The Chair of the Planning Commission (Nate Macek) has stated that "neighborhood associations don't represent business interests, and they should therefore be ignored." This is very shortsighted, since I and a great number of other business people live in Alexandria and participate in civic association affairs. These associations represent the interests of their citizens, and often provide valuable insight on many issues. As an example, the Northeast Citizens Association was instrumental in altering the design of the rooftop patios at a townhouse complex on Slaters Lane. It was they who pointed out that the former design of the roof was not taking advantage of the view of the Fireworks in Washington. They also suggested the outdoor seating adjacent to Slaters Lane in front of Buzz Bakery. Rather than being irrelevant, the Alexandria Citizens and Civic Associations can be viewed as partners who can add value to the process. To ignore the perspective of these groups is like killing the goose that laid the golden egg.
Townsend A. "Van" Van Fleet