WASHINGTON - A redevelopment project that could take 30 years to implement and could displace more than 8,000 people, was approved by the Alexandria City Council.
The city council voted 6-1 on the Beauregard Small Area Plan, which would build more than 6,000 housing unites, both condominium and rental apartments along Beauregard Street.
"The city of Alexandria Council has made an unprecedented committment to preserving and protecting affordable housing," Mayor Bill Euille says in a news release.
The new development, to be built over 25 to 30 years, would eliminate more than 2,500 affordable housing units and replace them condo and rental units mixed in with retail buildings and parkland.
Under the rezoning ordinance that will allow for the new development, the developers will have to provide $215 million over 20 years for a new fire station, transit and open space. That includes $66 million for 800 affordable housing units.
Councilwoman Allison Silberberg, the lone dissenting vote, says that is not enough. She wanted the city to set aside more money to guarantee more than a thousand affordable housing units.
"We need to find $2 million a year to satisfy that we are putting teeth in what we say," she says.
The area is about one-third of the city. Many residents there, some of them long- term residents, say they will be forced to leave as rents go up.
- March 21, 2013: Displacement fears grow with Va. housing development