Wrap-Up Media Release for February 2024 Meeting

Published on March 01, 2024

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

Saturday, February 24, 2024 – Regular County Board Meeting

Ordinance re Parking Metering Zones – Item 10 
The County Board adopted an ordinance to establish a temporary performance parking pilot program in two commercial corridors permitting periodic administrative changes to metered parking rates between March 1, 2024, and March 1, 2026. This pilot, essentially, will allow staff to collect and analyze occupancy data in certain corridor areas to better match parking availability and demand over a two-year period.

Goodwill Site Plan – Item 29
The County Board approved an application for a rezoning and new site plan associated with the Goodwill site located at 10 S. Glebe Road for a new six-story mixed-use development. The project includes an expanded Goodwill retail and donation center occupying the bottom two floors of the building, 128 committed affordable housing units located above the retail space, and a child care center planned to accommodate up to 40 children—all atop two stories of below-grade parking.

The Goodwill site project advances several key County goals and objectives, such as:

  • Affordable housing: Provides 128 committed affordable housing units (CAFs) at up to 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI), advancing the goals and objectives of the Affordable Housing Master Plan;

  • Transportation improvements: Provides streetscape improvements on South Glebe Road and multi-use trail improvements along the Arlington Boulevard off-ramp, consistent with the goals of the Master Transportation Plan and accommodating the proposed design options within the Arlington Boulevard Trail Feasibility Study;

  • Sustainable design: Achieves Earthcraft Multifamily Gold certification and compliance with the Green Building Incentive Policy (GBIP) at the 0.35 FAR level, supporting the sustainability goals of the Community Energy Plan; and

  • Child care: Provides approximately 3,000 sf intended for a child care center planned to accommodate up to 40 children, advancing the recommendations of the Child Care Initiative.

Semi-Detached Dwelling Development Site Plan – Item 30
The Board also approved a four-story semi-detached structure for a new site plan development with two (2) dwelling units located at 1129 N. Utah Street in the Ballston-Virginia Square neighborhood. Currently, the property has a two-story single-detached dwelling in the R15-30T zoning district, allowing for semi—detached dwelling unit development via the special exception site plan review and approval process. Thus, to achieve the proposed development, the applicant requested modification of front and side yard setbacks, placement standards for garages, a/c units, and architectural embellishments.

Sanitary Sewer Collection System Plan – Item 31
The Board also approved an update to the County Sanitary Sewer Collection System Plan. The new 2023 Sanitary Sewer Collection System Plan will update and supersede the 2002 Sanitary Sewer Collection System Plan and will be an element of the Comprehensive Plan. Of the approximately 459-mile system that currently serves an estimated 237,000 Arlingtonians, roughly 65 percent of its pipes were constructed before 1950 and are now between 75 and 100 years old. This updated plan sets forth the policy and infrastructure improvements necessary to meet the anticipated growth and development and to otherwise provide adequate sanitary sewer capacity and operations in Arlington County.

Establishing RCV as the election Method for CB 2024 General Election – Item 32
The Board adopted an uncodified ordinance to pilot use of Ranked Choice Voting as the election method for the 2024 County Board general election. Generally speaking, RCV is an election method that allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference. Under Virginia state law, in years where only one seat is open, like the upcoming 2024 County Board general election, a threshold of 50 percent and 1 vote is used to determine a winner.  

Request to Advertise

The Board approved four Requests to Advertise for public hearings, three relating to the Commercial Market Resiliency Initiative and one to a potential county gun buyback program. Requests to advertise are not final votes, and residents will have an opportunity to comment on these items at later dates.

Shared and Offsite Parking Opportunities - Item 24
This item will be heard by the Planning Commission and County Board in April 2024, and would amend or allow shared parking and off-site parking for retail, service commercial, industrial, public, civic and institutional uses in several zoning districts. 

