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by ARLnow.com May 16, 2018 at 8:55 am 0

More Capacity for Yorktown, Career Center — The Arlington County Board this weekend is expected to approve use permit amendments that will allow 300 additional seats at Yorktown High School, thanks to internal modifications, and another 200 seats at the Arlington Tech program within the Arlington Career Center. [InsideNova]

Crystal City BID Considering Expansion — “The Crystal City Business Improvement District is weighing plans to include Pentagon City and Potomac Yard within its borders, creating a single, unified submarket that could also serve as a larger canvass for Amazon.com Inc. as it homes in on potential locations for its second headquarters.” [Washington Business Journal]

Entry-Level Homes Remain Sparse — One of the challenges facing the real estate market in Arlington and Northern Virginia as a whole is a dearth of entry-level homes for sale. Likewise, the inventory of homes for sale in general is low. Said one agent: “In hot areas like Merrifield, Arlington, Reston and Tysons, my buyers are experiencing multiple-offer situations.” [InsideNova]

ACFD Removes Handcuffs from Student’s Wrist — “Interesting call of the day: When you’re playing with handcuffs and the key breaks! [Rescue] 109 cut off a pair of handcuffs that had got stuck on a student’s wrist. No injuries except a broken pair of cuffs.” [Twitter]

GGW Endorses in County Board Race — The urbanist website Greater Greater Washington has endorsed Matt de Ferranti in the Democratic Arlington County Board primary. de Ferranti told the website that he supports “building housing that would be affordable across a variety of incomes and available to younger workers who can build income and own homes in the future.” [Greater Greater Washington]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

by Alex Koma May 1, 2018 at 12:45 pm 0

Transportation planners are inviting Arlingtonians to look three decades into the region’s future at a meeting tomorrow night.

The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board is hosting a public forum focusing on its “Visualize 2045” initiative at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday (May 2) at the Arlington Central Library.

The organization — which includes representatives of 22 local governments around the D.C. region and a variety of other federal, state and local transportation officials — is convening a series of town halls on its long-range plans for the area over the coming weeks.

The group wants feedback on seven broad goals for the region:

  • Bring jobs and housing closing together
  • Expand bus rapid transit regionwide
  • Move more people on Metrorail
  • Provide more telecommuting and other options for commuting
  • Expand express highway network
  • Improve walk and bike access to transit
  • Complete the “National Capital Trail

While officials are already working on some of these goals, others are deemed more aspirational and need funding to become a reality. But Transportation Planning Board officials hope to get public feedback on all of them to shape the development of policies to support these benchmarks.

Anyone who can’t make it to the meeting but still wants to submit comments on the plan can do so on the group’s website through May 31.

Photo via National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board

by Bridget Reed Morawski April 10, 2018 at 4:45 pm 0

The average sale price of homes in Arlington dipped in February compared to one year prior, the first such dip for the month since 2014.

That’s according to data from the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors, which releases historical monthly data for the region and for localities including Arlington.

The general trend for February home sales has been up, however, since February 2010.

Despite the decrease in the average sale price, the number of homes — including condos, townhomes and single-family detached houses — sold in February 2018 was up 3.6 percent year over year, with a total of 175 homes sold. Selling prices were 1.48 percent less than the asking prices.

The median home selling price in Arlington in February, meanwhile, was up 0.44 percent to $532,353.

Average sale prices can be affected by changes in the mix of the types of homes sold. For instance, a higher percentage of condos — which typically sell for less than single-family homes — sold may cause a dip in the average. In February 2018, 62% of the homes sold in Arlington were condos, compared to 58% in February 2017.

Update at 5 p.m. — Another source of local real estate data, Bright MLS, is reporting a jump in Arlington’s median home selling price in March.

“Arlington County led the region for price, with a median selling price in March of $564,250,” WTOP reported Tuesday afternoon. “That’s up 11 percent from a year ago and topped D.C.’s median price of $555,451, which was up 3.8 percent.”

by Bridget Reed Morawski March 19, 2018 at 11:55 am 0

Arlington Cultural Affairs plans on surveying artists within a 50-mile radius of the county as part of a proposal to bring affordable artist housing to Arlington.

feasibility study said that such a survey would “definitively reveal whether a market for artist housing exists and whether an affordable housing-funded model… would be considered affordable by prospective, income-qualifying tenants.”

The survey will ask artists to “express their interest” in the affordable housing project and detail their “current and future needs in a live/work space,” according to an event page for a presentation and question and answer session which will kick off the “Arts Market” survey.

