Common Constituent Questions

Overview

The Constituent Services Team helps ensure Arlington’s government works for all those living, working, conducting business or visiting the County. Over time, we have seen some concerns and questions be asked time and time again. Questions involve such topics as tree conservation; private construction projects; neighborhood nuisance and dispute; working with contractors; and reporting various concerns to County agencies. While we always try to offer accurate and thoughtful responses, the information is sometimes hard to find or hasn’t already been provided on our public website. In addition, the volume and frequency of these questions have increased and we no longer have the availability to quickly provide personalized responses to each inquiry.

Now, by offering a list of Common Constituent Questions, we can more efficiently and consistently provide information to individuals who contact us. If you still have questions; can’t find the information you are looking for; or have suggestions on what questions or topics should be added to our material, contact Arlington County Constituent Services.

Development Services and Construction Management

How can I learn more about a project in my neighborhood?

  • The County Projects Map provides locations and information on active construction throughout the County.
  • Large commercial construction “Site Plan” developments are subject to public engagement and require approvals by the County Board. Visit our website for more information about these projects.
  • Smaller projects, like demolition, construction of, and additions to single-family homes, are considered “by-right” and are not subject to any public engagement or public approval process. These projects are permitted administratively in accordance with applicable local codes and ordinances. Projects must receive approval through permitting and inspection agencies. 
  • While we respect concerns and requests to examine or question decisions by staff on permit applications, there are certain land rights, codes and ordinances which guide what can and cannot be built. Staff review is an objective process based on the submitted application materials to ensure compliance with codes and ordinances. Staff does not dictate means and methods for achieving compliance. Citizen comment can also create bias in the review and affect the integrity of the process.
  • For these reasons, the County can answer general questions but does not engage in dialogue on active permit reviews or justify interpretations of specific codes and regulations. However, the permit record is available for review. The Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) offers a fair and consistent method for anyone to request documented records on permitting activities.
  • County projects, like replacement of infrastructure, road paving, or work on County parks and other facilities, can typically be found on the Projects Map. Each larger project has a designated website, with project management contacts. If you can’t find a project on the map, use one of the following contacts:
    1. For water, sewer, or streets infrastructure projects, contact the Department of Environmental Services: descontactcenter@arlingtonva.us or 703-228-5000
    2. For County parks facilities projects, contact the Department of Parks and Recreation.

I received a Notice of Violation or Order of Correction by Code Enforcement – why, and what do I do?

  • Visit our website for an overview of the County’s Inspection Services Division – Code Enforcement Section. Information about violations can be found here.
  • Our goal is compliance. However, failure to comply could result in a court hearing. Neither the County Manager nor County Board can intervene in these cases. You may wish to seek private legal counsel should you wish to contest your case in the General District Court.

A neighbor’s property is abandoned or neglected with overgrown grass, trash, and broken windows. What can I do?

  • If the dwelling is occupied, our first concern is the safety of the residents. Neighborhood groups and other organizations may already be assisting and have knowledge of the living situations. You may consider talking to other neighbors before seeking enforcement or filing a complaint with the County. However, if things have degraded or there is a threat to an adult in the home, call 703-228-1700 from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. if you suspect neglect, self-neglect, abuse or exploitation. Reach the state hotline after hours at 1-888-832-3858. See DHS-Aging and Disability Services for more information.
  • If you feel that a child is in danger, call Child Protective Services (CPS) at 703-228-1500 or 911 immediately. More information on CPS can be found on the CPS website.
  • Visit the Code Enforcement website for an overview of the County’s Inspection Services Division – Code Enforcement Section if you have questions about the process and/or would like to report a suspected violation of minimum standards. Typical Code Enforcement violations can be found here.
  • Code Enforcement cases are criminal investigations. All County residents are entitled to due process and staff cannot share details of an active Code Enforcement case that could potentially be heard in court. Staff can confirm if a case is active and/or closed. You may call the main Code Enforcement number at 703-228-3232 if you have questions about the status of a case.
  • Beyond our enforcement role, the County cannot compel a property sale based solely on vacancy. A property owner who doesn’t mind paying real estate taxes on an abandoned home could potentially keep it vacant indefinitely. You can search the property record for real estate taxes here: https://propertysearch.arlingtonva.us/

Where can I report a construction site which is not adhering to building code or zoning standards?

