How to Propose a Temporary Park Amenity

The Arlington County Public Spaces Master Plan (PSMP) encourages the activation of public spaces through temporary uses and amenities. If you and surrounding neighbors have an idea for a temporary use on County-owned parkland, check out the process below to help bring your idea to life.

What sort of amenity can be developed?

Dog runs or dog parks, gardens or recreation structures that are available for public use are three examples of a temporary amenity that could be developed. Other park uses or amenities may be proposed that will enhance the County’s park system and benefit the public.

What does temporary mean?

The temporary use would have an end date where at a given time, the parkland will be used for another purpose (based on the PSMP or Park Master Plan). Temporary uses also provide an opportunity for the County to evaluate how a park use functions and serves the community’s needs and are constructed using cost effective movable and/or repurposed materials. Temporary uses would be maintained like other park amenities and monitored annually for possible removal if the amenity has reached the end of its life cycle, there are safety concerns, the level of maintenance is beyond DPR’s capacity or what was expected when initially approved, and to ensure the facility is serving its intended purpose and is meeting a community need.

Why does the amenity need to be temporary?

Arlington County develops its public spaces based on the Public Spaces Master Plan (PSMP) and Park Master Plans and other applicable policies. Funding to construct new parks and park improvements comes from the General FundCapital Improvement Plan (CIP), and Neighborhood Conservation Program. Park proposals submitted outside of these processes are not planned for nor funded in the Department’s CIP or Operating Budget, and therefore, are temporary.

Who pays for the temporary amenity?

Demand for parks and recreation facilities continues to outpace County revenues. Temporary amenities proposed outside the typical planning processes are not funded through the County’s CIP or Operating Budget, therefore, these amenities are privately funded from donations or a grant coordinated by a community sponsor group. The County will provide assistance with the repurposed site furnishings and maintenance.

What is the process to propose a temporary amenity?

Process Step Coordinated by County Staff Coordinated by Community Sponsor Group
Submit Request: This must come w/ demonstrated community support using the Temporary Amenity Request Feedback Questions. X
Review Proposal: Staff will review and coordinate with the applicant on any questions or items needing clarification. X
Evaluate the Site: Staff will assess the existing site conditions and future land-use plans, if any; evaluate impact to the current programming and operations; consult the PSMP, Zoning Ordinance, and other County codes for compliance to determine the feasibility of the request. X
Identify Funding: The applicant will provide evidence that funding is available. X
Develop Draft Design: Staff will develop and share with the applicant a draft design that is Americans with Disability Act (ADA) accessible, aligns with the County Zoning Ordinance, stormwater, and other County codes. X
Develop Cost Estimate: Staff will develop and share with the applicant an estimated cost to construct the proposed temporary amenity. X
Conduct Community Engagement Process: This will include at least one public meeting and/or online engagement. If requested or appropriate, there may be at least one presentation to each relevant County Advisory Commission/ Committee. The applicant will participate in the community engagement feedback. X
Develop Final Design: Staff will coordinate with the applicant to develop a final design and estimated cost to construct based on the community feedback. X
Request Final Approval-Staff will present the final design, estimated cost, and community feedback to the DPR Director and/or County Board for final approval. X
Submit Adopt-A-Dog Park Sponsor Group Application: The requester will submit this application to assume the role as the Dog Park Sponsor Group(For dog facility requests only) X
Submit Collaboration Agreement: If the project is approved, then the applicant will fill out and submit the Collaboration Application. X
Approve Collaboration Agreement: Staff will develop and gain approval for the Donation & Collaboration Policy agreement. X
Begin Construction: DPR will get the appropriate permits and begin constructing the approved design. X


Details of this process may vary depending on the project. Submission of a request will be followed by a correspondence from the DPR Park Development Division with further details.

The application review process typically takes approximately 30 working days. If the preliminary site review and site evaluations are approved and private funding is available, a public engagement process to gather community feedback will be managed by the Department of Parks and Recreation. Projects less than $50,000 are approved by the Department of Parks and Recreation Director. More costly projects are approved by the County Board.

Start here by filling out the Temporary or Interim Amenity Request Application.