This is an analysis of the unforeseen consequences of the City of Alexandria, Virginia privatizing many services that it has traditionally provided to its homeowners. Alexandria was first settled in the mid-1700s and over the years has been home to the likes of George Washington, Robert E. Lee, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors. Today, after three major annexations of land in 1915, 1930, and 1952, Alexandria now occupies 15.6 square miles directly across the Potomac River from the District of Columbia and is home to an estimated 142,000 people, making it one of the more densely populated cities in the United States.1 On a functional basis, however, Alexandria today is two separate “cities” of relatively equal physical size and population that differ markedly in community structure and political influence. In one of these “cities,” the average homeowner pays their taxes and receives all their services from City Hall. In the other “city,” the average homeowner pays their taxes, but receives only some of their services from City Hall.
The Boundaries of Alexandria’s East End and West End
In Figure 1, Quaker Lane is the north-south road in the middle that separates the two very distinct parts of Alexandria.
Fig.1 East & West Ends of Alexandria
One “city”—the East End—consists of everything in Alexandria east of Quaker Lane and includes the overlapping neighborhoods known as Arlandria, Beverley Hills, Blessed Sacrament, Braddock Road, Carlyle, Clover-College Park, Del Ray, Eisenhower East, Lynhaven, Northeast, North Potomac Yard, North Ridge, Old Town, Old Town North, Parkfairfax, Potomac Greens, Potomac West, Potomac Yard, Rosemont, Southwest Quadrant, and Taylor Run (Planning Districts I and II on Figure 1). The other “city”—the West End—consists of everything in Alexandria west of Quaker Lane and includes the overlapping neighborhoods known as Alexandria West, Beauregard, Bradlee, Brookville, Cameron Station, “Condo Canyon,” Dowden Terrace, Fairlington, Landmark-Van Dorn, Lincolnia Hills, Seminary Hill, Seminary Valley, Strawberry Hill, and Wakefield-Tarleton (Planning District III on Figure 1).
Not surprisingly, given that much of the land in the West End was vacant and rural when it was annexed by the City of Alexandria in 1952, one of the factors on which the two “cities” inside Alexandria differ most markedly is the age of the housing units located in each. Specifically, most of the housing units in the East End were built before 1965, while most of the housing units in the West End were built in or after 1965.
Differences Between Dwelling Types in the Two “Cities”
The total number of housing units found in the two ends of Alexandria today are roughly comparable, with 47% of all residential dwelling units in the city located in the East End and 53% of all residential dwelling units in the city located in the West End.
Fig.2 Residential Dwelling Unit Types: East End vs. West End
Overall, as Figure 2 shows, 56% of all residential dwelling units in Alexandria are privately owned; 43% are commercially owned rentals; and 1% are city-owned units. Because the West End has several thousand more housing units than the East End (4,221 to be exact), the fact that 55% of all housing units in the West End are commercially owned rental units does not mean that the West End has significantly fewer privately owned residential dwelling units than the East End, however. Indeed, 42% of all privately owned residential dwelling units in the city are located in the West End. Figure 2 also shows that the types of privately owned residential dwelling units located in the two ends of Alexandria differ considerably. This is a direct product of the different times in which the housing units in the two ends of Alexandria were built.
In the decades prior to the 1960s, city governments throughout the country, including Alexandria, had internal staff and contractors who used city tax dollars to plan, as well as construct and maintain the city’s major infrastructure—streets, water lines, sewer systems, etc. This infrastructure provided the “street grid” that framed the individual pieces of land (i.e., lots) that private sector parties could purchase and build residential units on, assuming that the land was appropriately zoned. This method of operating resulted in all services from firefighting to street cleaning being provided to city residents by City Hall. Figure 2 shows that, because of the vintage of the housing units in the East End of Alexandria, 12,982 (55%) of all privately owned residential dwelling units in the East End today are individually owned and receive all their services from City Hall, all the costs of which are paid for with city tax dollars.
By the 1960s, Alexandria had zoned all the land acquired in the 1952 annexation of the West End, giving the vast majority of the land in this half of the city residential zoning. Because of the fiscal constraints under which the city was operating in the 1960s, however, it was not possible for the city to put in the “street grid” and accompanying infrastructure (sewer pipes, water lines, etc.) necessary to support the construction of housing units in the new part of the city in a timely manner. As a consequence, the owners (or their designated developers) of much of the residentially zoned land in the West End negotiated deals with City Hall under which the owners or developers would pay for and build the infrastructure on their own plots of land in exchange for an increase in the number of residential dwelling units that they could build on that land. These deals between City Hall and landowners and developers introduced Alexandria to the privatization of city services through common interest developments (CIDs). This new type of development expanded enormously in the city in the 1970s and has been virtually the only type of development used in Alexandria to build privately owned residential dwelling units ever since.