That presentation, on Thursday (March 22) from 6-8 p.m. at the Arlington Arts Center, will precede a reception where artists can take the survey and mingle.

The survey is expected to cost between $30,000 and $42,500 and would be paid for by the nonprofit Arlington Foundation for Arts and Innovation, which also paid for the preliminary feasibility study.

Artspace, the national arts non-profit based in Minneapolis, Minn., that is collaborating with Arlington Cultural Affairs, has so far led four focus groups to discuss area artist housing needs, according to the study.

The feasibility found that “affordable housing and live/work space was expressed as a need, particularly in the context of anticipated rising rents and the increasing lack of affordable for-sale housing” and cited community feedback that there wasn’t a central artistic gathering place.

That study pointed out four potential neighborhoods for the project — Virginia Square, Columbia Pike, Crystal City, and the Four Mile Run Valley — but specifically noted that central Rosslyn didn’t make sense for the project because of the density and traffic congestion.

Artspace has already finished two projects in the area, in Washington and in Mount Rainier, Md., and is set to launch another in Silver Spring, Md., later this year.

“It is clear that area jurisdictions are finding that communities are strengthened and made vibrant by a strong arts presence,” wrote Jim Byers, the Arlington Cultural Affairs marketing director, in an email to ARLnow.com.

“The Arts Market Survey is the next step towards determining how Arlington might best leverage the creative energies that exist in our region and encourage still more artists to make their home here.”

File photo

by Bridget Reed Morawski March 19, 2018 at 9:45 am 0

After initially fighting hard for increased density, an amended site plan for Pentagon City’s proposed PenPlace features drastically scaled back development desires.

The initial office-oriented plan called for five buildings between 16 and 22 stories high on a 10.2 acre parcel, including a 300-room hotel. Now, the plan calls for a more minuscule residential development of 300 apartments between two buildings at a height of seven stories.

A west building would have 171 apartments; an eastern building, 129. The density is much less than some on county staff desire, ARLnow.com was told.

“We will have to look at… in terms of height and scale and density, if this is appropriate,” said a county planner, adding that it was “highly unusual to see site plans coming in below an approved or allocated figure.”

According to the county planner, the applicant has said that they will reallocate the density, but has not yet explained how. The company could shift the approved density from one area to another, but will have to be more specific as to the impact on land use before getting county staff approval.

Another county employee familiar with the updated site plan noted that the plan would be less expensive for JBG Smith, which merged with original site plan applicant Vornado, to construct.

The employee explained that since steel reinforcement is only necessary on buildings that are more than five stories high, the building’s framework could be wood. The employee added that the first two floors in the site plan are concrete, so the additional five floors could legally be built atop of that with wood.

Matt Ginivan, JBG Smith’s senior vice president of real estate development, told ARLnow.com in an interview that he wasn’t aware of some county staff’s skepticism of the diminished density and that JBG Smith has not formally received any feedback or questions yet.

Ginivan said that rather than maxing out the PenPlace site’s capacity, they wanted to “improve the pedestrian experience” with a mix of ground floor options that aren’t just the larger projects that are already prevalent in Crystal City and Pentagon City.

Photos via Arlington County

by Bridget Reed Morawski March 12, 2018 at 3:45 pm 0

Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County. If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form.

Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.

Tuesday, March 13

Trivia Night: Are you smarter than a Catholic sister?*
Ireland’s Four Courts (2051 Wilson Boulevard)
Time: 6:30-9 p.m.

Test your pop culture and general knowledge against a team of Catholic Sisters, with drink specials and free appetizers. Prizes for top trivia teams.

Wednesday, March 14

Shaping Arlington for a Smart & Secure Future*
County Board Room (2100 Clarendon Blvd)
Time: 6-8 p.m.

Listen to a panel discussion on how technology will shape Arlington, featuring government and cybersecurity experts. A reception with light refreshments will also be held.

Arlington Committee of 100 Virginia Hospital Center Expansion*
Marymount University (2807 N. Glebe Road)
Time: 7-9 p.m.

The Committee of 100 is hosting a panel discussion on Virginia Hospital Center’s expansion, the county’s population growth and evolving community healthcare needs. Optional dinner served.

Thursday, March 15

Parenting Lecture: Parenting an Anxious Child
The Sycamore School (4600 N. Fairfax Drive)
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.