How are trees protected during construction in Arlington?

  • Our Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) Urban Forestry staff review plans prior to construction in accordance with all applicable codes and ordinances. More information about trees in Arlington can be found in our FAQ’s.
  • Urban Foresters can also inspect construction activities called into question by residents. Due to the high volume of requests for compliance/violation checks, we ask residents use our online form to request service by the Urban Forestry team.
  • While we are limited by our authorities with respect to how many trees must be preserved, our Urban Foresters work with developers to try to conserve as many trees as possible within the limits of construction needed for the development.
  • Many developers are as interested in keeping trees as we are. We review project options and work within our jurisdiction to provide the best practicable solutions.

A neighbor’s property is draining water and causing flooding on my property; what can I do?

  • Generally, drainage disputes between private property owners are private matters that should be handled directly between the affected property owners. Arlington County may have no authority to direct corrective measures or resolve the issues.
  • If you have questions about projects under construction or recently completed projects, or to learn more about what options may be available to assist, contact: Stormwatermanagement@arlingtonva.us
  •  See more on our website about Property Drainage.

How do I report a construction site that is blocking traffic, driveways, and parking?

 

 

 

Human Services, Safety Net & Affordable Housing

 

What affordable housing options are available in Arlington County?

  • Arlington County offers a variety of programs and services to assist those seeking housing in the County. Visit our Housing webpage for more information. 

How can I get health or financial assistance for someone in need?

  • Arlington County offers a variety of programs and services to assist those in need. Visit the Department of Human Services (DHS) website for more information. There are crisis hotline numbers available for immediate assistance.

What should I do if I see a homeless person or panhandler?

  • Outreach to these individuals is coordinated through the Department of Human Services Community Assistance Bureau (CAB), who provide  mental health and substance abuse assessment, treatment and case management services to the homeless population. The goal is to link persons who are homeless to mental health, substance abuse and employment services and help them achieve self-sufficiency.
  • Outreach to homeless persons is challenging and Arlington County takes care to not criminalize homelessness. The community resource guide is available online to explain our services and approach. Receiving homeless services is voluntary and many individuals experiencing homelessness refuse help, despite good faith efforts to engage them. Arlington provides an extensive continuum of homeless services.
  • It is not illegal to be homeless and asking for money is a Constitutionally protected act. Asking for money in a public area is not a violation of law. In general, our homeless population is not dangerous nor is there any malicious intent toward passersby.
  • Police will intervene in cases of aggressive panhandling or criminal activity. Police officers refer homeless persons they meet to the Department of Human Services but cannot force them to receive services. If you witness criminal activity, contact police. The emergency number is 911 and the non-emergency number is 703-558-2222. Arlington County Police are very responsive and will take immediate action if a crime is being committed. Proactive citizen assistance with reducing criminal activity is invaluable.

 

Private Utilities – Gas, Electric, & Other Communications

How do I report issues or customer service complaints toward Washington Gas or Dominion Energy?

  • If you are having difficulties with one of the private utilities, we encourage residents to first contact the companies directly to resolve the issues. If the company is non-responsive, the County may be able to facilitate. Contact the County Manager’s Office Constituent Services Team at countymanager@arlingtonva.us and let us know about the problem, who you have contacted, and what the current status is. We will work with our liaison contacts within the utility companies and try to find a resolution. However, we cannot promise a satisfactory outcome in every case.
  • Arlington County has limited authorities in regulating private utilities. In Virginia, service levels and consumer affairs with respect to both Gas and Electric distribution are overseen by the State Corporation Commission (SCC) rather than the locality.
  • More information and forms to file complaints may be found on the SCC Website.

How do I report issues or customer service complaints toward cable / internet / phone providers?

  • Information on the County’s role in cable administration is found on the Cable Administration website.
  • Arlington County has limited authorities in regulating private utilities. In Virginia, service levels and consumer affairs with respect to communications providers are generally overseen by the State Corporation Commission (SCC) rather than the locality.
  • More information and forms to file complaints may be found on the SCC Website.

Why don't we have better options for cable television in my condo/apartment building?

