The National Park Service and the City of Alexandria will hold the final public hearing tonight on a proposed joint plan for use of the city's historic waterfront.
The hearing on the compromise plan will be held at 7 p.m. at the Lee Center, 1108 Jefferson St., Alexandria. The plan should resolve most of the issues in the eight-year dispute over the 39.5-acre waterfront between the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and the Potomac Electric Power Plant.
Still unresolved are what happens to federally owned waterfront properties in Alexandria such as Jones Point, who would own and manage the waterfront area and where the money would come from to improve the public open space.
The Northern Virginia Conservation Council, which initiated a still unresolved 1973 federal lawsuit over who owns the waterfront -- Alexandria or the U.S. government -- has praised the joint plan but expressed concern about parts of it.
The conservation council opposes a proposal granting 50-foot building heights in two riverfront areas where other building heights would be limited to 30 feet; is concerned that commercial restaurants and other buildings could be built in the 27.9 acres proposed to be designated as open space; and opposes any attempt to fill in the river or block streets that end at the river, according to council president and former city council member Ellen Pickering.
Park Service and city officials have praised the joint plan as a way of ending years of acrimonious debate and as a compromise that could settle the lawsuit out of court.
In addition to 27.9 acres of open space, 6.6 acres would be rezoned for mixed commercial, office and residential use and 5 acres would be rezoned by the city as water-dependent mixed use which would revert to open space if the water-related business ceased. Present zoning along much of the waterfront permits building heights up to 150 feet.
Written comments may be submitted to the city or Park Service within 15 days after the hearing.