Dr. Christine Golden will discuss the challenges of parenting a child with anxiety and offer some helpful strategies for managing behaviors. The lecture is free to attend.

Friday, March 16

St. Agnes Soup Supper*
St. Agnes Catholic Church (1910 N. Randolph Street)
Time: 5:30-7 p.m.

The church will offer meatless soups and a noodle dish, and more every Friday during the Lenten holiday. Guests are invited to stay for confession and the stations of the cross afterwards.

Saturday, March 17

Whitlow’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration
Whitlow’s On Wilson (2854 Wilson Boulevard)
Time: 9 a.m. – Close

Live Irish music and an open rooftop welcome you at Whitlow’s On Wilson’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Special Irish menu and March Madness games on the TVs all day.

WJAFC Open Day*
Virginia Highlands Park (1600 S. Hayes Street)
Time: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

A co-ed, free clinic to learn the Australian football game. Kids from 5-15 will learn starting at 9 a.m., with an adults clinic and co-ed non-contact game at 10:30 a.m.

Guinness and Gold*
Ten at Clarendon (3110 10th Street N.)
Time: 12-5 p.m.

Tour the Clarendon apartment building with a free Guinness and cash in on leasing deals. Leasing specials are subject to terms and conditions.

Wine Dinner*
Osteria da Nino (2900 S. Quincy Street)
Time: 6:30-10:30 p.m.

Join Tre Monti winery over a four course meal with five wines, including theThea Passito 2012 Romagna Albana DOCG raisin wine. Tickets are $75 per person.

Yorktown High School Presents “Almost, Maine”*
Yorktown High School (5200 Yorktown Boulevard)
Time: 7-9:30 p.m.

Students will be performing John Cariani’s “Almost Maine,” about a remote, mythical town and the effect of the northern lights on the lovestruck residents. Tickets are $10.

Sunday, March 18

St. Joseph’s Table Celebration
St. Agnes Catholic Church (1910 N. Randolph Street)
Time: 1-4 p.m.

Join the church following the noon mass for a procession to celebrate this feast day with a potluck lunch, live music, and a kids woodworking shop.

*Denotes featured (sponsored) event

by Bridget Reed Morawski March 6, 2018 at 2:45 pm 0

In just six days, about 41 Arlington households have volunteered to host gun control demonstrators later this month.

That translates to approximately 131 beds for guest marchers in Arlington.

Altogether, 350 host families volunteered in the first six days that a website aimed at connecting protesters with host families went live, or about 1,120 beds, according to Tricia Duncan, an organizer who lives in Washington but grew up in Arlington. Duncan added that that is a conservative estimate of the currently volunteer housing stock.

Thousands of marchers will descend on Washington on March 24 for the March For Our Lives gun control protest, and a group of mothers with DC Local Ambassadors knew that they’d need a place to sleep.

That’s when the women issued the call last week seeking lodging for the thousands of anticipated protesters.

Initially, the group consisted of seven DC Local Ambassadors who had the same idea: finding free lodging for kids who were coming in for the march. Now there’s 15 organizers, working to find housing for a march that has already suffered from organizational challenges.

The group reached out to their “trusted network” — church groups, civic groups, and parent-teacher associations — for lodging locations.

Both potential hosts and prospective guests have to fill out a form online to be considered. Some social media vetting is conducted, said Elizabeth Andrews, a Washington resident and organizer, but it’s for safety reasons.

The group is also requesting biographical information to try to make “thoughtful matches” that consider the backgrounds of everyone involved, like gender, race, and ethnicity.

“We are trying to think about making it the best situation possible for everyone,” said Andrews.

The Arlington County Democratic Committee, meanwhile, is planning its own events for the March 24 demonstration, including a poster-making party, a walk from the Virginia side of the Memorial Bridge to the march, and a rally at an Arlington church in support of action in Virginia

File photo.

by Bridget Reed Morawski February 28, 2018 at 1:45 pm 0

The Arlington County Board on Tuesday unanimously approved a $7.9 million loan to redevelop Queens Court, an affordable housing building in North Rosslyn.

The Affordable Housing Investment Fund loan would help build 249 affordable units at what will be called Queens Court South, yielding “a net gain of 388 bedrooms over the existing 39-unit building,” according to a county press release.

The existing Queens Court structure, built in 1940, has studio and one bedroom apartments. Queens Court South will have those configurations as well as two and three bedroom units, with more room for families.