  • Arlington can’t force private apartments to contract with multiple vendors for their services. Information on the County’s role in cable administration is found on the Cable Administration website. While we encourage competition, the regulation of cable companies is done at the federal level, notably through FCC guidelines. These guidelines give Arlington County the authority to regulate the rate for “Basic service,” the lowest available level of service, when there is no competition.
  • Currently the rates for cable service are not regulated, as the FCC has determined that the two companies of Verizon and Comcast provide a competitive environment.  For this reason, the cable companies may charge what they feel the cable-buying market will pay. The FCC Cable TV Fact Sheet has additional information regarding the role of local government in the regulation of cable rates.
  • We  encourage you to organize through a formal residents’ group (if one exists for your building) and bring your concerns to building management and/or your Owner’s Association. Management companies have been known to adjust policies and contracts with vendors, and perhaps there is some way to negotiate a second provider as part of the services offered.

Why are 5G and "Small Wireless Facility (SWF)" being located in my neighborhood?

  • Information about these facilities can be found on the website here.
  • State law and guidance from the Federal Communications Commission have limited the County’s ability to prevent and regulate telecommunication providers from accessing the public-rights-of-way for certain purposes.
  • In order to provide telecommunications providers with reasonable, nondiscriminatory access in a manner consistent with FCC regulations and state law, the County approved a Master License Agreement (MLA) and program whereby telecommunication providers can access County streetlight poles subject to certain conditions.
  • This MLA agreement and program was approved by the County Board on July 16, 2019.
  • While the County is limited in its authority to regulate the installation of small wireless facilities, we made efforts to educate and inform the general public prior to the County Board approval of the MLA in June 2019.
  • County staff provided presentations to the Chamber of Commerce, Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and held an online webinar with the general public about the arrival of 5G. There was also a demonstration project at the corner of 14th Street North and North Courthouse Road in July 2020 where residents could take a look at the prototype, learn more and provide feedback.
  • As of July 1, 2021, we instituted a requirement for all small cell wireless facility vendors to provide notice via door-hangers to neighboring properties prior to any installations in the public right of way.
  • We will continue to evaluate the small wireless facility implementation process in the County and are open to improvements that would minimize impacts to our constituents and infrastructure, while balancing the need to roll out this important technology enhancement in the County.

 

Business Support & Starting a Business

What support does Arlington County offer businesses?

How do I start a small business?

  • If you have never started a business, we strongly encourage you to contact our Small Business Assistance service, BizLaunch, which helps entrepreneurs like yourself learn how to start a business and ways you can begin here in Arlington. Assistance is free of charge and available to anyone. Contact 703-228-0808 or use the contact form for an appointment.
  • To learn more about rights and responsibilities as an Arlington business owner, email a Business Tax Specialist or call 703-228-3060. In addition, review the small business checklist for what steps are necessary to begin your new venture.

What should I know about moving my small business to Arlington?

  • Information on Business Licensure is on the Commissioner of Revenue’s website. To learn more about rights and responsibilities as an Arlington business owner, email a Business Tax Specialist or call 703-228-3060. More information on steps to take when starting a business can be found through our Small Business Checklist.
  • Before you choose a location, ensure the location meets compliance with applicable Zoning Ordinance regulations. If you are selecting a property and are seeking a Zoning Determination on if a particular use-case would be allowed, you must file for an official determination by the Zoning Administrator – with on the website information here.  Note that only the authorized owner or agent may request a Zoning Determination.
  • Other permits would be required for compliance with the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code. If you or your contractor are unfamiliar with construction codes in Arlington, consider a Code Consultation – with information here.

How do I become a landlord?

  • No specific zoning or building permits are required for becoming a landlord. However, if you are planning to make physical changes to the property – permitting would be required. This requires meeting compliance with applicable Zoning Ordinance rules for things like dwelling units, setbacks and any applicable parking regulations. If you are considering accessory homestay and short-term rentals (e.g. AirBNB; VRBO; etc.) visit our website to learn about where to begin. If you are selecting a property and are seeking a Zoning Determination on if a particular use-case would be allowed, you must file for an official determination by the Zoning Administrator – with information on the website here. Note that only the authorized owner or agent may request a Zoning Determination.
  • Other permits would be required for compliance with the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code. If you or your contractor are unfamiliar with construction codes in Arlington, consider a Code Consultation – with information here.
  • If no plans are made to modify the existing habitable dwelling, then you would be advised to simply follow steps to getting a business license. Information on Business Licensure is on the Commissioner of Revenue’s website.
  • To learn more about rights and responsibilities as an Arlington business owner, email a Business Tax Specialist or call 703-228-3060. More information on steps to take when starting a business can be found through our Small Business Checklist.
  • Finally, we ask that all landlords or potential landlords (and renters) become familiar with Tenant-Landlord Rights and Responsibilities.

