Family or caregiver suites are a type of secondary dwelling intended to allow the occupants of the suite to live independently while still maintaining access with the main dwelling. Zoning Ordinance §12.9.8 provides the guidelines and regulations for family or caregiver suites, which include design, operation, and occupancy criteria.
Family or caregiver suites are allowed as accessory uses in the R-20, R-10, R-8, R-6, R-5, R-10T, R15-30T, or R2-7 zoning districts and require Zoning Administrator approval of a family or caregiver suite permit.
You must submit family or caregiver suite application in person at the Arlington County Permit Office. The permit application and review process is anticipated to move online in 2020, as part of Permit Arlington.
- Family or Caregiver Suite Permit Application.
- Floor plans of the proposed family or caregiver suite showing its relationship to the existing main dwelling, to scale.
- The maximum size for floor plans is 11 in. x 17 in. Larger sizes will not be accepted.
- Written statement identifying the person providing care (for caregiver suites only).
- Declaration of covenants (to be submitted prior to the issuance of a building permit).
- The suite contains no more than two (2) room plus a bathroom and an efficiency kitchen.
- The gross floor area of the suite must not exceed the lesser of either 750 sq. ft. or 35% of the combined gross floor area of the suite and the main dwelling.
- The suite must have interior access to the main dwelling.
- The suite must be designed to function as an integral part of the main dwelling but it may allow the occupants to live independently of the occupant(s) of the main dwelling.
- The dwelling in which the suite is located may only have one (1) main entrance. No new entrance is permitted on the same side of the structure as the existing main entrance of the dwelling.
- A floor plan of the suite which also identifies its relationship with the main dwelling must be filed with the Zoning Administrator.
- There may only be one (1) family or caregiver suite in any dwelling.
- Family or caregiver suites are not permitted in a dwelling which contains an accessory dwelling as allowed under Zoning Ordinance §12.9.2.
- There shall be only one address for the property.
- The suite shall not have separate utility service (ex: electric and water meters).
- The property owner must record a covenant on the property identifying the suite use and the restrictions imposed by the Zoning Ordinance.
- The suite may be occupied by either:
- No more than two (2) persons who are related by blood or marriage to the principal occupant(s) of the main dwelling; OR
- No more than two (2) persons who may be unrelated to the principal occupant(s) of the main dwelling, at least one (1) of whom provides care for either: one (1) or more children of the principal occupant(s) of the main dwelling; or one (1) or more elders or persons with disabilities who occupy the main dwelling.
- For caregiver suites, a written statement must be filed with the Zoning Administrator identifying the person providing care, the type of care being provided (i.e. child, elder, person with a disability).
Fee Schedules provide the range of fees charged for each type of application or activity related to land development in Arlington. Fees cover permitting, plan review, enforcement, inspection, service delivery, performance agreements and conditions. There are separate fee schedules for Inspection Services Division (ISD), Zoning and the Department of Environmental Services (DES). Some permits involve fees from more than one schedule.