An all-day public hearing of the Alexandria City Council over the proposed redevelopment of the Beauregard area featured heated testimony, chanting demonstrators who were escorted from chambers by police and a woman who fainted from lack of food and water.
The council has yet to vote on the far-reaching plan that would allow the five developers who own thousands of apartments in the area to tear them down and replace them with more and more expensive rentals.
A new fire station, transit and road improvements are also planned.
The city negotiated that 800 units would be dedicated affordable housing in exchange for giving developers an additional 2.4 million square feet of development on top of the 10 million square feet they are allowed. None of the existing units have guaranteed affordable rents.
Opponents said the city had not negotiated hard enough with developers and argued for delay. Council members said they will try to develop partnerships with others to set aside more units, but failing to pass the small area plan now would result in the loss of those 800 apartments and millions in developer donations.