Arlington County, Va., Completes Plan Lee Highway Phase I, Releases Planning Studies

McGuireWoods LLP

In what has been a multiyear process focused on community redevelopment, transportation and public space, Arlington County, Virginia, leaders officially announced the completion of Phase I of Plan Lee Highway. They released two important reports that provide a potential roadmap for the Lee Highway corridor’s eventual redevelopment.

These reports, released Aug. 31, 2020, will strongly influence the redevelopment options ultimately established in the final Plan Lee Highway, which is expected in 2022. Property owners looking to pursue redevelopment opportunities in the Lee Highway corridor should closely review and analyze these reports. This is a major corridor in Arlington County and a significant commercial hub for businesses and transportation linking Rosalyn to East Falls Church, Virginia.

The recently released reports include a Historic and Cultural Resources Report, which provides research, documentation and a survey of historic and cultural resources in the Lee Highway planning area; and Neighborhood Inspiration – A Guide for Developing Future Plans, which describes conditions and attributes of different neighborhoods along Lee Highway. The findings include initial and general recommendations for further identification and public recognition of Lee Highway’s cultural resources, plus recommendations that are consistent with the policies of the Historic Preservation Master Plan and Historic Resources Inventory regarding preservation, interpretation, documentation and storytelling techniques for the Lee Highway corridor.

The Neighborhood Inspiration report gives the most important insights into what the eventual land scenarios could look like in the final Plan Lee Highway. It breaks Lee Highway into five distinct neighborhood areas, with activity nodes featuring each area’s mix of uses, mix of housing types and development intensity, based on the area’s guiding vision and proximity to rapid transit and other neighborhoods serving commercial centers. The report analyzes the potential land uses, housing types, transportation needs, historic preservation elements and appropriate building form for each neighborhood area.

The Neighborhood Inspiration report will serve as a foundation for Plan Lee Highway Phase II, which begins this fall. Phase II will develop land use scenarios illustrating different options for the corridor and neighborhood areas. Phase II will culminate in a Preliminary Concept Plan map in early to mid-2021, with Phase III launching soon thereafter.

Property owners and developers paying close attention to the Plan Lee Highway studies should continue to formulate a strategy for any commercial development projects. McGuireWoods real estate attorneys and land planners are happy to discuss eligibility, strategy and stakeholder engagement to maximize the redevelopment efforts throughout this significant transportation hub in Arlington County.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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