Posted on February 12, 2022
Arlington County, Virginia – Saturday February 12, 2022. Arlington County Council has adopted a new vision for a vibrant and livable Pentagon City, following an 18-month planning process. The Board of Directors voted 5-0 to approve the Pentagon City Area Plan (PCSP) and its associated changes to the Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinance.
The adopted plan creates certainty for the community going forward while providing flexibility for landowners that will help diversify housing options, prioritize multi-modal transportation and embrace biophilic design. In addition to setting clear performance standards for the development, the plan includes three linear miles of a Green Ribbon pedestrian network to connect existing and future public spaces, five acres of new public parks and plazas, an expansion of a acre of Virginia Highlands Park, strategies for the location of public facilities, and minimum standards for on-site affordable housing.
County Board Chairwoman Katie Cristol highlighted the plan’s forward-looking look, noting that Pentagon City, with its rich public transit network and access to economic opportunity, is a great place to accommodate more homes for Arlingtonians. “The sector plan envisions the transformation of private spaces into public parks, new multi-modal connections and streets, and more ways for residents to connect with each other and with nature,” she said. .
The Pentagon City Area Plan replaces land use policies that have governed the area since the 1970s and builds on the work of Livability 22202, which is a collaborative effort between three area civic associations. It was adopted after an extensive period of public engagement that included a diverse focus group, online engagement, virtual town hall meetings and open houses, a walking tour of the site, as well as one-on-one meetings with residents. and other stakeholders.
During Saturday’s meeting, stakeholders and community members continued to provide insight into the plan, further emphasizing the balance between the many local and regional priorities facing Arlington. Over the past year and a half, community feedback has influenced the sector plan, leading to changes in its recommendations for transportation, public spaces, affordable housing and public facilities.
The community will have the opportunity to remain engaged during the implementation of the sector plan, by reviewing specific site plan requests and initiating subsequent short-term analysis. The county council, along with county staff, remains engaged in efforts to educate and engage residents of nearby rental properties and condominium/multi-family properties as the plan evolves.
The County Council was also pleased to note that the PPCP is the first long-term plan that specifically addresses equity as it evolves. The Planning Commission asked the council to “ensure that the county learns the true lived experience and perspective of a wide range of people and cultural practices”. In recognizing Black History Month, board member Christian Dorsey backed the sentiment, saying “our job to achieve racial equity in our government processes, investments and actions is to honor resilience and to reward excellence”.
In the coming weeks, county staff will finalize the plan documents as adopted by the county council. The final version will be posted on the project webpage, where the public can also learn more about the overall study process.