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Planning in Arlington-East Falls Church

1. The East Falls Church Area Plan (2011)

The East Falls Church Area Plan was the end product of a grass-roots community process that began in 1999.   The AEFCCA, spurred by rumors that the EFC Metro parking lot might be replaced with a multi-story parking structure, formed The AEFCCA Metro Study Committee.  Its task was to examine the EFC Metro Station property and it's potential to better serve the local community, not just the 400 plus daily commuters coming to take advantage of mass transit.  The Committee, made up of local residents, met for several years in the homes of AEFCCA Board members.  The Committee broadened its scope to include properties and transportation infrastructure around the two lots, inviting guests from WMATA and County Planning and other experts on transit-oriented development.   A survey was developed by AEFCCA and hand-delivered to each household in the Civic Association to gain a better idea of how local residents felt about the current use and possible redevelopment of the site.   To the same end, in 2004, a collaborative planning exercise with Virginia Tech's Department of Urban Studies was arranged, with the help of Arlington County Planning staff.  The work by Virginia Tech was financed with a $9,000 grant from the County and a $1,000 contribution from the AEFCCA.  The comprehensive exercise, carried out by the students and their professors, included a Community Charette and produced the "Virginia Tech Planning Study for East Falls Church" (see link below).  Subsequently, after nearly a decade of lobbying County leadership for planning action in East Falls Church, the financial and technical support to craft an Area Plan was approved.  In 2008, a Task Force, appointed by the County Board was charged to do so.  After many months of meetings and site visits the Task Force approved its Plan by a vote of 14 - 4 on June 2, 2010.  After presentation to the relevant Arlington Commissions as well as to the City Council of Falls Church, the Arlington County Board unanimously adopted "The East Falls Church Area Plan" in 2011. 

Our Plan lays out a vision of a safe, sustainable, and walkable neighborhood centered around mixed-use development on the Metro/VDOT-owned parking lots.  It also proposed a few land use changes to some commercial and industrial sites adjacent to the Metro site on Langston Blvd.  It includes recommendations to improve the safety of pedestrians and cyclists around the Metro Station, including a new "Western Entrance" closer to Falls Church.   It did not address any land use or zoning in the residential neighborhoods surrounding the Metro Station (with the exception of three lots on Washington Blvd. and Sycamore).   Although realization of the Plan will depend on VDOT and WMATA and their eventual disposition of the Metro lots, it lays down a framework and basic parameters for use, height and density that attempt to reflect the desires and aspirations of the surrounding community.

2. The AEFCCA Metro Study Committee Household Survey (2005)

3. Virginia Tech Planning Studio Project: East Falls Church Metro Area Plan (2004)

4. Arlington-East Falls Church Neighborhood Conservation Plan (1986)

"The Arlington Neighborhoods Program (formerly Neighborhood Conservation Program) helps improve and enhance Arlington neighborhoods. When the program was created in 1964, the goal was to empower residents by having them come together to discuss and share ideas for improving their neighborhoods. Today, the program provides funding for a variety of improvements including: installation of sidewalks, curbs and gutters, streetlights, signs, park improvements, neighborhood art and beautification. This program empowers citizens to identify and plan projects in their own neighborhoods." (excerpted from the Arlington County webpage)

For a complete description of the Arlington Neighborhoods Program see:   Arlington Neighborhoods Program

If you would like to propose a specific project for your block or neighborhood, just send an e-mail to

5. Planning for the Langston Blvd. Corridor.   Two years after the approval of the East Falls Church Area Plan, the Lee Highway Alliance (a group of Arlington citizens, now the Langston Blvd. Alliance) began a grass-roots planning process for the entire Rosslyn to East Falls Church Corridor.  Its goal: to craft a development plan that engaged the whole community, residential, commercial and governmental.  Out of this process, Arlington County initiated "Plan Langston Blvd" (PLB) which, after several years of intensive community engagement, is preparing a final draft Plan for further community review.   In this case, no Task Force was engaged to guide the process but a significant, multi-year community outreach process helped define the scope and character of a draft plan.  The AEFCCA area, though somewhat removed from the nearest active commercial zone on Langston, and already having elaborated a development Plan, is still the western gateway to the Rosslyn-East Falls Church corridor in Arlington.   The fundamental goals expressed in the East Falls Church Area Plan are the same as those expressed in drafts of Plan Langston Blvd.   Arlington-East Falls Church, along with Cherrydale (also having a Plan), will not be included in the final draft, but the latter will include recommendations for further study of our areas in the context of a final PLB.   Consequently, our next planning task as the terminus of the Rosslyn-East Falls Church Corridor will be to see how PLB can complement elements of our own community-driven Plan.  At the same time, we may take the opportunity to consider the relevance to our future of accelerating development along Washington St./Lee Hwy in the City of Falls Church.

UPDATE:   AEFCCA Leadership met with County Board Member Matt de Ferranti on March 24 to discuss planning in EFC including the Langston Blvd Plan and its relation to the EFC Area Plan.  Major questions discussed:  How can EFC contribute to Arlington County's affordable housing goals for the Langston Blvd Corridor?    Also, how can VDOT and WMATA be encouraged to move towards redevelopment of the Metro Parking lot which is central to the EFC Area Plan.   We  met again with Board Members De Ferranti, Dorsey, and Talento in October and corresponded with Karantonis and Garvey to discuss the East Falls Church Area Plan.   

The County Board approved Plan Langston on November 11, 2023 with an amendment concerning the East Falls Church Area Plan.  It states (paraphrased) that only after bringing VDOT and WMATA together to confirm their future plans for joint redevelopment  of the Park and Ride Site,  the County's Planning workplan would, if appropriate, then discuss the timing of a review of the EFC Area Plan.    Further information about the Full Langston Boulevard Plan can be found here:

Plan Langston