Wrap-Up Media Release for November 2023 Meeting

Published on November 17, 2023

The Arlington County Board considered and acted on many items at its Saturday and Tuesday Board meetings. These include the following: 

Saturday, November 11, 2023 – Regular County Board Meeting 

The Arlington County Board considered and acted on many items at its Saturday Board meeting. These include the following: 

MOA to Serve Intimate Partner Violence Victims experiencing TBI – Item 10
The Board adopted a memorandum of agreement between the Department of Human Services, the Brain Injury Association of Virginia, and Brain Injury Services, Inc. to serve victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) who may be experiencing a traumatic brain injury.  

IPV victims may experience head trauma or loss of oxygen during violent incidents that will impair their short- and long-term brain function, ultimately making it harder to access and utilize support services. This MOA outlines a partnership that includes training for DHS staff on how to approach and screen IPV victims to help refer those in need of traumatic brain injury services and connect them to community resources and related organizations.  

2023 Edward Byrne Memorial JAG award – Item 11 
The Board also accepted $53.6K in funding from the U.S. Department of Justice via the 2023 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant award. These funds will be used by the Arlington County Police and Sheriff Offices for personal protective, forensic, audio-visual, and general assorted equipment and supplies.  

Carlin Springs Bus Stop - Item 12 
The Board has also accepted a Deed of Easement from the County School Board for a portion of property located at 200 S. Carlin Springs Road. This will be used to build a bus stop shelter near Kenmore Middle School, on the western side of South Carlin Springs Road, providing protection from the elements for students while they wait for their buses. 

Plan Langston Boulevard – Item 20  
The Board also adopted a series of amendments to the General Land Use Plan (GLUP), Master Transportation Plan (MTP) Map, and Zoning Ordinance related to the Plan Langston Boulevard study. These amendments establish a Langston Boulevard Planning District that allows new multifamily, commercial, and/or mixed-use development and identifies potential new streets and bicycle connections, increasing opportunities for affordable housing, sustainable and climate-facing development, and new public spaces, among other things. 

The Langston Boulevard Planning and County Public Engagement process began in response to a community grass-roots effort led by the Langston Boulevard Alliance advocating for guided long-term public and private investment in the Langston Boulevard corridor through a comprehensive plan and vision as an alternative to by-right development.   

The Langston Boulevard corridor is Arlington’s northernmost commercial corridor that connects east to west between Rosslyn and East Falls Church. The plan recommends a land use framework and guiding principles intended to shape the form of new development and other benefits, including diverse housing supply, environmental resiliency, economic sustainability, and safe and equitable access for all users on Langston Boulevard. 

Updates to the Historic and Cultural Resources Plan – Item 21  
The Board also adopted updates to the Historic and Cultural Resources Plan (HCRP), an element of Arlington’s Comprehensive Plan.  The HCRP is the primary policy document guiding the County’s historic preservation goals and actions and outlines a strategy for advancing the preservation of cultures and the built environment. It has not been updated since 2006.  

The update acknowledges that both Arlington and the practice of historic preservation have evolved and offers an increased focus on partnerships, inclusion, and incentives. The updated plan’s five main focus areas—each offering complementary Equity Aspirations—will help advance the mission and effectiveness of the County’s Historic Preservation Program. The Equity Aspirations in the plan will help increase inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility, expanding access to local culture and history and representation of all Arlingtonians.   

Request to Advertise
The Board approved three Requests to Advertise for public hearings related to the Arlington County Zoning Ordinance and Arlington County Code. Requests to advertise are not final votes, and residents will have an opportunity to comment on these items at later dates.

ACZO Technical Corrections - Item 15
This item will be heard by the Planning Commission on December 4 and the County Board on December 16. This item would correct several errors throughout the Arlington County Zoning Ordinance discovered through the routine administration of the Zoning Ordinance. These changes would not impact land use policies or goals as they focus solely on technical, administrative errors ranging from simple textual and citation errors to inconsistencies with the Virginia Code.  

Department of Parks and Rec Public Spaces Design - Item 16
This item will be heard by the Planning Commission on December 4 and the County Board on December 16. This item would enable broader flexibility for facilities the Department of Parks and Recreation operates in public spaces by providing the County Board with the authority to modify certain zoning standards for public spaces, on a case-by-case basis, through use permit approvals.  

Flexibility to allow reduced setbacks, taller height, and reduced parking requirements in public spaces can be particularly helpful to DPR when evaluating the feasibility of design options for smaller, irregularly shaped lots where these standards can significantly constrain the extent and location of even modestly sized facilities. Increased flexibility can also assist with establishing facilities in locations in a public space outside of Resource Protection Areas (RPAs) and similar environmentally sensitive areas. 

