Many development projects in Arlington require county-approved landscape plans and tree preservation plans that adhere to county regulations and best practices in urban design and urban forestry.
The following is a list of project types that require landscape and tree preservation plan review:
- Site Plan – all projects require review per site plan conditions
- Use Permit – some projects’ conditions will require review
- Form Based Code – all projects require review
- By-Right – plan review may be required depending on the development standards of the zoning district, as a condition of Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) approval, or if associated with a parking plan. For specific guidance about when landscape plans may be required, consult the Arlington County Zoning Ordinance.
All projects disturbing over 2,500 SF of land require an LDA (Land Disturbance Activity) permit, which is a separate review and permitting process, though it also requires landscape and tree preservation plans.
Application and Review Process
To start the review process for all landscape and tree preservation plans, applicants need to file an application with the Zoning Administration.
(NOTE: We recently updated the submission requirements. This new process starts on July 1, 2017.)
The plans will then be reviewed by the following teams:
- Community Planning, Housing & Development (CPHD)
- Parks and Recreation (PR)
- Department of Environmental Services (DES)
Regulations & Standards
Landscape and Tree Preservation Plans need to meet all regulations identified in the Zoning Ordinance, Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance, and other county plans and standards as applicable, including:
- Zoning Ordinance
- Stormwater Manual/Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance
- Arlington Landscape Standards 2010*
- Arlington Invasive Plants List 2015
- Design Standards and Details (DPR)
- Design Standards and Details (DES)
- Drawing No. R-7.9.C – Structural Soil
- Drawing Reference No. II.H. – Underground Garage Located Under Sidewalk
- Tree Replacement Guidelines
- Recommended Tree List
- Installing Underground Utilities Near Trees
*The Arlington Landscape Standards 2010 was intended to be a comprehensive guide to the landscape plan requirements and review processes in Arlington County but is currently being revised.