Large Media Screens. Adopted December 17, 2013. ZOA-13-07. The County Board adopted a comprehensive revision to the sign regulations in the Zoning Ordinance on July 18, 2012. The adopted sign regulations provide limited allowances for changeable copy signs in specific locations, allowing up to a maximum of 12 sf for signs where copy changes no more than once per 24 hours, and up to 4 sf for signs where copy changes no more than once per minute. During discussions leading up to adoption of the revised sign regulations, interest was expressed in continuing to allow signs like the media screen currently installed in Rosslyn to display the WJLA news and ticker at 1100 Wilson Boulevard. While zoning language was advertised along with revisions to the sign regulations, to allow such signs, it was not adopted in order to provide additional time to study the issue. On December 17, 2013, the County Board adopted a Zoning Ordinance amendment to define large media signs, and to allow them subject to special exception approval by the County Board, in commercial/mixed-use zoning districts within ¼ mile of transit stations, and within P-S zoning districts. Proposed large media screens will also have to meet a range of standards related to size, placement, context, luminance, and traffic safety, among other standards. Staff report.
Columbia Pike Neighborhoods Form Based Code. Adopted November 16, 2013. ZOA-13-06. One of the efforts of the Neighborhoods Area Plan implementation focused on Planning and Zoning tools including the preparation of a new Form Based Code. Throughout 2013, staff reviewed draft materials primarily with the Form Based Code Advisory Working Group (FBC AWG) which included members from civic associations, Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO), several advisory commissions and developers, as well as with the Zoning Committee of the Planning Commission (ZOCO). The resulting Neighborhoods Form Based Code was adopted by the County Board on November 16, 2013. The first amendment to the Neighborhoods FBC was also adopted on December 14, 2013, completing updates to the Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) Policy and Zoning Language in the Code. Staff report.
Technical Updates. Adopted October 19, 2013. ZOA-13-05. A reformatted Zoning Ordinance was adopted by the County Board on May 18, 2013, and became effective on July 1, 2013. Through use of the Ordinance, some errors were identified. The County Board adopted an amendment to correct these errors on October 19, 2013. These corrections were technical in nature and did not implement any changes to current policy or practice. Staff report.
Outdoor cafes on private property. Adopted May 18, 2013. ZOA-13-04. Outdoor cafes have greatly increased in number in Arlington in the last decade or two. The Zoning rules for outdoor cafes in the Zoning Ordinance were previously limited, and did not include a definition of “outdoor café”. As a result, a number of administrative practices had developed over the years, but had not been formalized until recently. This had caused confusion among business owners and citizens. This amendment to the outdoor café provisions in the zoning ordinance codified these longstanding administrative practices into regulation, including a new definition for outdoor cafes. This amendment addressed outdoor cafes on private property only, it did not amend regulations for outdoor cafes on public sidewalks, which are regulated by use permit. Staff report.
Zoning Ordinance Reformat. Adopted May 18, 2013. ZOA-13-03. This amendment is a comprehensive reformat of the Zoning Ordinance, with an effective date of July 1, 2013. The new Ordinance is reorganized and reformatted, but does not incorporate any changes to policy. The purpose of the amendment was to clarify, update and improve the usability of the Ordinance to improve comprehension, administration and compliance. Features of the revised format include (staff report):
- Reorganization to remove the “pyramid” structure of the Zoning Ordinance and to create individual use lists for each zoning district
- Reformatting to include an updated look and to standardize presentation of regulations
- Inclusion of graphics and tables to clarify and summarize key regulations
- Incorporation of live links to improve ease of navigation of the Ordinance.