Because of its proximity to Washington, DC, and the abundance of nearby federal jobs, Alexandria has, since World War II, become home to an increasing cadre of well-educated professionals who work for or with the federal government. Many of these professionals were part of single-person or two-person households who began their residence in Alexandria in one of the many rental units in the West End. By the 1970’s, single women, especially young professional ones, and childless couples, were more frequently heading small households in Alexandria, and these nontraditional potential homebuyers were demanding more affordable, apartment-like “homes” to purchase. This demand fueled the explosion of condominiums—a type of CID—in the West End (and nearby communities). Because condominiums were a very different and quite complex type of homeownership, Virginia enacted the Condominium Act in 1974 to ensure that all critical issues involving the rights and responsibilities of condominium unit owners, mortgage lenders, and other involved parties were firmly established and comprehensively addressed.2
In the six years immediately following enactment of the Condominium Act, 25 housing complexes were planned, developed and delivered as condominiums in Alexandria. Fourteen of these condominiums were in the West End, adding 3,728 privately owned residential dwelling units to the city.3 Eleven were in the East End, adding 683 privately owned residential dwelling units to the city.4 The same years also witnessed the conversion of 12 existing commercially owned rental complexes in Alexandria to condominiums. Eight of these condominium conversions were in the West End and changed 2,250 commercially owned rental units to privately owned housing units.5 Four were in the East End and changed 1,718 commercially owned rental units to privately owned housing units.6
Who Pays for Services in the Two “Cities”?
Because the vast majority of the housing units in the West End of Alexandria were built after the 1960s, as Figure 2 shows, 14,152 (81%) of all privately owned residential dwelling units in the West End today are located in CIDs. None of these housing units receive all their services from City Hall.7 Instead, they generally receive only their “essential” services (i.e., law enforcement, fire protection, emergency dispatch, schools, etc.)8 from City Hall. All the rest of the services residents of these CIDs need are considered “nonessential” (i.e., snow removal, road maintenance, landscape maintenance, etc.) and generally have to be provided by the homeowner associations (HOAs)9 or the condominium associations10 to which these housing units are attached. All the costs of these nonessential services are paid for with private funds from the mandatory HOA and condominium fees collected from those who own the housing units in these CIDs. No city tax dollars go toward paying the costs of any nonessential services provided to housing units located in CIDs.
Since owners of housing units in CIDs pay the same taxes that owners of housing units not in CIDs pay, the owners of units in CIDs are, via their taxes, paying part of the costs of the nonessential services provided to the owners of units that are not in CIDs. In marked contrast, none of the owners of privately owned residential dwelling units that are not in CIDs are paying any of the costs of the nonessential services provided to the owners of any of the privately owned residential dwelling units that are in CIDs. In short, the “local” government serving the day-to-day needs of the majority of privately owned residential dwelling units in the East End of Alexandria is City Hall. In stark contrast, the “local” government serving the day-to-day needs of the majority of privately owned residential dwelling units in the West End of the city is one of 20 HOAs11 or 50 condominium associations.12 Put another way, the “local” government for the majority of the privately owned residential dwelling units in the East End is a public entity chartered by the State of Virginia, while the “local” governments for the majority of the privately owned residential dwelling units in the West End are private entities created by city officials and the owners and developers of much of the land in the city. This latter approach to development has allowed Alexandria to expand its tax base without having to spend many tax dollars to do so.
At first glance, both the public and private local governments noted above appear to be much the same. One need only look at the budgets of both to see that both are concerned about snow removal, trash pickup, water, sewers, swimming pools, etc. Both are run by people who are required to live within their geographic boundaries and be elected and reelected on a regular basis. And both possess both taxing and spending authority. The notable difference between these public and private local governments is that the people elected to run the public local government (i.e., the Mayor and members of City Council) are paid for their services with city tax dollars, while the people elected to run the private local governments (i.e., the members of the Board of Directors of HOAs and condominiums) are not financially compensated in any way for their services. One huge difference between the public and private local governments in Alexandria is the way in which their constituents routinely connect to City Hall.
