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Arlington County has released a so-called Missing Middle Study, which would allow 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 Lyon Village). They are moving extremely quickly this summer to push the plan through, and we need your help to oppose this plan—or at least allow for a more careful discussion.


The Lyon Village Citizens’ Association opposes this plan because:


IT IS NOT AFFORDABLE: The county has acknowledged the Missing Middle proposal will not provide affordable housing, a pipedream in a neighborhood like ours, where the land is so expensive. Instead, it will accelerate the replacement of the least expensive housing in our neighborhoods with more expensive housing, which may negatively impact diversity and accelerate gentrification and exclusionary displacement across the county.


IT RISKS DISPLACEMENT OF OUR SENIORS: The upzoning of our single-family lots will increase the tax burden on seniors across the county who are at risk of displacement from their homes as they try to age in place.


IT WILL REDUCE OUR TREE CANOPY: 60% of Arlington’s trees are found in residential areas and the Missing Middle plan reduces the required tree coverage requirements by up to 50% in those areas.


IT WILL INCREASE SCHOOL OVERCROWDING: Additional housing density across the county will add to the already difficult problem of school overcrowding that we have been experiencing for years at Arlington Public Schools.


WATER RUNOFF AND PARKING: Missing Middle housing will add to countywide water runoff problems and create parking challenges in our neighborhoods.


MISSING MIDDLE HOUSING ALREADY EXCEEDS SINGLE-FAMILY: Arlington already has more Missing Middle housing (34K) than single-family homes (27.5K).


THEY ARE MOVING TOO FAST AND WITHOUT OUR VOTE: The process is moving very quickly, with goals to approve the plan by the Fall, there will be no opportunity for Arlingtonians to vote on one of the most significant changes ever to our county’s zoning rules.


More than a dozen civic associations, and groups such as the Arlington Civic Federation and Arlingtonians for a Sustainable Future, are working to get answers to critical questions and to extend the time frame for consideration so that the community has a chance to more thoughtfully and thoroughly weigh the pros and cons.


Thirty years ago, Arlington wisely adopted the concept of an “Urban Village,” with development centered along the Metro and other major corridors like Langston Blvd. and Columbia Pike. That common-sense approach helped create the community we cherish. But now, in the name of greater density, the current County Board seems determined to destroy “the Village” part of the equation. Not just our village, all single-family residential neighborhoods are at risk.


It’s not too late, but we need to move quickly and comprehensively to show our opposition to this proposal. A large show of opposition through emails and letters makes a difference. The County Board expects to have a work session on the proposal in mid-July. Many thanks in advance for your help.

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