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File #: 19-1468    Name: Waterfront Park - Naming Committee Recommendtaion
Type: Status: Agenda Ready
File created: 11/24/2018 In control: City Council Legislative Meeting
On agenda: 12/11/2018 Final action:
Title: Consideration of the Recommendation from the City Council Naming Committee to Combine the Interim King Street Park and Waterfront Park into One City Park Named Waterfront Park and Setting Public Hearing and Consideration for Saturday, December 15, 2018.
Attachments: 1. 19-1468_Attachment 1 Hibernians, 2. 19-1468_Attachment 2 Ballyshaners, 3. 19-1468_Attachment 3 Slavery Inventory Database, 4. 19-1468_Attachment 4 Waterfront Commission, 5. 19-1468_Attachment 5 Archaeological Commission, 6. 19-1468_Attachment 6 HARC, 7. 19-1468_Attachment 7 Park Rec Commission, 8. 19-1468_Attachment 8 Park Name Survey Results, 9. 19-1468_Attachment 9 Naming Suggestions Survey Summary

City of Alexandria, Virginia

________________

 

MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

DATE:                     DECEMBER 5, 2018

 

TO:                                          THE HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF CITY COUNCIL

 

FROM:                     MARK B. JINKS, CITY MANAGER   /s/

 

DOCKET TITLE:                     

TITLE

Consideration of the Recommendation from the City Council Naming Committee to Combine the Interim King Street Park and Waterfront Park into One City Park Named Waterfront Park and Setting Public Hearing and Consideration for Saturday, December 15, 2018.

BODY

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ISSUE:  Consideration of the recommendation from the City Council Naming Committee to combine the interim King Street Park and Waterfront Park into one city park named Waterfront Park.

 

RECOMMENDATION:  That City Council:

 

1.                     Receive the Naming Committee’s recommendation to combine the interim King Street Park and Waterfront Park into one city park named Waterfront Park, effective immediately;

 

2.                     Set the proposal for public hearing and consideration on Saturday, December 15, 2018; and

 

3.                     After the public hearing, adopt the recommendation of the City Council Naming Committee.

 

BACKGROUND:  The Waterfront Small Area Plan (“Plan”) envisioned a new park at the foot of King Street called “Fitzgerald Square.” Although the Plan was adopted by City Council in 2012 after extensive public input, approval of the Plan did not constitute formal naming of any element in the Plan. All City parks are subject to a separate and formal naming process based on focused public input.

 

The Alexandria City Council Naming Committee is comprised of two members of City Council (Del Pepper, Chair and Tim Lovain) and one designee of the City Manager (Jack Browand, Division Chief in the Department of Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities). The Naming Committee meets as needed to make recommendations to City Council on the names of major City facilities, parks, and other assets.

 

The Naming Committee met on September 12, 2018 to discuss a process to gather input on the name of the new park. Although intended to be a logistics meeting without a public input element, the Naming Committee did allow any of the approximately 30 members of the public present to speak.

 

The Naming Committee met again on September 27 and adopted a public input process consisting of an online survey and a public hearing. The Naming Committee received input from the approximately 10 members of the public present.

 

The Naming Committee held a public hearing on November 15, at the Charles Houston Recreation Center. Approximately 70 people were present, of which nine spoke in favor of the name Fitzgerald and 10 spoke against. Several of the 19 speakers also suggested other names or types of names. A video recording of the meeting is available at the Waterfront Plan website.

 

The Naming Committee last met on Thursday, November 29. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss comments received at the November 15 public hearing and results of the survey, and to adopt a recommendation to City Council.

 

In addition to the public meetings, the Naming Committee received written comments from the Ancient Order of the Hibernians (Attachment 1); The Ballyshaners (Attachment 2); Slavery Inventory Database, LLC (Attachment 3); Waterfront Commission (Attachment 4); Archaeological Commission (Attachment 5); Historic Alexandria Resources Commission (HARC) (Attachment 6); and the Park & Recreation Commission (Attachment 7).

 

DISCUSSION The Alexandria City Council Naming Committee held four public meetings: September 12; September 27; November 15; and November 29. In addition to these public meetings, the Naming Committee received comments from several community groups and City Council appointed Commissions mentioned above and from of a public survey from October 9 through November 16 (Attachment 8).

 

The public survey asked three questions. The first question asked whether the new park should include the adjacent Waterfront Park or constitute a second, separate park. The second

question asked what the new separate or single park should be named. The third question asked whether the respondent lived in the City of Alexandria, outside Alexandria but in the region, or outside the region. Although most respondents answered all three questions, some only chose to answer the first or the first and second. Because the survey was anonymous, answers to the self-reported residency question could not be verified.

 

Since survey respondents were self-selected as opposed to randomly selected, the survey should not be considered statistically representative. It was intended to serve as a way to get ideas for the park name and not as a vote or poll. The only two naming suggestions submitted by more than five percent of respondents in any subset were variations of Fitzgerald and Waterfront. The only other names submitted by at least one percent of respondents were variations of Kerry Donley, King Street, Old Town, Parky McParkface, and Pat Troy. As shown in the summary table (Attachment 9), there were significant differences in respondents’ preferences and suggestions based on their self-reported residency, and whether they preferred separate parks or a single park.

 

The Naming Committee met on November 29, 2018, to discuss the public input received.  The members recognized that many in the community supported naming the park after Col. Fitzgerald but spoke to the difficulty of reconciling his extensive contributions to America and Alexandria with his ownership of enslaved persons.  The members also recognized that most survey respondents preferred a variety of other names for the new park.  After concluding that the new park should retain the name of its largest component area and should not be named after any individual, the Naming Committee voted unanimously to combine the interim King Street Park (1 & 2 King Street) and existing Waterfront Park (1A Prince Street) into one city park named Waterfront Park, effective immediately.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:  None.

 

ATTACHMENTS:

1.                     Letter from Ancient Order of the Hibernians

2.                     Letter from The Ballyshaners

3.                     Letter from Slavery Inventory Database, LLC

4.                     Letter from Waterfront Commission

5.                     Letter from Archaeological Commission

6.                     Letter from Historic Alexandria Resources Commission

7.                     Letter from Park & Recreation Commission

8.                     Park Name Online Public Survey Full Results

9.                     Park Name Online Public Survey Summary Results

 

STAFF:

Debra R. Collins, Deputy City Manager

Craig Fifer, Director, Office of Communications & Public Information

James Spengler, Director, Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities

Jack Browand, Division Chief, Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities