In response to the region’s critical transit needs, leading transportation coalition launches the Bus Champions Roundtable, a series of targeted discussions with regional leaders to align priorities and accelerate bus transformation progress.
Dear Ms. Alfonso-Ahmed,
The Coalition for Smarter Growth appreciates the opportunity to provide comments on the Land Use Scenario Analysis (LUSA) shared with the community over the spring as part of the Plan Lee Highway visioning process.
CSG advocates for walkable, bikeable, inclusive, and transit-oriented communities as the most sustainable and equitable way for the Washington, DC region to grow and provide opportunities for all. The Lee Highway (future Langston Boulevard) corridor provides a great opportunity to plan for a future that accommodates new growth and development in a way that is inclusive, sustainable, and meets the community’s current and future transportation, housing, and livability needs.
CSG offers the following comments on the LUSA:
- The additional heights and greater potential for consolidation as part of the LUSA’s Scenario B will help facilitate more affordable multifamily housing in the corridor and help to produce more housing overall.
- Providing bonus heights to reach the maximum heights shown in Scenario B could be achieved in exchange for committed affordable units within those buildings. Similar zoning incentives are utilized elsewhere in the County. The Columbia Pike Neighborhoods Form Based Code allows for a bonus of either two or six stories for provision of affordable housing, and other RA zoning districts within the County are allowed up to 60 feet of additional height for projects with 100% committed affordable units.
- The edges of the commercial areas along the corridor are ideal places for Missing Middle Housing as a transition to the lower-density residential areas. As presented in the LUSA, however, it is unclear how the County plans to regulate development within the “two-family to low-scale multifamily residential” and areas of up to 4 stories in height. This lack of clarity has caused concern among some neighborhood residents. Since the Missing Middle Study is expected to include an analysis of this type of housing, it would be helpful for the county to conduct additional community outreach and discussions regarding the specifics of these transition areas once that study is further along.
To assuage concerns, the Preliminary Concept Plan should make clear that transition zones will be established to step down heights to nearby neighborhoods and include goals that these transition zones are expected to achieve and the potential forms that the development could take. It should further make clear that any action to move toward a possible redevelopment in these areas would be voluntary and that no forced acquisition or eminent domain will be a part of that process.
- The East Falls Church (EFC) area plan should be updated with the higher allowable heights and transition zones consistent with the rest of the corridor. The current EFC area plan does not allow for an adequate amount of development for a key Metro station that will also serve the future Route 7 Bus Rapid Transit. These updates should include not only the direct Metro station area but also the surrounding commercial and residential blocks to create a walkable, transit-oriented neighborhood befitting a major metro station area.
- The Cherrydale plan should also be updated to be consistent with the allowable heights and transition zones in the rest of the corridor. This means that additional height beyond what is in the original Cherrydale plan should be proposed.
Thank you for your consideration of our comments. We appreciate the opportunity to help develop a plan that helps guide the new Langston Boulevard corridor into a vibrant, inclusive, and transit-oriented corridor.
Dear Mr. Reinhard and team,
The Coalition for Smarter Growth supports the Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT’s) preferred alternative to convert Route 1 through National Landing from an elevated highway to a slower, safer, and vibrant urban boulevard. This is a forward-thinking proposal that will eliminate the current barrier that the elevated Route 1 presents and provide greater cohesion between Pentagon City and Crystal City.
It is essential that this new urban boulevard be designed in a way that truly prioritizes the needs of people walking, biking, and using transit. We recognize there are concerns regarding the safety of people without grade separation. However, we believe with the right design and safety measures, this new boulevard can be safe, accessible and provide a more connected community overall.
Physically designing the roadway for slower speeds by narrowing travel lanes and reducing corner radii, providing physically protected intersections and bike lanes, and allowing off-peak on-street parking are proven designs that make streets safer. Added safety measures should also include utilizing pedestrian lead intervals at signals and automated speed enforcement.
Conversion to a boulevard presumes we do everything we can to promote non-automobile access to National Landing, Reagan National Airport, and other commuting destinations. This includes expanding employee transit benefits, utilizing parking pricing, and providing more frequent and reliable transit services. Providing attractive transit options will help intercept commuters from Prince George’s, Fairfax County, and other points south traveling to jobs in Arlington and the District.
We urge VDOT and Arlington County to reimagine Route 1 with an at-grade design that emphasizes safety and accessibility for all road users and provides a vibrant urban boulevard through the heart of National Landing.
Thank you for your time and consideration of our comments.
Northern Virginia Advocacy Manager
Arlington County wants to hear from you as the community lays out a vision for the Lee Highway corridor! The Plan Lee Highway team is hosting a community meeting this Thursday, May 27th to present and get feedback on corridor-wide and neighborhood area plans for the Arlington East Falls Church, North Highlands and Lyon Village neighborhoods.
You are also invited to join the Plan Lee Highway team for a walking tour on June 12th to discuss visions for the future. Walking tours are a great opportunity to think about how we can transform commercial corridors into more walkable, sustainable neighborhoods.
Plan Lee Highway Community Meeting
Arlington East Falls Church – North Highlands – Lyon Village
May 27, 2021 at 7 pm
Join the Meeting
June 12, 2021 at 10 am
Join the Walking Tour
Community members’ input helped to shape the preliminary land use scenarios for five neighborhood areas. The scenarios offer different land use mixes to provide diverse housing options, enhanced open space and stormwater management, safer streets and better transit. Feedback will be used to help develop a preferred Concept Plan.
Thursday’s community meeting will focus on Neighborhood Areas 1 and 5 including Arlington East Falls Church, North Highlands, and Lyon Village neighborhoods. Two other community meetings were already held for Neighborhood Area 2 (John M. Langston, Yorktown, Tara Leeway Heights, Leeway Overlee), Area 3 (Waverly Hills, Donaldson Run, Old Dominion, Glebewood, Waycroft Woodlawn), and Area 4 (Cherrydale and Maywood). The recordings and presentations for all the meetings are posted on the project website here.
You can provide feedback for all neighborhood area and corridor-wide concepts via an online survey through June 20th.
For more information about the Plan Lee Highway process, visit the project website.
There are just two days left to provide your input on Arlington’s Missing Middle Study. You will find the presentation thought-provoking about the housing challenges facing Arlington, and by responding to the questions you will help us all think about the impact of high housing costs and options for addressing Arlington’s housing needs.
What is missing middle housing? “Missing middle” refers to the range of housing types that fit between single-family detached homes and mid-to-high-rise apartment buildings. Having different types and sizes of homes helps provide more options at different price points. Examples of missing middle housing include duplexes, triplexes, and townhomes. These images are some examples shared in Arlington’s Missing Middle presentation.
The opportunity to provide feedback ends December 31. Visit Arlington’s Missing Middle Study website for more information and to provide your input today!
We strongly support the proposed ordinance, which proposes to establish a legal permitting process for accessory apartments. We commend the County for recognizing the potential of accessory units as an important opportunity to address the County’s tremendous housing shortfall–for households at all income levels. Accessory Dwelling unit permissions are recognized as a national best practice for mature, single-family housing neighborhoods like in Arlington.