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Letter: How To Save Affordable Units

To the Editor:

Folks need to understand a few things about Hunting Towers:

  • First, VDOT abused its acquisition (eminent domain) authority when it took all three towers when it only needed one and a few out buildings for the Wilson Bridge project;

  • Second, had VDOT not become the Hunting Towers landlord, the private owner would likely already have converted the buildings into “luxury housing”;

  • Third, Mayor Euille, are you listening, just as when Old Town residents go to court city hall is less likely to cooperate with them, so too is VDoT less likely to cooperate with city hall when Alexandria cheerleads for Arlington County’s novel legal suit against HOT lanes on I-395, against which the Commonwealth has to spend money to defend and make construction plan revisions. VDoT needs the money from market-rate sale of Hunting Towers to cover the costs of coping with the lawsuit against HOT lanes on I-395;

  • Fourth, if the city really wants to make a difference at Hunting Towers, it should use the property’s age and unique features to declare the two remaining towers historic, thereby giving city hall a basis for wresting some number of “affordable” units to the extent such a declaration would require a new owner to have to seek an SUP.

Dino Drudi

Alexandria