The project also dedicates 9,000 square feet for a northern leg of Rosslyn Highlands Park, with a planned playground and tot lot.

The redevelopment is part of a Western Rosslyn Area Plan adopted in 2015 that will add a new fire station and public secondary school. Current Queens Court households will be relocated, and the new building will be required to remain affordable for 75 years.

County Board Chair Katie Cristol said the Board was “delighted to help” the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing, which is redeveloping the property.

Here’s more from the press release regarding the project’s financing:

APAH will apply to the Virginia Housing and Development Authority for competitive 9 percent low income housing tax credits for Queen’s Court South, which will contain 90 affordable units. If APAH is awarded the 9 percent low income housing tax credits by VHDA, the Board is expected to consider a second AHIF request of up to $11.8 million for the remaining 159 units this fall. Although Queen’s Court North and South will be separated into two land condominiums for financing purposes, the development will be built in one phase, with all 249 units in one building.

After the Board approved its Site Plan in February 2017, APAH submitted an AHIF application for $24 million as part of the County’s Fiscal Year 2018 Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) process for affordable housing funding, to redevelop the property. Staff selected the Queen’s Court project to move forward with AHIF negotiations and the public process.

During the negotiation process, APAH reduced the AHIF request for the entire development by $4.3 million. The AHIF reduction was a result of APAH working with VHDA to increase the amount of certain VHDA low interest loans that are being layered with the VHDA senior loan. APAH also agreed to contribute another $2 million in equity to the development resulting from the transfer of the property into the tax credit partnership.

by ARLnow.com December 18, 2017 at 8:55 am 0

Board Votes for Housing Conservation District — The Arlington County Board on Saturday voted 4-1 in favor of the creation of Housing Conservations Districts, which will make it more difficult for property owners to convert multifamily buildings into single-family homes. The Board says there is an urgent need to preserve market-rate affordable apartments, though critics charged that the Board rushed a decision that will restrict the rights of private property owners. [Washington Post]

Volunteers Place 245K Wreaths at ANC — “The weather was chilly but that didn’t stop huge crowds from heading to Arlington National Cemetery to help out with the annual wreath laying Saturday. Traffic was jammed and sidewalks were packed with long lines of volunteers.” [WTOP, Twitter]

New Fire Station 8 Moving Forward — The County Board approved a zoning change that will allow the creation of a new Fire Station #8 on Lee Highway to move forward. [InsideNova]

Doctor Charged With Spiking Drink with Abortion Pill — A doctor who had recently moved to Arlington was arrested in May and charged with spiking his pregnant girlfriend’s drink with an abortion pill, which then caused her to lose the baby. He’s currently being held at the Arlington County jail, awaiting trial. [Fox News]

Bridging the Biking Gender Gap in Arlington — “Despite overall growth in the number of people biking to work, there are still some challenges that need to be addressed by cities, organizations, and employers for more women to bike more often.” [BikeArlington]

Children Visit Incarcerated Parents — Children of inmates at the Arlington County Detention Facility in Courthouse were able to visit and play with their incarcerated parents during the jail’s annual holiday party. [Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo by Phil

by ARLnow.com December 15, 2017 at 9:30 am 0

Chamber Calls for Pause on Housing Conservation District — The Arlington Chamber of Commerce is calling for the Arlington County Board to pump the brakes on a proposed Housing Conservation District policy, set for a vote at tomorrow’s Board meeting. The Chamber says the policy would affect more than 450 privately-owned properties. “The County’s failure to provide any notice to property owners that would be affected by the Framework is inconsistent with Arlington’s established government process and the level of transparency the community has come to depend on,” said Chamber President Kate Bates. [Arlington Chamber of Commerce]

Carlin Springs Bridge Work to ResumeDemolition of the Carlin Springs Road Bridge over George Mason Drive was curtailed by winter weather last weekend, but is set to resume this weekend. Drivers should expect a number of detours in the area. [Twitter]

Fisette Tribute Packs Local Church — “A Dec. 13 tribute to departing Arlington County Board Chairman Jay Fisette was about 90 percent heartfelt thanks for his 20 years of service in elected office. And about 10 percent celebrity roast.” The event was so well-attended that the parking lot of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington was filled to capacity by those whom Fisette has not yet convinced to take the Car-Free Diet. [InsideNova, InsideNova]

