A bird’s eye view of the proposed waterfront plan

A bird’s eye view of the proposed waterfront plan
(Cat VanVliet)

For a PDF of the waterfront graphic, click here.

Alexandria City Council will take another — potentially final — look at the blueprint for the Potomac shoreline Saturday, a controversial waterfront plan that has drawn support and ire from residents.

After about two years of meetings, public debate and protest, the city’s waterfront plan is heading into the home stretch. While supporters and opponents agree the three-mile stretch of shoreline needs revitalization, zoning and density changes at three key redevelopment sites — the Robinson Terminals and the Cummings/Turner properties —sparked a local backlash.

The outcry prompted city council members to shelve the blueprint in June, instead turning to a waterfront plan work group handpicked by Mayor Bill Euille to reconcile the proposal with resident opposition, namely in the form of Citizens for an Alternative Alexandria Waterfront Plan.

Now, seven months later, the council is once again poised to vote on a version of the proposal tweaked by the work group. While the plan still includes the potential for controversial hotels at the three sites, it keeps the conversation open to other projects, including museums or mixed-use residential and commercial development.

But the waterfront plan is more than just a framework for developers. It also calls for upgraded public parks, cultural improvements and other additions, like flood mitigation and a pedestrian-friendly lower King-Street, designed to create an enlivened shoreline. This is a glimpse at what Alexandria’s shoreline could look like in the coming decades if the plan is passed Saturday.