Town Hall Notes


From the Ground Up - July 28, 2022

From the Ground UpA look at economic development, rezoning, and residential and commercial projects happening in Northern Virginia. 


The Arlington County Board took several actions Saturday, July 16, 2022, at its regular County Board Meeting

  • Approved Site Plan Amendment to remove the two-story “Corner Building” from the approved site plan for Crystal Square, while still moving forward with an East Entrance to the Crystal City Metro Station and a new major public space.
  • Approval of an ordinance to establish a user fee for charging electric vehicles at County government-owned charging stations available for public use.  
  • Authorized advertisements for public hearings to consider proposed amendments to the Columbia Pike Special Revitalization District. 
  • Authorized advertisements for public hearings to consider adoption of the Courthouse West Special General Land Use Plan Study Document

County Board Gives Input on Next Phase of Missing Middle Housing Study

On Tuesday, July 12, the Arlington County Board provided feedback to guide the next phase of the Missing Middle Housing Study, including housing types, parking requirements, and building design standards.  During a work session with County Manager Mark Schwartz and staff on Tuesday afternoon, where Board members received a presentation summarizing the community feedback received over the past two and a half months and considered key policy questions regarding the next phase of the study. The work session marked the end of Phase 2 of the study.

Related: Read NVAR’s Statement on Missing Middle Framework

Feedback sought for 4600 Fairfax Drive (Ballston Holiday Inn Site)

Share your input by August 4, 2022. You're invited to review project materials and provide input on the 4600 Fairfax Drive (Ballston Holiday Inn) site plan application. Feedback is focused on Site Layout/Design; Building Form and Massing; Architecture; Transportation; and Landscaping, with an opportunity to provide other comments as well.

Arlington office vacancy rate continues to rise amid work-from-home trends

The pandemic and work from home trends are causing pain for owners of office buildings in Arlington and across the region. Arlington’s office vacancy rate reached 20.8% this month, according to data from CoStar, as relayed by Arlington Economic Development. That’s up from 16.6% at the beginning of 2020, as the pandemic first took hold, and 18.7% at the beginning of 2021.

Arlington Named Best Mid-Sized City For Business Climate In Ranking

Among mid-sized cities, Arlington has the best business climate, according to a new ranking from Business Facilities magazine. The 18th annual ranking examines which cities do well in attracting and retaining businesses in various industries. Arlington County regularly ranks high in lists of top-performing cities.

Wesley Housing expansion effort includes Arlington apartments

An Arlington project is one of four that will bring an additional nearly 400 affordable-housing units to the local area through the efforts of the non-profit Wesley Housing. The Cadence, located in Arlington’s Buckingham neighborhood, is slated to open in the fall with 97 units ranging in size from studio to three-bedroom for residents with household incomes of 70 percent or less of area median income.

When the Ballston Silver Diner opens this fall, the long-time Clarendon location will close

When the new Ballston Silver Diner opens, the Clarendon location will close. Silver Diner is now planning to start serving at 750 N. Glebe Road in October 2022, a company spokesperson tells ARLnow. This is bit of push from its initial “summer 2022” debut that’s still being advertised on its storefront throughout construction. When it does open, though, the long-time Silver Diner at 3200 Wilson Blvd in Clarendon will shutter after 26 years.


Power Plant Redevelopment In Old Town North Gains Key Approvals

Alexandria City Council approved rezoning and a conceptual design plan for turning the old power plant site into a mixed-use district. Proposals associated with transforming the old Potomac River Generating Station into a mixed-use development in Old Town North gained approval from Alexandria City Council Tuesday. Hilco Redevelopment Partners, which purchased the site in September 2020, is planning environmental remediation and redevelopment of the former 18-acre coal-fired power plant at 1300 N. Royal Street.

Planning Commission to Consider King Street Dining, Residential Development Items at September Public Hearing

The Planning Commission docket is subject to change. Items on the agenda include:

Duke Street, West Taylor Run Changes Coming

Your days of turning left from West Taylor Run Parkway onto the Telegraph Road may be numbered. The second phase of a traffic pilot program could eliminate the left turn from West Taylor Run onto the Telegraph Road on ramp. This would force drivers to take Duke Street east to Dove Street and turn back west toward Telegraph, or to take the Duke Street service road West to Cambridge Road before taking Duke Street back east toward the Telegraph Road on ramp.

