The following were among actions taken by the Alexandria City Council at its June 23 and June 24 meetings. For further information, call 838-4300.
POTOMAC GREENS -- The council voted unanimously to reject plans for the $500 million Potomac Greens office complex, proposed to be built along the George Washington Memorial Parkway just south of National Airport.
About 100 persons, who had crowded the council chamber for the meeting, applauded the decision, which council members said they made because the 16-building project was "out-of-scale" and would be "damaging to the health and welfare of residents," because of increased traffic and noise and other environmental concerns.
The council also criticized the project's lack of a traffic management plan.
Representatives for the developers, Savage/Fogarty Cos. and the Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad, said they will sue the city over the council's decision.
Last month, the council approved an ordinance requiring developers of large projects to reduce by 10 percent to 30 percent the traffic their projects would generate. The ordinance requires a written plan detailing how they would reduce traffic. The council suggested that the developers provide Metro shuttle buses, vans and free parking for people who car pool.
The developers contend that the city had no legal basis for rejecting the plan because the proposed complex would comply with zoning regulations.
"We have been unfairly treated," said Julien Redele, chairman of the Savage/Fogarty Companies. "Our legitimate legal rights have been denied, and we have no option but to go to court."
Potomac Greens, a 2.3 million square foot project, was to sprawl over 38 acres west of the parkway near Daingerfield Island.
Traffic was considered the developers' biggest problem in getting plans for the complex approved. City planners said the complex could attract 3,700 vehicles during morning rush hours.
Alexandria Mayor James P. Moran Jr. called the project "the most egregious threat to the integrity of the (George Washington Memorial) parkway and livability of the city."
HOUSING DISCRIMINATION -- The council voted to set up a program to determine whether landlords discriminate against minorities and women.
The city Human Rights Commission had lobbied for the Fair Housing Testing Program since a 1986 regional report concluded that there was significant discrimination in the leasing of Alexandria's apartments.
The Regional Fair Housing Consortium study found that blacks were discriminated against in 57 percent of its test cases in Alexandria.
To determine the extent of discrimination, the city will send blacks, whites and Hispanics of both sexes into some of the city's 26,000 apartments, posing as prospective renters. Eventually, the program will expand into the city's realty sales market.
City Manager Vola Lawson said the city staff will run the program and recruit community volunteers to serve as testers.
This summer, an 11-member advisory committee will decide when the program will begin and whether it should conduct similar tests to find out if discrimination is practiced against other ethnic groups.
CAMERON VALLEY SALE -- The City Council approved the final sale agreement for Alexandria's largest public housing project, Cameron Valley, a 38-acre site on Duke Street near Quaker Lane.
The city will receive $12.5 million for the site. The developer, Cameron Joint Venture, plans to tear down the 264 one-story apartment units, and build 294 residential units, 165,000 square feet of commercial and office space and 60 public housing units to replace those torn down.
Most of the 500 public housing residents will be relocated to sites throughout the city. Many of the tenants already have moved from the project.
Cameron Valley was built in 1943 to house military personnel who worked at Fort Belvoir in Fairfax County and at the old torpedo factory on the Alexandria waterfront. The apartments were expected to be used for no more than 10 years, but the city took control, maintained them and made them public housing.
Construction is expected to begin on the new project next year.
SCHOOL BOARD REAPPOINTMENTS -- In separate votes, the council reappointed three incumbents on the School Board to three-year terms. They are: Nelson Greene Jr., Judith Seltz and Gene Lange. Three seats on the nine-member board expire each year.
Greene and Seltz, both Democrats, were reappointed unanimously. Five of the council's seven members are Democrats and two are Republicans.
Lange, a Republican, got five votes. Council members Lionel Hope and Redella Pepper, both Democrats, voted for Democratic Party activist Jean Swersky.
HIGH SCHOOL IMPROVEMENTS -- The council also voted to spend $530,000 for improvements at the city's only high school, T.C. Williams, including $225,000 for a new athletic track.
COUNCIL SEAT CUSHIONS -- The council unanimously voted to spend $7,500 for foam cushions for the wood benches in council chambers. The proposal was made by council member Redella Pepper.