The Role of Civic Associations in Facilitating Civic Participation
On a day-to-day basis, most residents of Alexandria have always connected with City Hall one on one, but connecting in this manner is usually precipitated by an urgent need of some kind. To simply stay up to date with the general goings-on in the city, the residents of Alexandria have historically used civic associations to connect and interact with City Hall. Since Alexandria has never officially defined what a civic association is, the residents of the various neighborhoods in the City have had the liberty of deciding for themselves what constitutes a civic association.
Typically, the neighborhoods in Alexandria have identified their geographic boundaries in a constitution or a set of by-laws and declared that everyone 18 and older who owns and/or lives in a dwelling unit inside these boundaries is a member of the neighborhood’s civic association.13 A number of civic associations in the city, however, use different criteria for determining membership. Two civic associations define their membership in terms of all the households located within their boundaries rather than all the individuals living within their boundaries.14 A couple of civic associations specifically include the owners of businesses located within their boundaries as members.15 One civic association limits any CID within its boundaries to “one vote” on all matters,16 which means that the owners of the 255 dwelling units in the five CIDs within its boundaries have only five votes on all civic association matters.17 Another civic association limits its membership to “owner[s] or renter[s] of a single family detached home,” whose application for membership is approved by the Board of Directors of the civic association,18 which means that the owners of the 122 duplexes and townhouses located within its boundaries are not even eligible to apply for membership in their civic association.19 One entity that claims to be a civic association, and is generally treated as one by the city, has no bylaws or constitution, and therefore, has no defined boundaries or members.20
The Expanding Role of Civic Associations in Alexandria
In 1964, the leaders of a number of the city’s civic associations founded the Alexandria Federation of Civic Associations “following several confrontations with developers seeking to build high rise apartment buildings on large open tracts in Alexandria’s West End.”21 The purpose of the federation is “to serve as a means of communication among its member Associations about matters of common interest…[and] represent the views of the Federation before the city government when certain conditions are met.”22 While the level of activity of the federation has varied from decade to decade, over the years, City Hall has allowed the federation to become an official part of city government by permitting the federation to directly appoint members of official city committees and groups.23
Presumably Alexandria has delegated some of its official powers to the federation on the assumption that it represents all the people living in the city. Such is not the case, however. While City Hall credited the federation with “representing 78 civic groups” during the Eisenhower East Small Area Planning process,24 a detailed analysis of all the information available on Alexandria’s civic associations shows that, over the years, there have been at most only around 40 civic associations in the city.25 And because the level of actual civic involvement exhibited from year to year by the various civic associations depends on the major civic issue(s) of the day as well as the level of civic commitment of their leadership, many of the civic associations become less active from time to time. In 2012, only 15 civic associations were active members of the federation.26
Today, virtually all the privately owned dwelling units in the East End of Alexandria, be they individually owned or part of a CID, are located within the boundaries of at least one active or semi-active civic association, so most all the privately owned dwelling units in the East End come under the umbrella of the federation. In marked contrast, the vast majority of the privately owned dwelling units in the West End are not located within the boundaries of an active or semi-active civic association, so most privately owned dwelling units in the West End do not fall under the umbrella of the federation. The reason that most of the privately owned residential dwelling units in Alexandria’s West End are not within the boundaries of a civic association is because these housing units are in CIDs. And, despite the claim of the federation that it “shall consist of…residential, civic, citizen, community, condominium (emphasis added) and tenant Associations,”27 the federation requires that all of its voting members “must be organized and operated for nonpartisan civic purposes (emphasis added).”28 No CID is “organized and operated for nonpartisan civic purposes,” therefore no HOA or condominium association can legally double as a civic association and join the federation. Any HOA or condominium association that does (i.e., Parkfairfax Condominium Unit Owners Association, Highpointe at Stonegate HOA, and Sentinel at Landmark Condominium Unit Owners Association) is violating the by-laws of the federation.
Exclusion of CIDs from Civic Associations and Civic Participation
Any governing body of a CID, be it an HOA or a condominium association, that attempts to double as a civic association is not only violating the bylaws of the federation, but also likely violating its own governing documents which customarily define the legal purpose of HOAs and condominium associations as “property management and maintenance” not “civic participation.” This obstacle is why the only CID in Alexandria that does clearly participate legally in civic matters had to create a second volunteer organization of the owners and residents living within its boundaries so that it could both manage and maintain its property and participate in general civic affairs. Not surprisingly, this HOA is in Alexandria’s West End, where 81% of all privately owned residential dwelling units are in CIDs. Specifically, this is the Cameron Station Civic Association, which is the umbrella civic association for the 975 townhouses, 762 condominium units, and 32 detached homes that comprise Cameron Station.
