Opposition group threatens lawsuit over waterfront plan


Members of Citizens for an Alternative Alexandria Waterfront Plan are considering taking legal action to prevent the city from implementing a blueprint for the Potomac shoreline nearly two years in the making.

Nothing has been decided, said CAAWP co-founder and former vice mayor Andrew Macdonald, but the opposition group is keeping all options on the table. CAAWP released a dueling plan for the waterfront late last month, which city officials deemed financially and legally “indefensible” just last week.

“I think the problem has been … that the city council seems to be completely uninterested in fairly examining alternatives and that leaves us with no choice,” Macdonald said. “We’ve got to ratchet up the pressure and do whatever it takes to put a hold on the process to give us all more time to examine alternatives.”

CAAWP’s proposal calls for more emphasis on building museums and parks, particularly at three sites slated for possible development as boutique hotels under the city’s blueprint. City officials and CAAWP members have sparred over the accuracy of the dueling plans’ estimated costs and benefits.

Macdonald would not go into any further detail about a possible lawsuit, only saying the group was looking at historical preservation, environmental and zoning issues as a basis for legal action against the city.

City council is expected to vote on the plan on January 21 after the waterfront work group returns with their recommendations for the proposal.




  1. Citizens for an Alternative Alexandria Waterfront Plan will be holding a press conference tommorow about our next steps. The Press conference will be in front of City Hall at 12:00 noon. We will be focused on the Historic Preservation issues and the negative affect we believe the city plan will have on the Old and Historic District.

  2. No surprise CAAWP wants to turn this over to the lawyers and slow this process down — in my opinion, they’ll do anything to keep this alive so Andrew can use it as a campaign issue when he runs again for City Council to get back his unfinished term.