All-affordable housing development in Fairlington to open this fall

Nearly two years after the project broke ground, The Waypoint housing development (2451 Menokin Drive) in the Fairlington neighborhood is scheduled to open in September. The project, led by affordable housing developer Wesley Housing, is scheduled to have a grand opening celebration on Sept. 28.

Bonaventure Breaks Ground on 133-Unit Seniors Housing Development in Alexandria, Virginia

Bonaventure, a locally based multifamily developer and manager, has broken ground on a 133-unit seniors housing project in Alexandria’s Old Town West neighborhood. The six-story property will feature studio, one- and two-bedroom units, as well as underground parking, an onsite restaurant, 24-hour fitness center, club lounge, business center, media room, community garden and an outdoor gazebo.

Alexandria Explores Raising Bonus Height To Boost Affordable Housing

The City of Alexandria is proposing an expansion of the Bonus Height and Bonus Density Program, which currently permits additional density and height in exchange for affordable housing. The program allows developers to add density or height to a development if they commit to providing low and moderate income sales or rental housing units in conjunction with the building or project they’re applying for.

Alexandria Named Best Small City For Business Climate In Ranking

Among small cities, Alexandria has the best business climate, according to a new ranking from Business Facilities magazine. The 18th annual ranking examines which cities do well in attracting and retaining businesses in various industries. This was the second year in a row Business Facilities ranked Alexandria first in the small cities category.


Site Specific Plan Amendment Process Approved, Countywide SSPA Begins October 2022

On July 19, 2022, the Board of Supervisors endorsed several modifications to the Site-Specific Plan Amendment (SSPA) process, which is Fairfax County’s process for reviewing proposed land use changes (called “nominations”) to the County’s Comprehensive Plan for individual sites. The process modifications were developed through a retrospective assessment and are detailed in a report

Fairfax County Planning Commission Public Hearing Scheduled July 13-Deferred to October 26

Towns at Villa Park LLC: The Owner is proposing to rezone the Property to create a residential community that provides critical pedestrian connections to the pedestrian bridge over 1-95 and central Springfield while creating an appropriate transition to the existing community. The Property consists of two parcels containing approximately 5.81 acres (lot 19 is 4.23409 acres and lot 20 is 1.57632 acres) of land area and fronting on Wesley Road, and adjacent to Villa Park Road. Both parcels abut VDOT land to the east, the Franconia Springfield Parkway exit ramps off 1-95. The parcels have remained vacant for years and only recently been consolidated as they emerged from bankruptcy by the Owner. The Applicant proposes a community of up to 49 total units, 43 townhomes and 6 "two over two" units.

North Hill Park Construction To Begin As Part Of Development

As the vacant North Hill site is revitalized with a residential development, the Fairfax County Park Authority will start construction on a park. The North Hill development's park will be located near the new apartments and townhouses at Richmond Highway and Dart Drive in Hybla Valley. The 12-acre park will include trails, a pavilion, pickleball courts, a half basketball court, playground and fitness areas, an open lawn area, picnic tables and benches.

Home Sharing Initiative offers opportunity for mutual support

A new initiative aiming to address an array of housing problems in Fairfax County was introduced to the Board of Supervisors on June 28. Proposed jointly by Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield) and Supervisor Walter Alcorn (D-Hunter Mill), the initiative, known as “home sharing,” was defined by the National Shared Housing Resource Center as “a homeowner offers accommodation to a home sharer in exchange for an agreed level of support in the form of financial exchange, assistance with household tasks, or both… for these people, shared housing offers companionship, affordable housing, security, mutual support and much more.”

Business News from the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority – July 21

  • Is the DMV region becoming the next Silicon Valley?
  • Four of the seven richest areas of the country are in Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance jurisdictions, as well as one in suburban Maryland, according to results published by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Two Fairfax County-headquartered companies, both located in Tysons, placed on the Software Report’s third annual list of the Top 100 Software Companies
  • Herndon-based software company Deltek agreed to acquire Wisconsin-based TIP Technologies, Virginia Business reported.
  • Fairfax-based management consulting firm ICF International completed its $220 million acquisition of health tech contractor SemanticBits
  • Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeffrey McKay recently announced the awarding of $336.2 million in funding for the construction of transportation projects throughout the county, InsideNoVa reported.


