Arlington County Board Approves Pentagon City Sector Plan

Published on February 12, 2022

Arlington County, VA – Saturday, February 12, 2022.  The Arlington County Board adopted a new vision for a vibrant and livable Pentagon City, following an 18-month planning process.  The Board voted 5-0 to approve the Pentagon City Sector Plan (PCSP) and its associated Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinance amendments.

The adopted plan creates certainty for the community in the future while allowing flexibility for property owners that will help diversify housing options, prioritize multi-modal transportation, and embrace biophilic design. In addition to establishing clear performance standards for development, the plan includes three linear miles of a Green Ribbon pedestrian network to connect existing and future public spaces, five acres of new public parks and plazas, a one-acre expansion of Virginia Highlands Park, strategies for locating public facilities, and minimum standards for onsite affordable housing.

County Board Chair Katie Cristol highlighted the plan’s look to the future, noting that Pentagon City, with its rich transit network and access to economic opportunity, is an ideal place to welcome more homes for Arlingtonians. “The Sector Plan envisions the transformation of privately-owned spaces to public parks, new multimodal connections and streets, as well as more ways for residents to connect to one another and to nature,” she said.

The Pentagon City Sector Plan replaces the land-use policies that have governed the area since the 1970s and builds on the work of Livability 22202, which is a collaborative effort between three civic associations in the area. It was adopted after an extended public engagement period that included a diverse focus group, online engagement, virtual public meetings and open houses, a site walking tour, as well as individual meetings with residents and other stakeholders.

During Saturday’s meeting, stakeholders and community members continued to provide input about the plan, further highlighting the balance between the many local and regional priorities facing Arlington. Over the past year and a half, community input has influenced the sector plan, resulting in changes to its transportation, public space, affordable housing, and public facility recommendations. 

The community will have opportunities to remain engaged as the implementation of the sector plan is realized, reviewing specific site plan applications, and initiating subsequent analysis in the near term. The County Board, as well as County staff, remain committed to outreach and engagement efforts for residents in nearby rental properties and condominium/multi-family buildings as the plan evolves.  

The County Board was also pleased to note that the PCSP is the first long-range plan that specifically addresses equity as it evolves.  The Planning Commission asked the Board to “ensure that the County is gaining the true lived experience and point of view of a diverse range of people and cultural practices.”  In recognizing Black History month, Board Member Christian Dorsey supported the sentiment, stating “Our work to realize racial equity in our government processes, investments and actions are to honor resilience and reward excellence.” 

In the coming weeks, County staff will finalize the plan documents as adopted by the County Board. The final version will be posted on the project webpage, where the public can also learn more about the overall study process.

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