Because Cameron Station, with its 1,769 residential dwelling units, is the largest CID in the City of Alexandria, it has been able to find enough volunteers to operate its legally mandated property management organization and its optional civic association. No other CID in either end of the city has been able to do likewise, presumably because of their much more modest size (i.e., 123 dwelling units on average) and much more limited pool of willing volunteers.29 Because 81% of privately owned dwelling units in the West End are in CIDs, this means that only around 30% of all privately owned dwelling units in the West End are part of a civic association. Around 70% of all privately owned dwelling units in the West End do not come under the umbrella of any civic association, and consequently, are not represented in any way by the federation. So by delegating some of its official powers to the federation, Alexandria has effectively turned the majority of homeowners in its West End into second-class citizens by excluding them from many important decisions made by the city in which they own property and pay taxes.
Voting Disparity Between the Two “Cities”
Because the manner in which the majority of homeowners in the two ends of Alexandria connect to City Hall differs so markedly, it is not surprising that the political dynamics of the two parts of the city are also quite different. Figure 3 shows that, over the years, the residents of the West End have voted only about half as often in City Council Elections as have the residents of the East End.
Fig.3 Voter Percentages
Specifically, Figure 3 shows that, between 1982 and 2009, almost two-thirds of those voting in Alexandria’s City Council elections lived in the East End, while only about one-third of those voting in these elections lived in the West End. Figure 3 also shows, however, that there has not been such a notable difference between the participation rates of the residents in gubernatorial and presidential elections during these same years, strongly indicating that there is something quite different about the dynamics of City Council elections in Alexandria and the dynamics of state and national elections there.
Every how-to guide on running for local office, puts knocking on doors at the very top of a candidate’s must-do list, because it is the cheapest and most effective way to make contact with potential voters in local elections.30 Such is not the case for gubernatorial and presidential elections, both of which must reach many more voters spread out over much larger territories, and, therefore, must rely heavily on the much more expensive ways to contact voters (television ads, radio ads, mailings, etc.). And because knocking on doors is important to every campaign for local office, it is critical that candidates for local office actually be able to reach the front doors of potential voters. This factor—access to potential voter’s front doors —differs markedly between the East End and the West End.
Of the privately owned residential dwelling units in the East End, 55% are individually owned detached or semi-detached units, virtually all of which allow ready access to their front doors. An additional 15% of the privately owned residential dwelling units in the East End are in HOAs or one garden condominium (i.e., Parkfairfax31) that also allow ready access to the front doors of most individual dwelling units. Virtually all these dwelling units are located relatively contiguously along public streets that are fairly level and lined with easy-to-negotiate sidewalks. All told, 70% of the privately owned residential dwelling units in the East End allow candidates for Mayor and the City Council (and other local elected offices) to meet potential voters and talk face-to-face with them simply by knocking on their front doors.
In marked contrast, 52% of the privately owned residential dwelling units in the West End of the city are located in high-security condominiums that no one, including candidates for Mayor and City Council (and other local elected offices), can enter without express permission to do so.32 No candidate for elected office can walk freely through these condominiums and knock on the front doors of the many potential voters living there, because doing so would constitute trespassing under the rules of these condominiums.33 In addition, 10% of the privately owned residential dwelling units in the West End are located in widely scattered cul-de-sacs that often have steep and/or marginal sidewalks and/or lots of stairs leading to front doors, making it a real challenge for candidates to efficiently meet the potential voters in these homes simply by knocking on their front doors.34 All told, 62% of the privately owned residential dwelling units in the West End of Alexandria make it very difficult or impossible for candidates for Mayor and City Council (and other local elected offices) to meet potential voters and talk face to face with them simply by knocking on their front doors.
The rules governing high-security and other types of condominiums were put in place by their developers, not by the ultimate owners of the individual units in these condominiums, and must comply with the provisions of Virginia’s Condominium Act. The provisions of the act specify that the rules governing all residential condominiums in Virginia can be changed “only by agreement of unit owners of units to which two-thirds of the votes in the unit owners’ association appertain, or such larger majority as the condominium instruments may specify.”35 Since getting the unit owners who control two-thirds of the ownership stake in any condominium to agree on any change in their governing rules is virtually impossible, the chances of changing the governing rules of high-security condominiums to allow candidates to campaign in their hallways are remote. Moreover, amending the Condominium Act so that it requires all condominiums to allow all candidates for local office to have unencumbered access to the front doors of all the units in high-security condominiums is not likely to happen, because it would inevitably lead to demands from every “cause” to have the same access to these units, thereby totally undermining the high-security systems of these condominiums. In short, the building access restrictions in the rules governing high-security condominiums have made it very difficult for most of the registered voters living in the West End of Alexandria to be part of a local election process that depends on candidates being able to reach voters simply by knocking on their front doors.
