An exploration of things to do in Arlington

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Monday: Community Forum on Accessory Dwelling Proposal

Check out this event on Monday:
Community Forum: Housing Commission’s Accessory Dwelling Proposal

When: 7:00 - 9:30 p.m., Monday, March 31, 2008 Where: Arlington Central Library Auditorium, 1015 North Quincy Street (nearest Metro: Ballston, very limited on-site parking) You will have the opportunity to:
  • Hear a presentation describing key elements of the proposal
  • Ask questions about the proposal or what’s legal now
  • Share your thoughts on what the County Manager should recommend to the County Board
Here are links to the Commission’s Accessory Dwelling Report which was submitted to the County Board in January. It recommends that the County Board amend the Zoning Ordinance to permit Accessory Dwellings. For more information, email Fran Lunney.

: To request assistance for persons with limited English proficiency or hearing impairments, please telephone the Arlington County Housing Division at 703.228.3760 as soon as possible (TTY 703.228.4611). Central Library is accessible to people with disabilities.
So what are accessory dwellings? The Arlington Connection explains:

"Houses can sometimes renovate their basements to turn them into a living area," [Tejada] said in an interview. "Because of the cost of land these days, this is a way of creating housing."

TEJADA’S proposal dealt with accessory dwelling units. An accessory dwelling unit is a part of a home with its own kitchen and bathroom that could be rented out to a private party. They can be located in a basement, an attic, a garage, a second floor or in a free-standing structure such as a guest house.

Currently, renting out an accessory dwelling unit is not legal in Arlington unless it is rented to a family member. In his first speech as chairman on Jan. 1, Tejada described accessory dwelling units as "a new form of affordability in Arlington" and said that the law should be changed to permit them to be rented to private parties.

A similar change to allow for this was proposed in the early 1980’s but was killed after neighborhood representatives raised concerns about crowding issues. Now, with Arlington facing inflated land prices and a housing shortage, the idea has been resurrected by local officials.

THE COUNTY’S Housing Commission has been investigating this issue for several years and recently issued a report that recommended changing the housing laws to allow for the renting of accessory dwelling units.

The report said that allowing homeowners to rent out parts of their houses would not only increase affordable housing in Arlington but would also give the county’s elders the ability to "age in place through added income or space for caregivers."

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Blogger Jay -- Arlington Virginia Condos said...

I think it's a great idea and would essentially reflect the real world more accurately. I've seen countless "in-law" suites in Arlington basements that are marketed as a possible second income stream for anybody who purchases the home. It's the owner's property and why should he be penalized for renovating his basement to make offer it as a low cost rental to somebody who probably really needs it. Great idea and hope it passes; it's already being done in the real world and it shouldn't be illegal as it doesn't hurt anybody unlike homes where multiple families move in including all their cars having a negative impact on property values surrounding the home.


1:30 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been reading with growing alarm the counties proposal for accessory dwelling units. I believe this proposal, if approved, would devastate Arlington County.

In our neighborhood we are already dealing with overcrowding brought on by over-zoning, parking problems, non-existent zoning enforcement, an invisible police department,noise, garbage problems, drug sales, and substandard / dilapidated housing. Accessory dwelling units will only further aggravate our existing problems.

Don't wait until your neighbor builds a lean-to in thier backyard and rents it to drug dealers who party all night, throw trash out the windows, and block your driveway and parking with drive by drug buyers. This is a horrifc idea and further work on it should be halted immediately.

I strongly oppose the proposal and urge all homeowners to reject it as well. Just wait until the county forces this down our throats! Think your property values are down now?


4:22 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

With property values and RE taxes increasing on all Arlington homeowners this ordinance will allow older residents to rent out a part of their home without feeling like outlaws.
This is a great idea whose time has come.
Who better to police the tenants who would rent these units than the owner(s) of the home themselves?

3:50 AM

Blogger Michu's mom said...

I oppose Accessory Dwelling's in Arlington. This is more for income than it is for older citizens. According to the Censes, Arlington has 9.4% senior citizens. Senior citizens are also afforded Tax Exemptions based on their income. I think this is for income, mostly.

12:52 PM


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