Alexandria’s Old Dominion Boat Club asked a judge to hold the City of Alexandria and the owners of Virtue Feed and Grain in contempt for blocking an alley the club uses for access.
The club, which has been in discussions with the city for years as part of the multimillion-dollar waterfront redevelopment plan, filed a Motion to Show Cause and Hold in Contempt against the city and restaurant June 20.
An April order from Circuit Court Judge John J. McGrath stated that the boat club, which is at the end of King Street on the Potomac River, has an easement on the city alley that connects Union Street to the Strand. McGrath also stated that no obstructions could be built in the alley.
“Since the court’s opinion and order, for nearly two months now, Wales Alley and ODBC’s easement within it have been blocked, obstructed, and otherwise intentionally interfered with,” Harry P. Hart, the boat club’s lawyer wrote in the motion.
Meshelle and Cathal Armstrong restored the alley and 106 S. Union Street to open Virtue Feed and Grain this month.
Alexandria recently issued an outdoor dining permit for Virtue Feed and Grain to set up a temporary patio for lunch and dinner service. The tables and chairs must be moved to allow boat club access during the late evening and morning hours.
“We are good neighbors. We comply with all the rules,” said Meshelle Armstrong. “We have done everything we can. It is just a little shocking.”
Alexandria City Attorney James L. Banks said the city was surprised when they first received notification of the boat club’s intentions.
“We thought we made room for them to move their boats through any time they really needed to,” Banks said.
The city and boat club have been in discussions for years to get some of the boat club’s property for its waterfront redevelopment plan. The city’s original waterfront plan envisioned a park where the boat club and its parking lot sit. City planners said they were working on getting a pathway through the boat club’s parking lot most recently.
The Alexandria City Council delayed further action on the waterfront plan until after the summer break because of citizen protests.