Rosslyn Planning at a Glance

The Rosslyn Metro Station Area has more than 6,000 residences within a 10-minute walk of the Metro station, including a diverse mix of high-rise apartment and condominium buildings, as well as older, smaller buildings and new luxury townhouses. Located just across the Potomac River from Washington D.C. on the orange and blue Metrorail lines, Rosslyn is a thriving neighborhood that boasts more than 8 million square feet of office space, 2,100 hotel rooms, several urban parks and numerous restaurants.

Planning efforts began in the early 1970s for the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor where a new subway line was proposed. In 1977, the County Board adopted the Rosslyn Sector Plan and in 1992, Plan Addendum that outlined the vision to transform Rosslyn into a first class urban center with superior architecture and excellent urban design practice.

These plans were developed with significant input from the community and contain some of the key planning principles that helped to create a new Rosslyn which:

  • Serves as a proud gateway into Arlington and the Commonwealth of Virginia;
  • Is a vibrant place to live and work with ample opportunities for shopping, recreation and cultural activities;
  • Is home to the regional and national headquarters of major corporations and is seen as one of the premier office locations in the country;
  • Has superior architecture and is an example of the best in urban design; and
  • Is a place where people are comfortable with their surroundings and which serves as a great stage for human activities.

Rosslyn also has a number of special planning districts to focus on the needs of specific areas. These include Rosslyn Coordinated Redevelopment Districts, Special Affordable Housing Districts and more.

Urban Design and Guidelines for Future Development

The plan addendum also details some of the plans for achieving the new vision for Rosslyn. Urban design principles and a focus on guiding future development include:

  • Creating a “central place” that will serve as the physical and social heart of Rosslyn;
  • Restructuring and enhancing retail, restaurant and entertainment facilities;
  • Integrating the sidewalks and skywalks into a comprehensive pedestrian circulation system which links all the major components of Rosslyn (residential, office and retail) into a unified whole;
  • Greatly improving access to the Potomac River and to nearby National Parks and Monuments both physically and visually;

Planning Resources