In December of 2005, the Arlington County Board approved amendments to the County Zoning Ordinance that are used in the approval process of site plan projects to increase the supply of affordable housing and to streamline the process. Section 36.H.6 of the Zoning Ordinance (page 6 of the linked document) outlines these requirements.
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The affordable housing requirements for site plan projects were codified in December of 2005, concluding six months of meetings and negotiations through the Arlington Affordable Housing Roundtable, which was chaired by County Board member Jay Fisette and included participants from the development community, civic groups, housing advocates and the Planning and Housing Commissions. The Roundtable reached unanimous agreement on their final compromise, which includes 12 elements that were incorporated into the County Zoning Ordinance and General Land Use Plan amendments. The Board report provides a summary and discussion of the amendments and provides the amendments as attachments.
In June of 2006, Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine signed into law bill “SB 273 Affordable Dwelling Unit Ordinance,” which ensures Arlington's authority to implement its community compromise.
Summary of Affordable Housing Requirements
The developer chooses whether to provide a cash contribution or to provide units using a percent of the increased gross floor area (GFA) above 1.0 Floor Area Ratio (FAR).
For on-site units, the requirement is 5% of the GFA; for off-site units nearby, 7.5%; for off-site units elsewhere in the county, 10%. Cash contribution rates in 2013 are: $1.81/sq. ft. of GFA for first 1.0 FAR; $4.83/sq. ft. from 1.0 to 3.0 FAR for residential; $9.67/sq. ft. of GFA above 3.0 for residential; and $4.83/sq. ft. above 1.0 FAR in commercial. Cash contribution amounts are indexed to the Consumer Price Index for Housing in the Washington-Baltimore MSA. View Zoning Ordinance Section 36.H.6 for a complete list of requirements (page 6 of the linked document).
Mixed-Use Example Applying Requirements
For mixed-use projects, cash contributions are calculated by applying the proportionate amount of commercial and residential GFA to each tier of GFA (example below). The contribution rates shown below are for 2013.
|MIXED-USE EXAMPLE APPLYING REQUIREMENTS|
20,000 Square Foot Lot
5.0 FAR Project of 100,000 Square Feet
|10,000 sq ft - 10% of project||90,000 sq ft - 90% of project|
|1.0 FAR = 20,000 sq ft||2,000 sq ft x $1.81||18,000 sq ft x $1.81|
|1.0 - 3.0 FAR = 40,000 sq ft||4,000 sq ft x $4.83||36,000 sq ft x $4.83|
|3.0 - 5.0 FAR = 40,000 sq ft||4,000 sq ft x $4.83||36,000 sq ft x $9.67|
|TOTAL||10,000 sq ft commercial||90,000 residential|
Summary of example:
Total Contribution = $583,280
Note that GFA above 3.0 = 40,000 sq ft and Residential = 90% of total project
40,000 x 90% = 36,000 sq ft, so 36,000 is the GFA to which tier three amount ($9.67) is applied
For more information about these programs, contact David Cristeal at 703.228.3760.