Plan Lee Highway: August 2019 Newsletter

Plan Lee Highway
Paul Holland, PLH

Chair’s and Vice Chair's Message

Happy Fall! We hope you enjoyed your summer and that you are re-charged.   

The summer months have been busy for the Plan Lee Highway team and Working Group. As you know, Plan Lee Highway is currently in Phase One, or the information-gathering stage. This phase commenced with the publication of a Kick-Off Meetings Summary Report and the initiation of work on an Existing Conditions Analysis Report. This work included a series of Neighborhood Focus Group meetings (summary published here) at the Lee Highway Alliance (LHA) office. 

The County continued to develop the Existing Conditions Analysis Report throughout the summer. Additional interviews with corridor property owners, developers, and land use attorneys were held to discuss existing conditions, potential housing types, and best practices in the corridor. As the team explored the nine key planning elements, they concurrently presented material to the Working Group on June 19 and July 10 for feedback, completing a series of meetings that began in May. The nine planning elements include: 

  • Land Use 
  • Urban Design & Building Form 
  • Housing 
  • Transportation 
  • Public Spaces 
  • Historic & Cultural Resources 
  • Economic Vitality 
  • Sustainability 
  • Schools, Community Facilities, and Social Hubs 

In June, the County held an educational forum on Land Use and Zoning in the County Board Room that included an update on the Housing Conservation District, which is a concurrent planning effort underway.  

In July, AECOM’s historic preservation specialists began surveys of historic and cultural resources along the Lee Highway corridor including businesses, homes, apartment buildings, and community resources 50 years of age or older. 

Throughout June and July, Natasha Alfonso-Ahmed, the County’s Project Manager, has held bi-weekly studios at LHA that are open to anyone interested in asking questions about Plan Lee Highway. Those studios – 12 to 4 pm every other Friday – have taken a break in August and will resume on September 13. 

On a related note, the LHA has been working on parallel initiatives. In April, LHA volunteers completed a Baseline Study Walking Tour and submitted it to AECOM to assist with their analysis. In May, the County’s Bicycle Advisory Committee and LHA held a bike tour of the Lee Corridor followed by a discussion of issues.   

Looking ahead, the Existing Conditions Analysis Report is incredibly comprehensive and is expected to be released online in October. We hope you will preview it before the Community Forum meeting now planned for Saturday morning, November 2. This meeting will be followed by a Public Workshop in early 2020. 

County staff will continue their focus groups this fall and will offer online surveys for expanded community engagement. Many voices are being heard. 

Thank you for being part of Plan Lee Highway - we are excited to continue our work with you! 

Please reach out to us or to staff at any time to discuss Plan Lee Highway – we are available! 

  • Paul Holland, Plan Lee Highway Community Forum Chair 
  • Sandi Chesrown, Plan Lee Highway Community Forum Vice Chair 

Latest News

  • An educational forum on the type of development and density permitted today on Lee Highway was held on June 8, in the County Board room. The forum featured an update on the County’s Housing Conservation District, which includes multi-family areas along the Lee Highway corridor. View the presentation to learn more.

  • The Working Group met with the planning team on June 19 and July 10 and discussed a variety of topics, including more initial research and key findings for the Existing Conditions Analysis. Find meeting summaries on the study website.

  • Interviews with small to large scale commercial and residential developers and property owners, land use attorneys, and various people involved in real estate were held throughout the summer months.

  • The architectural field survey of potentially historic and cultural resources along the Lee Highway Corridor has begun.

Notes from the Design Studio

  • On Friday, September 13, the Plan Lee Highway Design Studio will re-open every other Friday12-3:30 p.m., at the LHA offices, 4620 Lee Highway, Suite 208. 

  • The studio is an informal, drop-in opportunity for residents, business owners, community members and other Lee Highway stakeholders to view the latest study materials, meet with project planners, ask questions and share ideas. We hope to see you there! 

  • In the fall, the studio will host subject matter experts to provide in-depth insight on various planning elements. A detailed schedule of studio presentations is coming soon.

Looking Ahead

  • The planning team is finalizing an Existing Conditions Analysis report for the nine key planning elements. This Existing Conditions report will provide a baseline understanding of the corridor’s current conditions and be used to inform development of the plan’s recommendations.  
  • To learn about this report and use it to provide input on the future of Lee Highway, save the date for Community Forum meeting on the morning of Saturday, November 2, and stay tuned for details about a public workshop in early 2020, and other more informal engagement opportunities. 


How Can You Stay Involved?


Did You Know: The 2020 Census is fast approaching, and Arlington is working to get every resident counted. The information collected through the Census provides a blueprint on how to invest resources to help communities. Arlington County receives around $50 million annually from federal assistance programs that rely on data derived from the Decennial Census. The Census is the heart of our democracy with the results used to reapportion the House of Representatives, determining how many seats each state gets. We are asking non-profit organizations, businesses, community groups, and other organizations to become Arlington Census Partners and spread the word on the importance of the Census. For more information, or to become an Arlington Census Partner, check out the County’s 2020 Census page.


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