Plan Langston  Boulevard

PLB map graphic updated name oct 2021.png

December 13, 2021, 7pm - Share Your Views with County planning staff, details and Zoom link here.

In 2016, the county launched "Plan Lee Highway" for an area that runs just west of Rosslyn to the Arlington border with Falls Church.  (On July 17, 2021, Lee Highway was renamed Langston Boulevard and the plan was the project was renamed Plan Langston Boulevard or PLB.)  A draft scope of work was published in 2018.  From 2016-2021, residents believed the county would cluster height and density at busy intersections with Kirkwood, Glebe, and Harrison, and look for ways to make the corridor bike- and pedestrian- friendly. 

However, when county staff briefed civic associations in May/June 2021, plans allowed major new density, with 5-10 story buildings for the whole corridor, and 15 stories at/near the Spout Run shopping center.  See the concept overlay for the entire corridor, including land use, stormwater control, and revisions to the corridor itself, here.  Because the commercial strip is only one block wide in many areas, the projected change in land use and zoning would put "mixed use" towers next to single-family homes and allow multifamily housing in many single-family areas (see ASF info on Missing Middle housing here).  According to detailed maps of the five areas covered (Area 1 and 5, Area 2, Areas 3 and 4), some homes would have to be removed by eminent domain to expand "connectivity" as Langston Blvd is narrowed. 

The county has no plans to acquire new land for schools or parks as part of this effort, so existing schools/parks will burst at the seams.  Or the county will have to buy land at up-zoned prices, then pass on steep tax burdens.  ASF predicts greater gentrification and more flooding, as well as tree canopy loss.  The county's decision to add infill with very weak mass transit seems negligent.  It will likely break oversubscribed east-west connectors. 

The scope of work and charge for the project indicate the county "aspires for the corridor to be an attractive, prosperous, safe, healthy, and livable main-street community."  Main street is charming; this vision for Langston Blvd is a nightmare.  There has been significant pushback from community briefings that took place in July 2021.  Resident concerns and more info on the plans are found at resource documents below.

The county says this is a 40 year plan.  ASF has therefore asked that the county halt planning to provide comparative analyses for the 40-year timeline, against the baseline of 2022, when PLB was projected to be approved by the board.  We seek baseline info for 2022, along with projections for 2032, 2042, 2052, and 2062.  ASF requests these comparisons look at "by-right" or current zoning vs. the Plan Lee Highway Scenario A vs. Plan Lee Highway Scenario B and clarify population numbers, along with:

  • Impacts on stormwater, tree canopy and park/recreation space.These analyses must incorporate effects of climate change;

  • Impacts on ten-year county operating budget;

  • Impacts on income distribution by quintile, as well as racial-ethnic breakdowns for each quintile

Please refer to our resources below for more info, sign up for our email list, email us at ASF.virginia@gmail.com to request a briefing for your neighborhood, and share concerns with the following individuals:

RESOURCES