- County Board, Planning Commission hearings in September
- Plan will guide development over decades
- Replacing surface parking with below grade parking and a premier public plaza
- 4 new acres of open space in sector
The Arlington County Board today set September public hearings for the proposed Courthouse Sector Plan Addendum. The hearings, on September 8 before the Planning Commission and during the September 19 County Board Meeting, will consider a draft addendum that sets forth a vision, guiding principles and recommendations for future public and private development in the Courthouse Square area over the next several decades.
“This proposed update advances our vision for the Courthouse area, creating a people-oriented civic and cultural heart for Arlington,” said Arlington County Board Chair Mary Hynes. “While Courthouse planning has always included a civic building and central public space that can support a range of activities, this update refines the vision and brings it into the 21st century. These recommendations are the result of more than 1,000 people engaging with us during the planning process, bringing their great ideas to the table.”
A premier public place for Arlington
Courthouse is a lively urban and transit-oriented village that serves as the County’s seat of government and hosts the Judicial Center, Detention Center and primary government offices. The draft plan addendum sets forth a vision, conceptual plan, design guidelines and implementation guidance to transform Courthouse Square into the premier place for Arlingtonians to gather for conversation, recreation, relaxation and to celebrate important events.
Plan recommendations are organized around circulation, open space, buildings, cultural resources and sustainability. A major element of the plan relocates existing surface parking to an underground parking structure that will allow redevelopment for new open space. The new Courthouse Square will include 4 acres of green and hardscape, to be used as a central gathering space for the community.
Building recommendations include the redevelopment of sites around the square to include mixed uses, an iconic civic building, County government offices, parking and a Metro canopy on the future square. Recommended circulation improvements include better access to transit, a new pedestrian promenade and enhanced street design for pedestrians and cyclists.
The Board voted unanimously to approve advertising public hearings on the Sector Plan Addendum before the Planning Commission on September 8 and before the County Board on September 19. To read the staff report, visit the County website. Scroll down to Item #37 on the Agenda for the Saturday, July 18, Regular County Board Meeting.
Effort began in 2013
The County Board initiated the community planning process, Envision Courthouse Square, in 2013. The goal of the process was to update the vision outlined in the 1993 Courthouse Sector Plan Addendum, which identified a state-of-the-art government center and signature public space as critical to the area’s development. Various stakeholder and community group representatives were appointed to a Working Group that provided guidance and input to County staff to establish the basis of recommendations.
The planning process was centered on extensive civic engagement and outreach with the Arlington community. Three hands-on community workshops, two interactive surveys, 18 public Working Group meetings, an open house and ongoing feedback channels sustained a dialogue with the community about ideas, challenges and the addendum process.
View the Draft Courthouse Sector Plan Addendum.
To learn more, visit the County website.