 

Dispute Resolution, Nuisance and Discrimination Complaints

What can I do if I’ve been the subject of discrimination?

  • Allegations of discrimination are handled by the Office of Human Rights (OHR).
  • Discrimination complaint questionnaires may be submitted to OHR through the online questionnaire.
  • Alternatively, you may contact the Office of Human Rights at 703-228-3229. 

How do I know if my rent increase was legal?

Can my landlord evict me?

Will the County ban gas-powered lawn equipment? When can landscaping companies begin work in Arlington?

  • The County does not have the authority under current law to ban the sale or use of gas powered lawn care equipment (e.g. leaf blowers and lawn mowers).
  • Legislation to enable such authority would be required from the Virginia General Assembly.
  • Our authority in regulating these types of equipment would be related to the noise and not the emissions, and we are not considering modifications to the County’s Noise Ordinance to address this concern.
  • Enforcement of noise from lawn care equipment is challenging, and the issue is more noticeable because more residents are teleworking.
  • Construction activities, including use of power equipment, may exceed the normal noise decibel level from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday to Friday, and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends and legal holidays.
  • County crews use both gas and electric equipment depending on the needs. Department of Parks and Recreation plans to incrementally replace its gas powered blowers and other gas powered landscaping equipment as the technology improves, but there is no target deadline for the complete conversion to occur.
  • Lawn care equipment is considered the same as any other powered equipment (e.g. chain saws, power saws, drills, pneumatic equipment, pressure washers, or anything powered by small engines).
  • In assessing the complaints, we must recognize that property owners are the ones who are choosing landscapers to conduct this work and should be responsible for managing those contracts – both according to our codes and ordinance, but also with respect to the civility of the neighborhood.
  • Noise from lawn equipment is a frequent complaint in urban areas, and are generally not a priority for enforcement agencies. We encourage residents to consider alternative options to resolving disputes before calling the Police or seeking other forms of enforcement. We realize annoyances caused from nearby properties can be frustrating and intimidating.
  • These problems are the source of common complaints and requests for County action, including enforcement by Police and other agencies. As the County tries to efficiently and equitably use our limited public resources, we must be thoughtful in how we’re handling requests for service.
  • A place to start is by simply speaking with your neighbor. Coming to the table is important in sharing your concerns and offering differing perspectives on what resolution may be possible.
  • If the complaint is specific to a commercial or multi-family residential property, you also may be able to work through your building management to facilitate and offer corrective actions if behavior constitutes a violation under the lease or other building bylaws/policies/etc. Depending on the situation, it may not be wise to engage directly during the time that the issues are ongoing. However, reaching out later is still an option and cooler heads may prevail in a calmer environment.
  • As you consider how to respond to problems you face in your neighborhood – whether you live in a single-family home or in a multi-unit apartment or condo building– be prudent and conscious of who may be benefited or burdened by a County response.
  • Many neighbor-to-neighbor issues can be respectfully resolved through mediation or other conflict-resolution methods, as opposed to enforcement. While the County does not endorse a specific mediator or organization, you can use publicly accessible searches such as mediate.com to find a mediator. Northern Virginia Mediation Services (NVMS) provides mediation for General District Court in Arlington.

My neighbor parties all night, is loud, and there’s weird smells coming from their unit or property– what can I do?

