Support Duplex Expansion in Arlington

Hundreds of duplexes in the R2-7 district that are built on small, nonconforming lots are prohibited from expanding under section 16.2.5 of the Arlington County Zoning Ordinance. The county has granted exceptions to this restriction for single family homes, but continues to require two-family homes to seek a variance through a costly, complicated Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) process that usually leaves the homeowner with no options to expand.

New county initiatives champion Missing Middle Housing as a strategy to support walkable, urban neighborhoods. Duplexes are a perfect example of Missing Middle Housing if they can be improved to be compatible in scale to single family homes. Tell Arlington county you support their efforts to meet the growing demand for walkable urban living and urge them to add R2-7 to the exceptions list for section 16.2.5 of the Arlington County Zoning Ordinance.

Note: The photo for this petition shows a plan for a duplex expansion that was rejected by the BZA. The addition is wholly contained in the original footprint of the home and the view shown is from the back of the house. 

Update #25 years ago
Success! By a unanimous vote at last night’s county board meeting, the Arlington County Zoning Ordinance was amended to lift many restrictions on duplex owners who wish to improve their homes.
Update #16 years ago
Arlington County was initially responsive to your signatures on the Support Duplex Expansion petition, but other than providing lip service nothing has been done. Please show your continued support by contacting the County at or 703-228-3130.

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