- Vision, recommendations to guide redevelopment of Western Rosslyn area
- New school, new fire station, park and recreation spaces, more affordable housing
- Public-private collaboration
The Arlington County Board today adopted the Western Rosslyn Area Plan, a plan outlining a new vision and strategies to redevelop a key area of Rosslyn with a new fire station, a new school, a new Rosslyn Highlands Park and another small park space, mixed-use development and up to 250 units of affordable housing.
“This has been a challenging process with significant involvement from multiple sectors of the Rosslyn community. Our desires for new facilities to meet County goals were varied and, in some cases, competing,” said Arlington County Board Chair Mary Hynes. “Through the ensuing process, we have arrived at a plan that addresses some of the County’s highest priorities — adding school capacity to ease overcrowding, providing more affordable housing near transit, creating high-quality open space and achieving an expanded Fire Station #10. We look forward to working with APS and APAH to plan the open space and outdoor recreational facilities in the next few months, and to the development of a MOU with APS that will govern community access to recreation and other spaces in the new school.”
The Board voted unanimously to adopt the Western Rosslyn Area Plan.
A shared vision
The Western Rosslyn Area Plan Study (WRAPS) provides a vision for the portion of Rosslyn generally bordered by 18th Street North to the north, Wilson Boulevard to the south, North Quinn Street to the west and the eastern property line of the 1555 Wilson Boulevard office building site to the east. The site’s limited space, along with the School Board’s decision to locate a new school on the Wilson School site, created a challenge for the County to balance its goal of creating the greatest amount of contiguous and usable open space. The WRAPS recommendations include:
- A new 775-seat secondary school on the Wilson School site
- a new Fire Station #10
- a new Rosslyn Highlands Park and another small public park space
- mixed-use development
- increased affordable housing development.
Collaborative planning effort
WRAPS was a collaborative effort led by County planning staff, who worked closely with a County Board-appointed Working Group of Arlington residents, business leaders, property owners and advocates. From the beginning of the process, the County Board expressed interest in a partnership with property owner Penzance to facilitate the rebuilding of Fire Station #10. In return for the County making a portion of its land available for private redevelopment through a land lease, Penzance will build a new fire station to replace the over 50-year-old existing Fire Station #10 — leveraging the value of the County’s land and any increased density from the County site. Penzance will cover the costs of the new fire station and many other site amenities.
Arlington Public Schools plans to build the new school, which will house the H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program, the Stratford Program, ESOL/HILT and Asperger’s Program now housed at the H-B Woodlawn/Stratford site on Vacation Lane, by 2019. Most of the other development in the study area is expected to be built within the next five years – transforming an area that has remained largely unchanged since the 1980s.
The Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing property, where there are now 39 affordable units, could be redeveloped to include some 250 units. This new project aligns with the goals of the Affordable Housing Study under review that calls for adding affordable units to transit-accessible corridors whenever possible.
The County launched the Western Rosslyn Area Planning Study (WRAPS) in 2014, parallel to the Realize Rosslyn Planning process that produced the proposed Rosslyn Sector Plan. The process included multiple Working Group meetings, a community workshop, joint County Board-School Board work sessions, and advisory group and commission reviews, including the Planning Commission.
To read the staff report on this item, visit the County website. Scroll down to Item #40 on the Agenda for the Tuesday, July 21 Recessed County Board Meeting.