Commercial Market Resiliency Initiative

Removing regulatory barriers to achieve market solutions.

The Commercial Market Resiliency Initiative is a strategy to modernize Arlington’s regulations, practices, and processes to ensure a more nimble response to economic shifts. By removing regulatory barriers and constraints, the County seeks to enable market-based solutions to address the commercial building supply, specifically repositioning and converting obsolete inventory.

Since 2022, the County has established new and shifting uses for commercial spaces to increase opportunities for businesses. See the chart below for details.

The second phase of this initiative, known as CMRI 2.0, will focus on five strategic areas: office conversion, repositioning, redevelopment, tenant support, and placemaking. The County has identified specific workstreams for staff, so they can act quickly to address all strategic areas simultaneously. The County will engage with the community as appropriate for each area to solicit input and feedback on how we are approaching this important issue. 

Frequently Asked Questions      CMRI Fact Sheet

CMRI 2.0

Proposed Update to Practice/Policy

Proposed Changes to the ACZO

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Review Status

Shared parking for commercial uses

  • Expand existing shared parking and off-site parking regulations for by-right development.
  • Expanded shared parking regulations can be an effective measure to address on-site parking requirements within Arlington’s neighborhood shopping centers.

Lead Staff: Val Weiner

Submit Comment or Question 

  • County Board Meeting - Request to Advertise Report (2/24/24)
  • ZOCO Meeting – Memo (3/12/24)
  • Planning Commission Meeting (5/6/24)
  • County Board Meeting (5/18/24)

Parking for athletic/health clubs and compact space flexibility

  • Updates to Sections §14.3.7.A, specifically pertaining to the minimum required
  • parking ratio for the Athletic and health club use, and § 14.3.3.F, pertaining to prohibitions on compact car spaces.

Lead Staff: Val Weiner

Submit Comment or Question

  • County Board Meeting - Request to Advertise Report (2/24/24)
  • ZOCO Meeting – Memo (3/12/24)
  • Planning Commission Meeting (4/8/24)
  • County Board Meeting (4/20/24)

Outdoor visual entertainment

  • Regulations for outdoor visual entertainment in the form of building-mounted, digital
  • screens as a permitted amenity in large retail developments. Use
  • standards would minimize brightness and clarify hours of operation for the use of outdoor visual entertainment.

Lead Staff:Nick Rogers and Jill Hunger

Submit Comment or Question

  • County Board Meeting - Request to Advertise Report (Item 26) (2/24/2024)
  • ZOCO Meeting (4/16/24)
  • Planning Commission Meeting (5/6/24)
  • County Board Meeting (5/18/24)

Adaptive reuse

  • Create a more efficient process in which adaptive reuse of existing office buildings can be realized.

Lead Staff: Marc McCauley

Submit Comment or Question

  • County Board Meeting – Request to Advertise (4/20/24)

Sign flexibility

  • Provide greater flexibility when considering signs above 40’ including, but not limited to, placement and height due to architectural elements or site elevation (topography), the size of signs and the number of total signs; and an updated definition of monument signs.

Lead Staff: Marc McCauley

Submit Comment or Question

  • County Board Meeting – Request to Advertise (4/20/24)

 

CMRI 1.0

In 2022, an interdepartmental Rapid Response Team was established to work on several Zoning Ordinance amendments to accommodate new, emerging or expanded uses within Arlington’s commercial and mixed-use districts. More information about the new uses and Board actions is below. A more in-depth overview of the first phase can be found in Commercial Market Resiliency Initiative – Planning & Zoning Strategies for New Land Uses(PDF, 248KB).

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.

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.

Animal Boarding

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

Artisan Beverage Facilities* (Breweries & Distilleries)

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

Artisan Workshop Facilities* (Maker Spaces)

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

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

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

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.

Audio-visual production studio, broadcasting facilities

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

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.

Food Delivery Services

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

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 asby-right.Read the memo(PDF, 374KB) (March 2023)


Submit a Comment or Question