Arlington County, Virginia

Land Use & Zoning

Our client, The Penrose Group, a Tysons-based developer, sought to redevelop a block in the Virginia Square section of Arlington for a primarily residential use.

Based on Walsh Colucci partner Nan Walsh’s knowledge of the Arlington County process, her creative solutions within that process, and her successful track record obtaining approvals of difficult applications, The Penrose Group retained Nan to obtain the entitlements necessary for their redevelopment project.

The project required approval of a Site Plan by the Arlington County Board. The project, called “The Latitude” was not deemed to be fully compliant with the guidance in the 2002 Virginia Square Sector Plan, which recommend mixed-use with office for this site. Nan Walsh, assisted by Land Use Planners Megan Rappolt and Elizabeth Nicholson, worked through this process, which included a deferral and review by an Ad-Hoc Committee to determine if residential use was in compliance with the Sector Plan.

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. Nan Walsh’s presentation to the County Board, which pointed out that the proposed residential use provided more open space, more interesting architecture and tapering, greater building setbacks, better and 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 was crucial to the approval. Success was achieved with approval of 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 and the provision of 14 on-site affordable housing units, 11 of which are two-bedroom units.

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