Beauregard Corridor Plan
Stop the Beauregard Corridor Plan
Table of Contents
Beauregard Stakeholders Group website https://sites.google.com/site/bcsgalex/.
Beauregard Corridor Developers website www.markcenterinfo.com
2010-03-06 JBG plans[doc]
2013-04-02 CCD for the five developers to get increased density in the Beauregard Corridor is on the agenda for the Planning Commission.
2013-02-28 The Beauregard Rezoning Advisory Group prepared its final recommendations in a 74-page letter. The City has hired consultants to study the concept of building a traffic circle—called the ellipse—at the intersection of Seminary Road and N. Beauregard Street. SHA continues to oppose this idea as a needless expense--$29 million—that only provides more streets for stacking commuter traffic waiting to get onto the gridlocked I-395 rather than improving the movement of Alexandria’s residents in their community.
2013-01-10 Board Members unclear as to how the certification process of the BRAC will be done to assess when the Army is in compliance and can use all of the parking spaces built.
2012-12-03 The Planning Commission approved the plan to use of the $1.5 million from the Army for open space to purchase the property at 5325 Polk Avenue and preserve it as open space that SHA supports.
2012-10-11 SHA Board of Directors passed a resolution supporting the use of the $1.5 million from the Army for open space to purchase the property at 5325 Polk Avenue and preserve it as open space. SHA continues to call for more open space within the boundaries of the Beauregard Corridor Plan—especially near the Fairbanks and Foster tract—to meet the recreational needs of the thousands expected to move there.
2012-09 The Beauregard Rezoning Advisory Group (BRAG) recommended 5325 Polk Avenue—a site a developer has submitted plans to build townhomes—as the top location for a park in or near the Beauregard Corridor Small Area Plan area using the $1.5 million from the Army for the purchase of less than an acre of open space in the tree arbor.
2012-08-15 and 22 The Beauregard Rezoning Advisory Group (BRAG) considered locations for a park in or near the Beauregard Corridor Small Area Plan area.
2012-07-16 The Mayor appointed the Beauregard Rezoning Advisory Group (BRAG) to continue to define the issues never resolved in the Beauregard Corridor Plan. The Mayor chose David Baker—former Alexandria Police Chief now Director of Security at Goodwin House—to chair the group. It has five at-large members and only one lives within the Beauregard Corridor Small Area Plan boundaries! The affected civic associations—Seminary Heights, Seminary West, Brookville-Seminary Valley, Lincolnia Hills/Heywood Glen, and SHA—have no representatives on this advisory group.
2012-06-14 Plans to redevelopment the Steak & Ale property at about 4660 Kenmore Avenue at Seminary Road into another doctors’ medical building are on hold because of the lack of a market. The building would be within existing zoning rights of the Seminary Hill/Strawberry Hill Small Area Plan and does not rely on rezoning through the Beauregard Corridor Small Area Plan.
2012-04-19, 2010-05-02, and 2012-05-12 Despite numerous requests from SHA to refrain from a final vote of any kind, up or down, both the Planning Commission and the City Council approved an incomplete plan. Issues yet to be determined: effectiveness of transportation plans, location of the park that the Army funded with $1.5 million, the City’s financial exposure (my estimate a minimum $140 M), and how the rezoning process would be structured (one CDD vs. individual ones).
2012-04-19 SHA’s FOIA request for information about the Beauregard Corridor Small Area Plan process resulted in about 200 documents at a cost of $555.70. This is substantially more than the cost of previous FOIA requests and resulted in noticeably fewer documents/information. The documents are available in this section, see documents above (on the SHA website http://seminaryhillassn.org go to “Beauregard Corridor Plan” and under Issues “2012-03 Beauregard Corridor FOIA Documents.”)
2012-04-19 The redevelopment of Seminary Gardens is likely to be the first project to be built in the Beauregard Corridor. Home Properties had come to SHA about more than two years ago with plans for increased density. The plans were strange then and SHA considered the change in zoning to build the bigger buildings “spot zoning” and not a good precedent for the Seminary Hill/Strawberry Hill Small Area Plan that has been in effect since 1992. As a part of the Beauregard Corridor Small Area Plan, the redevelopment of Seminary Gardens and Kenmore Avenue may move forward. The plans today compared with the ones in January 2010 have a better building design and an improved intersection of Kenmore Avenue with Seminary Road at the light at Library Lane. The 5-story rental apartments will also have a new parking garage on the grounds of Seminary Towers.