VA Tech Property To Be Conveyed For West Falls Church Development

Land currently leased to Virginia Tech near the West Falls Church Metro station will be conveyed to a developer for a redevelopment project. On Monday, Falls Church City Council approved an ordinance to sell the properties to Rushmark Properties, which plans to turn it into the corporate headquarters for HITT Contracting, the Virginia Tech National Center for Smart Construction, 440 residential apartments with ground floor retail, and a new West Falls Station Boulevard.

F.C. Council Mulls Housing Adds to Work Plan

Mulling changes to the City of Falls Church Work Plan that it may vote on next month, the Falls Church City Council stumbled at its work session Monday night over the addition of an item promoting housing alternatives, such as accessory dwelling units and “missing middle” options, worried about opposition that has developed in Arlington and some other nearby jurisdictions.

Falls Church, Virginia ranks second healthiest community in the country: Report

If you live in Falls Church, Virginia -- you have something to be proud about. According to U.S. News & World Report's 2022 ranking, Falls Church is one of the healthiest communities in the United States. The city ranks second in the country, behind Los Alamos County, New Mexico.


Herndon Town Council will hold a work session and public hearing on Parkview Development Plan

DP #19-01, 593 Herndon Parkway, Parkview, a development plan in the Planned Development-Transit Oriented Core zoning district with proffered conditions to allow the redevelopment of the site with mixed office, retail, and multi-family residential uses. The site is approximately 5.5 acres and is currently improved with a four-story, 134,451 square feet gross floor area, office building. The proposed redevelopment includes two land use options both of which would have up to a 4.3 floor area ratio. The first option would have a maximum of 400,216 square feet of office, 615,325 square feet of residential, and 10,000 square feet of retail. The second option would have a maximum of 986,500 square feet of office, 12,500 square feet of retail, and no residential. A work session is scheduled Wednesday, August 3 with a public hearing following on Tuesday, August 9.

Satellite manufacturing firm opens new facility in Herndon

A new 19,000-square-foot satellite manufacturing facility has opened in the Town of Herndon. The facility, known as the Advanced Technology and Development Center, is run by HawkEye 360, a commercial provider of space-based radio frequency data and analytics. The company celebrated the grand opening of the facility at 196 Van Buren Street on Friday (July 22). It will bring 70 jobs to the area.



Loudoun Board of Supervisors hear public testimony on Mountain View Residential

ZMAP-2020-0012 & SPEX-2021-0020, Mountain View Residential (Dulles) This item was previously deferred to the July 13, 2022, Board of Supervisors Public Hearing. At the hearing Supervisor Letourneau moved that the Board of Supervisors forward this to the September 6, 2022, Board of Supervisors Business Meeting for action. As proposed, it would rezone approximately 6.33 acres in order to develop 41 Single Family Attached (SFA) residential units. The applicant is also requesting a Special Exception (SPEX) to permit the modification of the minimum yard requirements. Supervisors requested staff to work with the applicant on stormwater and flooding issues and to also research impacts property values and traffic patterns.

July 19 Loudoun County Board Meeting Wrap-up; Development &Transportation Proposals Approved

ZMAP-2021-0004 & SPEX-2021-0007, Colonnade (Broad Run) The Board deferred this item. It would rezone a 4.15- acre property to permit development of up to 61 single-family attached dwelling units. The applicant also requests a Special Exception to reduce the minimum required front yard from 15 to 10 feet for rear-loaded units. The subject property is located south of Route 7 in the northeast corner of the intersection of City Center Boulevard, Stephanie Drive, and Mirage Way in the Broad Run Election District. The Planning Commission held a Public Hearing on February 22, 2022. There were no public speakers. The Commission forwarded the applications (7-1-1: Kirchner opposed; Merrithew absent) to the Board of Supervisors (Board) with a recommendation of approval.

