The following were among actions taken by the Alexandria City Council at its July 23 meeting. For further information, call 838-4300.
LOW-INCOME HOUSING FUNDS -- The City Council voted in executive session to allocate $1.4 million in city, federal and expected state funds to subsidize rents for low-income tenants at two large Arlandria apartment complexes now undergoing renovation.
The rent subsidy package, which will also finance renovation of 32 units, consists of $600,000 in city funds, $224,000 in funds allocated to the city by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and a possible $600,000 grant the city is seeking from the Virginia Housing Development Authority.
At the meeting city officials said they hoped the city's offer would end two lawsuits filed over projects at the Dominion Gardens and Bruce Street apartments. The renovation of 691 apartments in the two complexes threatens to displace about 2,000 low-income residents. An out-of-court settlement is being sought in both cases.
The council agreed to spend $450,000 of the $600,000 in city funds on rent subsidies at the 416-unit Dominion Gardens project, provided that 104 units are set aside for low-income tenants for the next five years, and that 41 units are set aside in the subsequent five years. The city is seeking a grant of $600,000 in state funds to ensure that an additional 63 units are available for low-income tenants for the second five years.
The city agreed to spend $150,000 of the $600,000 in city funds on low-income rent subsidies for the 275-unit Bruce Street apartments if 68 units are set aside for low-income tenants for a minimum of 10 years. The council also agreed to use its $224,000 in federal housing funds to renovate 32 units in the Bruce Street project for low-income tenants.
There are 1,057 apartment units in Arlandria now being renovated -- 74 percent of Arlandria's rental housing stock. The major complexes are the Dominion Gardens, Bruce Street, Warner Towers and Brookside apartments. Arlandria has become a largely Hispanic neighborhood south of the Arlington boarder and near Mount Vernon Avenue.
Council member Carlyle C. Ring said the city's goal is to set aside 20 to 30 percent of the apartments in Arlandria for low-income tenants. About 16 percent are now set aside, he said.
After the Arlandria apartments are renovated, monthly rents for many one-bedroom units are expected to jump from $385 to $715 and many two-bedroom units from about $450 to $845. City officials are worried the high rents will displace many of the low-income residents who now live in Arlandria. The rents to be charged low-income tenants have not yet been determined.
At the council meeting, Mayor James P. Moran Jr. said the city's financing of rent subsidies shows that the city's commitment to the people of Arlandria is "strong, consistent and responsible."
DEL RAY DEVELOPMENT -- The council unanimously approved a special use permit for a parking lot to be built in the city's Del Ray section in a residentially zoned area in the 2200 block of Mount Veron Avenue. The vote was the final approval needed for a project that will have 11 commercial/retail town houses. It is scheduled to open in the fall of 1988.
Mayor Moran said the development "is exactly what we hoped for and planned for."
Council members praised developer V. Rodger Digilio's Potomac Town Square project, which will have 11 town houses with more than 36,000 square feet of commercial/retail space and underground parking.
The red brick town houses will be located around a central fountain and designed in a Victorian style with blue roofs and bright red doors.
The council approved a parking lot for 16 cars that will supplement the underground parking provided for the project.
DRUG ABUSE TASK FORCE -- The council voted to expand from nine to 14 members a special task force set up last month to combat drug problems in the city. The task force, which consists of city officials and citizen group representatives, was enlarged to include more citizen members.
The Ad Hoc Anti-Drug Task Force will hold a public hearing Aug. 21 to discuss drug problems in Alexandria. It will report its findings to the council in November.
"Drug dealing is really growing here," said council member Redella S. Pepper, noting that many residents have complained that drug deals occur openly outside their homes.