Alexandria Passes Zoning Reform

The city is one of a growing list to eliminate single-family zoning.

1 minute read

December 3, 2023, 5:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


WMATA train on elevated track passing by brick multistory buildings in Alexandria, Virginia.

Michael Geissinger / Adobe Stock

Alexandria became the second Virginia jurisdiction to eliminate single-family only zoning as part of a package of zoning reforms, report Morgan Baskin and Margaret Barthel in DCist. “Alexandria will now allow four-unit buildings on lots currently zoned for only single-family dwellings, which represent one third of the city’s land.”

The article points out that the city estimates “only 66 of 9,000 single-family lots will convert into denser dwellings.” “Taken as a whole, city staff estimate the Zoning For Housing changes could result in more than 2,800 new units in the next decade, a modest but significant increase. Of those, the vast majority — roughly 1,800 units — are expected to come from Residential Multi-Family projects.” The change to single-family zoning is expected to produce just 175 new units.

“For now, new multi-unit buildings will be required to sit within the existing footprint for single-family dwellings. In the future, the city might research how changing height and bulk requirements could incentivize more multi-unit buildings in residential areas.” Zoning for Housing also scales back parking requirements, removes rules about site density and unit size, simplifies townhouse design standards, and encourages transit-oriented development.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023 in DCist

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