Accessory homestay revisions. ZOA-2016-13. Adopted January 28, 2017. When the County Board adopted provisions in December 2016 (see Accessory homestay ZOA-2016-11) to allow short-term rental of residential dwellings, it also authorized advertisement of some revisions to broaden the applicability of the regulations. This amendment allowed accessory homestay in dwelling units used by either the owner or a renter as his/her primary residence, and removed limitations on the number of contracts allowed per night. Staff report. Request to Advertise report.
Sign area for projects with retail. ZOA-2017-01. Adopted June 17, 2017. This study was prompted by several issues articulated by the development community, the Economic Development Commission, Chamber of Commerce and the County’s BIDs and Partnerships, which included, among other requests, the following: Consider revising the calculation of aggregate sign area to account for properties that include retail facing plazas and retail on the second story. Sign area in commercial/mixed-use zoning districts, is allocated to properties based on the amount of linear building frontage, allowing 1 sf of sign area for each foot of linear building frontage (plus additional sign area for tenants with less than 60 feet of frontage), measured as a straight line from one corner of the building to the next corner, not accounting for offsets, such as plazas. This proposed amendment revised the formula for calculating allowed sign area in commercial/mixed-use districts to account for configuration of retail on the property, specifically when retail is fronting planned parks and plazas that are open to the public, and/or when retail directly accessible from the street is located on the second story. Staff report. Request to Advertise report.
Technical Updates. ZOA-2017-02. Adopted October 21, 2017. The Zoning Ordinance was comprehensively amended and updated in four phases in 2011 through 2015, to update the sign regulations, reformat the Ordinance, introduce a use classification system, and codify administrative practices. Through use of the amended Ordinance, periodically, errors are discovered that were inadvertently introduced as part of the comprehensive update. This is the seventh of such amendments, to correct technical errors, which are edits and corrections that do not implement any changes to policy. This set of amendments updates incorrect or missing references and copy-paste and typographical errors, inserts regulations from the 1950 Ordinance that were inadvertently deleted in the update, updates and clarifies inconsistent terminology, and makes corrections to use tables, among other updates. Staff report. Request to Advertise report.
Courthouse Square Plan Implementation. ZOA-2017-03. These amendments to the C-O zoning district add provisions for development projects in a proposed Courthouse Square Special District on the General Land Use Plan (GLUP) allowing for approval of additional building height and density in exchange for furtherance of the Plan’s priority concept recommendations. New provisions include incorporation of a building heights map and reference to building step-backs in the Courthouse Square Plan to facilitate the vision of the Courthouse Square Plan adopted by the County Board on September 21, 2015. The amendments were considered by the Planning Commission and County Board concurrently with amendments to the General Land Use Plan and Master Transportation Plan. Staff report. Request to Advertise report.
Outdoor cafes on private property. ZOA-2017-04. Adopted November 18, 2017. As an accessory use to a restaurant, outdoor cafes are allowed by-right if they are located on private property and comply with Zoning Ordinance standards for design and operation. Prior to this amendment, only restaurants in site plan-regulated buildings/projects had the flexibility to request that the County Board modify a private property outdoor café standard. This amendment extends the County Board the authority to modify private property outdoor café standards by use permit, as continues to be possible by site plan, creating new flexibility for restaurants that are not in site plan-regulated buildings/projects. However, while the Zoning Ordinance previously enabled the County Board to modify any private property outdoor café standard by site plan, the amendment clarifies that only those standards related to seating capacity and operating hours for piped-in music and entertainment may be modified by use permit or by site plan. The amendment also restructures the private property outdoor café standards for clarity. Staff report. Request to Advertise report.
Accessory dwelling revisions. ZOA-2017-05. Adopted November 27, 2017. An accessory dwelling (AD) is a second dwelling with kitchen, bathroom, and separate entrance on a single family lot. The Affordable Housing Master Plan identified accessory dwellings as an existing tool to help meet the goals of having an adequate supply of housing to meet community needs and of supporting older adults aging in place, and recommended review of the regulations, originally adopted in 2009, to encourage greater use. This amendment revised the accessory dwelling regulations as follows:
- To allow detached accessory buildings to be used to create accessory dwellings, only where the building existed prior to November 27, 2017 and where only interior alterations may be conducted to convert to an accessory dwelling (and with other restrictions related to height and footprint);
- To allow accessory dwellings up to a maximum size of either 750 sf or 35% of the combined area of the main and accessory dwelling (whichever is smaller); except with no limitation on size of accessory dwellings wholly within a basement;
- To remove limitations on location of the door to an accessory dwelling; and to restrict exterior stairs to a second-story accessory dwelling to frontages not facing a street;
- To continue to require a deed covenant be filed on the land records and that the owner sign an affidavit of compliance;
- To continue to require owner-occupancy, however, to allow the property to be occupied by no more than one family if the owner does not occupy the property as his/her primary residence;
- To remove the annual limit on total number of accessory dwellings that may be approved per year; and
- Revisions also included minor revisions to parking requirements, use of home occupations and accessory homestay in accessory dwellings; and an increase in the maximum size of a family/caregiver suite. Staff report. Supplemental report. Request to Advertise report.
Establishment of a Housing Conservation District (HCD). ZOA-2017-06. Adopted December 16, 2017. In April 2017, the Arlington County Board directed staff to develop a “Housing Conservation District” to encourage the retention of affordability in areas identified to include market-rate affordable housing. The proposed Housing Conservation District would advance the County’s policies to encourage the construction and preservation of affordable rental housing and to make every reasonable effort to prevent the loss of market-rate affordable rental housing. Staff report. Request to advertise report.
Historic District Designation Standards. ZOA-2017-07. Adopted December 19, 2017. Arlington County’s Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board (HALRB) and Historic Preservation Program (HPP) staff have documented and proposed properties for local historic district designation by the County Board since 1976. Local historic district designation requests have been considered by the County Board based on HALRB recommendations, neighborhood requests, individual requests, and on the Board’s own motion. At the request of the County Board, the HPP staff, in collaboration with Zoning and other CPHD staff, have developed a number of proposed amendments to the local historic designation requirements called out in § 11.3 of the ACZO. The Historic Preservation Overlay District Ordinance (Section 11.3 of the ACZO) previously allowed a designation request to be filed by any person for any number of properties. Previously, no background materials or forms were required to be filed; all requests were accepted by the HPP office. The changes to the ordinance are intended to create a uniform and predictable process for historic preservation overlay district requests. The amendment defines who may apply for multi-property and single-property designations, changes the timeframe required to inform a property owner of an historic preservation overlay district study request, and ties such notification to the acceptance of a completed application. Staff report. Request to advertise report.