Opinion: No one waterfront plan will ever please all

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(File photo)

To the editor:

I write this having read many articles and opinion pieces about the waterfront proposals. The Alexandria City Council, Citizens for an Alternative Alexandria Waterfront Plan and the waterfront plan work group all have offered their ideas for the shoreline. When this issue comes to a close, I expect a great many people on the discussion’s various sides will be unhappy with the final decision.

There is no way to please everyone in a plan this expansive.

History and quaint neighborhoods serve as Alexandria’s main attractions. The key is maximizing the potential of these assets while also protecting them. Not every aspect of the waterfront needs redeveloping.

Mid-size hotels and retail development in North Old Town may make more sense than near Robinson Terminal South. Encouraging commerce in that Old Town neighborhood would provide additional, pedestrian friendly dining and shopping options for nearby employees and guests staying at existing hotels.

Old Town has undergone significant renovation in recent years. I was sad to see so much open space disappear when the public housing developments — probably Old Town’s largest area of open space — were replaced with town home and condo communities featuring rooftop decks rather than greenery. I hope city council members are mindful of what we already have lost in previous redevelopment projects.

The plans thus far debated have varying levels of merit. Choosing a final one encompassing the best of each plan will prove a difficult task. I hope our officials and residents will remain respectful as this issue comes to a vote.

– Kim Moore
Alexandria