The Chamber expressed broad support for the Plan Lee Highway Scenario Analysis, which provides for additional commercial and residential development in the Langston Boulevard transit corridor. As Arlington County moves ahead with designing development plans for this corridor, the Chamber encouraged creating flexible land use policies and regulations to attract investment, and cautioned against restrictions that could limit the ability of future community processes to develop innovative designs and solutions.
The Chamber encouraged Arlington County to allow for the broadest possible range of ground story uses in the Columbia Pike Form Based Code. Arlington County is studying how to update the code to add permission for uses that were not envisioned when the Form Based Code was adopted, but such an update still won’t cover desired future uses not envisioned today. The goal of the Form Based Code is to provide a thriving main-street feeling; permitting all uses by default, unless specifically identified as adverse, will help deliver that goal for South Arlington’s central main street.
The Chamber expressed support for the broad goals of the Public Art Master Plan update to contribute to Arlington's vibrancy, while suggesting amendments to make the plan stronger. The drafted plan favors County-curated art over privately-curated art, and adds cost without accounting for other public benefits delivered by site plan projects. The Chamber encouraged Arlington County to broaden its definition of public art and to work to minimize the cost burden of public art contributions.
The Chamber supported allowing more flexibility to give bonus height for site plan projects delivering affordable housing. The proposed amendments to the Arlington County Zoning Ordinance would allow the County Board to approve more bonus height for certain projects that are 100% low- or middle-income housing or that meet the goals of the Affordable Housing Master Plan. Projects receiving bonus height would need to design it to establish effective transitions to neighboring developments.
The Arlington Chamber of Commerce encourages and supports the broad policy goals of the Community Energy Plan (CEP). The target of net-zero CO2 equivalent emission by 2050 is aspirational, and can be an impetus for innovation. But there is also the risk of losing the plan’s sensitivity to individual circumstances if its implementation is too prescriptive. Arlington County should ensure sufficient flexibility in implementing the plan so that it is viable and economically feasible for businesses and residents, including the availability to consumers of a diverse range of energy choices in meeting growing energy needs.
The Chamber wrote a letter to the County Board regarding the new Green Building Incentive program and highlighted specific aspects that should be reconsidered as well as points that the Chamber agreed with. The Chamber believes that an effective incentive program should remain connected to the actual costs of implementing green building techniques and focused on environmental outcomes.
The Chamber wrote a letter to the County Board encouraging them to accept the proposed amendment to the Arlington County Zoning Ordinance to permit outdoor cafes in zones R-C. This would allow restaurants along and adjacent to Fairfax Drive, N Glebe Road, and Wilson Boulevard to implement outdoor dining. The Chamber believes this will enhance the vibrancy and streetscape near the Ballston, Virginia Square, and Courthouse metro stations.
The Chamber sent a letter to the County Board opposing a proposed amendment to the Columbia Pike Neighborhoods Form Based Code to add a cash contribution to the Affordable Housing Investment Fund for commercial uses in these districts. The Chamber supports creating more affordable housing in Arlington, but this amendment risks disincentivizing needed development along Columbia Pike.
The Chamber expressed support for recommendations for changes to the Form Based Code made by the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO) in a position paper. CPRO's recommendations include allowing retail-equivalent uses at the street level, granting more design flexibility for new construction, and relaxing restrictions on signage. Adopting these recommendations will allow for activity that is economically feasible on Columbia Pike today, which has the potential to seed further development in the future.
The Chamber wrote a letter to the County Board expressing its views on the proposed amendments related to bonus density and height. The Chamber supports the broad goal of facilitating the use of bonus height and density to achieve public benefits. Allowing for both bonus height and density provides flexibility to support individual site plans, which is why the Chamber encourages the Board to adopt an expanded version of amendment with explicit mentions of both height and density, and not to approve another change that could limit flexibility.
