top of page

Plan Langston  Boulevard


What Is Plan Langston Boulevard (Or Langston Blvd Area Plan)?

It is the County’s conceptual plan to significantly densify Highway 29 (Langston Blvd) with 7-15-story buildings (and very likely taller heights derived from site plan negotiations).  The PLB is a complete overhaul of this important Arlington connector to key points west; the highway itself is controlled by Virginia, not by Arlington.  The overhaul adds density and new construction on a scale seen 40 years ago with redevelopment for Metro in Rosslyn, except in the Langston Blvd. case, the County ignores the core tenet of siting the new density along mass transit that can absorb the impact. 

The image above is an actual County image of an earlier, far less dense version of the plan for the intersection at Langston & Glebe (Lee Heights shops).  Plan Langston Boulevard will be followed in close order with changes to allow more intense land use and much denser zoning; it envisions adding 15,000 new residents while taking steps to also slow or calm traffic with no real studies of impacts on transit, traffic, and emergency evacuation purposes.  See chart below for current usages of various transit modes which ASF believes will not change.  PLB adds height all along the corridor, with major "bursts" at 7 mixed use "hubs."  One of the "hubs" (Cherrydale's "five corners" at Quincy) and two in East Falls Church are left out of the Plan "for now," making a mockery of its "comprehensive" nature. We suspect the two hubs at East Falls Church will eventually be added with very tall buildings, at least 10-12 stories). 

The October 24, 2023 Langston Blvd Area Plan (renamed from earlier versions called "Plan Lee Highway" and the "Plan Langston Blvd    is a 40-year "vision" or "Area Plan" that is a first-ever Arlington idea for "transit-oriented development" without real mass transit.  It depends exclusively on private sector improvements, through limited bonus density and base density trade-offs for "community benefits."  Neither the density additions nor the community benefits projected were shown in terms of the dollar values to offer comparable trade-offs.  Unlike Metro-era density plans, Langston foresees zero impacts for the County's Capital Investment Plan.  How can the county add 15,000 jobs, 8,000 residential units, hundreds of thousands of feet of commercial square footage, and not spend a dime on new infrastructure and services, even on police, fire, and libraries?

When? The County Board is poised to vote on November 11 on the final version of the plan. 

What is ASF's View? See ASF resources below, including  our November 7 letter to the Board, our October 14 presentation to the Board, our slides for Williamsburg Civic Association for October 12, our remarks to the Planning Commission October 2, and a view of "A Sensible Way Forward from September 2023.  ASF believes that the County and the Board should:

  1. first address trends that were not included in this "vision" study, including population declines, Metro ridership and finance crises, and a commercial office vacancy rate that offers potential for conversion to residential use;

  2. stick with by-right zoning of up to 4-5 stories (CO-2 zoning, service commercial land use);

  3. postpone votes until new Board members are seated in January 2024

  4. postpone votes until the County produces long-term analyses comparing any plan against a baseline of current (by-right) zoning, focusing especially on impacts on:

  • stormwater, trees, parks/rec space, and climate;

  • the County’s ten-year operating budget; and

  • income gaps and racial/ethnic/socioeconomic diversity of our population.

What Can You Do?  Tell the Board to VOTE NO on this plan that vests too much authority in the private sector and neglects key planning elements.  See any of the ASF letters in resources below for sample language.

1.    Email the County Board at and copy PLB project manager, Natasha Alfonso-Ahmed, at

2.    Sign up to speak at the County Board Meeting on the Langston Blvd Area Plan on November 11 (no earlier than 9am).

4.    Join our email list - request a briefing for your neighborhood (; donate to ASF (“donate” button above).



Resources from 2021-Summer 2023

Arl Co Board Reply to ASF Letter on PLB above, March 21, 2022

bottom of page