Oh, the hypocrisy. Alexandria officials claim they want to study increased housing density in Old Town North by lifting height restrictions because of high housing costs and laws that “were once meant to keep out people of color,” according to the March 22 Metro article “To boost city’s housing, Alexandria looks to rework zoning rules.”
Redoing city zoning rules is a scheme by Mayor Justin Wilson and the City Council that kowtows to out-of-state developers. The sweetheart deals include trade-offs to developers to build tall tenement housing structures on the condition that they add more affordable housing. Low-income residents getting evicted from housing units to make way for these developments will not be able to afford the new condos, nor will middle-income buyers. This also is out of sync with Alexandria’s biggest tourist attraction, Historic Old Town.
Also, how is 911 going to handle more density? Mr. Wilson disclosed that cellphone calls to 911 from residents near the Potomac River have gone to other localities before reaching the local dispatcher.
The zoning plan is as ridiculous as Mr. Wilson’s plan to rename streets because they represent Confederate history. Change the name of the street named after the first KKK grand wizard? Yes! But renaming the street named for the family of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee is to erase Alexandria’s history.
Property owners oppose the plan. Mr. Wilson is going forward, but in smaller increments to reduce costs. Mr. Wilson is erasing affordable housing and Historic Old Town Alexandria, and hurting our city.
Gebe Martinez Johnson, Alexandria