Further distancing the owners of the many CID-based homes in the West End from inclusion in the local election process is the fact that the display of campaign signs in front yards, which is the other way that candidates can cheaply communicate with voters in local elections, is also restricted in both HOAs and condominiums. To have a home in any type of CID, unit owners have to agree to abide by all of these restrictions or they simply have to find someplace else to live. Because the residential development practices of Alexandria have so strongly favored CIDs since 1965, 81% of the private residential dwelling units in today’s West End are in CIDs that are subject to some or all of these restrictions. As a consequence, unless one is the owner of one of the few West End homes that was built before 1965, virtually the only place to own a home in the West End of Alexandria is in a CID.
The election results for 2012 shown at the bottom of Figure 3 strongly suggest that the cure for the lower voter turnout in local elections in the West End was simply to move the election date from May to November as the City Council did in 2009. The campaigns for U.S. President, not the campaigns for Mayor, City Council, and other local offices, drove the voter turnout in November 2012, however. The local elections in 2012 simply piggybacked on the Presidential election when it came to getting out voters. The real test of the difference that changing Alexandria’s local elections from May to November will have on voter turnout in the West End will occur in November 2015 when the local elections are paired with elections for the State Senate and House of Delegates. Previous voter turnout rates for these elections have been quite low and strongly indicate that the West End turnout rate for local elections will continue to be lower than that of the East End regardless of the date of the election.36
Bottom line, the development policies and practices of Alexandria since 1965 have effectively excluded—i.e., disenfranchised—the owners of 52% of the privately owned homes in the city’s West End from being part of local elections because they live in high-security CIDs. The owners of an additional 29% of the privately owned homes in the West End do not live in high-security CIDs, but because they do live in CIDs, they also do not receive any of their nonessential services from City Hall. Consequently, it comes as no surprise that the vast majority of Alexandrians living in the West End of the city do not vote in elections that do not seem to have any effect on their day-to-day lives.
It is clear that the owners of homes in CIDs in Alexandria are being double taxed. First, via their city taxes, they are helping pay for the nonessential services provided to homeowners who do not live in CIDs, but those who live in CIDs do not themselves receive any of these services at city expense. Second, CID owners are paying for all their own nonessential services via their HOA and condominium fees. This double taxation affects 60% of all privately owned homes citywide but hits the West End much harder than the East End because 81% of all privately owned homes in the West End are in CIDs, while only 45% of all privately owned homes in the East End are in CIDs. The only way to fix this is to make the owners of non-CID homes pay directly for the nonessential services they currently receive “free” from the city. After much controversy, this is precisely what was done with trash pickup in 1983—i.e., it was removed from the list of “free” services paid for with city tax dollars and charged directly to all non-CID homes receiving this service.37
It is also clear that the Alexandria Federation of Civic Associations represents only about two-thirds of all privately owned homes in the city. By delegating some of its official duties to the federation, City Hall is blatantly discriminating against many Alexandria homeowners, the vast majority of whom are in the West End. To fix this, City Hall needs to reclaim the official city duties that it has already delegated to the federation and never again delegate any official city duties to the federation.
It is also clear that the dynamics of a very large enclave of privately owned homes clustered in seven contiguous precincts38 in the West End are very different from the dynamics of other neighborhoods in Alexandria because 65% of the privately owned homes in this enclave are high-security condominiums. The first CIDs built (or converted) in Alexandria between 1973 and 1980 comprise the core of this enclave. City Hall actively worked with landowners and developers to create this enclave of “unusual” homes without any apparent regard for how the enclave would connect to the rest of the city. Consequently, despite owning almost 40% of all privately owned homes in the West End, the owners of the homes in the high-security condominiums in this enclave have effectively been excluded from city elections because candidates cannot reach them by knocking on their front doors or putting signs in their front yards. Does this constitute “structural disenfranchisement”? If it does, what might this mean for Alexandria and the validity of its elections? Regardless, the fact that the homes in this West End enclave do not look to City Hall for any of their nonessential services goes a long way toward explaining why fewer registered voters in the West End actually vote in local elections.
