Alexandria To Consider New Density Bonus

City leaders hope the proposed change will boost the city’s supply of affordable housing.

June 22, 2022, 6:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


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Jerry Regis / Shutterstock

According to an article by the Alexandria Living Magazine staff, the northern Virginia city could expand eligibility for bonus density in an effort to encourage more affordable housing construction.

“Currently, a developer can request additional density in their development in exchange for more affordable housing units or a contribution to the Alexandria Housing Trust Fund — if the building is going to be higher than 50 feet.” The proposed change would reduce that height to 45 feet.

As the article explains, “While about half- a-story difference may not seem like a lot in regards to unlocking bonus density allowance, the change could alter Alexandria's skyline in many neighborhoods. Developments would not be able to be increased more than 25 feet above the previously permitted height, so an area with 45-foot height allowances could result in buildings, including bonus density, as high as 70-feet tall.”

Developments would still be subject to other regulations that may discourage taking advantage of the reduced height limit. “Factors such as the character of the neighborhood and surrounding buildings, federal rules and zoning may stop the development of some taller buildings.”

After the Planning Commission examines the issue, Alexandria’s city council will discuss the issue in July.

Thursday, June 16, 2022 in Alexandria Living Magazine

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