2012-04-09 A Town Hall meeting was held on the draft Beauregard Corridor Small Area Plan at John Adams School led by the Planning & Zoning staff. This plan is scheduled to be approved by the Transportation Commission, Planning Commission, and City Council in early May. Several speakers are still concerned about the loss of affordable housing. Others are concerned that it will decrease parks and recreation facilities while doubling the population. New development in that area cannot be accommodated by the existing Holmes Run Trunk Sewer Line, the cost of which falls totally on the City. The developer amenities offered in the plan will now cost the City $81 million and means the City is gambling that it can get back some of this amount in taxes over the next 20 to 30 years.
2012-03-27 A revised draft Beauregard Corridor Small Area Plan was available in the City Planning & Zoning office and on the City's website http://alexandriava.gov/beauregard/default.aspx?id=54400.
2012-03-22 The Parks & Recreation Commission heard citizens' concerns about the draft Beauregard Small Area Plan that fails to provide fields and parks while more than doubling the population. Nan Jennings reiterated SHA's desire that the size of the park proposed in the Foster-Fairbanks Tract be increased (triple the size proposed or 2.5 acres).
2012-03-17 Nan Jennings spoke to City Council about the need for bicycle facilities in the draft Beauregard Corridor Small Area Plan to connect the Holmes Run bike trail with the one in Arlington and DC.
2012-03-04 The City has yet to deliver the FOIA documents on the Beauregard Small Area Plan that SHA requested. Treasurer Jack Sullivan was negotiating about which documents he needed and was spending time reading some of them in City Hall.
2012-02-09 SHA's Board of Directors passed a resolution in opposition to the draft Beauregard Corridor Small Area Plan and listed four main concerns: (1) The Plan potentially would displace 10,000 residents without any provision for affordable housing until after 2020. (2) The City would invest $60 million of taxpayer funds in the project---up front, before developer contributions---with much of the money to be used for infrastructure that residents oppose, like the ellipse. (3) The densities proposed are the functional equivalent of five more BRACs. (4) The Plan, without justification, contravenes the current West Alexandria Small Area Plan that calls for modest growth in the area and for the protection of adjoining neighborhoods.
2012-02 In the month of February, the City began a campaign to pass the
Beauregard Corridor Small Area Plan. The last day to submit comments on
the plan to City staff was February 13. It was not clear when the next
draft of the plan will be distributed. City staff planned weekly
meetings to discuss topics in the plan with the goal of sending the plan
to City Council in April.
2012-01-23 The draft Beauregard Corridor Small Area Plan was distributed and discussed at a public meeting at John Adams School led by the Planning & Zoning staff. One speaker was very concerned about the lack of affordable housing in the plan, others were concerned that the affordable housing was not distributed in the development but grouped together in two buildings. The cost of the plan to the City will be $60 million—with a promised return of some of this in 20 to 30 years (unless these new residents have children in which case the City will have to provide a school)—that would likely eat up any discretionary funding in the City budget unless taxes are raised. NOTE: February 13 is the last day to submit comments to City staff about the draft Beauregard Corridor Small Area Plan: City website at http://alexandriava.gov/Beauregard Plan or email to Zunilda.firstname.lastname@example.org.
2012-01-12 The City has postponed the next meeting on the Beauregard Corridor Small Area Plan to 23 January at John Adams School where the most recent draft of the plan may be available. SHA approved Jack Sullivan’s proposal to submit a FOIA request for information about the Beauregard Corridor Plan process. Jack Sullivan noted that City staff says the developers are proffering $139 million in amenities, which he said appears high considering the amount of additional density asked.
2012-01-16 SHA filed a FOIA request with the City for information about the proposed Beauregard Small Area Plan and the
Beauregard Corridor Stakeholders Group.
2011-12-08 SHA’s Board of Directors passed a motion against the building of a traffic circle in the shape of an ellipse (football) at the intersection of Seminary Road and North Beauregard Street.
2011-12-12 This Beauregard Stakeholders Working Group meeting was also hijacked by City staff who appears to have decided/told the group leaders that the stakeholders would no longer meet and instead staff will run the meetings. The edits and changes stakeholders made to the staff’s draft for the Beauregard Corridor Small Area Plan have never been discussed. Staff and the developers have drawn up an inadequate plan and do not care if citizens agree. For example, staff has prepared a list of $139 M amenities that developers would offer in return for increased density that includes items that citizens do not want. At least three major issues are not addressed by staff’s plan: the flooding in Holmes Run, the limited capacity in the Holmes Run sewer trunk line, the need for a school, and the identification of new open space since the Army built on 6 acres and paid the City for the loss.