ZMAP-2019-0016, JK Technology Park #3 (Blue Ridge) Supervisor Buffington moved that the Board of Supervisors approve ZMAP-2019-0016, JK Technology Park #3, subject to the Proffer Statement dated July 11, 2022, (Seconded by Supervisor Umstattd) The motion passed 5-4: Supervisors Briskman, Glass, Letourneau, and Saines opposed.) It would rezone 21.23 acres in order to develop by-right uses such as office, warehousing, and data centers. The Board held a Public Hearing on June 15, 2022. There was one public speaker who was in support of the application. The Board discussed building and site design, landscaping, and proposed land use consistency with the Legacy Village Core of Arcola. The Board directed staff to provide further information on the historical background of the village of Arcola and to provide information concerning residential development and industrial development in the vicinity of the subject property. The proposal is generally consistent with the policies of the Loudoun County 2019 General Plan (2019 GP).

Loudoun Supervisors Approve Plans for Rt. 15 South Improvements While plans for work on Rt. 15 north of Leesburg have drawn more attention, county supervisors on July 19 approved long-awaited plans for both short-term and long-term improvements on Rt. 15 south of town.

Loudoun Supervisors Face Pressure to Set More Aggressive Climate Targets Twenty Loudoun nonprofits have joined a call for county supervisors to take more aggressive action toward fighting climate change, in a county where the data center industry has made Loudoun one of the most energy-hungry localities in the state. Representatives from a broad range of organizations prepared comments for the July 19 Board of Supervisors meeting.

Loudoun County Board to Consider New Limits, Allowances for Data Centers

The Board of Supervisors’ Transportation and Land Use Committee has wrapped up a three-meeting series of discussions on the future of data center development in Loudoun, sending the issue back to the full board for a vote.

Supervisors elected not to have a previously discussed fourth meeting on the topic, instead delaying the item’s arrival to the full board by two weeks, to their second business meeting in September. County staff members will use the extra time to seek out formal inputs and comments from the data center industry to include in final report.


Prince William County Unanimously Approves Lake Point Residential Development of 355 Units

This is a request to rezone ±15.52 acres from B-1, General Business, to PMR, Planned Mixed Residential, with associated development waivers and modifications, including a signage modification, to allow up to 355 multi-family dwellings.  The subject property is located northeast of the Caton Hill Road and Killarney Drive intersection and is addressed as 2580 and 2526 Caton Hill Road. Proposal includes 12 committed affordable units at 60%-80% AMI.

Prince William Planning Commission to Consider Riverside Station Mixed Use Development July 27

Rezoning #REZ2022-00007, Riverside Station Land Bay A and Rezoning #REZ2022-00008, Riverside Station Land Bay B were previously deferred from July 13. The proposal would rezone ±6.30 acres and ±12.95 acres from B-1, General Business, to PMD, Planned Mixed Use District, to permit a combined 970 dwelling units and 130,000 square feet of nonresidential uses, with associated waivers and modifications. One property is located at the northwest quadrant of the Occoquan Road and Rt. 1 intersection with the other located at the southwest quadrant of the Gordon Blvd. and Rt. 1 intersection. The site is designated TC, Town Center, in the Comprehensive Plan and is located in the North Woodbridge Small Area Plan and Redevelopment Overlay District.

Prince William County Planning Commission digs into PW Digital Gateway data center proposal

The PW Digital Gateway has seen its first public review by Prince William County officials, but its fate remains murky as some officials keep their opinions close to the chest. The Planning Commission on Wednesday held a work session on the proposal, the first for the application. Last summer, landowners along Pageland Lane submitted a request to change the land designation of their properties in the Comprehensive Plan from agricultural zoning to technology zoning for the PW Digital Gateway.

Developer downsizes plans for Innovation Park

Gaithersburg, Md.-based Buchanan Partners has substantially downsized a rezoning request it submitted in 2016 for a mixed-use development at 10671 University Blvd. In June 2016, the company submitted a request to rezone 116 acres across four parcels from planned business district to planned mixed district. The proposal was for a hotel, 750 residential units and 750,000 square feet of commercial uses. According to its most recent application, the company sold 91.96 acres of the property to a different developer. The company now wants the same rezoning designation on the remaining 24.94 acres for 120 rental townhouses, 5,760 square feet of office space and a drive-thru Sheetz.

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