Public Comments Sought for 2025 Clarendon Blvd
Located at Clarendon and Courthouse Rd, on the east edge of LV, a residential building with retail is proposed.
● 16 stories (166 feet)
● 231 units (some affordable) Comment Form due 9/16 County Project PageARLnow story A nearby building, having trouble renting units, is asking the county to permit conversion of some floors into hotel space.LyonVillage.org
Study: Arlington Least Suitable for Missing Middle Housing in DC Area
A study of missing middle housing affordability in the DC metro area found that Arlington is the least suitable county in the DC area.
The major obstacle is that Arlington’s high land prices determine the lowest possible price of housing. In Arlington this is above the level that is considered affordable. Builders will only build missing middle housing if it is as profitable as building a new detached single-family home.
The conclusion of the study have been confirmed by the cost of recently built multi-family housing in Arlington. Recent prices for duplexes and row houses were almost the same as prices for single-family houses. Prices for multi-story condos were somewhat lower, but still well above affordable. The most suitable county in the DC area for missing middle housing is Montgomery County. Slide Deck
The study was conducted by Senior Economist Jon Huntley of the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Chamber of Commerce Letter on Plan Lee Hwy
A letter from the Arlington Chamber of Commerce supports additional commercial/residential density as proposed by Plan Lee Hwy.
But even the Chamber sees that parts of Plan Lee Hwy are deficient: “Much of the proposed open space in the scenarios fronts on high-traffic, unwelcomingly loud places, or is in locations which could hinder reinvestment. Additionally, the scenarios propose open spaces that will be broken up by development and transportation infrastructure or that may not even be realized because of placement at sites that are unlikely to be redeveloped.”
Climate Change Score for 22201 Redfin real estate brokerage is now publishing climate risk information for every location on its website. Ratings, provided by ClimateCheck, are by county, city, neighborhood and zip code. Our zip code, 22201, is generally low risk, but very high risk for storms and high for heat. (Click image to enlarge)
The score does not reflect that some parts of 22201 are very high risk for bulldozers.
Excerpts from Letters to the County Board
Over 30 neighbors sent letters opposing up-zoning LV. One letter was signed by 34 households. One letter supported up-zoning. Here are a few of the thoughtful comments. Additional posts based on the letters may be aded in the near future. Hopefully the impressive thought that went into writing these letters will have the desired effect.
Falling Demand for Condos in Arlington
Despite Plan Lee Hwy’s insistence that LV should be bulldozed for condos, the market says the opposite. Realtor, Eli Tucker, writes: “Given the tremendous appreciation we’ve seen locally and nationally on prices for single-family homes and townhouses, the mostly unchanged values of condos in Arlington highlights how much the condo market has struggled… There is clearly a flight out of condos by homeowners and investors, and the demand is not high enough to absorb the extra supply, so inventory levels have returned to 2015-2016 levels…”ARLnow
Board Member Tours Lyon Village
On Thurs afternoon, LVCA President, John Carten and two dozen LV residents lead County Board member Takis Karantonis on a walking tour of LV. When residents were asked “would you prefer the proposed changes or keep Lyon Village as is” 22 out of 23 residents on the walk raised indicated a preference to keep Lyon Village as is.
All County Board members are invited to take Karantonis’ lead to meet with each of the affected communities.
Some attendees expressed unhappiness with Karantonis doing lots of talking and little listening. One attendee sent a long, fiery email to the entire County Board and County Manager.
Karantonis will be running for re-election this November, challenged by 3 independent candidates. The County Board has decided this election will not use ranked choice voting.
Does Arlington Lack Rental Apartments?
Plan Lee Hwy proponents insist that large swaths of our neighborhoods must be bulldozed for high-rise apartments. Do they offer a convincing explanation why this is true?
