The Zoning Ordinance contains the land-use regulations for all land in the County. It defines legal rights and constraints regarding land use, and regulates use, size and coverage of lots, height, bulk and siting of buildings, parking requirements and density of development for each parcel of land.
Zoning Studies Underway
Short-term residential rental
Legislation considered by the 2016 Virginia General Assembly has brought attention to consideration of how on-line short-term residential rental services are regulated. Short-term residential rental has become increasingly common in Arlington and nationwide over the past several years, and can be described as on-line services whereby an individual can rent out his/her home, or portion thereof, on a short-term basis to guests who pay a fee, for lodging purposes. In consideration of the advent of new technology, the rise of the sharing economy, known short-term rental activity in Arlington County, and the recent actions by the Virginia General Assembly, the County Board, on December 10, 2016, adopted a Zoning Ordinance amendment to define and create standards for this type of use. The amendment defined a new home occupation use called “accessory homestay,” allowing it as accessory to a residential dwelling. Standards for the use were designed to allow an occupant to rent out his/her dwelling on a short-term basis, with limitations that protect the character of residential neighborhoods where this type of use occurs, ensure that basic health and safety measures are in place, and regulate and limit the use in a manner consistent with the Comprehensive Plan. In addition, on December 10, 2016, the County Board authorized an advertisement, for consideration in January 2017, that could allow accessory homestay in dwelling units used by either the owner or a renter as his/her primary residence, and could remove the limitation on number of contracts allowed per night. Read more about short-term residential rental.