To include this enclave of homeowners in city matters, City Council should consider following the example of Alexandria’s School Board, which elects its members by district rather than at large.
Fig.4 Alexandria School Board Districts
Specifically, three members of the School Board are elected from each of three districts spread across the city to ensure that people familiar with every part of the city are included in the board’s deliberations and decisions. School District A includes the nine precincts in the easternmost part of the city; School District B includes the ten precincts in the middle of the city; and School District C includes the seven precincts in the most western part of the city. The seven precincts in School District C are the same seven precincts that are home to the enclave of high-security CIDs.
Fig.5 Residential Dwelling Unit Types by School District
Figure 5 shows how markedly the composition of School District C differs from that of School Districts A and B. Virtually all the privately owned dwelling units in School District C are in CIDs, while less than one-half of the privately owned dwelling units in School Districts A and B are in CIDs. Two-thirds of the privately owned dwelling units in CIDs in School District C are mid- and high-rise condominiums where high security is important, while only one-third of the privately owned dwelling units in CIDs in School Districts A and B are mid- and high-rise condominiums where high-security is important. And, there are around twice as many commercially owned rental units in School District C as there are in School Districts A and B. Clearly, the political dynamics of School District C are very different from those of School Districts A and B. To ensure that residents of all parts of Alexandria are included in all the deliberations and decisions of City Council, there need to be representatives from all parts of the city on City Council. The easiest way for this to happen is to require that two members of City Council be elected from each of the three school districts.
1As part of the District of Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), the City of Alexandria and its immediate neighbors ranked 12th among “America’s top 50 most population dense cities” in 2012 (http:// agbeat.com/economic-news/americas-top-50-most-population-dense-cities/). Overall, Alexandria’s density ranks fourth among Virginia localities – after Seven Corners, Bailey’s Crossroads, and Huntington (http://www.usa.com/alexandria-va.htm).
2Code of Virginia, Title 55, Chapter 4.2, §§ Sections 55-79.39 to 55-79.103.
3Alexandria Knolls West (1975), Alexandria Overlook (1974), Beauregard Heights (1976), Domain (1975), Edsall Terrace (1974), Greenhouse (1975), Hallmark (1975), Highpoint (1978), Olympus (1974), Place One (1974), Plaza (1974), Seminary Heights (1977), Templeton (1974), and Watergate at Landmark (1975–79).
4Alexandria House (1975), Brocketts Crossing (1976), Fort Ellsworth (1974), 1xx King Henry Court (1979), Lee Mews (1976), Manchester (1974), Tannery House (1978), Terrace Townhomes of Beverly Hills (1975), Washington Square (1979), Watergate of Alexandria (1979), and Whales Tail (1974).
5Bolling Brook Towers (1974), Fairlington Towne (1977), Fairlington Villages (1978), Mayflower Square/Court (1977), The Fountains (1975), The Seasons (1975), and Wapleton (1976).
6Green’s Steam Furniture Works (1978), Parkfairfax (1978), Swann Daingerfield (1977), and The Courts (1977).
7“Essential” services are the major and most expensive services needed by all city residents.
8The term “nonessential” is something of a misnomer. These services may be less major and less expensive than the ones deemed essential, but all city residents need them, nonetheless.
9 “A homeowner association (or homeowners association) (HOA) is a corporation formed by a real estate developer for the purpose of marketing, managing, and selling of homes and lots in a residential subdivision. It grants the developer privileged voting rights in governing the association, while allowing the developer to exit financial and legal responsibility of the organization, typically by transferring ownership of the association to the homeowners after selling off a predetermined number of lots. Membership in the homeowners association by a residential buyer is typically a condition of purchase; a buyer isn’t given an option to reject it. Most homeowner associations are incorporated, and are subject to state statutes that govern non-profit corporations and homeowner associations.” (Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeowner_association) In the City of Alexandria, the size of homeowner associations varies greatly. Many HOAs are responsible for maintaining common areas or open space interspersed among a few dozen townhouses, while Cameron Station HOA is responsible for maintaining the common areas that are interspersed among its 1,769 housing units.
