County Board Gives Input on Next Phase of Missing Middle Housing Study

Published on July 14, 2022

On Tuesday, July 12, the Arlington County Board provided feedback to guide the next phase of the Missing Middle Housing Study, including housing types, parking requirements, and building design standards.  During a work session with County Manager Mark Schwartz and staff on Tuesday afternoon, where Board members received a presentation summarizing the community feedback received over the past two and a half months and considered key policy questions regarding the next phase of the study.

The work session marked the end of Phase 2 of the study, which was a focused study of specific housing types that sought to balance the community’s priorities and concerns identified in Phase 1.  A draft framework for expanding housing options was released in late April, and the County embarked on a multifaceted public engagement period.  Phase 3 will focus on additional public engagement and the drafting of zoning text and General Land Use Plan amendments, which will be brought before the Planning Commission and County Board for public review in late fall 2022.

Based on community feedback and the policy questions placed before them, the County Board asked County staff to draft zoning text and amendments that could:

  • Allow buildings with 2-8 housing units under two different possible approaches:
    • One in which existing zoning standards regulate the number of units
    • One in which the number of units would be further restricted based on newly established minimum lot sizes.
  • Allow the option for missing middle housing in all areas zoned only for single-family detached development.
  • Vary parking requirements based on site-specific factors (e.g., proximity to transit, cul-de-sacs, on-street parking availability).
  • Establish design standards for missing middle housing to support compatibility with the surrounding neighborhood.

MORE: Review the work session documents and presentations

During the work session, the Board and the Manager outlined upcoming informational sessions and community meetings to further accept stakeholder opinions and answer questions.  “My colleagues and I know that housing is not only the most important policy issue facing Arlington County collectively, but also among the most personal issues experienced by residents individually,” stated County Board Chair Katie Cristol.  “We are grateful to the many Arlingtonians who have shared their perspectives on the Missing Middle Housing Study so far and look forward to continuing this dialogue in the months ahead.” 

Steps for Phase 3 engagement will take place in September and October and will include 11 Community conversations with the County Board and three Information sessions in the context of zoning, economics, and planning in Arlington, featuring voices and knowledge from around the community and the region.

MORE: View the schedule and next steps

For more information on the MMHS visit the County website.

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