Town Hall Notes


From the Ground Up - August, 16 2022

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


County Board to Host Community Conversations on Missing Middle Housing

The Arlington County Board will be hosting a series of community conversations and information sessions in September and October that will help to inform the County Board's next steps on Missing Middle Housing. These conversations are part of the County's Housing Arlington effort to explore opportunities that could potentially address Arlington's constrained housing supply. 

Related: Read NVAR's Statement on Missing Middle Framework 

Smart cities grow up: Rather than technology driving smart city projects, today's efforts focus on outcomes and ecosystems.

The term "smart cities" arose in the 1990s and has broadly referred to an urban area that uses information and communication technologies to increase operational efficiency. And like the technology involved, the specifics of how to do that – and how to measure the success and value of "smart" implementations – have evolved. That's the approach Arlington County, Virginia, has taken with National Landing, a new neighborhood home to Amazon's HQ2 and where Virginia Tech will locate its $1 billion Innovation Campus. Underlying its development – quite literally – is a fiber-optic network called ConnectArlington that the county laid years ago mainly for government agencies' use but that now serves as a foundation for the industry, higher education and public innovation. 

Pedestrian, bike and transit projects in D.C. area get $60m federal boost

Officials announced Thursday that a proposed bicycle and pedestrian crossing that would create a walkable connection from Northern Virginia's growing Crystal City neighborhood to the District's Southwest Waterfront area is getting a $20 million federal grant. Among the biggest projects is the span over the Potomac River, which is expected to add a new connection in a busy corridor for pedestrian and bike traffic. It is part of the $2 billion Long Bridge project that also will add new rail tracks, doubling the capacity for train traffic between D.C. and Virginia by 2030. 

Rional park plan calls for expanding capacity of the W&OD Trail in Arlington

The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority is looking to expand the W&OD Trail in Arlington, potentially by 2027. The organization, known as NOVA Parks, released its five-year strategic plan on Tuesday. The plan includes proposed upgrades to Arlington's section of the Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) Trail, including the addition of a dual-use trail. 

Move over, 'National Landing' — Amazon HQ2's neighborhood tries 'NaLa'

Much like AdMo (Adams Morgan) and NoMa (North of Massachusetts Avenue), the area appears to be trying on the kind of shorthand that, depending on whom you ask, is synonymous with either peak yuppiness or a new type of urban cool. 



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:  

Stonebridge submits plans for Victory Center demolition and redevelopment

After a long, troubled history: a final defeat nears for the Victory Center (5001 Eisenhower Avenue). Stonebridge has submitted concepts to the city that would entail demolishing the long-vacant Victory Center office building and converting the site into townhouses. The new development would add 601 residential units to the site. 

New data shows progress on decreasing cut-through traffic

Ahead of a community meeting tonight to discuss the next phase of the Duke Street Traffic Mitigation pilot, the city has released new data showing the promising results of Phase 1. The pilot earlier this year changed signal timing, adding green time on Duke Street and Quaker Lane from 4-6 p.m. to encourage drivers to stay on the arterial roads rather than cutting through neighborhood streets to get around traffic and access Telegraph Road. 


Major Metrorail Blue & Yellow Line Construction; Make a Plan Now

A section of the Metrorail Blue and Yellow Lines in Virginia will be under construction from September 10- October 22 to connect the new Potomac Yard station to the system. Additionally, there will be an 8-month shutdown of the Yellow Line between Pentagon and L'Enfant Plaza for tunnel and bridge rehabilitation work. 

Fairfax leaders buy in (literally and figuratively) to McLean affordable housing 

Fairfax County's run of affordable-housing projects continued on August 2 when the Board of Supervisors voted 9-1 to authorize $33.3 million to fund the development of a 453-unit project in west McLean. The Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) will lend the builder, SCG Development Partners LLC, $12,606,290 from the county's Housing Blueprint to support the project, known as Somos at McLean Metro. 

Hilton Solidifies Virginia Footprint, Expanding Global Headquarters in Fairfax County

Governor Glenn Youngkin today announced that Hilton (NYSE: HLT), the leading global hospitality company, will retain its headquarters in Fairfax County, including significant upgrades to its facility at 7930 Jones Branch Drive in McLean. Hilton will re-imagine its space to create an even more vibrant place to convene and collaborate, fully integrating technology into the office experience to meet the needs of today's workforce. 

County explores funding clean energy with 'green bank,' potentially a first in Virginia

Fairfax County is exploring being the first Virginia locality to create a "green bank" as a way to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. In a presentation to the Board of Supervisors' environmental committee last week, county staff said a green bank could help spur investments in clean energy. Essentially, a green bank is a publicly-funded financial institution that helps fund, develop, and support clean energy technologies for residential and commercial entities. 

Affordable housing contemplated at Chantilly Regional Library

Fairfax County officials are considering a plan to build up to 200 apartment units on county-owned land near Chantilly Regional Library. At a board meeting last Tuesday (August 2), Sully District Supervisor Kathy Smith proposed a plan to convey roughly 8 acres of board-owned land on the library's site to the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority for affordable housing project. 


