Plan Langston Blvd, a transformative vision for Route 29, envisions a tree-lined, pedestrian-friendly highway with modern apartments over retail spaces. As we approach the final stages of discussion and potential approval, the County Board could approve the Plan at their November board hearing. In this blog, we’ll shed some light on the recent developments, concerns, and diverse public opinions surrounding the plan.
Community Benefit vs. Viability of Proposals
From the beginning, Plan Langston has always been a balancing act between community benefits such as affordable housing or open space and the amount of density developers will be permitted to achieve on site. Crucial issues relating to the amount of affordable housing will likely impact the viability of some projects along the boulevard. Additionally, there has been much debate on the topic of Area Median Income (AMI). While Arlington currently targets housing projects for families earning 60% AMI, there’s a growing consensus to support those earning 30% AMI. Staff have continued to state their desire to retain flexibility within the plan so that the pedestrian friendly highway they envision will come to fruition.
Staff will take a three-prong approach to implementing the plan once it receives approval from the Board.
- The General Land Use Plan (GLUP) for the area will be amended to establish a special planning district and remove the area from the Housing Conservation District (HCD).
- Staff will put forth changes to the Master Transportation Plan (MTP) which will establish guidance for bicycles, transportation demand and system management, parking and curb space management, pedestrian, streets, and transit along the boulevard.
- Staff will implement amendments to the County Zoning Ordinance which will serve to codify the plan’s guidance as it pertains to site plans and design standards.
The Draft and Public Review
Recognizing the need for clarity, a document detailing the plan’s 1,300 refinements is expected soon. Such transparent steps could significantly enhance the public’s understanding of the proposed changes.
Diverse Public Opinions on Development
Feedback on the plan has varied extensively. Some residents voiced concerns over building heights, while others, both supporters and skeptics, felt the plan could be more assertive in adding public spaces, stormwater projects, and affordable housing.
Some expressed appreciation of the revised draft, underscoring the plan’s potential, particularly concerning affordable housing. On the other hand, pro-housing groups, such as the YIMBYs of Northern Virginia, advocate for increased building heights, especially around metro areas, to meet housing goals more efficiently.
The Plan Langston Blvd debate encapsulates the complexities of urban development. As the plan nears final approval, it’s imperative to ensure public participation, address housing concerns, and prioritize sustainable growth. Ensuring a balance between development, infrastructure, and the preservation of public spaces will define the future of Route 29 and its surrounding areas.
If you have questions about this development or other land use concerns, please contact Andrew Gregg at (703) 284-7254 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not contain or convey legal advice. Consult a lawyer. Any views or opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and are not necessarily the views of any client.