Arlington to refine its parking policy for multi-family residential properties

This post originally appeared on the Arlington Transportation Partners blog.

Like many communities in the United States, the zoning ordinance in Arlington County, Va., requires developers to build parking for apartment and condominium residents.

However, space is limited and land is expensive in Arlington’s urban neighborhoods. Each parking space in a garage can take up as much as 400 square feet, or 36 percent of an average Arlington apartment, and spaces can cost anywhere from $40,000 to $60,000 each to build.

Parking supply and demand

When approving new development in the Metro corridors, the County must ensure that parking demand is accommodated without creating excessive off-street parking.

Many factors can influence the demand for parking at a specific building, such as building size, location and nearby transportation options. As new residential developments are being built in Arlington’s Rosslyn-Ballston and Jefferson Davis corridors, it is important that Arlington County have a clear policy about how and when to approve the amount of parking proposed for apartment and condominium projects.

Arlington’s residential parking working group

Arlington County is reviewing a part of its policy on how much automobile parking developers must build with new apartments and condominiums proposed for Arlington’s Metro corridors. County staff are leading the process with support from a consultant and a working group appointed by the county manager.

The goal of this project will be to deliver a recommended methodology and implementation plan to guide the county’s development-review staff in evaluating and approving the amount of off-street parking proposed under the Site Plan and Unified Commercial/Mixed Use Development use permit provisions of the Arlington Zoning Ordinance for new multi-family residential developments within the Rosslyn-Ballston and Jefferson Davis Metro corridors.

Of course, off-street parking is only one component of Arlington’s parking supply. On-street parking is also part of Arlington’s parking supply. However, the working group is focused only on off-street parking in this process, and it will not recommend changes to the County’s Residential Permit Parking program or hours of operation of rates for meters. It’s also important to note that the working group will not recommend changes to the zoning ordinance’s minimum requirements.

Who is on the working group?

The working group includes 11 residents, representatives from Arlington’s various official commissions, developers, and business leaders to provide feedback to county staff. Having a working group allows the staff to involve and work directly with the public throughout the project to ensure that public concerns and aspirations are consistently understood, considered, and reflected in the recommend county policy. See a list of the working group members here.

Get involved

1. Attend a working group meeting.

Working group meetings are open to the public. Anyone in the community who is interested in the project can join us and see the information presented as well as hear discussions firsthand. Meeting dates and times are posted on the project website.

2. Come to the Residential Parking Working Group Open House.

Working group members and county staff will host an informal drop-in session in mid-November (date and location TBD). Come learn about the working group’s efforts, ask questions, and share your thoughts

3. Get more information on the project website.

If you cannot make our meetings, follow along with readings and meeting summaries on the project’s “Documents” page.

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