  • If you believe the activities are an immediate threat to public safety – such as a domestic dispute, violence, or threats of self-harm or harm to others – contact the Arlington County Police immediately at 911.
  • Other less serious nuisance common in urban areas, such as noise or marijuana odors, may not be priority service calls for our County Police. We encourage residents to consider alternative options to resolving disputes before calling the Police or seeking other forms of enforcement. We realize annoyances caused from nearby properties can be frustrating and intimidating.
  • These problems are the source of common complaints and requests for County action, including enforcement by Police and other agencies. As the County tries to efficiently and equitably use our limited public resources, we must be thoughtful in how we’re handling requests for service.
  • A place to start is by simply speaking with your neighbor. Coming to the table is important in sharing your concerns and offering differing perspectives on what resolution may be possible. You also may be able to work through your building management to facilitate and offer corrective actions if behavior constitutes a violation under the lease or other building bylaws/policies/etc. Depending on the situation, it may not be wise to engage directly during the time that the issues are ongoing. However, reaching out later is still an option and cooler heads may prevail in a calmer environment.
  • As you consider how to respond to problems you face in your neighborhood – whether you live in a single-family home or in a multi-unit apartment or condo building– be prudent and conscious of who may be benefited or burdened by a County response.
  • Many neighbor-to-neighbor issues can be respectfully resolved through mediation or other conflict-resolution methods, as opposed to enforcement. While the County does not endorse a specific mediator or organization, you can use publicly accessible searches such as mediate.com to find a mediator. Northern Virginia Mediation Services (NVMS) provides mediation for General District Court in Arlington.

What are the new rules (July 1, 2021) regarding marijuana?

  • More information will be forthcoming for residents to understand the new law passed by the General Assembly (PDF) in February 2021. Be aware of three specific provisions:
  • 1-1100- A- C (Legalization Perimeters) (pg. 155)
  • 1-1101- Home Cultivation (pg. 156)
  • 1-1108- Consumption in Public (pg. 159)
  • Arlington County Police and other agencies will work collaboratively to both inform the public and conduct appropriate enforcement of these news laws. Like with other activities common in dense, active environments like Arlington, marijuana use has the potential to create conflict in neighborhoods. We encourage the community to exercise judgement in how to approach matters and resolve disputes caused by behavior of others.
  • As you consider how to respond to problems you face in your neighborhood – whether you live in a single-family home or in a multi-unit apartment or condo building– be prudent and conscious of who may be benefited or burdened by a County response.
  • Many neighbor-to-neighbor issues can be respectfully resolved through mediation or other conflict-resolution methods, as opposed to enforcement. While the County does not endorse a specific mediator or organization, you can use publicly accessible searches such as mediate.com to find a mediator. Northern Virginia Mediation Services (NVMS) provides mediation for General District Court in Arlington.
  • The Commonwealth of Virginia has created a website with comprehensive information about legalizing adult-use marijuana, including information about medical cannabis, home cultivation and commercial sales. Learn more at cannabis.virginia.gov.

 

What is Arlington doing about the increase in loud vehicles/exhaust systems?

  • The County has heard concerns from members of the community regarding loud vehicle exhaust systems.
  • The Virginia Legislature made changes to limit pretextual traffic stops which took effect in March 2020, under Virginia House Bill 5058 and Senate Bill 5029. As such, law enforcement officers cannot initiate traffic stops for a variety of offenses, including vehicles with altered exhaust systems.
  • Given functional challenges, it is not possible to pursue enforcement of vehicle noise levels through the Arlington Noise Ordinance.
  • Until or if Legislative changes are offered, Arlington is not responding to reports of loud vehicle exhausts as a primary offense.
  • Arlington County has been having conversations with state elected officials regarding the impact of the legislative changes to our community.
  • Transportation safety is a key initiative of the Arlington County Police Department and officers are committed to ensuring the safety of all travelers on our roadways.
  • Arlington County Police Department uses a two-pronged approach to improving transportation safety; education and enforcement.
  • During the course of their duties, officers continue to address observed traffic safety violations.

 

Public Safety

I’ve heard about thefts and break-ins in the County, what are you doing about it?

