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December 3, 2014 Published in Letters/Opinions

Planning For Eisenhower West

Dear Editor,

The exciting improvements in store for the Potomac River waterfront are grabbing headlines, but other significant planning efforts are also underway in Alexandria.  Eisenhower West was identified by City Council in 2013 as our city's next significant planning opportunity.

Geographically, Eisenhower West is the part of our city west of Holmes Run and south of Pickett Street. The area is home to a great diversity of uses - from recreational areas like Ben Brenman Park to commercial facilities like Covanta and Restaurant Depot and residential communities like Cameron Station and Summers Grove. From a regional perspective, Eisenhower West is well-located along the Capital Beltway and includes the Van Dorn Metrorail station.  But the area remains locally disconnected by limited north-south connections across the railroad tracks. It's time to make Eisenhower West a connected hub in Alexandria.

Planning efforts began earlier this year with the establishment of the Eisenhower West Steering Committee, consisting of various commission members, community representatives, and business representatives. Since February, we have been meeting regularly to help City staff with the planning process. We have also held three large public community meetings, focused on identifying issues and assets in the area, creating a vision for the area, and locating future centers of activity and connections. Several more meetings are planned throughout the winter and spring, with the goal of an adopted plan and guide for the future growth of Eisenhower West by the end of 2015.

Even though meetings have begun and the planning process is underway, now is a great time to get involved. Stay tuned for announcements about how to participate in the planning process through the City's new online civic engagement platform, AlexEngage. There are also continuing opportunities to participate in person.  The next community meeting will be held on December 8, at Beatley Library, and will focus on the future framework of streets and potential land uses. Come early for the open house at 6:30 p.m., meet the project team working on the plan, and stay for the presentation and interactive workshop at 7 p.m.

For more information, please visit the Eisenhower West website at www.alexandriava.gov/EisenhowerWest and subscribe to updates at www.alexandriava.gov/eNews. I look forward to seeing many members of the community online or at a meeting soon.

Mindy A. Lyle
Chair, Eisenhower West Steering Committee
Member, Alexandria Planning Commission

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