Creation of Stormwater Utility, repeal of Sanitary District Tax - Item 17 
This item will be heard by the County Board on December 16. This item would create a new Stormwater Utility and repeal the Sanitary District Tax effective December 31, 2023. The County’s Stormwater Management Fund is currently supported by a tax rate of $0.017 per one hundred dollars of assessed valuation of all taxable real estate. This item proposes replacing that formula with a $258 per Equivalent Residential Unit Rate, an ERU in Arlington County being 2,400 square feet of impervious area.  

The rationale for using the amount of impervious area on each property, rather than all taxable real estate, is that this area directly correlates with stormwater runoff that the property contributes to the County’s stormwater system. Basing the rate structure on the amount of impervious area provides a rational nexus between the fee charged to each property and the amount of services provided by the County.  

Tuesday, November 14, 2023 – Recessed County Board 

Arlington Transit FY 2025-2035 Strategic Plan – Item 7
The Arlington County Board adopted the Fiscal Year 2025-2035 Transit Strategic Plan (TSP) for submission to the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation. This plan is required by the Commonwealth for Arlington to qualify for state transit funding.  

Arlington has experienced new geographic and temporal patterns influencing resident transportation choices since 2016 when it completed the Transit Development Plan for the years 2017 to 2026. Ride-hailing and Transportation Network Companies, micro-mobility services, and the work culture changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic significantly shifted public Transit usage and trends. 

The TSP intends to guide the development of transit services in the County over the next 10 years. To understand current and future needs, the project team analyzed the existing bus services that operate throughout the County, including ART, Metrobus, and STAR demand response, and conducted a performance analysis over the last three to five years.  

The needs identified through the TSP are as follows:  

  • Improving bus frequencies;  

  • Increasing service span, including off-peak and weekend services;  

  • Improving connections within the County, with additional connections to Ballston, Rosslyn, Shirlington, and Columbia Pike; and  

  • Leveraging connections to Arlington Public Schools and Community Centers. 

The following strategies recommended to meet those needs are:  

  • Adjusting current routes by increasing frequency;  

  • Extending service hours and introducing/increasing weekend services; and 

  • Changing the service network and making new connections by adding and combining routes. 

Updated performance metrics will track progress, allowing for accountability and transparency of operations and project delivery. 

Financial Results and Close-out for the Fiscal Year (FY) ending June 30, 2023 – Item 23
The Board also heard public testimony and amended and voted on county manager recommendations made at the November 11th Regular Board meeting related to item 22, regarding Financial Results and Close-out for the Fiscal Year ending June 30, 2023.  

Of the almost $47 million discretionary funding available, the Board approved one-time allocations of:  

  • $15 million to paydown a portion of Barcroft Apartment outstanding debt;  

  • $2.5 million to county land acquisition efforts;  

  • $3.0 million to reduce reliance on one-time monies support;  

  • $2.0 million to the Development Fund contingent;  

  • $1.1 million to time-sensitive public safety efforts;  

  • $750K to Teen & Disadvantaged Youth Programming;  

  • $200K to the Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Center contingent; and 

  • $150K to Department of Human Services recruitment and retention.  

The remaining $21.6 million will be carried over to FY 2025 budget deliberations.    

2024 General Assembly Legislative Package – Item 24
The County Board heard public testimony on the 2024 State General Assembly Legislative Package, which will be considered for adoption at its December 16, 2023, County Board meeting.  At the December meeting, the Board will consider a package that outlines the County’s priorities for the 2024 Virginia General Assembly Session focused on human services, land use and housing, finance, transportation, economic development, criminal justice reform, education and youth, general government, public safety/emergencies, and energy, environment, and climate change.  

The specific priorities reflect broader principles, such as strengthening workforce resiliency, ensuring state government full funds commitments to local government, and respect for local authority. The County Board will host its annual work session with the General Assembly delegation on Tuesday, November 28, 2023. 

Registering to Speak at future Public Hearings  

Registration to speak on an item with a scheduled public hearing opens approximately a week before the meeting, and members of the public can either register online or call in at 703-228-3130.  Those wanting to participate in these hearings can do so in person, virtually, or by phone and will receive instructions on these options once they have completed their registration. Members of the public wanting to speak on a Consent Agenda item must notify the County Board Office before 9 AM at Regular Meetings to request the item be pulled from the agenda. Agendas will note which consent agenda items are subject to public hearing requirements and which require Board member consent to be removed.  

Members of the public are also strongly encouraged to subscribe to the County Board's News and Updates service to be alerted when meeting agendas are posted. Board meeting and agenda information can be accessed on the County Board's webpage

Visit 2023 County Board Meeting and Procedures on the County website to Learn More. 

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