● The vacancy rate along the R-B corridor is currently a high 9.7% Costar Data
● Developers are begging the County Board to let them convert empty apartments to hotel rooms ARLnow
LVCA President’s Message on Plan Lee Highway
The Lyon Village Citizens’ Association (LVCA) wants to ensure that you aware of the current proposals being developed by the Plan Lee Hwy (PLH) team and County staff and the impact these proposals will have on single-family homes in Lyon Village.
These proposals would change the General Land Use Plan (GLUP) and zoning for the R6, single-family homes between Lee Hwy, N. Veitch St., 18th St. N., and N. Highland St. in Lyon Village. This ultimately will result in the destruction of
● 75 single-family homes (10% of all single-family homes)
● 43 townhomes (50% of all townhomes)
● 6 affordable apartment buildings (40% of all affordable apartment buildings)
● As well as the futures of all the families living in them
The LVCA strongly opposes these proposals, as is spelled out in our Position Paper.
LVCA supports maintaining the current GLUP and zoning, as shown on these Maps.
We feel these proposals, if approved, would set a precedent that would negatively impact Lyon Village and additional neighborhoods in the future, as well as harm the reputation of the County. We respectfully request your support in stopping these proposals from going forward to the County Board for approval in October 2021.
Please send letters to the following letting them know you oppose the proposals for Lyon Village. Get at least 10 of your friends and neighbors to send letters, too. We need every Lyon Village resident in every household to speak out and make his/her/their voice heard.
CountyBoard@arlingtonva.us — General address for all Board members
firstname.lastname@example.org — County Board Chair
email@example.com — County Board Member
firstname.lastname@example.org — County Board Member
email@example.com — County Board Member
firstname.lastname@example.org — County Board Member
CountyManager@arlingtonva.us — Mr. Mark Schwartz, County Manager
email@example.com — Chair of Plan Lee Highway
firstname.lastname@example.org — Lee Highway Project Manager
email@example.com — Ms. Elise Cleva, Acting Comm & Engagement Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org — Ms. Rachel LaPiana, Comm & Engagement Specialist
email@example.com (Please send a copy of your letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. As we learned in the past, the County will not publish or provide copies of letters from individuals.)
Concerns Grow Over Increasing Urbanization of Rte 29
Scott McCaffrey writes…
Having seen the “it’s just a work in progress” ruse pulled on others in the past, those concerned about the prospect of major zoning increases in the Lee Highway corridor are getting their objections in front of elected leaders sooner rather than later. Critics have pounced on staff proposals for the North Arlington corridor (recently renamed John Langston Boulevard), which project major increases in land-use options.Sun Gazette
Single-Family Homes Most in Demand (Plan Lee Hwy Says No)
The average price of single-family homes in Arlington rose nearly 10% percent over last year. Average prices for attached homes and condominiums were virtually flat. Despite people’s preferences, Plan Lee Hwy seeks demolition of single-family homes. Sun Gazette
How Re-Zoning Destroys Communities
This review of Zoned Out! Race, Displacement, and City Planning in New York City, published on Good Reads, explains how rezoning works over time to destroy communities. It is about, New York City, but I think rhymes with what we are facing in Arlington. Zoned Out! Race, Displacement, and City Planning in New York City
by Tom Angotti (Author, Contributor), Sylvia Morse (Author, Contributor), & 3 more
ISBN: 0996004130 Click to Continue Reading…
Video: Living Near Condo Construction
Kennedy St in DC has several 5-story condos under construction by speculative developers next to single-family homes. The neighbors are not happy and have repeatedly complained to city authorities. Definitely not a nice place to live and possibly a preview for what the County has in store for Lyon Village. NBC4 News (has pre-load 15-second ad; citizen issue begin at 1:36)
Watch: Special LVCA Meeting on Lee Highway Plan
County representatives encountered over 100 angry residents at LVCA’s recent virtual meeting on the Lee Hwy Study. The study proposed rezoning all of LV north of 18th St for commercial and high-rise development. Despite it all, we want to thank Paul Holland, Chairman of the Plan Lee Highway Community Forum and Leon Vignes of Arlington County Planning Staff for patiently facing our 2-1/2 hour pummeling.