  • While Arlington County Police Department (ACPD) will continue to work cases and may increase enforcement as resources permit, part of the problem can be traced to community behavior. We refer to many property crimes and vehicle theft as “opportunistic” crimes.
  • We have standard tips and we routinely communicate to the community on what steps should be taken to secure vehicles and prevent thefts. These tips are presented on the Police website.
  • Because Arlington is a safe place, Arlingtonians feel safe – sometimes to our detriment. Leaving cars unlocked or windows down signals to criminals that these are easy targets. Criminals return to these areas until behavior individual/community behaviors change or until large-scale enforcement efforts are made. The former option, of individual and community responsibility, is more effective and efficient.
  •  You can help reduce the opportunity for crime by participating in the 9 P.M. Routine.
  • If your neighborhood association, building management, or organization wants to engage directly with ACPD to learn more, visit the website for information on how to get in touch with the Community Outreach team.

What is being done about carjackings?

  • As violent offenses, carjackings are an area of concern and focus for Police.
  • While there may be some behavior drivers can make to help deter them, there are other factors beyond opportunity that cause these crimes to occur with frequency.
  • ACPD covers some ways to deter carjackings on our website.

How do I get in contact with Arlington Police?

How do I submit a complaint or commendation regarding actions of an Arlington County Police Officer?

 

Transportation

How can I report a dangerous traffic situation or request traffic calming?

  • If there is a concern that needs immediate attention or is an emergency, report to Arlington County Police Department Emergency (911) or Non-Emergency (703-558-2222).
    Concerns over traffic safety in neighborhoods is one of the top areas that we face questions on. The County Board committed the County to this issue through adoption of a “Vision Zero” policy and approval of an action plan toward eliminating death and serious injury from traffic collisions. We encourage advocates for safe transportation options to learn more about the County’s Vision Zero Planning effort.
  • Transportation Engineering and Operations (TE&O) staff conduct investigations to inform decisions on how to address safety, traffic control, and right-of-way management using practices standardized in the Federal Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).
  • Review the extensive FAQ on what TE&O does. You can make a request by using the traffic investigation request form online.
  • You may also place an online request to our Police Special Operations and Traffic Enforcement Section who conduct routine enforcement details in areas identified by complaints or through other Police-generated action.
  • Note that TE&O not address requests for traffic calming on neighborhood streets. The Bureau evaluates issues using standard practices to determine if the operations of the roadway meet our specifications. Safety concerns may exist even when specifications are met. Designing a roadway to meet the goals of traffic calming, and not just traffic control, typically require a funded project. Individuals can work through their Civic Associations to advance Neighborhood Conservation Capital Projects, which helps fund sidewalks and other functional improvements, or the Neighborhood Complete Streets program which is targeted to improve transportation safety.
  • Traffic infrastructure changes involve data collection and the application of evidence-based engineering.
  • Public safety is a top priority and staff analyze all concerns presented. Resources are prioritized where they are needed most.
  • While we understand that each issue is important, the County remains focused on long-term strategic efforts, such as those guided by our Master Transportation Plan. Improvements will be both incremental and broad – across our hundreds of roadway miles and intersections within the 26 square miles of Arlington.
  • Learn more about transportation projects here.
  • For more opportunities to engage in the topic of transportation safety, consider attending or becoming involved with one of our many Boards and Commissions which oversee work pertaining to these efforts.

Where can I direct illegal parking or loading/unloading concerns?

  • Parking enforcement falls under the purview of the Arlington County Police Special Operations Section.
  •  While our Police will make a best effort to enforce parking restrictions, it is very difficult for our Public Service Aides (PSA) to address every “in progress” parking issue as it occurs. The department has a finite number of PSA’s and staff schedules are limited. Therefore, we often rely on observant citizens such as yourself to call the non-emergency number at 703-558-2222 and provide the location and description of the potential violations.
  • If the issue is pertaining to routine and ongoing deliveries/loading/unloading occurring at a commercial property, this may be regulated by Site Plan Conditions and you can refer the complaint to our Zoning Enforcement staff.

 

 

Risk Management

I believe the County damaged my property and I want to file a claim.

  • The County has limited liability under Virginia law. For this reason, the Office of Risk Management is delegated final authority to administer claims in accordance with these requirements.
  • Direct your inquiry to that office at 703-228-4444 or by using the claim form online.

I received notice that a Risk Management claim was denied. How do I appeal this decision?

