Plan Lee Highway

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, so the project will be 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. 

When county staff briefed civic associations in May/June 2021, planning had expanded exponentially to allow 5-10 story buildings for the whole corridor, with 15 stories at/near the Spout Run shopping center.  Because the commercial strip is only one block wide on either side of Langston Blvd., 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 MM here).  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, so existing schools/parks will burst at the seams.  Or the county will have to buy land later 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.

The county says this is a 30-40 year plan.  Therefore, ASF asks the county to halt further planning and provide residents comparative analyses for the 40-year timeline, against the baseline of 2022, when PLB was projected to be approved by the board.  Thus we want info on 2022 plus projections for 2032, 2042, 2052, and 2062.  ASF requests these comparisons look at "by-right" or current zoning vs. Scenario A vs. 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 and share concerns with each of the following individuals: