News __Featured Slider — 06 January 2012
Civic group says power plant site must be addressed before waterfront plan’s completion

Planning for the future of the GenOn power plant must be included in the city’s controversial waterfront blueprint before it’s approved, say members of the Old Town Civic Association.

Specifics for the roughly 25-acre property in North Old Town are needed to complete a comprehensive proposal for the city’s three-mile stretch of Potomac shoreline, the group said in its monthly newsletter, released Wednesday.

“This property, which will be decommissioned as early as this year, could afford opportunities to provide more tax generating land uses, added capacity for traffic/transit access to the waterfront, and sites better suited for some of the proposed water-based plan elements such as the pleasure boat marina,” board members wrote.

The GenOn coal plant is scheduled to close in October. City Hall’s waterfront plan acknowledges the waterfront site — owned by Pepco — as significant but does not address its future in specific terms. The parcel’s housing of a coal-fired power plant poses environmental concerns yet to be studied, which  precludes a detailed plan for its inclusion in the waterfront blueprint, city officials have said.

Board members Bert Ely and David Olinger both served as group representatives on Mayor Bill Euille’s handpicked waterfront plan work group, which was charged with reconciling the proposal with resident opposition, as did OTCA member Bob Wood.

Ely, also a member of Citizens for an Alternative Alexandria Waterfront Plan, has indicated he will release a minority report highlighting his concerns with the city’s proposal. The rest of the group unveiled their recommendations for the plan in late December.

Opponents of the city’s blueprint have cited the GenOn site as a reason to put a hold on waterfront planning since September, when company officials announced the plant would power down by October of this year.

City council could vote on the contentious waterfront plan as soon as January 21.

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(4) Readers Comments

  1. Patrick, you know very well it will take years before anything can be determined about the GenOn property. This is nothing but a stall tactic. The CAAWP proposal is not viable. The City’s Small Area Waterfront Plan stands independent from what will happen at GenOn. The City plan has been vetted for over two years. The City has listened to citizens input and has included modifications based upon that input, including suggestions from Old Town Civic Association. It is time to vote on the Waterfront Plan. Give the GenOn site the analysis it deserves, but not at the expense of the Waterfront Plan.

  2. Derrick, you know very well it will take years before anything can be determined about the GenOn property. This is nothing but a stall tactic. The CAAWP proposal is not viable. The City’s Small Area Waterfront Plan stands independent from what will happen at GenOn. The City plan has been vetted for over two years. The City has listened to citizens input and has included modifications based upon that input, including suggestions from Old Town Civic Association. It is time to vote on the Waterfront Plan. Give the GenOn site the analysis it deserves, but not at the expense of the Waterfront Plan.

  3. Gen On is in the same small area as the 8 blocks of waterfront. Old Town civic has said it should be included, and the Clean Skies Foundation has already spent a lot of money coming up with a plan. It was very apparent tonight that there has to be a lot of cover before council members vote for the Waterfront Plan. If it was a perfect plan that did not need any changes (and it still needs changes) how could te Waterfront Work Group come up with 69 recommendations, and recommend 8 studies. I also wondered if you had Republican Strategist Frank Luntz working for you, as Bill Euille said there are people who want to do the right thing and those who want controversy and then went on to say the Citizens Against Anything. CAAWP and the Greater Alexandria Preservation Alliance have engaged citizens and gotten them involved. We would not have had a workgroup without CAAWP or GAPA. There are no proffers for the developers to pay for any of the improvements, and the return for re-zoning it only 2.2 million per year, and it will take us 15 years to implement this plan and 25 years to pay it back, so it will not be built or paid for in most of our lifetimes. Dennis, I don’t remember you saying too much when we both were on BFAAC together, but it was nothing like your current rhetoric where you continually belittle anyone who opposes the waterfront plan. When I figure out what has made you so motivated to be outspoken, I am sure it will be revealing. What motivates me is that I grew up along the waterfront and love the history of Alexandria and the new things I learn every year that I did not know before. I intend to live here for a long time, and make Alexandria a better place for our kids and grandkids. I would be interested to hear why you think the current waterfront plan is the best plan for future generations, besides “that it pays for itself.”

  4. Pingback: Fight for the river’s edge: Live blogging Saturday’s public hearing | AlexTimes

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