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Planning in Arlington

Arlington is recognized as a national model for smart growth and the type of transit-oriented development that has helped us to create vibrant business districts and employment centers, while preserving the quiet nature and charm of our residential neighborhoods. One of the pillars of our smart growth policy involves focusing mixed-use, high-density development along primary transportation corridors. We’ve been using this approach since the 1970s, when the Metrorail orange and blue lines began operating in Rosslyn.

Transit-oriented development allows us to encourage new development that will stimulate the economy, while extending diverse residential, recreational, educational, health, shopping, and employment opportunities for our residents – all within easy reach of public transportation.

This tradition of managing growth in a way that safeguards Arlington’s best features continues today. When planning for future development, we use a comprehensive process that incorporates extensive community participation. Realize Rosslyn is an example. This intensive two-year community planning process will update the sector plan and provide a refined community vision and framework for future development in Rosslyn.

Aerial view of Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor from the east, depicting transit-oriented development areas edged by residential neighborhoods

Early planning efforts for the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor began in the 1970s when the new Metrorail system was being planned to include orange line service from Rosslyn to Ballston and blue line service from Rosslyn to Washington National Airport. In 1977, the County Board adopted the Rosslyn Sector Plan and in 1992, a Plan Addendum laid out the vision to transform Rosslyn into a first-class urban center with superior architecture and excellent urban design. Today, Rosslyn is a thriving employment center and an important gateway to Washington, D.C. The Realize Rosslyn effort will help to address some ongoing challenges and create the long-range plan to continue improving and transforming this area.

Learn more about planning in Rosslyn.