This study proposed amendments to existing zoning standards applicable to public stormwater management facilities to enable greater flexibility in their siting and construction. In addition, the Public Spaces Master Plan recommends modernizing zoning standards for more flexible public space master planning and development. The amendments were adopted in March, 2023.
The County is working to improve flood resilience in response to increasingly intense storms and flooding. The Flood Resilient Arlington strategy involves adding capacity to the system with stormwater facilities on public land.
Land use regulations that differentiate how stormwater management can be accomplished based on zoning districts complicates the County’s ability to effectively manage stormwater runoff.
Zoning requirements for setbacks create additional complexity in planning for, constructing and accommodating stormwater management facilities within parks and public spaces for maximum public benefit.
This is envisioned as one of multiple zoning study processes that interdepartmental staff will conduct to implement PSMP recommendations and modernize zoning standards to achieve more flexible public space master planning and development.
Improve Consistency: The Zoning Ordinance treats stormwater systems in publicly zoned districts (ex., parks, schools) differently when compared to how other zoning districts treat water utilities.
Add Flexibility: The current zoning standards do not readily enable the use of certain stormwater system components. The County would benefit from modernized zoning standards for more flexible public space master planning and development. As Arlington continues to grow, community needs and uses are changing and zoning regulations may need to be updated to respond to community needs for resiliency planning and park space.
Stormwater Master Plan (2014, page 5)
The Public Spaces Master Plan (PSMP) adopted in 2019, recommends reviewing and considering updates to the County’s zoning regulations related to parks and public spaces in “S-3A” and “P-S” districts, and other County codes as needed (page 68).
PSMP-IAC Virtual Meeting Video
Meeting Presentation(PDF, 2MB)
Stormwater Management Zoning Public Meeting
Meeting Presentation(PDF, 14MB)
Zoning Committee page
Aileen Winquist, Environmental Services
Nick Rogers, Community Planning Housing and Development