10“A condominium is a collection of individual home units and common areas along with the land upon which they sit. Individual homeownership within a condominium is construed as ownership of only air space confining the boundaries of the home…Typically, these boundaries will include the wall surrounding a condo, allowing the homeowner to make some interior modifications without impacting the common area. Anything outside this boundary [i.e., the common elements] is held in an undivided ownership interest by a corporation [comprising all the unit owners that is] established at the time of the condominium’s creation. This corporation holds this property in trust on behalf of the homeowners as a group—it may not have ownership itself.” (Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condominium)
11Battery Heights, Beauregard Manor, Cameron Knolls, Cameron Station, Colonial Heights, Duke Street Square, Early Street Village, Hamptons at Stonegate, Highpoint at Stonegate, Hollandtowne at Brookville, Kensington Courts, Quaker Ridge, Quaker Village, Quantrell Mews, Seminary Park, Stevenson Square, Stonegate, Stonegate Mews, Summers Grove, and Townes at Cameron Parke.
124600 Duke Street, Alexandria Knolls West, Alexandria Overlook, Beauregard Heights, Beauregard Station, Bolling Brook, Bolling Brook Towers, Brigadoon, Cameron Station Condominium,* Canterbury Square, Carlton Place,* Cloudes Mill, Condos at Cameron Boulevard,* Domain, Edsall Bluff, Edsall Terrace, The Exchange at Van Dorn, Fairlington Towne, Fairlington Villages, The Fountains, Greenhouse, Hallmark, Highpointe, Hillwood, The Lofts, Main Street,* The Manors at Stonegate, Mayflower Square/Court, Northhampton Place, Oakland Hall,* Olympus, Palazzo at Park Center, Park Place, Parkside at Alexandria, Pavilion on the Park, Place One, Plaza, Pointe at Park Center, Reynolds Prospect, Saxony Square, The Seasons, Seminary Heights, Sentinel of Landmark, Stevenson Court, Templeton, Townes of Hillwood, Wapleton, Watergate at Landmark, West End, and Woodland Hall.* NOTE: The six condominiums followed by astericks (*) are members of the Cameron Station HOA.
13Brookville-Seminary Valley Citizens Association, Cameron Station Civic Association, Clover-College Park Civic Association, Fairlington Citizens Association, Lynhaven Citizens Association, NorthEast Citizens Association, North Old Town Independent Citizen Civic Association, Old Town Civic Association, Rosemont Citizens Association, and Taylor Run Citizens Association.
14Del Ray Citizens Association and Wakefield Tarleton Civic Association.
15Del Ray Citizens Association and West Old Town Civic Association.
16West Old Town Citizens Association.
17The five CIDs inside the boundaries of the West Old Town Citizens Association are Carriage Works with 7 dwelling units; Catalpa Court, with seven dwelling units; Cromley Lofts, with eight dwelling units; The Henry, with 169 dwelling units; and The Prescott, with 64 dwelling units.
18Seminary Hill Association (http://www.seminaryhillassn.org/aboutus/officers.html).
19All these duplexes and townhouses are inside the following CIDs: Colonial Heights HOA, with 44 units; Quaker Ridge HOA, with 23 units; and Quaker Village HOA, with 55 units.
20Holmes Run Committee.
22 See the current Federation By-Laws in the APPENDIX.
23City Hall allowed the federation to appoint members of the official committees tasked with considering changes to the election dates for City Council and the appropriate salaries for members of City Council. City Hall also allowed the federation to appoint two members of the High Capacity Transit Corridor Work Group, one representing citizens living in Alexandria’s East End and the other representing citizens living in Alexandria’s West End. Currently the federation gets to appoint members of the city’s Emergency Medical Services Council, the George Washington Birthday Celebration Committee, and the USS Alexandria Liaison Committee. See http://www.alexandriava.gov/boards/info/roster.
25Arlandria Civic Assn, Braddock Station Civic Assn, Brookeville Seminary Valley Citizens Assn, Cameron Station Civic Assn, Carlyle-Eisenhower Civic Assn, Clover-College Park Civic Assn, Del Ray Citizens Assn, Dowden Terrace Civic Assn, Fairlington Citizens Assn, Founders Park Civic Assn, Holmes Run Park Committee, Hume Springs Citizens Assn, Landmark Mews Community Assn, Lincolnia Hills/Heywood Glen Civic Assn, Longview Hill Citizens Assn, Lynhaven Citizens Assn, Mount Jefferson Civic Assn, Mount Vernon Court Community Assn, NorthEast Citizens Assn, North Old Town Independent Citizen Civic Assn, North Ridge Citizens Assn, Old Town Civic Assn, Old Town-Hunting Creek Civic Assn, Old Town North Community Partnership, Old Town South Civic Assn, Pommander Walk Citizens Assn, Quaker Hill Civic Assn, Rosemont Citizens Assn, Seminary Civic Assn, Seminary Heights Civic Assn, Seminary Hill Assn, Seminary Park Community Assn, Seminary Ridge Civic Assn, Seminary West Civic Assn, Southwest Quadrant Civic Assn, Strawberry Hill Civic Assn, Sunnyside/Lennox Place Civic Assn, Taylor Run Citizens Assn, Upper King Street Neighborhood Assn, Wakefield Tarleton Civic Assn, Warwick Village Citizens Assn, West Old Town Citizens Assn, and Yates Garden Citizens Assn.
