Arlington, Virginia, Pushes Forward With Commercial Resiliency Strategy

July 25, 2022

In response to a rapidly evolving post-COVID-19 commercial real estate market, Arlington County, Virginia, recently launched its “Commercial Resiliency Strategy.” The strategy follows up on the office-to-residential conversion administrative guidance Arlington County staff released in December 2020.

The Commercial Resiliency Strategy envisions modernizing land-use regulations to accommodate new and emerging uses not directly addressed in Arlington County’s zoning ordinance. These uses include but are not limited to new ground-floor uses, new upper-story uses, and more broadly allowing uses currently allowed in only a few zoning districts. The strategy also seeks to develop a more streamlined approval process and limit items requiring Arlington County Board review to those with greatest potential impact.

In the short term, the Commercial Resiliency Strategy contemplates potentially developing land-use regulations for the following uses:

  • Micro-fulfillment centers
  • Education/university
  • Urban agriculture
  • Distilleries and breweries
  • Edge data centers
  • Flex research and development lab spaces
  • Maker spaces
  • Animal boarding
  • Food delivery

On July 16, 2022, the Arlington County Board approved a request to authorize advertisement of public hearings to consider zoning ordinance amendments for micro-fulfillment centers with Arlington County Board approval expected in October. The county frames the micro-fulfillment center zoning ordinance amendments as a pilot program and template for future efforts made under the Commercial Resiliency Strategy.

McGuireWoods is available to discuss new and emerging uses that may be eligible for Arlington County review under the Commercial Resiliency Strategy.