Lee Hwy Community Visioning Information

As our Rector Fr. Merrow, mentioned in his November Messenger article the Lee Hwy corridor will be the next big development in Arlington County.  Below are resources to educate yourself on what the county is thinking and how to be part of the discussion.

Lee Highway Civic Engagement:

The Lee Highway civic engagement effort,  is a unique partnership between the County’s Planning Division and the Lee Highway Alliance (LHA) to provide support for a local, grassroots, community planning initiative.

LHA is a coalition of Lee Highway civic association leaders who have actively engaged their communities in educational forums and walking tours since 2012. LHA’s ultimate goal is to develop their community-based vision for the corridor and identify actions and strategies to achieve it.

Efforts to Date:
Between 2012 and 2014, the LHA conducted 3 walking tours and 20 educational forums to build leadership, knowledge, and awareness of the issues confronting Lee Highway. By the fall of 2014, membership in the LHPB had grown to 18 civic associations sharing the common goal to create a new vision for the Lee Highway corridor.  Several County departments, including the Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development, the Department of Environmental Services and Arlington Economic Development, supported these efforts through technical assistance for the corridor walking tours and resources for the educational forums.

LHA’s efforts have now turned to broader engagement of the businesses and communities surrounding the corridor. Between October 2014 and January 2015, a series of five community meetings were held with the goal to establish a common understanding of existing conditions and obtain local perspectives on corridor strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and needs.

The Planning Division provided support for the community discussion during LHA’s engagement phase. Tasks include the production of a briefing book and graphic presentations about the existing conditions of Lee Highway.

One of the key results of this phase are LHA Guiding Principles to inform the scope of a future community workshop to design the community’s vision for Lee Highway.

Next Steps
Following the educational forums and the broader community outreach, the County will continue its support for the LHA by funding a consultant-led community workshop in a “charrette” format, November 6 – 9, 2015. This charrette will be a unique opportunity for the community to produce its vision for the corridor prior to the start of any formal County planning process. More details about the event and session schedules will be posted soon.

The community vision will address the community’s perspective on major elements that will impact the future of Lee Highway, to include the following:

  • Land Use
  • Location of Activity Nodes
  • Transportation Network
  • Public Realm
  • Economic Development

Anticipated charrette deliverables include a narrative vision statement and vision principles, supportive graphics, and suggestions for near-term (1-3 year), mid-term (3-5 year), and long-term (5+ year) actions. The County’s next steps for Lee Highway will be informed by the outcomes of the charrette.

Research Area:
Lee Highway is one of Arlington’s major east-west arterial streets, spanning the full length of the County from Rosslyn to East Falls Church. It is a major commuter corridor and gateway from the City of Falls Church. It also serves as a primary commercial destination for the northern half of the County, providing access to convenience goods, services, and dining for many residents.  Characterized by low-rise commercial development and prominent surface level parking lots, the auto-oriented public realm and general development pattern is typical of commercial corridors found throughout Arlington.

MAP: Lee Highway Research Area

Lee Hwy

The Lee Highway Briefing Book provides a context for community discussion.  It represents a collection of historical background information, existing condition materials, and plans, policies, and laws. The briefing book may be read as a narrative document or used as an evolving reference guide.

Existing Condition Presentations to Civic Associations

Walking Tour Maps

Related Plans & Studies