Intro & Slide Presentation by Paul Holland (20:00)
Please Complain About the Lee Hwy Plan
County representatives encountered 100* angry residents at LVCA’s recent virtual meeting on the Lee Hwy Study. The study proposed rezoning all of LV north of 18th St for commercial and high-rise development. This, along with other proposals on the south, east, and west would drastically change the character of the little sliver of LV that remained.
It is extremely important that LV residents, who want to preserve their homes and their neighborhood, contact County officials to signal their opposition. Below there is a sample letter and information about who to contact. Many other problems with the study were voiced by LV residents during the meeting. The the meeting recording is worth a listen or a re-listen (the recording will be posted very soon).Click to Continue Reading…
ARLnow Publishes Final Scurrilous Attack on LV?
Back in April we wondered why someone would put such effort into writing this lengthy, multi-part screed full of incorrect information accusing our community of being founded by racists. The last two installments now make it clear: it was all about billionaires making even more $billions by replacing our homes with dense multi-story housing.
● It was about Plan Lee Highway that turns out to really be about rezoning our neighborhoods for increasde density and greater building heights.
● It was about the Missing Middle Housing Study that turns out to really be about rezoning our neighborhoods for increased density and greater building heights.
● It was about the Clarendon Sector Plan that turns out to be about rezoning Clarendon for increased density, greater building heights and adding a convention hotel.
Residents of 22201, you simply do not deserve to stay in your homes. Get out of the way. There is money to be made. June 18 PostJune 4 Post
Video: Lee Hwy Development – ASF Meeting (new link) Significant changes to LV extending south from Lee Hwy to 18th St.
When: Thu, June 17, 7-8 PM
Where: Online via Zoom Meeting Video on YouTube (new link)
Join Arlingtonians for our Sustainable Future (ASF) for a discussion on the county’s plans for significant new density along most of Lee Hwy from Rosslyn to East Falls Church. The county has paired with “Plan Lee Highway” and its Executive Director Ginger Brown to promote possible scenarios. One scenario envisions 8-10 stories along Lee Hwy tapering to Missing Middle housing in what are now single-family neighborhoods. We could see down-zoning to permit triplexes, quadplexes or more extending up to 1/4 mile from Lee Highway, with virtually no surface parking, compartmentalized green space, and very dense massing.
ASF’s Peter Rousselot briefed LVCA on Missing Middle at our Nov 2020 General Meeting.
Dealmaking: Arlington vs. San Jose Arlington (March 16, 2019)
The Arlington County Board today approved the County’s proposed direct financial incentive to Amazon, an annual pay-for-performance grant valued at approximately $23 million… News Release Jan Jose (May 25, 2021)
San Jose officials voted late Tuesday to approve Google’s plan for a sprawling downtown campus… To secure approval for the project, Google agreed to pay a first-of-its-kind $200 million community benefit, which will see it invest in anti-displacement and job readiness programs… the company also agreed to create a $155 million community stabilization fund for job training, homelessness and affordable housing…a stark contrast to tech peers like Amazon and Tesla, which have at times asked governments to compete for business by cutting costs — as well as developers from other industries where community concessions are not the norm…SF Chronicle
When: Thurs, May 27, 7PM. Discussion of Lyon Village/North Highlands will begin at 7 PM.
Where: Online Links to the Meeting
The Lee Highway Alliance and the Plan Lee Highway (PLH) Working Group will hold a second on-line meeting where the County will present its proposed concepts for the future development along the Lee Highway Corridor in Lyon Village/North Highlands and East Falls Church. Following the presentation, there will be a facilitated discussion to garner feedback on the proposed concepts.
This plan will determine the kind, size and heights of new developments along the northern edge of Lyon Village, among other things, possibly eliminating single-family housing south of Lee as far as 18th St.
