The Beverly Apartments on West Glebe Road are in the Arlandria section of Alexandria. An article Sunday incorrectly stated their location.
The Alexandria City Council yesterday voted to approve tax-exempt financing for two controversial housing projects, despite opposition to the projects from area residents and tenants who said they fear traffic problems and higher rents.
About 250 spectators, often waving placards, opposed the two projects and a third project in Cameron Valley, which the council rejected.
In a 6-to-1 vote, the council approved $40 million in tax-exempt bonds to finance the construction of four high-rises in the city's West End. It unanimously approved a $2.5 million project to renovate the 46-unit Beverly Apartments on West Glebe Road in Annandale.
"The West End does not need any further high-density development or traffic-choked roads," said resident Regina B. Ieva of the first project, a four-building, multifamily rental project that is scheduled to be constructed on Yoakum Parkway near Landmark Shopping Center by 1987.
In addition to their concerns about traffic in the area, Ieva and others argued that the city should not provide tax-free bonds to the developer, Corcoran, Mullins, Jennison Inc., because some of the 99 apartments set aside for people with low and moderate incomes will cost as much as $749 a month for a one-bedroom apartment.
Twenty-three of the one-bedroom apartments in the 495-unit Yoakum Parkway complex will rent for $440, they said.
Alexandria, like many Washington area localities, is facing a severe shortage of low-income housing. A federal law mandates that in order to qualify for tax-exempt financing, 20 percent of rental units in a project must be set aside for low- and moderate-income families.
Mayor James P. Moran Jr. said he voted for the project because "something is better than nothing."
"It's like pulling teeth to get any rental housing for families," he said. "It's not being built unless tax-exempt financing is involved."
Malcolm Peabody, the developer of the Beverly Apartments, promised to set aside the required 20 percent of the apartments for tenants with low incomes. Those one-bedroom units will cost $430 plus utilities compared with the current cost of $386 including utilities.
Debra Morris, a tenant of the Beverly Apartments, carried a sign saying: "The mayor promised to help . . . . He's helping to move us out." She attacked the council for a decision that she said will displace many tenants.
"I feel let down. I see now you are just for the upper class," said Morris, who said she could not afford to live in the apartments after the rent increase.
On a third housing matter, the council unanimously turned down a request for $50 million in tax-exempt bonds to construct a new low-income housing development near the Cameron Valley public housing project.
Leading the opposition was state Sen. Wiley F. Mitchell Jr. (R-Alexandria), who lives on Canterbury Lane. He said he objected to the size and vagueness of the project.
City officials have said the current Cameron Valley project, which is in disrepair, will be torn down soon. Neighbors of the 264-unit public housing project objected to the size of the proposed development, which would almost double the present density.
Voting for the $40 million Yoakum Parkway project were Moran, Margaret B. Inman, Robert L. Calhoun, Lionel R. Hope, Carlyle C. Ring and Patricia S. Ticer. Voting against it was Redella (Del) Pepper.
In other action, the council deferred for 60 days a vote on a proposed $3 million heliport, the first for public use in the Washington area, which would be near the Eisenhower Metro station.
The council also unanimously approved the opening of a group home for recovering alcoholic women at 116 N. Grayson St. by granting the Community Service Board a special use permit. The West End residence, which will house five women, was opposed by at least 216 neighbors.