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Alert about County Missing Middle Study

 

County Missing Middle Study. At the end of April, the county suddenly released its Missing Middle Housing proposal, which would essentially do away with current zoning in all R-5, R-6, R-10, and R-20 residential zoning districts. (Lyon Village is mostly R-6, with some R-5. The number refers to the minimum lot size, e.g., R-6 means minimum lot size of 6,000 square feet.) As we read the proposal, it would permit the construction of duplexes, triplexes, and larger buildings, up to 8 units, on virtually all, if not all, lots in single-family residential zoning districts in the county (including Country Club Hills). That is substantially all non-commercial property in the county. The larger the lot, the more housing units could be squeezed in. Under this proposal, an empty single-family-zoned lot, such as one created by tearing down a house, would allow the lot owner or a developer to build two or more living units. The size of the structure would be subject to existing rules for single-family homes in terms of setbacks and height, coupled with reduced on-site parking requirements. The plan could turn streets into a hodgepodge of buildings, encourage much larger houses, exacerbate water runoff problems, threaten trees, and increase noise, parking, and street access problems.

 

What can you do to speak out about the Missing Middle Proposal?

 

1) Complete the county's "Missing Middle" online survey by May 27, if you haven't already done so: https://us.openforms.com/Form/294ae95f-06f8-4121-b76e-6ec35d2a7624. [NOTE: Arlingtonians for Our Sustainable Future (ASF) provides a snapshot of survey pages and offers suggestions on answering the questions: https://www.asf-virginia.org/_files/ugd/a48bae_24b6ac142e064c78bac660fed3f7609f.pdf]

 

2) Send to the County Board (copying staff and local media) with individual letters of opposition to the "missing middle" upzoning proposal (the board's staff counts the number of letters for and against proposals). [NOTE: Providing a template/sample letter for people to use or modify makes it easy and convenient]:

 

Send to/Distribution List

County Board Chair Katie Cristol: kcristol@arlingtonva.us

Vice Chair Christian Dorsey: cdorsey@arlingtonva.us

Libby Garvey: lgarvey@arlingtonva.us

Takis Karantonis: tkarantonis@arlingtonva.us

Matt de Ferranti: mdeferranti@arlingtonva.us

cc: countyboard@arlingtonva.us

County Manager Mark Schwartz: mschwartz@arlingtonva.us

Housing Arlington Coordinator Richard Tucker: rtucker@arlingtonva.us

housingarlington@arlingtonva.us

Scott McCaffrey (Sun Gazette): smccaffrey@sungazette.net

ARLnow.com: arlingtonnews@gmail.com

Arlington Connection: arlington@connectionnewspapers.com

Teo Armus (Washington Post): teo.armus@washpost.com

 

3) Write your own letter to the editor (lets the media know this is a hot topic, even if they don't publish your letter):

Washington Post: letters@washpost.com (word limit is 250 words; to submit using the online form, visit https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/letter-to-the-editor/)

[Note: See also the Post's opinion piece guidelines for op-eds at https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/op-ed-writing-guide-washington-post-examples/]

Sun Gazette: smccaffrey@sungazette.net (word limit is 300 words; to submit using the online form, visit https://sungazette.news/contact/)

 

4) Sign the Arlingtonians-Opposed-to-Upzoning Petition: https://www.change.org/p/arlingtonians-opposed-to-upzoning