Additional information are posted on the project website. Links to the meeting recording and presentation materials will be posted there after the event.
The Lee Highway Alliance was formed to create a joint community vision for a more economically vibrant, walkable, attractive Lee Highway that benefits neighborhoods and the business community. The goal is the development of a new General Land Use Plan (GLUP) for Lee Hwy to guide future rezoning and development.
New Planning Director, LV’s Future
In early June Arlington’s new planning director will be Anthony Fusarelli, Jr. Fusarelli has worked in the County’s Department of Community Planning, Housing, and Development for 15 years most recently as Assistant Director. He was responsible for development agreements, land deals, strategic initiatives, and demographic and development data analysis. He led the creation of the first Crystal City Sector Plan (2010) and the Realize Rosslyn planning process, which resulted in an update to the Rosslyn Sector Plan (2015). Fusarelli’s work will be especially important to LV residents as LV faces encroachment on all sides.
Planning documents are currently being revised for the Clarendon Sector Plan and developed for Lee Highway. Fusarelli told ARLnow that this will likely require changes to zoning ordinances to ensure a diverse range of people can live in Arlington’s residential neighborhoods, keeping racial equity and inclusion top of mind.” County News Release ARLnow story
Meeting on Development of Lee Hwy in LV
When: Thurs, May 20, 7PM. Discussion of Lyon Village/North Highlands will begin around 8PM.
Where: Online Links to the Meeting
The Lee Highway Alliance and the Plan Lee Highway (PLH) Working Group will hold an on-line meeting where the County will present its proposed concepts for the future development along the Lee Highway Corridor in East Falls Church and Lyon Village/North Highlands. Following the presentation, there will be a facilitated discussion to garner feedback on the proposed concepts. This plan will determine the kind, size and heights of new developments along the northern edge of Lyon Village, among other things, possibly eliminating single-family housing south of Lee as far as 18th St.
Links to the meeting and additional information are posted on the project website. Links to the meeting recording and presentation materials will be posted there after the event. The Lee Highway Alliance was formed to create a joint community vision for a more economically vibrant, walkable, attractive Lee Highway that benefits neighborhoods and the business community. The goal is the development of a new General Land Use Plan (GLUP) for Lee Hwy to guide future rezoning and development. Map of Planning Study Areas (LV is #5)
March Meeting Recap: Clarendon Development Plans
County planner Brett Wallace, who is project manager for the Clarendon Sector Plan (CSP) Update, reviewed the current status of work on the update. The plan has shaped the physical development of Clarendon over the past 14 years, including private development projects and major public investments like the Clarendon Circle transportation improvements. Several large developments are currently proposed in Clarendon, including redevelopment of key sites south of Washington Boulevard, reconfiguration or relocation of Fire Station 4, several high-rise residential buildings, and a convention hotel. Changes to the plan may have a significant impact on traffic, parking, trash, and safety in LV.
How does the Sector Plan update relate to the County’s “Missing Middle” initiative and proposed changes to zoning?
Are you discussing moving Wilson Boulevard a few feet South into the Silver Diner block between Clarendon Circle and 10th Street N, so as to provide more sidewalk space on the North side of the street, where Northside Social is currently located?
It is widely acknowledged that there are limits to growth. Will you consider limits on Clarendon’s infrastructure? Streets and sidewalks in Clarendon are narrower than Rosslyn or Ballston. Is there a limit to what can be reasonably built in this area?
How will the proposed projects taper down to the residential neighborhoods — particularly on the 10th Street side where you are very close to Ashton Heights and Lyon Park?
Are any parcels north of Wilson and Washington Blvds. in play in your study? Parking in Clarendon is tight and spills over into Lyon Village. Are any thoughts be given to increasing the parking requirement — the County seems to be reducing it to about 0.46 spaces per unit in residential buildings.
