Moving Forward on the Western Rosslyn Area Plan

Published on February 20, 2016

  • County Board adopts land use, transportation, zoning changes

  • Changes include allowing more school height, more density in accordance with Western Rosslyn Area Plan vision 

The Arlington County Board today approved actions to help achieve the Western Rosslyn Area Plan's (WRAPs) vision for development. The Board adopted revisions to the General Land Use Plan, Master Transportation Plan and Zoning Ordinance to help implement the plan adopted by the County Board in July 2015.

The Western Rosslyn Area Plan applies to the area bounded by Wilson Boulevard to the south, Quinn Street to the west, Key Boulevard and 18th Street to the north and the eastern boundary of the 1555 Wilson Boulevard property. A community planning effort produced a vision of a mix of high quality civic uses, including a new school, a new fire station, a redeveloped Rosslyn Highlands Park and new residential and commercial redevelopment, which may include up to 250 affordable housing units.

"Many people in our community worked hard to develop a vision for this challenging site — where we needed to achieve many public benefits in a small area," said County Board Chair Libby Garvey. "These policy amendments are the first steps in achieving that vision, and in being able to provide a much-needed new school, a new fire station and an improved park in Rosslyn."

The Board voted unanimously to approve the changes to the General Land Use Plan, Master Transportation Plan and Zoning Ordinance. To read the Staff Report on this item, visit the County website. Scroll down to Item #9 on the Agenda for the Saturday, February 20 Regular County Board Meeting.

 Summary of amendments

  • The General Land Use Plan (GLUP) is the primary policy guide for the County's development. The amendments adopted by the Board establish the Western Rosslyn Coordinated Redevelopment District (WRCRD), including a description of its goals and vision, and amend the boundary of the existing Rosslyn Coordinated Redevelopment District. In addition, an open space symbol will be added on the property located at 1801-1805 Quinn Street to establish that future public open space is envisioned in this location. These amendments serve as a guide to communicate the policy of the Board to residents, the business community, developers and others involved with development in this area.

  • The Master Transportation Plan (MTP) amendments will ensure consistency between the MTP and the Area Plan's vision regarding future transportation infrastructure. The changes remove the designation of "Area Planned for New Streets" from the MTP for this area and add a new North Pierce Street between Wilson Boulevard and 18th Street North.

  • The Zoning Ordinance will be amended to give the County Board authority to approve increased heights and densities within the WRCRD that align with the Area Plan's vision. This includes allowing increased school height from 45 feet up to 175 feet within the WRCRD, additional residential density to promote more affordable housing development and additional mixed-use development density to facilitate construction of a new fire station and a new Rosslyn Highlands Park.


The County launched the Western Rosslyn Area Planning Study (WRAPS) in 2014 as a collaborative effort to create a vision and Area Plan for the Wilson School and surrounding sites which include Fire Station #10, a park, an office building, retail and affordable multi-family apartments. The County recognized this was an essential site for Arlington and worked with the community and property owners to achieve a comprehensive solution.

A Board-appointed Working Group of Arlington residents, business leaders, property owners and advocates worked with the County's planning staff over many months to develop the plan. The Arlington County Board adopted the Western Rosslyn Area Plan on July 21, 2015.

To learn more, visit the County website.