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Virginia Square/Latitude Site

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

At the November 16, 2013 Arlington County Board Hearing, Board Member, Libby Garvey, stated that [She] " …felt it was one of the best changes we could make for the community and although she hears the importance of the Sector Plan, she supports the motion." She was affirming her position on voting in favor of the Penrose Group's rezoning and site plan for the block bounded by Fairfax Drive, North Monroe Street, 10th Street North and North Nelson Street in Virginia Square. The County Board approved this site plan, 3 votes to 2, for a twelve-story, 265 unit residential building with ground floor retail, a cultural space, two connected public plazas and 262 below-grade parking spaces. The building will be LEED Gold and LEED EBOM certified and includes a kinetic art sculpture in the Fairfax Drive plaza. The site plan received bonus density for the LEED certifications as well as for the provision of affordable housing in the form on 14 on-site units, 11 of which are two bedroom units.

Conceptual Image

Nan Walsh, assisted by Megan Rappolt and Elizabeth Nicholson, partner and land use planners respectively with Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley & Walsh, P.C. worked through the County Site Plan process with Tysons-based developer, Penrose Group. The project, called "The Latitude" was deferred at its July 2013 Planning Commission hearing due to a concern about the residential use not being compliant with the guidance in the 2002 Virginia Square Sector Plan. At the July Planning Commission hearing, the County Manager recommended an Ad-Hoc Committee comprised of Planning Commissioners and citizens who opposed the project to review the Sector Plan text specific to this project. The Ad-Hoc Committee resulted in no consensus and a four month deferral of the case. On November 6, 2013 The Latitude returned for a second full public hearing before the Planning Commission and left with another recommendation for deferral.

Given that the case would rise and fall on a policy question, the outcome of the case was uncertain, until the County Board took their final vote. During her County Board presentation, Nan Walsh said that the plan addressed 95 Virginia Square Sector Plan goals. In making her case for the residential project, she continued "The plan before you not only checks the Sector Plan boxes, but checks them more boldly than its office counterpart could." In addition, Walsh stated, " By way of example, I would submit to you that our site plan today provides more open space, more interesting architecture and tapering, greater building setbacks from our neighbors, better/more inviting pedestrian connectivity around and through the site, 630 less daily automobile trips, and a variety of housing types and affordability than its office counterpart would provide."

After 34 public speakers, evenly split on the case, and nearly five hours of public hearing, Board Members Fisette, Tejada and Garvey voted to approve the project. Tejada indicated that his vote had come down to the applicant's provision of on-site affordable housing in such close proximity to the Virginia Square Metro station. Board Member Fisette stated that this is not to be a precedent in regard to the Sector Plan, but that he thinks this will be a positive addition to community. He said that he likes the open space, energy efficiency, affordable housing, and cultural amenity provided with the project.

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Nan Walsh Braves High Winds and Neon Vest at Topping-Out Party

Friday, June 28th, 2013

picture of Nan

Nan Walsh with Cecelia Cassidy, Editor and Publisher of the publication "Rosslyn" at the 1812 N Moore Street Topping-Out Party

Nan worked for 2 years with Monday Properties on the zoning entitlements for their landmark building located at 1812 N. Moore Street in Arlington. This 35-story, 390-foot high office building is now the tallest building in the region. It is located in the heart of Rosslyn and when leased will contain approximately 580,000 square feet of office, 12,000 square feet of retail and direct access to the Rosslyn Metro Station.

Courthouse Plaza Divider 2200 Clarendon Blvd., Thirteenth Floor Divider Arlington, VA 22201-3359
Phone 703 528 4700 Divider Fax 703 525 3197
Loudoun Office 703 737 3633 Divider Prince William Office 703 680 4664

City of Fairfax Approves Multi-Family Redevelopment

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Layton Hall Image

In recent years, the City of Fairfax has been reluctant to support multi-family development; however, in a significant decision on May 14, 2013, the City of Fairfax approved redevelopment of 110 existing and outdated garden-style units in the Layton Hall Apartment complex with a 360 unit, multi-family development. The approved development is comprised of high quality, 4 and 5 story residential buildings, structured parking and an urban walkable environment with high-quality streetscape elements, including landscaping, a brick sidewalk, and improved trail along University Drive, pedestrian crosswalks, and pedestrian refuge islands. By creating these pedestrian features, the redevelopment will create walking opportunities for all pedestrians, not just for those residing in the development. The result is that the redevelopment of Layton Hall will create a renewed synergy with downtown Fairfax City, which will enhance the vitality of the downtown area.

In addition to a pedestrian-friendly environment, Transportation Demand Management strategies will be implemented with the redevelopment, including the addition of on-site bike storage, the establishment of bike lanes on adjacent public roads, the distribution of Smart Trip Cards to new residents, and an electric vehicle charging station for use by the residents. These varied techniques will promote a reduction in the number of vehicle trips to and from the property.

The proposed architectural style is traditional, in keeping with the character of the City of Fairfax. The proposed buildings will be primarily constructed of brick, and incorporate universal design features and sustainable design elements.

A number of site design features influenced the City’s decision including environmental considerations as the building layout removes existing buildings from the floodplain, stormwater management will be installed when none exists, and environmentally beneficial materials are encouraged, such as the use of pervious pavers in the final design.

Given the affordable nature of the existing apartments, the City Council raised concerns about the preservation of affordable housing. The redevelopment includes a robust tenant relocation plan and a set aside of five percent of the total number of units as workforce housing. Subsequently the City Council directed the Planning Commission to evaluate and draft a formal policy and/or ordinance for the provision of affordable and workforce housing in the City.

Courthouse Plaza Divider 2200 Clarendon Blvd., Thirteenth Floor Divider Arlington, VA 22201-3359
Phone 703 528 4700 Divider Fax 703 525 3197
Loudoun Office 703 737 3633 Divider Prince William Office 703 680 4664

Fairfax County BOS Considers Changes to Modified Processing Policy

Friday, June 21st, 2013

The Fairfax County BOS is currently considering changes to its 20-year old Modified Processing Policy. The old Modified Processing policy was primarily geared toward spurring economic development by allowing advantages to suburban office development. The proposed revisions would allow Modified Processing to apply to a greater variety of projects than previously permitted. For instance, it would allow for one–building developments with parking garages or unified developments sharing a common architectural/infrastructure element (such as a parking podium) to qualify where previously it was only allowed for single buildings. The proposed changes increase the qualifying minimum property value threshold for those areas outside of Commercial Revitalization Districts and Commercial Revitalization Areas from $25 million to $55 million (of which $50 must be building value). This expansion of qualifying projects is tempered by a greater staff oversight of the project. It is important to note that the proposal excludes single family detached and townhome development projects.

Tom Williamson with Fairfax County Land Development Services is anticipating bringing comments back to the Board of Supervisors Development Process Review Committee by September and is actively seeking industry comments to the draft proposal, which can be found by clicking here. He can be reached at Thomas.Williamson@fairfaxcounty.gov.

Courthouse Plaza Divider 2200 Clarendon Blvd., Thirteenth Floor Divider Arlington, VA 22201-3359
Phone 703 528 4700 Divider Fax 703 525 3197
Loudoun Office 703 737 3633 Divider Prince William Office 703 680 4664