  • Once a claims determination has been made, it is not an administrative issue under purview of the County Manager. The analysis of claims is performed by risk managers trained in applicable principles in consultation with the County Attorney’s Office. Decisions about claims typically rely upon analysis of the applicability of sovereign immunity. Sovereign immunity absolutely immunizes the County from all liability and applies generally to County employees performing their duties.
  • If sovereign immunity is found to be applicable, the County has no legal authority to pay the claim and doing so would constitute an illegal gift. Simply put, neither the County Board nor County Manager have the authority to pay a claim where there is no legal basis for doing so.
  • You may still be able to seek mitigation through your private insurance.
  • We regret to hear about these situations and understand the obvious frustration damages may have caused. However, the process for administering claims against the County is standard procedure and creating special dispensation in any case sets an unfair precedent moving forward. We treat each in the same way, by providing Risk Management the authority to administer the claims process which determines the extent to which the County is liable.
  • Determinations made by Risk Management are final and not subject to any further internal County appeals process.
  

Consumer Affairs

How can I report bad business practices or poor customer experience at an establishment in Arlington?

What do I do if I have concerns about pesticides?

  • We encourage you to visit the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) website, https://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/pesticides.shtml
  • The Virginia Office of Pesticide Services certifies applicators, registers pesticide products and licenses pesticide businesses. These activities provide for the safe and effective control of pests that attack our crops, structures and health. 
  • Issues regarding pesticide drift or concerns over neighboring application of pesticides, should be referred to VDACS. 
  • Questions about pesticide, herbicide, fungicide, or other landscape treatment applications on County property should be referred to the Department of Parks and Recreation. 

 

 

Reporting Problems and Making Inquiries to Departments

How can I report an issue with a park facility or get information about parks programs or other activities?

How can I report issues I see on other County properties, facilities, signage and other infrastructure like sewers, roads and sidewalks?

  • Issues regarding nearly any routine maintenance in the County’s Right-of-Way can be requested by using the County’s Make a Service Request or Report a Problem tool. You can also make service requests on the mobile MyArlington app, available at App Store or Google Play.
  • Other non-routine items or questions regarding services performed by the Department of Environmental Services (DES) should be directed via email to DES@arlingtonva.us.

What constitutes a noise violation and how can I report it?

  • Arlington sets limits on permitted noise levels in the Noise Control Ordinance. Construction and other work including landscaping with power-equipment is permitted (with some exceptions) to occur between 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. during the week, and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends and holidays. See the Noise Control Ordinance for more details and info on how to pursue a complaint.
  • Noise is a common and often unavoidable nuisance in urban areas and residents can anticipate some degree of environmental noise throughout the County. Further, noise complaints may not constitute priority service calls for our County Police and Code Enforcement. We encourage residents to consider alternative options to resolving disputes before calling the Police or seeking other forms of enforcement. We realize annoyances caused from nearby properties can be frustrating and intimidating. These problems are the subjects of common complaints and requests for County action, including enforcement by Police and other agencies. As the County tries to efficiently and equitably use our limited public resources, we must be thoughtful in how we’re handling requests for service.
  • Enforcement of the Noise Ordinance is focused on easily identified sources of noise such as nightlife establishments, construction, and residential nuisance (e.g. loud parties, incessant dog barking, etc.). Randomly generated, intermittent, or mobile noise – such as loud vehicles – are very difficult to enforce.
  • A place to start is by simply speaking with your neighbor. Coming to the table is important in sharing your concerns and offering differing perspectives on what resolution may be possible. You also may be able to work through your building management to facilitate and offer corrective actions if behavior constitutes a violation under the lease or other building bylaws/policies/etc. Depending on the situation, it may not be wise to engage directly during the time that the issues are ongoing. However, reaching out later is still an option and cooler heads may prevail in a calmer environment.
  • As you consider how to respond to problems you face in your neighborhood – whether you live in a single-family home or in a multi-unit apartment or condo building– be prudent and conscious of who may be benefited or burdened by a County response. Many neighbor-to-neighbor issues can be respectfully resolved through mediation or other conflict-resolution methods, as opposed to enforcement. While the County does not endorse a specific mediator or organization, you can use publicly accessible searches such as mediate.com to find a mediator. Northern Virginia Mediation Services (NVMS) provides mediation for General District Court in Arlington.

How do I report damaged utilities or downed or low-hanging utility wires?