Major mixed-used development approved near Herndon Metro Station

A major piece of the Town of Herndon's vision for development around the Herndon-Monroe Metro Station has officially been approved. The Herndon Town Council unanimously voted to approve Lerner Enterprises' proposal for the Parkview development, bringing a little over one million square feet of development to the north entrance of the Herndon-Monroe Metro Station. 


Work to begin on contentious Vienna sidewalk project this week

A sidewalk is coming to Vienna's Alma Street SE, whether the residents want it. Construction to add about 1,500 linear feet of concrete, curb and gutter, driveway aprons, and ramps on the northwest side between Follin Lane and Delano Drive will begin by the end of this week, the Town of Vienna shared on Monday (August 8). 


Public Invited to Comment on New Draft Text for Zoning Ordinance Rewrite

With the posting of the revised draft text in advance of a Planning Commission public hearing on August 30, 2022, the Loudoun County Zoning Ordinance Rewrite process is entering a new public participation phase. The proposed text updates are available for public review and comment before the August 30 meeting. The portions of the draft Zoning Ordinance the Planning Commission will consider on August 30 include: 

  • Acronyms  
  • Definitions and Rules of Interpretation 
  • Development Standards 
  • Land Development Fees  
  • Nonconformities and Adaptive Reuse 
  • Officials, Boards, and Commissions  
  • Procedures 
  • Signs 

Dulles solar farm would be the nation's largest at an airport

Dulles International Airport could soon be home to the most extensive airport-based solar and battery development in the United States, one that, at peak production, could provide enough energy to power more than 37,000 Northern Virginia homes. 

Loudoun Seeks Public Input to Update Transit Equity Policy

Loudoun County is hosting an online comment period to gain input from the public on a proposed refinement to an existing Loudoun County Transit civil rights policy, currently provided under the 2020-2023 Title VI Program for Local Transit and Commuter Bus service. The comment period is open from August 12 through September 12, 2022, to allow public members to review policy information and provide input.  

OmniRide looks to add service to Silver Line stop near Dulles

OmniRide is hoping to take advantage of the forthcoming 66 Outside the Beltway toll lanes, and for the first time, its passengers could be getting one-seat trips to the Dulles area by the end of the year. 

Dominion Sees Way Forward for Powering Data Centers: New Power Lines

Dominion Energy says it has made progress on powering new Ashburn data centers after previously warning the utility may not be able to serve them for years to come. That will mean new substations and power lines are coming to Loudoun ahead of schedule. 

A neighborhood fights to be heard as Dulles planes drown out daily life

It's late afternoon in Loudoun County when residents of the Birchwood at Brambleton neighborhood hear a familiar rumble outside. As it builds to a roar, routines are suspended. Zoom calls are muted. Televisions are paused. Conversations halt, both indoors and out. Those in the neighborhood know all too well what the noise is: A plane departing from Dulles Airport is about to rocket overhead. . . . And dozens have united now, forming a group called the Loudoun Aircraft Noise Mitigation Committee, in a desperate push to be heard. 

Related: Loudoun Board Rolls Back Airport Noise Protections 

Planning Commission Rivana Vote Expected in September

The Loudoun County Planning Commission is expected to make a recommendation on Rivana at Innovation Station, a massive new Metrorail-adjacent development on Loudoun's eastern border, in September. Initially, the project's developers had hoped to break ground early this year but now hope to clear the county's legislative approval process by the end of the year. 


Prince William County Planning Commission approves data center between Manassas and Gainesville

Prince William County planners are backing a data center proposal near Chris Yung Elementary School between Manassas and Gainesville. At its July 27 meeting, the Planning Commission voted 6-1 to recommend approval of the 4.2-million-square-foot data center. 

Prince William could steal Loudoun's title of Data Center Alley. But land use battles are raging.

Prince William County may be on its way to taking the "Data Center Alley" title from neighboring Loudoun County after initiating a plan to allow the development of data centers across 800 acres previously intended for agricultural use. The idea originated from dozens of property owners along Pageland Lane in Gainesville who was motivated by growing development around them, including transmission lines and a 3 million square foot data center campus. 

Jefferson Plaza redevelopment approved in Woodbridge

A new affordable housing complex is coming to a derelict Woodbridge shopping center. During Tuesday's meeting, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors voted 7-0 to approve a request to rezone the defunct Jefferson Plaza Shopping Center in Woodbridge. 

Award-Winning Craft Distillery Announces Major Expansion in Virginia

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced today that the highly awarded MurLarkey Distilled Spirits would relocate and expand its operations within Prince William County. The company, currently located in Bristow, will establish a large new distillery and tasting room on the campus of Farm Brew LIVE in Innovation Park, Manassas. The 12-acre entertainment area, owned by Marcus Silva of Villagio Hospitality Group, is home to 2Silos Brewing, the Black Sheep restaurant, and a live music venue, drawing over 10,000 visitors weekly. 

Prince William Planning Commission Approves Riverside Station Mixed Use Development

Rezoning #REZ2022-00007, Riverside Station Land Bay A and Rezoning #REZ2022-00008, Riverside Station Land Bay B were approved unanimously by the Planning Commission July 27. 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 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.  

Related: Planning Commission approves rezoning for North Woodbridge Town Center 

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