How much more density has been added above the current density under the 2006 Sector Plan in the four private project proposals? Their presentations don’t seem to list the original density nor the additional square footage they have requested.
What is a modified step back?
On the St. Charles side of Washington Blvd. opposite the Bromptons, the proposal is to keep the edge of the site at 55 feet and then taper up more rapidly than currently planned. Yet this is the lowest part of the site, and elevations are typically measured based on the whole site. What would be the likely height at that point with an average site elevation of 70 feet or more?
Is there not enough parking in Clarendon, or is it just a matter of folks not wanting to use the public parking garages?
A convention hotel is proposed for the Silver Diner site. The transportation needs for a hotel are very different than those for a residential building or office building. How would you keep traffic from cars, shuttle vans, and tour buses from spilling out into the neighborhoods?
How many of these sites will include residential that will cater to families? where will those children go?
Dittmar is currently proposing to remove seventy-five homes from our housing supply by converting them to short/medium-term rentals across three of their buildings (not in the subject area, but nearby) in a “minor” site plan amendment. What is the County doing (through this sector plan amendment or anywhere else) to compensate the community for the removal of those 75 homes, especially in the context of our housing shortage?
Will the fire department station and office building remain? Will their current activities continue? Will any of it need to be moved?
When will the Joyce Motors site be bringing something to the Board?
Fast-Moving Developer Demolishes Historic House
Community associations once again prove to be no match for well-funded developers and a county government oriented toward development. The Dominion Hills Civic Association lost its long-running effort to preserve the Civil-War era Febrey-Lothrop House. The nine-acre property is now expected to be developed. While currently zoned for single-family homes, local residents are worried because affordable housing advocates are pushing for higher-density affordable housing, which residents call “inconsistent with our neighborhood.” Story at ARLnow
Major Affordable Housing Project in LV
At at emergency County Board meeting held virtually in the early hours of Thu, Apr 1, the Board approved acquisition of the now-decommissioned Ever Given container ship for an undisclosed amount. The Ever Given is one of the largest container ships in the world and the subject of media attention as it blocked the Suez Canal for a week.
Plans are to convert shipping containers aboard the ship into affordable housing units. Container homes can cost half as much per square foot as traditional construction. Organizations around the world have been embracing shipping containers to economically create housing for low-income populations.
The Ever Given has a capacity of 20,000 containers. It is estimated this would comfortably accommodate at least 1,000 housing units with below-decks parking for 1,500 vehicles.
Project location is the the south side of Lee Hwy stretching from Adams to Danville. The area is zoned RA8-18, a zoning designation the Board is expected to modify at its April 17 meeting to permit “bonus” height for affordable housing developments. The Ever Given would be the County’s first such project.
Apartment Space to Hotel Conversion
Despite allegations of an Arlington “housing crisis” the County Board is expected to allow another developer to temporarily convert apartment space to hotel use. The developer of 1555 Wilson Blvd wants to convert 5 floors of residential units into a hotel because they are expected to remain vacant for a long time. County Board is expected to advertise a public hearing on the matter for April. Sun GazetteCounty’s Project Page
Arlington Rents Drop 15% A survey of the nation’s 50 largest cities finds that COVID-19 disrupted the rental market in expensive cities, like Arlington. The change in annual trend started late March as COVID-19 concerns intensified. At the same time rents rose in midsize cities. The survey notes that expensive rental markets possess many renters able to telework, eliminating the need to live close to work. Also, laid-off workers became unable to continue paying high rents. The farther away from city centers, rents have not declined as much. Further declines are not anticipated. Survey at Apartment List
Red Top Site: Shorter Building, More Units
The Red Top site project, between 13th St, N Hudson, and Washington Blvd has amended its plans to shorten the 10-story building on Washington Blvd and shift its mass to lower floors. The number of residential units increased from 247 to 269 units. Units will be studios and 1 or 2 bedrooms. The amendment awaits approval by the county Planning Commission. Ground has not yet broken on the project. Urban Turf