The Chamber sent a letter to the County Board requesting that the board defer the request to advertise public hearings on the modifications of bonus density and height provisions for a month. There are many elements in the proposal, which strike the Chamber as positive changes, but the Chamber and other businesses in the community are still grappling with the complex implications of other elements.
The Chamber sent a letter to the County Board expressing support for the broad policy goals of the proposed update to the Community Energy Plan update, and also to a proposed change to the Green Building Incentive. The letter also noted that the manner in which the plan is implemented will ultimately determine its success. As such, the Chamber urged flexibility in implementation so that it is viable and economically feasible for businesses and residents.
The Chamber sent a letter to County Board Chair Cristian Dorsey expressing its support for a package of Zoning Ordinance and County Code amendments for Phase I of the Child Care Initiative. The proposed changes should increase child care availability, and balance community feedback with Commonwealth standards. Affordable and accessible child care is essential for the wellbeing of Arlington’s residents and workforce. The proposed changes are smart approaches to real challenges that have inhibited access and affordability for child care and represent an approach to regulation which we hope Arlington will follow in other areas.
The Chamber sent a letter to Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol, raising concerns about the direction of the Four Mile Run Valley Initiative and the potentially harmful impact it could have on businesses in our area. In the letter, the Chamber requests that planning staff remove the existing businesses from the study area and that planning staff illustrate how the County facilities located in the study area can heighten the businesses currently located in the area.
The Chamber called on the Arlington County Board to oppose moving forward with the approval of the proposed Housing Conservation District (HCD) Policy Framework, which would limit the development potential of a property, impede access to financing for property owners to reinvest in these properties, and discourage redevelopment of older housing. The Chamber is concerned that this proposal could have unintended consequences that could hinder housing affordability over the long term.
In a letter to County Board Chair Jay Fisette, the Chamber declared its support for the County Board’s adoption of the Clean Energy Financing Ordinance to authorize creation of the Arlington County Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program. The first of its kind in Virginia, C-PACE would provide a financing alternative that enables low-cost, long-term funding for energy efficiency retrofits and upgrades for commercial properties.
The Arlington Chamber sent a letter to County Board Chair Jay Fisette to express support for the Residential Parking Working Group's draft report and recommendations and urge the County to protect businesses from any additional costly requirements.
The Arlington Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette regarding concerns expressed by the S. Four Mile Run Business Association and individual Chamber member businesses located inside the Four Mile Run Valley Initiative's Park Boundary Study Area. In the letter, the Chamber requests that planning staff remove the existing businesses from the study area and that planning staff illustrate how the County facilities located in the study area can heighten the businesses currently located in the area.
In a letter to the Arlington County Board, the Chamber voiced concerns over potential codification of building heights as part of the codification of the Realize Rosslyn Plan, which could severely limit Rosslyn’s ability to attract creative innovative development.
The Chamber shares its support for the County Manager's recommendation regarding the modifications to Long Bridge Park, provided that the project completed with the County funds not exceeding the allocated capital funding for the project. However, the Chamber supports the possibility of a further enhanced facility should other public or private partners emerge.
As a follow-up to its June 2015 letter, the Chamber sent a letter to the Arlington County Board to express appreciation for the changes that had been made to the Realize Rosslyn Sector Plan, while taking issue with remaining concerns that had not yet been addressed.
The Chamber sent a letter to the County Board supporting the expansion of the boundaries of the Crystal City Business Improvement District (BID) to include areas of Pentagon City and the Arlington portion of Potomac Yard.
The Chamber sent a letter to the Arlington County Board expressing concerns with the Realize Rosslyn Sector Plan and requesting that the County Board postpone the advertisement of the Rosslyn Sector Plan until all concerns have been addressed.
The Chamber sent a letter to the Arlington County Board expressing general support for the direction and aspirational goals outlined in the proposed Affordable Housing Master Plan and the Affordable Housing Implementation Framework.
In a letter to the Arlington County Board, the Chamber outlined its concerns over the Phase IIC update of the Zoning Ordinance, particularly the restriction and regulation of business based upon use category rather than zoning district.