Your Views: Land use meetings are suspended

Your Views: Land use meetings are suspended

To the editor:

While a number of civic associations have recently asked the city to temporarily suspend all public meetings related to land use based on Gov. Ralph Northam’s stay-at-home order, this is already the case.

Following city council’s adoption of emergency meeting procedures on March 24, the city cancelled nearly all public land use meetings until June. The only exception is the April 22 meeting of the Board of Architectural Review, which will be held online for the sole purpose of addressing applications for small cell facilities, which by federal law must be reviewed with- in a specific timeframe or they are automatically approved.

All other meetings of that board, along with the Planning Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals, have been cancelled until June. The city has also cancelled a number of meetings of advisory panels such as the Carlyle/Eisenhower East Design Review Board and the Potomac Yard Design Advisory Committee.

A few developers have hosted online information sessions or posted information about planned projects and invited community feedback. These projects are not scheduled to go to public hearing until late spring or fall, which will allow conventional methods of outreach and consideration by the city’s civic associations and other concerned stakeholders.

The limited number of virtual or online forums that have occurred have provided information about projects that will not come to public hearing until after the “stay at home” order is expected to be lifted. Specifically, the North Potomac Yard/ Virginia Tech Innovation Campus proposal is scheduled to go to public hearing in June, the Galena Partners proposal is scheduled to go to public hearing in September and the Oakville Triangle project will go to hearing in late 2020.

-Karl Moritz, director, Planning and Zoning