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Arlington County Civic Federation

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Resolution of the ACCF
adopted on October 2, 2001
Regarding Zoning Ordinance Changes
Under Consideration to Control Infill Development

On September 19th the Civic Federation held a special meeting to address potential changes to existing zoning that would limit �coverage� for residential lots. Members heard presentations from a guest panel and then completed a survey developed by the Federation�s Planning & Zoning Committee. The 53 returned surveys were analyzed to develop the resolution below that will be voted at the October 2nd Civic Federation.

Whereas, Civic Federation survey results indicated that�

  • An equal percent are for and against the current proposals while about 25% are undecided. Delegates do not believe that the proposed changes will prevent the homes cited as egregious examples of infill.
  • About half of the delegates and others attending the meeting do favor some sort of new coverage restrictions. However, only a third supported applying restrictions to all R-5 thru R-20 properties.
  • When asked to indicate support for specific options, none got support from a majority. The top selection was restricting coverage based on lot sizes (31%), followed by retaining the current limits (25%), no response (25%), zoning districts with caps (19%), and zoning districts (13%).
  • 50% of delegates are concerned that additional coverage restrictions will hurt home values. Members want more information about how proposed changes will reduce homeowners� flexibility for renovating and expanding existing homes.
  • A large majority does not agree with what is used to calculate coverage. The most frequently cited example was inclusion of driveways.
  • More people were concerned about oversize houses (44%) than pipestem development (28%). Those concerned about pipestems preferred to limit this development based on lot frontage minimums rather than on the lot geometry.

And whereas, the Civic Federation has passed prior resolutions supporting efforts to control infill development, however the Civic Federation has not reached consensus about the current proposals to limit infill.

Be it resolved that the Federation urges County staff and the Zoning Ordinance Review Committee of the Planning Commission to:

    1. Better define the characteristics of infill that are undesirable and examine ways to control those characteristics.

    2. Reexamine the Zoning Administrator�s lists for calculating coverage.

    3. Provide data and examples about how various proposals for coverage restrictions will impact existing homes in each of the zoning categories (R-5, R-6, R-8, R-10, and R-20) and in different types of neighborhoods.

This page was last revised on: December 28, 2003.
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