2011-11-21 The Beauregard Stakeholders Working Group meeting was taken over by City staff, who set the agenda and ran the meeting. The main topics of staff’s presentation were financials and traffic available above and on the City website at http://alexandriava.gov/uploadedFiles/tes/BRAC/2011-12-14%20BRAC-133%20Advisory%20Group%20Presentation%20[Compatibility%20Mode].pdf.
2011-09-26 Beauregard Stakeholders continued to work on a draft plan for the Beauregard Corridor and set deadlines for comments on the staff’s drafts of existing conditions.
2011-09-26 The Beauregard Corridor Stakeholders Working Group met to discuss the existing conditions in the corridor but Vice Mayor Kerry Donley spoke and then heard citizen concerns for an hour followed by a half-hour staff presentation on projected transportation in 2040. Staff’s draft of existing transportation conditions in the corridor is inadequate, and may be improved and sent out for review. Comments on other sections of the existing conditions draft are due to the Vice Chair Don Buch by October 15.
2011-09-19 The Mayor, City Council, and Planning Commission held a work session on the draft Beauregard Corridor Plan prepared by staff and titled “Overview of Beauregard Corridor Stakeholder Group Process/Recommendations.” The public was not allowed to speak. The Mayor concluded the session saying, “I think the way to sell this is not so much the additional housing and additional density, this is about jobs.”
2011-09-19 The Mayor and City Council and Planning Commission heard an update at Landmark Mall of the process to develop a Beauregard Corridor Plan and hopes for progress.
2011-09-17 Nan spoke at the open mike to City Council to object to the framing of the meeting two days later as an “Overview of Beauregard Corridor Stakeholder Group Process/Recommendations.” The Group has yet to agree on any recommendations.
2011-09-12 Many residents turned out for the Beauregard Stakeholders meeting to give input for the draft plan for the Beauregard Corridor, which was distributed prior to the meeting. One straw poll was taken and passed to include in the plan a limit on zoning density to the existing levels and to provide 20% of the new units as affordable housing.
2011-09-12 The Beauregard Corridor Stakeholders Working Group meeting about the draft plan brought many citizens to the meeting, who expressed their numerous concerns.
2011-08-08 SHA will distribute flyers asking area residents to tell City Council their views of the developers’ plans to increase density in the Beauregard Corridor.
2011-08-08 The Beauregard Stakeholders Group met four times in July concerning the Beauregard Corridor and the associated vision for Corridor C of the High Capacity Transit Corridor Working Group. A subcommittee of the Stakeholders Group is drafting a new Beauregard small area plan document that includes more information about existing conditions and goals for the area. This plan is to be discussed on September 12. SHA is still opposed to increasing the density allowed in that area beyond what is already granted to landowners.
2011-06-09 The Board of Directors of the Seminary Hill Association, Inc., petitioned the Alexandria City Council to purchase all or part of the Foster-Fairbanks Tract as a park for the benefit of the West End and all the citizens of Alexandria.
2011-06-07 Two staff presentations at the Beauregard Corridor Stakeholders meeting informed citizens of the basic planning process related to zoning and of the inadequacy of fire and emergency services provided by the City to residents: “The Three Levels of Development Planning” by Division Chief, Department of Planning & Zoning Gwen Wright and Fire Chief Adam Thiel on “Emergency and Fire Services in Alexandria.” Donna Fossum suggested priorities for proffers might be: 1) fire station, 2) large park with playing fields, 3) transit, 4) affordable housing, and 5) what is in the CDD4 for this corridor (street scape, underground utilities, pocket parks).
Beauregard Corridor meetings at John Adams Elementary School at 7 pm:
June 20 Developers meeting is cancelled.
July 06 Panel to answer questions about the High Capacity Transit recommendation
July 11 Beauregard Stakeholders meeting
2011-05-19 The High Capacity Transit Working Group recommended to City Council that Alternative D—bus rapid transit in dedicated lanes—be built on Beauregard and Van Dorn Streets a.k.a. Corridor C. Bill Denton, Donna Fossum, Dak Hardwick, and John Komoroske voted in favor, Poul Hertel and Nan Jennings voted against. Anna Bentley, Paul Smedberg, and Rob Krupicka were absent. The matter goes to City Council sometime.
"Alternative D is the preferred alternative for phased implementation of transit in dedicated lanes in Corridor C until such time as Alternative G [street cars] becomes feasible and can be implemented. This course of action is consistent with the Council's recent decision to provide dedicated lane transit along the segment of Corridor A that is north of Braddock Road. Evaluation and analysis will continue of Alternative D in preparation for future implementation of Alternative G. Construction of transit in Corridor C shall be the first priority of Alexandria’s transportation projects. Each subsequent corridor shall be evaluated separately regarding the need to acquire additional right-of-way for dedicated lanes as discussed in the Transportation Master Plan."
