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Board Approves New Office Parking Policy

Parking garage in RosslynNew office buildings will be allowed to offer fewer parking spaces after the Arlington County Board unanimously approved a revised parking policy over the weekend.

The county will have the same minimum standard for parking spaces as before, but developers will now be allowed to make contributions to county transportation funds in exchange for being allowed to build fewer spaces than the minimum. Among the funds to benefit from the contributions are the county’s Transportation Demand Management fund and funding for transit, bike and pedestrian infrastructure.

“This policy will help ensure that our commercial buildings work for everyone —  the developers, the people who travel to and from them to work, shop, dine or do business, and the surrounding neighborhoods,” Board Chairman Walter Tejada said.  “It provides a framework that will allow developers to build less parking in commercial areas without increasing traffic on our streets.”

Office parking minimums vary by location in the county, from 1 space per 630 square feet of floor area to 1 space per 1,000 square feet.

The policy will only be implemented along Arlington’s two Metro corridors. Developers will either have to pay $242, $417 or $1,333 per year for each space reduced, depending on how many spaces below the minimum standard the developer is requesting. The actual dollar amounts will change with inflation.

The policy applies to buildings for 30 years after construction, after which it will be re-evaluated to adjust for changing traffic and transit patterns.

The Board also directed the County Manager to initiate a study for the parking requirements for residential building.

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