Meeting Recap Alert: Alexandria City Council Public Hearing 2/24/2018

Recap of City Council Public Hearing

held February 24, 2018

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On Saturday, the Alexandria City Council held their regular monthly public hearing meeting, where they made decisions on two new restaurants in Old Town- Sancerre & Urbano 116, The Strand residential & retail building on the waterfront, and a Text Amendment to allow new uses by right and administratively in the Arlandria neighborhood.  The details of the decisions made can be found below, and past recaps can be found by following the link below.

Details on the discussion and presentations can be found online and below.

Item: Sancerre Restaurant at 1725 Duke Street Special Use Permit (SUP)
Action: Unanimous vote to approve the SUP as recommended by the Planning Commission
Next Steps: Build out of the restaurant and opening!
Description: A popular Ballston restaurant, Grand Cru, will open a French & American cuisine restaurant with outdoor dining, live entertainment, and off-premises alcohol sales. Application.
Details & Issues of Interest:

– Two-level restaurant space within the King Street Station office development, including outdoor courtyard dining

– 212 indoor and 100 outdoor seats

– Restaurant will host events such as weddings, graduation parties and baby showers in the courtyard space as well as the indoor portion of the restaurant

– Restaurant will pursue valet parking approval at a later date through an administrative SUP

– Hours of operation- 11 a.m. – 1 a.m. (M-F), 10 a.m. – 1 a.m. (Sat), 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. (Sun)


Item: Urbano 116 Restaurant Special Use Permit (SUP)
Action: Unanimous vote to approve the SUP as recommended by the Planning Commission
Next Steps: Build-out of the restaurant and opening!
Description: The team behind Mason Social in the Braddock Metro neighborhood will open a Mexican cuisine restaurant and a full-service bar at 116 King Street, vacant retail space most recently used as pop-up retail. Application.
Details & Issues of Interest:

– One speaker and some members of City Council expressed concerns about parking impacts and noise from music

– 163 seat restaurant with full-service bar and limited live entertainment such as acoustic guitar solos

– Hours of operation- 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. (M-W), 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. (Th-Sat), 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. (Sun)


Item: Text Amendment- Additional Uses in the Neighborhood Retail (NR) Zone found in Arlandria
Action: Unanimous vote to approve the Planning Commission recommendation of the Text Amendment
Next Steps: At the next legislative meeting, City Council will adopt an ordinance implementing this approval
Description: The Zoning Ordinance recognizes health and athletic clubs as well as private commercial schools that specialize in athletic and exercise classes as permitted, administrative Special Use Permit, or Special Use Permit uses in several commercial zones. This amendment will add these uses, in addition to other uses from the Mount Vernon Overlay area (the Del Ray commercial area along Mount Vernon Avenue), to the NR/Neighborhood Retail zone (Arlandria) to provide consistency among the two adjacent neighborhood-serving business districts.
Details & Issues of Interest:

– Council adopted the Planning Commission recommendation, which removed the limited operating hours for health and athletic clubs, allowing for 24/7 operation, as is allowed in other commercial zones

– Amendment also adds animal care facility with no overnight accommodation as by-right use

– Medical laboratories and office uses have been removed as permitted uses- office remains permitted on second floors

– Adds the following uses, with an SUP: Outdoor garden center; Private school, commercial, with more than 20 students; Social service use; Bus shelter on private property; Public parking lot; Congregate housing facility; Home for the elderly; and Public building


Item: The Strand- 203, 205, 211 Strand Street
Action: Unanimous vote to approve the Development Special Use Permit and related approvals
Next Steps: Return to the Board of Architectural Review- Old and Historic District (BAR) for a certificate of appropriateness
Description: The IDI Companies will demolish the existing 211 Strand Street retail building to construct a new residential building with ground floor retail, and renovate and expand an existing retail building at 205 Strand Street to add residential units above. Application.
Details & Issues of Interest:

– One speaker, other than the applicant, spoke in support of the project

– 18 new condominiums in two buildings

– 10,000 SF of ground floor retail, including Chadwick’s restaurant, which will remain on site

– Approval for additional restaurant uses in new ground floor retail spaces

– The Board of Architectural Review has endorsed the height, mass and scale

– Residential parking provided at 2 spaces/unit

Weigh in on these issues!

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