2011-05-16 Beauregard developers returned to land use and urban design during their monthly meeting. They advocated a grid of roads, above ground parking, and limiting the supply of parking. They tried to reassure residents that these changes will take 20 to 30 years and offered no rational for the plans to build four hotels. The developers have yet to advocate high capacity transit and do not want it to go through their properties. Nan Jennings got no response when she asked how adding a transit stop inside the Mark Center will NOT degrade transit service in the corridor.
2011-04-11 The developers appear ready for the next step in drafting plans for the corridor but some in the audience continue to press for a better understanding of how the infrastructure—roads and transit—can handle more density.
2011-03-07 The Beauregard Stakeholders Group met and broke into groups that discussed needs such as retail and open space.
2011-02-28 The developers held a meeting to discuss infrastructure, environmental sustainability, and open space in the Beauregard Corridor.
2011-02-10 Developers held a meeting in January emphasizing the development would be phased in over 25 years. For example: JBG wanted to start with an office building on Beauregard where the Giant and shopping center currently sit. Condos and apartments would come later. JBG also announced a small reduction of 500 new units from the total planned, suggested putting a fire station on City property where the tennis courts are located at Beauregard and Sanger, and indicated the football intersection for Seminary & Beauregard would improve traffic movement in 2035. Duke Realty has no plans for a decade but may replace the older 4-6 story buildings with 6-8 stories and parking underground. Home Properties wants to replace its 3 story units at Seminary Gardens with 5 story units, an increase of 669 new units in the next 5 years. Shirley Gardens–at Foster and Fairbanks Streets—would immediately become hotels, apartments, and townhouses if the zoning were changed from single-family residential to commercial. The next meeting was moved from March 28 to April 11 but at the same time and place: 6:30 pm Mark Center Hilton Hotel.
2011-02-01 Beauregard Stakeholders Group met in January and proposed finishing the Beauregard Corridor Plan by September 2011. The group now has a website at https://sites.google.com/site/bcsgalex/.
2011-01 SHA continues with its "No Density" campaign to preserve residential properties and not exacerbate traffic congestion. When asked, what is SHA for? Longtime resident Jack Sullivan summed it up perfectly: "The residents of Seminary Hill and other parts of the West End are for solving the existing and predictable traffic problems of our area before providing land use and zoning changes that will increase density."
2010-12 Efforts by the City's Planning & Zoning staff failed to develop a Beauregard Corridor Small Area Plan, so two new efforts were begun to devise a plan.
- Beauregard Community Meetings have been organized by the property owners who want to redevelop and increase zoning. At the first meeting on December 13, the developers explained their visions for the corridor. Their presentations were little changed from plans put forth in 2010. The largest developer, JBG, is proposing a density of four times what is there now and would likely turn Beauregard Street into an urban one like Connecticut Avenue by the National Zoo (7-story stone buildings, no street trees or grass). By right, JBG can only double the density on their property. JBG also proposed making the intersection of Seminary Road and Beauregard Street into a modified circle in the shape of a football. The next Community Meeting is on January 25 at 6:30 pm at the Hilton Alexandria Hotel at Mark Center. Free parking and refreshments provided.
- A Beauregard Stakeholders Group was organized by interested citizens and landowners. The Stakeholders Group met on November 16 and December 20 and decided to not be appointed by City Council, to select Donna Fossum as chair and Don Buch as vice chair, and to table a resolution from homeowners in Shirley Gardens (Fairbanks & Foster Streets) to rezone their residential properties to commercial. The next meeting is on January 31 at 7 pm in the library on the second floor of John Adams Elementary School.
2010-09-30 Council Members Rob Krupicka and Paul Smedberg presented a memo supporting SHA's position to halt the Beauregard Corridor Plan process until transit is planned.
2010-09-23 SHA Board Members passed the following resolution that President Nancy Jennings presented to the City Council on September 25. "The Beauregard Corridor Plan process should be halted until the City has funded a shovel-ready rapid-transit project in the Beauregard corridor."
2010-09-23 Jack Sullivan reported that landowners in the Beauregard Corridor are bound by the 1992 West Alexandria Plan allowing a maximum of 45 feet in that CCD zone. The campaign to "Stop the Madness" of increasing density in that corridor will continue.
