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What is the purpose of the Rosslyn Sector Plan Update?

This collaborative planning effort between the County and the community will help to define a vision for the future of Rosslyn as a vibrant and distinctive urban place featuring great housing, retail and office space that’s all easily accessible by public transportation. It will involve creating a detailed plan that reflects the community’s vision for the area. Once it’s adopted by the County Board, the Sector Plan Update will serve as a guide for all future development in Rosslyn. This long-range planning effort will build on the successes of the County’s 40+ years of experience with smart growth and transit-oriented development.

Why is this planning happening now?

Based on current trends and long-range forecasts, we anticipate significant development activity in Rosslyn. Updating the Rosslyn Sector Plan will allow us to address development issues and community concerns, based on current planning standards, and to provide policy clarification and updates where needed.

Why do we need a plan?

Planning plays a key role in regulating growth and development in Arlington. We use a collaborative planning process, working closely with the community to develop land-use plans that will guide future growth and development in specific areas. These plans typically contain recommendations on various elements such as land use, public spaces, street and building design, retail use, historic preservation and community revitalization.

The Realize Rosslyn effort will update the existing 1992 Rosslyn Station Area Plan Addendum and will provide a framework to guide future development. The plan will help developers understand the community’s goals and objectives for Rosslyn and it will inform County and Planning Commission decisions, and community review of proposed site plans. A more up-to-date long-range plan for Rosslyn will help us evaluate proposed development projects, and it will allow for a more efficient and effective community review process.

What are the key goals and objectives of the Rosslyn Sector Plan Update?

  • Encourage good urban design and successful placemaking through future developments
  • Provide more specific guidance on building heights limitations
  • Improve the transportation system’s ability to move people in and around Rosslyn
  • Enhance Rosslyn’s network of parks and open spaces

Why is the County studying this area again?

Previous planning efforts have helped to transform the Rosslyn area into a thriving commercial center. The last major planning study was conducted more than 20 years ago, and Rosslyn’s sector plan needs to be updated to reflect current challenges and goals.

Early planning efforts helped to establish Rosslyn as a major business and employment center in the region. The 1977 Rosslyn Transit Station Area Study identified necessary improvements, including: improving traffic and pedestrian systems, strengthening important connections, creating key gateways, and improving open space and pedestrian environments. This led to several planning efforts to address these issues.

In 1992, the Rosslyn Station Area Plan Addendum defined a vision for Rosslyn as a major gateway into Arlington and a great urban center that is a vibrant place to live, work, and play. The plan focused on high-quality architecture and urban design. In 1996, the County created the “C-O Rosslyn” zoning district, permitting enough density to make way for major building redevelopment or renovation projects. Over the past 20 years, several projects have been completed.

What impact will this plan have on the community and how can I get involved?

The Realize Rosslyn plan update will help guide future development and address the primary planning issues affecting Rosslyn. To ensure the updated plan reflects the community’s vision, our planning process includes a significant public participation component. Since the effort began in December 2012, we’ve held several community workshops and conducted dozens of interviews with residents, business owners, community leaders and other stakeholders. Subscribe to our mailing list to receive information about the plan update process, opportunities for public input and meeting announcements. You can also contact us by email.