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ArlingtonMissing Middle slated to take another procedural step forward this week

Missing Middle slated to take another procedural step forward this week

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Arlington County Board members on Jan. 21 are expected to take the next procedural step in moving toward imposition of Missing Middle zoning changes, with an eye to enacting final policy changes in March.

Board members are slated to formally vote to advertise changes to the General Land Use Plan (GLUP) and zoning regulations that would pave the way for construction of up to eight dwellings on lots currently zoned single-family.

The public will have a chance to comment at the Jan. 21 meeting. The proposal aims to set hearings on March 6 before the Planning Commission and March 18 before the County Board.

A 122-page staff report accompanies the request to advertise, laying out varying options the board could adopt in terms of number of dwellings, lot coverage and various miscellanea.


The Missing Middle issue has morphed into the most contentious community debate since the Columbia Pike streetcar of a decade ago, and by the time the dust settles may end up being even more controversial.

Particularly in single-family neighborhoods that would be impacted by the changes, there has been increasing pushback, but those who want to slow or scuttle the plan acknowledge that County Board members are likely to enact some form of Missing Middle changes despite community objections.

Supporters of the proposed changes say they will bring more housing diversity to the community, although proponents of the idea have backed away from initial suggestions that the changes would add lower-cost housing options to Arlington, where the average sales price of a single-family home in December was more than $1.2 million.

Opponents say the measure is a one-size-fits-all proposal that needs far more nuance, and point to concerns about gentrification and the impact on infrastructure, schools, parking and treescape.

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