Site Plan Review Process

Site plan projects are significant private and public-private projects limited to specific parcels of land. The site plan review process forms one means through which development occurs in Arlington with County review.

Review a One-Pager Summary of the Site Plan Review Process(PDF, 64KB)

Site plans are regulated by Administrative Regulation 4.1 of the Arlington County Zoning Ordinance. This regulation administers a special exception site plan option within certain zoning districts. Site plans that entail special exceptions to the County’s land use and zoning policies are carefully reviewed by an interdepartmental staff team and the Site Plan Review Committee (SPRC) of the Planning Commission through a process that ensures proper analysis, public engagement, and compliance with applicable policies and ordinances. Ultimately, the process allows for site-specific flexibility in development form, use, and density, beyond what is otherwise permitted by-right. 

Note: Steps in the site plan review process that are marked with the speech bubble icon ( AdobeStock_219561398.jpeg ) in the chart below afford opportunities for members of the public to share feedback on the proposed project. 

Site Plan Conditions

Site plan conditions are typically necessary for all site plans. Conditions ensure that a project substantially complies with County plans, policies, and Zoning Ordinance regulations for a particular area, or are in exchange for bonuses and other benefits approved as part of the project. Increased density, height, or other modifications can have an impact on the surrounding community, and site plan conditions help mitigate these impacts.

The following are standard conditions for high density office, residential, and mixed-use projects: