Proposed "T-Zone" Updates

Upcoming Schedule

City Council will hold a work session on T-Zones during its April 24, 2023 meeting.  

March 21, 2023 T-Zone Town Hall Presentation

The presentation from the March 21, 2023 Town Hall meeting can be viewed here

Planning Commission Recommendation to City Council

At its February 15, 2023, meeting, the Planning Commission made its recommendation to City Council on proposed zoning text amendments to the Transition Zones. The recommendation text can be read in full here

The February 15, 2023, meeting agenda and materials can be viewed here. The meeting recording can be viewed here

The City Council held a work session reviewing the Planning Commission's recommendation during its March 6, 2023, meeting. 

What Are T-Zones?

Transition areas, or "T-Zones" serve as an area between more vibrant commercial districts and quieter single-family residences. Across the City, approximately 24 acres of land, or less than three percent of the total land area, is zoned T.

  • T-1 and T-2 Zoning
    • T-1 zoning is primarily located on North Washington Street and on Park Avenue. Existing uses include the Columbia Baptist Church, Christ-Crossman Methodist Church, Sunrise of Falls Church, single-family houses converted to commercial use and residential townhouses. 
    • T-2 zoning is limited to North Washington Street and Park Avenue near Maple Avenue and is developed with the Kaiser Permanente facility and a small office building.

Below is a highlighted version of the City’s Official Zoning Map showing T-1 and T-2 properties. Acreages (AC) of contiguous T-Zoned properties are noted. 

T-Zones Map. Sections in purple.

Why Consider Changes to the T-Zones?

As part of City Council's amendments to special exceptions criteria in February 2021, Council asked Planning staff to develop zoning tools to facilitate the development of small residential projects on infill sites too small to support large commercial or mixed-use developments.

The Comprehensive Plan, small area plans, and the Council work plan all support a review of tools to achieve diverse housing.

Staff identified the T-Zones as candidates for zoning updates because of: 

  • Their intent to serve as a transition between the higher and lower intensity zoning districts. 
  • The challenges of redeveloping under the current code and the common practice of requesting rezoning to access the Special Exception process.
  • The relatively limited development activity observed in T-Zones in comparison to the commercial) and residential zones. Limited reinvestment within T-Zones results in aesthetics, streetscape, and infrastructure that lags behind other areas and the land underperforms in providing community services.

Summary of Key Changes

  1. Allowing townhouses and multifamily to increase housing options in the City
  2. Allowing more neighborhood-serving retail
  3. Allowing larger builders to encourage reinvestment, while controlling storm-water and transitioning to single family homes

Public Meetings

Date Group Meeting Links
June 21, 2021 City Council City Council Work Session
November 22, 2021 City Council City Council Work Session
January 18, 2022 City Council City Council Work Session
April 4, 2022 City Council City Council Work Session
May 16, 2022 City Council City Council Work Session
May 23, 2022 City Council City Council Consideration of 1st Reading
June 1, 2022 Planning Commission Planning Commission Work Session
October 11, 2022 Housing Commission Housing Commission Work Session
October 19, 2022 Planning Commission Planning Commission Work Session
October 20, 2022 Environmental Sustainability Council Enviromental Sustainability Council Work Session
November 2, 2022 Planning Commission Planning Commission Public Listening Session
December 7, 2022 Planning Commission Work Session Agenda

December 21, 2022 Planning Commission Planning Commission Public Hearing & Recommendations (Deferred to February 15, 2023 Meeting)
January 25, 2023 Planning Commission Special Work Session Agenda
February 9, 2023 League of Women Voters Q&A with Planning Staff Community Forum
February 15, 2023 Planning Commission Planning Commission Public Hearing & Recommendation
March 6, 2023 City Council Planning Commission Recommendation Review
March 21, 2023 City Council Town Hall Town Hall Video
April 24, 2023 City Council Work Session  

All future dates are tentative.