DRCA Land Use Committee Report

The following items were discussed at the September 3, 2013 Planning Commission meeting and will require a DRCA Membership vote:

SUP 2013-045: 1502 and 1512 Commonwealth Ave  and 4 West Nelson Ave Parking Reduction in exchange for affordable housing

These are the Lacy Court Apartments on the western side of Commonwealth Avenue between West Monroe and West Nelson Avenues.  The Alexandria Housing Development Corporation owns the property and will be renovating it.  Renovations are expected to increase the value of the property by more than 1/3.  An SUP for a parking reduction is required because of the improvement to the property.  The buildings have 44 units of 1, 2, and 3 bedroom apartments.  86 parking spaces are required based on the parking requirements in the zoning ordinance.  33 parking spaces are available on site.  A parking reduction of 53 spaces is required.  No existing on-site parking spaces will be eliminated.  The SUP will formalize the parking reduction that already exists.

LUC Decision:  Recommend support of the SUP application with the condition that the applicant provide adequate bicycle storage, that the property be considered for a future bike share, and that one of the on street spaces be considered for a future car share program.

Conditions regarding bicycle storage (space to accommodate 20 bicycles) was included in the recommended conditions of the SUP.

Planning Commission unanimously approved the application with the addition of the following condition:  The applicant routinely communicate to new and existing residents  that they should maximize the use of on site parking.

SUP 2013-046 – Request for coordinated sign program for Landbay L Bell Del Ray Apartments

The property is a new apartment building being constructed on Monroe avenue adjacent to the Monroe Avenue Bridge.  An SUP is required because the applicant desires signage that is not permitted per the zoning ordinance.   The applicant originally requested  70 Sq feet of signage  on two “blade” signs along Mainline Blvd and Monroe Ave.  The City has negotiated with the applicant to reduce the blade signs to 50.25 square feet.  The sign dimensions are 20 feet long by 3.5 feet wide and will be mounted 6 inches out from the building.

LUC Decision:  LUC feels the 40 s.f. sign allowed by the ordinance is appropriate in the context of Del Ray.  LUC voted to not support the 50.25 sq ft signs, but did support the retail signage request which conforms to the zoning ordinance.

Planning Commission approved the SUP application.

The following item is on the October Planning Commission Docket and requires a DRCA membership Vote:

Vacation Request 2013-0003:1607 and 1609 Russell Road

The house on the property was built probably in the 1920’s and faces Russell Road.

The alley involved in the vacation request is accessed from Mason Avenue.   The alley is adjacent to the driveway.  The driveway may encroach a slight amount on the alley.  There is a retaining wall on the east portion of the alley that has fallen into disrepair.  According to the applicant, the adjacent neighbor complained about the retaining wall, and the city is reluctant to repair it.  The applicant is willing to repair the wall and maintain it in the future if they are granted a vacation from the city.  The alley never connected to other properties and should revert back to the property owner.

LUC Decision:  Support of the application

The following Development Site Plan was approved by the Planning Commission and does not require approval by City Council or a DRCA membership vote:

DSP13-010  519 and 521 E. Howell, Development site plan

This is the property located at the end of E. Howell Avenue and Route 1.  It currently houses a decommissioned pump house and storage yard.  This will be a small commercial building about 3000 Sq Ft with retail on the first floor and office space on the second floor.  The site will face route 1 and will provide 12 parking spaces on site.  There will be a fencing and landscaping on the west property line to screen the property from the adjacent residence.

LUC did not vote on this DSP because there was no application at the time it was presented to LUC.

For additional information on these items, please go to the city’s website: