Commercial Market Resiliency Initiative

A strategy to modernize Arlington’s regulations, practices, and processes to ensure a more nimble response to economic shifts.

What is Commercial Market Resiliency?

The ability to establish targeted efforts to support:

  • A Robust Commercial Real Estate Market
  • Arlington’s Fiscal Balance
  • Private Sector Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Consumer Choice and a Dynamic Housing Market
  • Arlington’s Standing as a Great, Sustainable Places
 
Why start an initiative now?

Many areas, including Arlington, are experiencing rapid shifts in:

  • The economic model that impacts land use decisions
  • Where and how we work
  • Consumer behavior and expectations
  • Business practice innovations
  • The definition of what once were well-defined land uses
 
How will it be achieved?

To modernize Arlington’s regulations, practices, and processes to ensure resiliency, there are four overlapping components.

Understanding New or Shifting Uses

  • Should such uses be located on the ground floor and/or the upper stories of commercial building?
  • What are the new, emerging uses?
  • How can we allow existing, permitted uses in all commercial buildings?

 

Processes to Consider Such Uses

  • What are the current Arlington County Zoning Ordinance (ACZO) use categories? Do these new and emerging uses fit in?
  • How can we better coordinate our internal and external processes to be more streamlined?
  • Do we accommodate these new and emerging uses by-right? With specific use standards? 

 

Entitlements for Such Uses

  • Do we accommodate these new and emerging uses by-right? With specific use standards? Through special exception use permits or site plan amendments? 

 

Other Process Changes

  • In addition to accommodating the new and emerging uses, other processes could be modified to enhance the flexibility of Arlington’s commercial market. This may be done through:
    • Omnibus site plan amendments (SPAs) to address outdated conditions within legacy site plans.
    • Update standard conditions on a regular basis to stay current with development, construction and tenanting needs and trends.
    • Review how the County defines administrative changes, and major and minor site plan amendments.

 

A more in-depth overview of the first three components may be found in Commercial Market Resiliency Initiative – Planning & Zoning Strategies for New Land Uses(PDF, 248KB) .

When will it happen?

Work is already underway.  An interdepartmental Rapid Response Team was established, and they are working on several Zoning Ordinance amendments to accommodate new, emerging or expanded uses within Arlington’s commercial and mixed-use districts.

New or Expanded Use

Proposed Changes to ACZO

 

Micro-fulfillment Centers

Permit micro-fulfillment centers within commercial and mixed-use districts as by-right with use standards.

Submit a Comment or Question

Universities/colleges in commercial and mixed-use buildings

Place universities/colleges within the Retail, Service and Commercial Use category (as office) so as to be considered by-right without a use permit or site plan amendment.

Submit a Comment or Question

Animal Boarding

Permit animal boarding within commercial and mixed-use districts as by-right with use standards.

Submit a Comment or Question

Artisan Beverage Facilities* (Breweries & Distilleries)

Permit artisan beverage facilities within commercial and mixed-use districts as by-right with use standards.

Submit a Comment or Question

Artisan Workshop Facilities* (Maker Spaces)

Permit artisan workshop facilities within commercial and mixed-use districts as by-right with use standards.

Submit a Comment or Question

Hydroponics, horticulture, floriculture, and/or aquaculture* (Urban Agriculture)

Permit “urban agriculture” within commercial and mixed-use districts as by-right with use standards.

Submit a Comment or Question
Entertainment, arcades, all other indoor recreation uses, recreation, indoor

Permit evolving restaurant concepts that blend food and beverage with indoor recreation, as well as retail and service concepts such as gaming centers within commercial and mixed-use districts.

 Submit a Comment or Question
 Food Delivery Services

Change food delivery services as an accessory to restaurants and other establishments from a use permit to by-right.

 Submit a Comment or Question
Audio-visual production studio, broadcasting facilities

Permit audio-visual production studio and broadcasting facilities within commercial and mixed-use districts as by-right.

 Submit a Comment or Question

Food Establishments, such as but not limited to Shared Commercial Kitchens, Catering Establishments, Ghost Kitchens

Permit alternative food establishments, such as shared commercial kitchens and ghost kitchens, within commercial and mixed-use districts as by-right.

Submit a Comment or Question

Flex/R&D Spaces, including Light Industrial Service/Medical/Dental Laboratories

Define use, develop use standards, if appropriate, and permit within certain commercial and mixed-use districts as a by-right use.

 Submit a Comment or Question

 

Submit a Comment or Question