Gossip: Britt McHenry Back on Local Airwaves? — A noted local Twitter user who goes by the name “Clarendon Bros” shared some local TV gossip last night, claiming that Britt McHenry was seen auditioning for a job at Fox 5. McHenry at one point lived in Arlington — it is unclear if she still does — and had a well-publicized run-in with local towing company Advanced Towing. [Twitter]

Fox Leaves Crystal City BID — “After more than a decade running the Crystal City Business Improvement District, Angela Fox is stepping down. The BID’s board of directors announced Fox’s departure Thursday, but has not named a permanent replacement.” [Bisnow]

Local Homebuilder Getting Bigger — “Arlington-based homebuilder CalAtlantic Homes is purchasing Home South Communities, a privately held homebuilder based in the Atlanta area. CalAtlantic itself is in the midst of a $9.3 billion merger with Miami’s Lennar Corp. (NYSE: LEN), expected to close early next year.” [Washington Business Journal]

Realtor Group Extends Clothing and Food Drive — “Despite the weather, the first community wide drop off for the Arlington Realtors Care (ARC) initiative, held on Saturday, Dec. 9 was a great success. ARC is sponsoring a second community wide drop off date scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 16 at RGS Title.” [Press Release]

by ARLnow.com September 26, 2017 at 8:45 am 0

Wakefield Student Sang National Anthem — Wakefield High School junior Samantha Rios sang the national anthem before Sunday night’s Redskins-Raiders game. Rios, who previously competed on a Spanish language version of The Voice, was seen by a national TV audience as controversy swirled over players kneeling in protest during the anthem. [WUSA 9]

Officials to Compete in Trivia Battle — County Board Chair Jay Fisette, state Sen. Barbara Favola, Del. Patrick Hope and former County Board members Mary Hynes and Joe Wholey will compete in a “housing trivia battle” next month, testing their knowledge of Arlington history, particularly as it relates to housing issues. [Arlington County]

Clement Blasts Daycare Approval — Independent Arlington County Board candidate Audrey Clement said in a new email to supporters that the current Board places the interests of developers ahead of that of residents. As an example, she cited the recent approval of a new daycare center on Lee Highway, despite concerns about traffic among some local residents. The approval “will likely engender cut through traffic on an adjacent one lane street off Lee Highway that has already experienced major traffic accidents,” Clement wrote. The daycare had the general support of the local civic association. [Audrey Clement]

Gun Control Group to Host Fmr. ATF Agent — The local chapter of the pro-gun-control group Moms Demand Action is hosting a special event on Wednesday, featuring a former ATF special agent. The event will include discussion of the “the challenges facing gun violence prevention.” It is scheduled from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Shirlington Branch Library. Moms Demand Action had a booth at Clarendon Day this past weekend and signed up nearly 100 new volunteers. [Facebook, Medium]

Nearby: One Guy is Holding Up Development in D.C. — One persistent activist is holding up hundreds of millions of dollars worth of development in the District. Chris Otten has succeeded in delaying numerous developments by rallying a group of neighbors and filing court challenges. [Bisnow]

by Kalina Newman July 5, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

Construction at luxury apartment complex Ten at Clarendon will continue until September, but prospective renters can now tour apartments with the use of virtual reality.

In a partnership with Immerse Virtual Reality Nation, developer CRC Companies is launching a fully immersive virtual reality apartment tour of the new apartments at 3110 10th Street N. The 143-unit complex is expected to be completed this fall.

Using an HTC Vive headset with two motion sensors, residents can experience a realistic, 360-degree home tour of what their apartment will look like after construction.

“We have developed a fully interactive and accurate VR experience using our experience from architecture and gaming,” said IVR Nation CEO Olivier Demangel in a statement. “It’s clearly a new era for real estate and architecture.”

IVR Nation is a company entirely dedicated to partnering the hospitality industry with virtual reality. CRC plans to incorporate IVR technology into other company projects, such as during the architecture design process.

“We are excited to employ IVR’s virtual reality technology and allow prospects to gain a unique preview of the Ten at Clarendon as we prepare to deliver the project to this coveted Arlington neighborhood,” said CRC Companies senior development associate Oliver Lee in a statement.

In addition to virtual reality tours, other new features in the apartment complex will include keyless apartment entry, mobile-controlled thermostats and a video intercom system.

Apartments at the new building are currently available for new tenants under pre-lease.

by Chris Teale June 26, 2017 at 10:05 am 0

Average house prices in Arlington County have recovered to or exceeded what they were before the 2008 financial crisis, except in eight neighborhoods, according to new findings.

