Alexandria Letter: ARHA Proposals Flaunt Regulations

Alexandria Letter: ARHA Proposals Flaunt Regulations

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

I would like to share my opinion on disturbing development proposal of Ramsey homes in City of Alexandria.

Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority’s current plan to replace the existing Ramsey homes in the Parker-Gray neighborhood is disturbingly full of contradictions.

First, the parking solution ARHA has presented cannot possibly work. The entrance and exit for the underground garage ARHA wants to build would be located in a narrow residential alley, one which cannot accommodate the turning radius of a Toyota Camry, let alone larger vehicles. Does ARHA really expect every single driver who enters and exits the garage to back up and make multiple sharp and potentially dangerous turns every time they use the garage?

Another contradiction: The City Master Plan that the city has adopted for the redevelopment of this area stipulates that “Each residential block should have safe and convenient access to play spaces for young children.” The same plan also states that the open space “… should be designed and located to allow effective supervision and surveillance from surrounding streets .…” ARHA has instead suggested that the only play space for children in the development would be a built-out space on the roofs of the proposed buildings. The very nature of this concept prevents "effective supervision and surveillance."

Additionally, any sort of guard rail, wall, or fence that ARHA would have to install for a playground's protection would not only be unsightly, but also make the proposed building taller than the city's own regulations permit.

These sorts of questions make me wonder: Does ARHA think that they can blatantly ignore residents' objections and city regulations alike? Do they expect us not to notice that what they have proposed violate the city's own rules, not to mention common sense? Can ARHA truly justify this out-of-control proposal to the residents of the Parker-Grey neighborhood?

Mykhaylo Panarin