Parking Requirements for Athletic and Health Club Uses - Item 25
This item will be heard by the Planning Commission and County Board in April 2024, and would allow staff to investigate the current minimum required parking ratio for Athletic and health clubs and prohibitions on compact car spaces to see if updates are warranted.  

Outside Visual Entertainment in Large Retail - Item 26
This item will be heard by the Planning Commission no earlier than April 8 and the County Board no earlier than April 20, and would permit outdoor visual entertainment in certain retail developments to facilitate activation in these gathering areas and placemaking activities and will remove and reserve existing large media screen zoning standards. 

County Gun Buyback Program - Item 27
This item will also be heard by the Planning Commission and County Board in 2024 and would authorize a county gun buyback program to provide Arlingtonians with a mechanism to surrender unwanted or unneeded firearms.

Board meeting and agenda information can be accessed on the County Board's webpage.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024 – Recessed County Board Meeting

Amendments to ACZO re Green Building Standards - Item 34
On Tuesday, the Board adopted amendments to the Arlington County Zoning Ordinance to update green building standards for development projects utilizing the Columbia Pike Form-Based Codes, effective May 1, 2024. Since its adoption in 2003, the Columbia Pike Special Revitalization District Form-Based Code (CP-FBC) has encouraged green building standards and has required submission of a rating system scorecard but has not required commitments to certifications or sustainability for redevelopment within the commercial centers of this corridor. Additionally, the Board’s action updates the current Neighborhoods Formed-Based Code (CPN-FBC) green building standards to create a consistent green building design for both Codes.  With the proposed amendments, development projects along Columbia Pike will contribute to meeting the goals of the County’s Community Energy Plan (2019 CEP) and Green Building Incentive Policy (GBIP).

FY2025 Proposed Budget-Requests to Advertise – Item 35
The Board also voted to advertise a real estate tax rate of $1.038 per $100 of assessed value, a 2.5-cent increase from calendar year 2023. 

 "Throughout the pandemic, the County Board held the tax rate flat to minimize impacts on taxpayers,” Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey said. 

Determining that more flexibility is needed to address County and School budget pressures and challenges, the Board advertised an additional 1 cent above the Manager’s 1.5 cent increase recommendation for a total increase of 2.5 cents to the real estate tax from last year’s rate of $1.013 per $100 of assessed value. 

“There’s a lot of uncertainty this year when it comes to budgeting,” said Chair Garvey, “I’m very concerned about our schools and whether the state will do the right thing and provide the level of expected funding—or if the State will leave APS short millions on top of the cuts already made. Hopefully, the state will come through, and this extra penny will not be needed.”

If adopted in April, this advertised tax rate would result in an average real estate tax increase of $472 based on the average home value of $824,700. By law, the Board can adopt a tax rate no higher than the advertised rate, although it may adopt a lower rate. Aside from the real estate tax rate and a number of fee increases, the Board approved advertising all other taxes at their current rates.

The Board will review the Manager's proposed budget through a series of work sessions with the Manager, County departments, and County advisory commissions in the coming weeks.

The Board will hold a public hearing on the budget at 7 p.m. on April 2. You can sign up online to speak at this hearing beginning at 8 a.m., five days in advance. 
 
The Board will hold a public hearing on the proposed tax rate at 7 p.m. on April 4. You can sign up online to speak at this hearing beginning at 8 a.m., five days in advance. 
 
Both hearings will be held in the Board Room and will be live-streamed on the County website. The Board will adopt the FY 2025 Budget at its April Regular Board meeting. The FY 2025 fiscal year begins July 1, 2024. To view the Manager’s complete FY 2025 Budget proposal, visit the County website
 
To submit a comment on the proposed budget, email the Board at countyboard@arlingtonva.us.  

Read the Full Press Release on the Advertised Tax Rate

Board meeting and agenda information can be accessed on the County Board's webpage.

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. Members of the public must then register to speak on pulled agenda items at the upcoming Tuesday Recessed meeting. 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 2024 County Board Meeting and Procedures on the County website to Learn More.

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