Randy Smith, a senior fellow at the D.C. Policy Center and a GIS specialist at Hood College in Frederick, Md., found that on average, houses in the following neighborhoods have gone down in value since 2007:

  • Arlington Forest (-1.83 percent)
  • Bellevue Forest (-8.2 percent)
  • Dominion Hills (-16.19 percent)
  • Foxcroft Heights (-20.9 percent)
  • Gulf Branch (-22.85 percent)
  • Old Glebe (-5.11 percent)
  • Rock Spring (-2.42 percent)
  • Riverwood (-33.1 percent)

All other neighborhoods have seen average home values either reach or exceed their pre-crisis levels, with the likes of Buckingham, Madison Manor, Glebewood and High View Park seeing increases of more than 50 percent on average.

On average across the county, property values have steadily ticked upwards. Earlier this year, the county said values rose 2.6 percent over their 2016 levels.

In an interview, Smith said the slight downward trend for some home values could be due to a lack of sales in those neighborhoods, or a lack of amenities that make them an attractive and convenient place to live in.

“Just because there’s not much to do and not much local resources: you have to drive further for grocery shopping, for any retail that you would have to go and buy normally,” he said. “Overall, I would think that the time spent having to drive to do anything would contribute to that part.”

Smith also found that foreclosures on county homes peaked during the financial crisis, but since then have stabilized with the local economy.

“It was fairly stable through that time period to begin with, as it wasn’t as affected as the rest of the country,” Smith said. “I’m guessing that’s why it wasn’t any crazy numbers per month for foreclosures, but I’m guessing people are more encouraged to start buying again in the area.”

Smith said he does not expect a slowdown in increasing property values in Arlington, due to the relative strength of the local economy and various other factors that make it attractive.

“There’s a fairly good job market, there’s a lot of people that want to move there, it’s close to D.C., good transportation,” Smith said. “Maybe that’s what’s influencing it…But I don’t see any reason that sales prices aren’t going to stop increasing in the near future.”

Smith’s interactive map of home value changes in Arlington, sorted by neighborhood, is below (after the jump).

(more…)

by ARLnow.com May 18, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Arlington’s Former Row House Ban — Responding to complaints from community leaders who “hoped to preserve Arlington’s then-suburban character,” Arlington County changed its zoning ordinance to ban row houses in 1938. That decision is one factor in the area’s “dramatic undersupply of missing middle housing.” [Greater Greater Washington]

Police Still Searching for Sex Assault Suspect — Arlington County Police are still looking for a man who posed as a maintenance worker and sexually assaulted a woman in her Rosslyn condominium on May 7. “This investigation remains a top priority of the department and detectives continue to follow-up on significant investigative leads,” ACPD said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. “Police continue to ask that anyone with information on the identity of the suspect or details surrounding this investigation call 703-228-5050.” [Arlington County]

Review of Synetic’s ‘Hunchback’ — “‘Hunchback of Notre Dame’ gives a hyper-creative Washington group a source for one of its most beautifully realized productions,” theater critic Peter Marks writes of the new Synetic Theater production in Crystal City, which runs through June 11. [Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

by Chris Teale May 12, 2017 at 1:45 pm 0

The county’s ordinance on accessory dwelling units, also known as “granny flats” or “mother-in-law suites,” is set for some changes after staff and a citizen group put together some initial ideas.

Only 20 ADUs — defined as a second place to live on a property, with a kitchen, a bathroom and a separate entrance — have been approved in Arlington since the ordinance first came into effect in 2009.

In a bid to encourage more accessory dwellings, the county convened a working group, which has come up with several proposals, including:

  • ADUs would be allowed in townhomes. (Currently they are only allowed on the inside of a single-family home.)
  • ADUs would be allowed to exist as detached dwellings.
  • The maximum allowed size would be increased from 750 to 1,000 square feet
  • The maximum occupancy would be increased from two people to three to allow for couples with a child or similar circumstances.
  • The requirement that accessory dwellings can also only be added after a year of ownership would be removed, meaning home builders could begin to add them in new homes.

In March, local economist Eric Brescia, a member of the County Housing Commission and the Arlington County Republican Committee’s policy director, said there are too many “poison pills” preventing further approvals of accessory dwellings. He argued that relaxing regulations could help ease the county’s lack of affordable housing.

Staff will share these preliminary ideas and more at a community meeting Saturday, from 10 a.m. to noon at Francis Scott Key Elementary School (2300 Key Blvd).

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