CANDIDATE NAME: Redella S. “Del” Pepper                                 PARTY: Democrat

QUESTION

ANSWER

Re West End

Re Eisenhower Valley

1.    Modes of transportation: Which modes of  public transportation and ease-of-use  solutions for private transportation do you  support which will encourage local residents and visitors to increase their purchases from businesses in –

I strongly support BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) running in dedicated lanes along the Beauregard/Van Dorn corridor, (Corridor C), and ending in an improved and if possible, enlarged Van Dorn Metro Station.  I would like to see BRT running along Duke Street, (Corridor B), beginning at the King Street Metro and connecting with Corridor C at a transit hub in a newly redeveloped Landmark Mall.  I would like to see an expanded DASH bus system, circulator busses, Bike Share stations, and more bicycle and pedestrian trails.  As ridership develops, I would like to see free trolleys running along both corridors, B and C.  I support better synchronization of traffic lights, especially along Duke Street.

I strongly support an expanded DASH system (and better service), circulator busses, Bike Share stations, and more bicycle and pedestrian paths.  As ridership develops in the future, I would like to see free trolleys running along Eisenhower Avenue, as well as BRT running in dedicated lanes.  I support an improved, and if possible enlarged Van Dorn Metro Station. Transportation studies will be initiated in the Spring that will  look at all modes of transportation in the Eisenhower Valley.

a.    By when?

Because of the anticipated development along Beauregard and possibly at Landmark Mall, Corridor C will be the first focus.

Planning will begin in conjunction with the Eisenhower West Planning process, which is scheduled for Spring, 2013.

2.    Attracting new businesses: Which  mechanisms do you support which will attract new businesses to and encourage them to locate in -

I support simplifying regulations, increased marketing by the AEDP(Alexandria Economic Development Partnership) and ACVA (Alexandria Convention & Visitors Ass.), better transportation connections to other parts of Alexandria, and better access to Metros.  I support an annual review of the BPOL tax to ensure that our taxes are not a disincentive for new businesses to come to Alexandria.

It is important that the planning for the Eisenhower West Small Area Plan proceed on schedule for Spring 2013, if possible. When a plan is in place, more businesses will be inclined to come to this area.  I support simplifying regulations and increased marketing by the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, as well as an improved Van Dorn Station as discussed in my response to question  one. 

a.    By when?

This is ongoing and continuous.

I would hope that new businesses would be encouraged to move to Eisenhower West once a Small Area Plan is in place, the Van Dorn Station is made more accessible, and Victory Center is occupied.

3.    Master Plan: What timeframe do you support for the completion of a submarket Master Plan for -

We have recently completed the Landmark/VanDorn and Beauregard Plans.  These cover the major commercial areas of the West End. 

The City plans to start the transportation analyses that form the base of the Eisenhower West Plan in the Spring.  We have earlier completed an Industrial Area Study.

4.    Small Area Plans:  What initiatives and  timeframes do you support for the completion of development for the:

a.    Beauregard Small Area Development Plan.

The developers of the properties along Beauregard have indicated a buildout period of twenty to thirty years. I anticipate and would encourage a quicker buildout.  I am encouraging  the construction of the fire station, Corridor C, and some other things to begin immediately.

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b.    Landmark Shopping Mall

The Landmark/Van Dorn Small Area plan already exists .  A key to the implementation of that plan and of the development of the various businesses along Van Dorn is the construction of a thriving Landmark Mall.  To that end, the City is currently engaging in serious discussions with the representatives of the  most recent owners, Howard Hughes Corp.  This site is an ideal location for a mixed use development that includes full buildout using  the considerable density that has been permitted.I am encouraging further discussions with the Howard Hughes Corp. Also, we need the community to be part of these discussions.   

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c.    Eisenhower West End Development Plan: What is your commitment to maintaining the schedule of the City’s Eisenhower West End Development Plan and, specifically, economic development in the Eisenhower Valley?

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I am committed to beginning the planning process in the Spring, 2013, if that is possible.  It has been put off too long and now is the time for us to begin.  I see it as a way of providing the stimulus needed for the economic development in Eisenhower West.

5.    Help for existing businesses: Which specific measures will you promote which will increase the growth, customer base, revenue, and expense minimization of  businesses currently located in –

Many of the measures that would help attract new businesses, as stated in the answer to question number two above, are the same ones that would be helpful to existing businesses.  These include better transportation connections, an expanded marketing focus by ACVA and AEDP, and continued simplification of regulations on businesses.

Without a doubt, many of the businesses along Van Dorn would do better if the Van Dorn metro station was more accessible, and if the Landmark Mall was a better performing  Shopping Center. 

Same answer as for the West End.

a.    By when?

With the implementation of the Beauregard Small Area Plans and the Landmark/Van Dorn plans, as well as the BRT and corridor C and B, we will begin to see some major changes.  I support pushing ahead as quickly as possible on all of these projects.

Same as for West End

6.    Developer Taxes: Will you encourage that taxes which are raised from developers be spent on (1) matters pertaining specifically to the developer’s project or (2) City-wide infrastructure services?

Contributions are identified within the Development Special Use Permit,(DSUP), and are tagged to a specific area or identified as general.

Usually, contributions (proffers) are tied to the area around the developer’s project. Taxes post construction go to the general fund and are spent where the need is greatest.  I strongly support using proffers made by a developer for the purpose of enhancing in some way, the specific area near the developer’s project.

Same as for West End.

7.    National Science Foundation: How do you plan to encourage the NSF’s coming to Eisenhower Valley and selecting one of the three sites it is considering there?

Same answer as for Eisenhower Valley.

AEDP is working hard, in concert with the City Manager’s Office, to develop incentives for the National Science Foundation to find properties along Eisenhower Avenue attractive.  However, much depends on the willingness of the property owners to price their bids competitively.

8.    Victory Center: What are the tangible solutions you will implement to promote Victory Center for immediate tenancy and development?

Same answer as for Eisenhower Valley.

A master plan for Eisenhower West that demonstrates that the quality of the area is slated to improve will go a long way toward convincing a potential tenant that they should look at a location in the western part of Eisenhower Avenue.  We also need to improve transportation options and access to the Metro Station, provide more retail and restaurants, and solve some of the traffic problems of Van Dorn Street.  Finally, the property owner has to prepare a bid that will be competitive.

a.    By what date do you expect first tenant to assume occupancy in Victory Center because of those solutions?

Same answer as for Eisenhower Valley.

The City could implement any number of solutions, but the final decision as to when a tenant will occupy Victory Center is between the owners and the tenant.

9.    Campaign Signs: What is your plan to remove all of your political campaign signs following the election?

Within one week after election day, my sign team will remove the Pepper signs from the public right of ways.  The City’s zoning ordinance requires that they be removed by the 16th day following the election.

Same answer as for the West End.

a.    By when?

By November 13

Same as for WEBA

10. In 30 words or fewer, why should Alexandria business-owner voters vote for you?

I have a long history of support for simplifying regulations on businesses. Through my husband’s business, I am a member of WEBA.

I have a long history of support for simplifying regulations on businesses and as seeing businesses as important partners in the City’s economic and community development.  

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