As a first step in Phase 2, the Missing Middle staff team considered community input from Phase 1 and existing County policy and zoning regulations in developing guidance for the consultant team so that initial two-dimensional (2D) site layouts could be developed for each housing type for further study. Preliminarily, the site layouts were used to explore how different housing types might fit (or not fit) on “minimum” R-5 (50’x100’), R-6 (60’x100’) and R-10 (80’x125’) lots, which are the most prevalent lots for single-detached housing in Arlington.
Based on the initial site layouts, the consultant team then performed economic analysis on each housing type, considering land costs, construction costs, sales/rent prices, and how regulatory standards (setbacks, parking requirements, approval process, etc.) might impact housing costs. As part of this analysis, the consultant team determined what modestly sized, yet marketable housing units could be developed within each housing type. The consultant team also compared each housing type to typical new single-detached housing development to determine, among the different housing options, which may be more likely to be built, based on the development costs, complexity, and potential profit of each option. The consultant’s economic analysis and 2D site layouts are summarized in a memo to staff.
County staff representing multiple departments reviewed the preliminary work to examine how County policies and standards were reflected. Issues such as stormwater, lot coverage, tree canopy, parking standards, and building setbacks were weighed and further evaluated, which led to refinements to the economic analysis. Finally, the consultant team created three-dimensional (3D) site context illustrations, showing how the various housing types might look, in terms of scale and placement (not architecture) on Arlington streets adjacent to existing homes.
Staff developed the Phase 2 Draft Framework based on this analysis of design and placement parameters, economic feasibility, and opportunities and impacts. Information in the Phase 2 materials on the expected pace of growth, opportunities, and impacts is also based the consultant and staff analysis.