Planning Commission Embraces Missing Middle Housing


YIMBYs of Northern Virginia celebrates the unanimous decision of the Arlington Planning Commission to recommend allowing the construction of up to 6 units per building by right on all residential lots. The vote is the penultimate step in a years-long process to end exclusionary zoning and broaden the housing options available in Arlington. Public and Commission support shows a clear mandate for the County Board to adopt a bold set of zoning ordinance changes.  

We are pleased the Planning Commission recommended option 2A to allow 5- and 6-unit buildings on the widest number of lots, which Director of Communications Adam Theo noted in our public comment was “the best option for providing homeowners flexibility”. The Commission also endorsed lot coverage flexibility and no parking mandate for lots near transit, both critical measures that can help achieve real change in housing accessibility for Arlington families.

The recommendations are in line with policy options endorsed by  YIMBYs of Northern Virginia, but more importantly, it is aligned with the sentiments of the overwhelming majority of Arlington County residents who participated in the public comment process in support of zoning reform. “Having 50 speakers in favor of the most expansive Missing Middle reform, compared to only 22 who oppose any change, is an astonishing show of support for Missing Middle housing reform,” President Jane Green remarked. “The pro-housing speakers are a true representation of Arlington’s diverse community: home-owners and renters, young and old, white and non-white, long-time residents as well as new arrivals.”

The Planning Commission deliberations reflected a deep understanding of the need for more accessibly-priced housing options in Arlington, as well as confidence in the County staff's thorough, well-defined plan to adapt Arlington to the exciting growth Missing Middle Housing will usher in.

Commissioner Sarli noted in his closing statement that "our community is embracing this." The Planning Commission endorsement follows strong support from both the Housing Commission and the Transportation commission. It is now up to the County Board to carry through with an expansive Missing Middle zoning reform that will make Arlington a sustainable and equitable community with housing options for people from all walks of life.

Join us to show your support for Missing Middle Housing