Local Historic District Application

Local Historic District Application Instructions

Who May Apply:
Requests by the public for the study of properties for local historic district designation in Arlington County must be accompanied by this completed application form (available online below or in PDF here.) Paper copies of the form are also available in Suites 700 and 1000 of 2100 Clarendon Boulevard.

  • For single properties (one building, site, structure, object, parcel, or property), requests may be made by any Arlington County resident or property owner.
  • For multiple properties, requests may be made by:
    • Civic, Homeowner’s, or Condominium Associations for properties within their own boundaries; or
    • A petition signed by 25% or more of property owners within the proposed study boundary. Each property counts as one vote in the petition (two owners of one property equals one vote).

Filing Requirements and Timeline:
To ensure compliance with these requirements, applicants are encouraged to contact Arlington County’s Historic Preservation Program (HPP) staff prior to submittal of the form. For questions or assistance, please call 703.228.3838.

This flowchart illustrates the process of designating a Local Historic District, starting with application submission.

Applications for local historic district requests may be submitted to the Zoning Division in the Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development (2100 Clarendon Boulevard, Suite 1000) weekdays, between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Digital submittals also will be accepted via contactzoning@arlingtonva.us or through the online form below. If submitting a paper copy of the application, please provide two (2) copies. The Zoning Administrator will transmit applications and supporting documentation to the HPP staff for processing within two (2) business days of receipt.

The HPP staff will notify applicants that submissions have been received, then will review the materials and provide comments to applicants (if further information is required) within 45 days of receipt.

All sections of the form must be provided, unless otherwise agreed to in advance and in writing by the HPP Supervisor. Upon deeming the form complete, the HPP staff then will notify applicants that the form has been accepted and also will notify property owners of the designation request.

Within 90 days of the acceptance of the application, the Chairman of the Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board (HALRB) will schedule a preliminary public hearing to:

  1. Review the designation request;
  2. Determine if the property potentially meets two of the eleven designation criteria in §11.3.4.A.6 of the Arlington County Zoning Ordinance (ACZO); and
  3. Determine if the proposed request should continue through the designation process.

Scheduling of a public hearing does not imply that the request will be approved; rather, it is an indicator that sufficient information has been provided for the HALRB (or the County Board if properties are owned or ground-leased by Arlington Public Schools/APS), to make an initial determination as to if properties warrant additional study. The decision to schedule an item on the HALRB’s public hearing agenda is at the sole discretion of the HALRB Chairman.

If the HALRB determines further research should be conducted on the nomination, then the HPP staff will prepare a detailed report that will be presented at a second HALRB public hearing to be scheduled by the HALRB Chairman (typically within a minimum of 180 days). At that hearing, the HALRB may recommend the nomination be sent forward to the Planning Commission and County Board, or the HALRB may make a finding that ends the nomination process.

Important Reminders:
Additional time may be required for any designation request involving other issues (i.e., a pending site plan, use permit, planning study, other concurrent County or APS development review processes, etc.).

For properties owned or ground-leased by APS, the County Board has the sole authority to determine whether the properties potentially meet two of the eleven designation criteria in the ACZO and if proposed requests should continue through the designation process.

The HALRB and/or the Arlington County Board, on its own motion, may schedule immediate public hearings on any requested property that is threatened by imminent demolition or destruction.