The Washington Post

Alexandria appeals its own board decision

The multiple lawsuits that have been filed over Alexandria’s waterfront plan include a suit the city itself filed over a decision by one of its boards last month.

The Alexandria Board of Zoning Appeals on April 12 sided with opponents of the waterfront plan, saying that the city’s planning director should have accepted a citizen appeal that could have forced the City Council into a supermajority vote in order to pass the waterfront plan. The plan passed 5-2, one vote short of a supermajority.

The plan opponents were ecstatic; they had already lost two court cases.

Last week, the city filed an appeal of the decision to the Circuit Court. To explain the city’s actions to the BZA, city manager Rashad Young issued a statement. The city wasn’t suing itself, Young said, it was simply appealing a decision made by the BZA, which city attorney James Banks said was acting in a “quasi-judicial” role.

“If the city were to implement the decision of the BZA, the city is in jeopardy of being in a continual cycle of appeals,” Young wrote.

Patricia Sullivan covers government, politics and other regional issues in Arlington County and Alexandria. She worked in Illinois, Florida, Montana and California before joining the Post in November 2001.

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