace is running a 20 to 22 percent vacancy at the present time" and Porto Vecchio "has quite a few vacancies."

What should be the ultimate utilization of Hunting Point and the area just south of the Capital Beltway upon completion of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project?

That was the charge given to the newly constituted Hunting Point Area Planning Advisory Group at their organizational meeting July 1. "This committee is to advise us on the goals and objectives for this area. The Hunting Point Plan is a supplement to the Old Town Small Area Plan," said P. Patrick Mann, urban planner, Alexandria Department of Planning and Zoning.

Those named to the Advisory Group and their affiliations are: Lee Weber, Affordable Housing Advisory Committee; Gary King, Hunting Point resident; Cyndy Kauffman, Hunting Point resident, Frederick Kroesen, Porto Vecchio resident; Lori Arrasmith-Quill, Board of Architectural Review; Yvonne Weight, Old Town planning area resident; Laura Lantzy, Southwest Quadrant planning area resident; and Bryan O'Sullivan, Virginia Department of Transportation.

Only Kauffman, Weight and Lantzy were present at the July 1 meeting. The next meeting is scheduled for August 11. "We plan to meet the second Wednesday of each month," said Mann, the department's coordinator for this effort.

As noted in explanatory materials given to the Advisory Group, "The current plan for the area was adopted prior to the planning for the bridge. This area will be affected substantially by the completion of the bridge" as well as bridge approaches and interchanges.

Hunting Towers and Hunting Terrace were purchased by VDOT as part of their property acquisition for the bridge construction program, and will be sold by VDOT once the construction project no longer significantly affects these properties.

VDOT currently expects to begin the process of selling the properties in late 2004 or early 2005, according to officials. However, as pointed out at the group's meeting at Alexandria City Hall July 1, "Hunting Terrace is running a 20 to 22 percent vacancy at the present time" and Porto Vecchio "has quite a few vacancies."

Mann explained, "This Advisory Group is the core group to get the message out to other interested parties and find out what the people want in the future for this area." As noted by the three members in attendance, "This involves more than those now living at Hunting Towers and Hunting Terrace."

THE GOAL OF the work program for the Hunting Point Plan is to have the study before the Planning Commission by the end of the year, according to Mann. Once adopted by City Council, the revised plan would "apply to any development proposals by a future purchaser of the property."

This would provide guidance relating to the city's preferred options for the area. Preparing the plan will, hopefully, remove the "narrow focus and time pressure of responding to a development application for the property," the guide document noted.

A five month process to develop the draft plan, followed by a three month public review and adoption process is presently anticipated. Mann viewed the fact that the property is now in public ownership, VDOT, as "an opportunity" affording more flexibility when considering potential long-range development options.

According to the 2000 Census the total population of Hunting Towers, Hunting Terrace, and Porto Vecchio was 1,393. Of that total, 255 were in Hunting Terrace and the remainder reside in the other two locations.

The number of housing units for the three sites was 1,138. This broke down to 183 for Hunting Terrace and 955 between Hunting Towers and Porto Vecchio. The number of people per unit was calculated 1.39 for Hunting Terrace and 1.19 for the other two collectively.

ONE OF THE primary suggested uses for the Hunting Point buildings, including both the Towers and Terrace, has been affordable housing. As explained at the meeting, statistically residents pay "30 percent of their gross income for housing at 60 percent of area median income or less." Presently, there are no subsidized housing units in Hunting Point.

Based on this formula affordable housing costs per type of unit and maximum income category based on 2003 figures would be as follows:

*Efficiency: Maximum income — $36,540; max affordable rent - $913; Hunting Point rents — $869 to $971.

*1-BR: Maximum income — $39,150; max affordable rent - $978; Hunting Point rents — $949 to $1,211.

*2-BR: Maximum income — $46,980; max affordable rent — $1,174; Hunting Point rents — $1,334 to $1,518.