26Noted in bold in endnote 25 above. See http://www.afcaalex.org/index.php/landr/38-mbr-assoc.
27ARTICLE III, Paragraph 1, By-Laws of the Alexandria Federation of Civic Association, Inc. See APPENDIX.
28ARTICLE III, Paragraph 2, By-Laws of the Alexandria Federation of Civic Association, Inc. See APPENDIX.
29Since the CIDs in the East End are generally either in-fill projects or conversions, and, therefore, are relatively “old” construction, the average CID in the East End contains only 77 units. In stark contrast, because the CIDs in the West End are virtually all relatively “new” construction, the average CID in the West End contains 225 units. If one excludes the three largest CIDs (Cameron Station, Parkfairfax, and Watergate at Landmark) in the city, each of which have around three times more units than the next largest CID in the city, the average for the East End becomes 65 and the average for the West End becomes 176.
30“How to Run For City Council” in “How City Councils Work” by Eric Baxter, http://people.howstuffworks.com/government/local-politics/city-council2.htm.
31There are at least 1,279 units in Parkfairfax that have readily accessible front doors.
32 The high-security condominiums in the West End of the City of Alexandria are: 4600 Duke Street, Alexandria Knolls West, Alexandria Overlook, Bolling Brook, Bolling Brook Towers, Cameron Station Condo, Canterbury Square, Carlton Place, Edsall Bluff, Fairlington Villages (only 152 units), Greenhouse, Hallmark, Highpointe, Main Street, Northhampton Place, Olympus, Palazzo at Park Center, Park Place, Pavilion on the Park, Place One, Pointe at Park Center, Plaza, Reynolds Prospect, Sentinel of Landmark, The Exchange at Van Dorn, The Fountains, The Lofts, The Manors at Stonegate, The Seasons, Templeton, Wapleton, Watergate at Landmark, and West End.
33A typical rule regarding this matter states, “Door-to-door solicitation or general delivery of literature or advertising matter [inside Hallmark Condominium] is forbidden. Violations shall be reported at once to the Resident Manager. Exceptions include the U.S. Census and Halloween trick-or-treating by occupants or their children.” Rules of Hallmark Condominium, Section IX(C).
34These developments are Beauregard Heights, Beauregard Station, Brigadoon, Domain, Hillwood/Townes of Hillwood, Mayflower Square/Court, Parkside at Alexandria, Saxony Square, and Seminary Heights.
35Code of Virginia, Title 55, Chapter 4.2, Section 55-79.71(B).
36In 2011, the voter turnout was only around 24% in the Senate and House Districts that included parts of Alexandria, a percentage that resembles the voter turnout rates for both ends of the city in the local elections that were held before the election date was changed. See 2011 election results for Adam Ebbin, Richard Saslaw, George Barker and Charnielle Herring at https://www.voterinfo.sbe.virginia.gov.
37Precincts 302-Patrick Henry Center, 303-Beatley Library, 304-Tucker School, 305-John Adams School, 306-William Ramsey Center, 307-South Port Apartments, and 308-Cameron Station.
38School District A includes precincts 101-Ladrey Senior Building, 102-City Hall, 103-Lyles Crouch, 104-Durant Center, 105-Lee Center, 106-Cora Kelly Center, 107-Mt. Vernon Center, 108-George Washington School, and 109-Fire Department Headquarters. School District B includes precincts 201-Maury School, 202-George Mason School, 203-Agudas Achim Congregation, 204-Blessed Sacrament Church, 205-Douglas MacArthur School, 206-Chinquapin Park Recreation Center, 207-Temple Beth El Synagogue, 208-NOVA Arts Center, 209-James K. Polk School, and 210-St. James Church. School District C includes precincts 302-Patrick Henry Center, 303-Beatley Library, 304-Tucker School, 305-John Adams School, 306-William Ramsey Center, 307-South Port Apartments, and 308-Cameron Station.