2010-06 The Beauregard Corridor Plan meeting scheduled for June 28 was postponed until the fall with a planned to go to City Council in February 2011. SHA may mount a public campaign against any increased density in that corridor. The City of Alexandria plans poorly and thus the BRAC at Mark Center. While the debate continues on how to handle the traffic gridlock that development will bring, City officials are planning more high rises and dense development nearby. Stop the madness!
Citizens can tell City Planners their views by posting comments at http://apps.alexandriava.gov/WebComments/CommentBoardSummary.aspx?id=21.
2010-05-13 SHA Board Members spoke about having a moratorium on development in the West End until transportation problems caused by the BRAC at Mark Center are addressed. They will continue to press the City to remove Seminary Hill/Strawberry Hill Small Area Plan parcels from the Beauregard Corridor Plan. Board Members will meet to organize a campaign to protest more density in the West End at the Beauregard meetings on June 28 and in the fall when the plan goes to the Planning Commission and the City Council.
2010-05-08/09/10 JBG contractors worked with staff and citizens on a plan for their properties. They are planning "Urban Density" in the Beauregard Corridor with two town centers—phased in—upper town with 10 stories and lower town with 7 stories or higher if "affordable housing" components are added. Also, high rise buildings by I-395 at Sanger. Residential units would increase from 3,000 to 7,500 or higher if "affordable housing" is added. Parking would be 1.2 spaces per unit. Commercial components would include national merchants. They recommend a grid of roads and round abouts, including slowing traffic on Beauregard by using one of its current traffic lanes for on-street parking. JBG may be selling the Mill Brook II townhouses.
2010-04-27 Vice Mayor Donley and Councilman Krupika asked the Planning Commission to put on its June docket the City's current practice that rezoning takes place as part of the small area plan process.
2010-04-08 The City’s formed a subcommittee of the BRAC-133 at Mark Center Advisory Group to discuss problems with the way the City’s Planning & Zoning staff runs the Beauregard Corridor Plan. The City’s contractor delivered two publications based on comments from past public meetings: "SWOT Findings and Themes" and "Vision and Goals Statements" that were discussed with plans to adopt goals at the next meeting on May 24.
2010-04-08 SHA Treasurer Jack Sullivan will ask City Council on April 17 to remove parcels in the Seminary Hill/Strawberry Hill Small Area Plan from the Beauregard Corridor Plan.
2010-03-24 The subcommittee met and called for better notification of residents—including renters—about meetings on the Plan and for a better more inclusive boundary for the plan area. Minutes will be posted on the SHA website.
2010-03-17 Head of Planning & Zoning Faroll Hamer established a subcommittee at the BRAC Advisory Group meeting to consider complaints about the Beauregard Corridor Plan process.
2010-03-06 The JBG Companies—which owns 2/3 of the property along the plan area on North Beauregard Street—conducted a walking tour of their properties followed by refreshments and 3 hours of presentations by consultants. JBG’s consultant for land use and planning—Viktor Dover—spoke about redeveloping to make a “place” and the town center concept. Residents quickly informed him that they did not want their neighborhood to look like Old Town. Density was discussed and numbers thrown about; basically I heard they are thinking about doubling the number of residential units and building 10-story office buildings. Some attending liked JBG’s transpiration consultant—Ian Lockwood—of AECOM, who has projects to scale back highways and restore commercial/public areas in Portland, San Francisco, Chattanooga, and Trenton. He advised against widening roads to end congestion, because it just attracts more vehicles. He also advised against traffic circles with traffic lights but liked smaller roundabouts.
2010-03-04 SHA requested that City Manager Jim Hartmann direct Planning & Zoning (P&Z) head Faroll Hamer to remove Seminary Hill/Strawberry Hill Small Plan Area parcels from the Beauregard Corridor Plan. She keeps insisting they should remain. Some residents west of I-395 are also upset because they are not included in the plan area and will be adversely impacted by all the density changes P&Z is pushing.
2010-02-25 At the 3rd Beauregard Corridor Plan meeting, citizens voiced opinions about the good and problematic things in the Beauregard area and complained about the process and the lack of proper representation of residential areas. Around 100 people attended but only 3 lived in the plan area. All the statistics used by the contractors were skewed because they only included the plan area, which is market-rate “affordable” housing. The section 8 housing at Willow Run is NOT in the plan area nor are the single-family residences.
2010-01-14: SHA Board of Directors passed resolution to detach Seminary Hill parcels from the Beauregard Corridor Planning Process.
2010-01-20: Public meeting at Ramsay Elementary School 6-9 pm to discuss possible improvements to transportation and desired land-use changes in the Beauregard Corridor.