Tomorrow, the Arlington County Board is having a hearing on the proposal to legalize accessory dwellings. This would allow homeowners (but only those who live in their homes) in single-family neighborhoods to create an apartment for two people (like a garage apartment).
Accessory dwellings are an important way to increase affordable housing. Healthy communities aren’t just families in big houses, but a mix of younger and older, singles, couples, and families, different incomes and races. Arlington’s proposal takes many steps to “preserve the character” of residential neighborhoods, like limiting the accessory dwellings to two people so that big families don’t use them. Renting out a part of one’s house is also great for aging homeowners who can’t afford to keep up their homes and would otherwise be forced to move.
According to the Arlington Connection, board members are leaning toward voting for the measure, but the Planning Commission recommended against it and many residents want to maintain the exclusivity of their enclaves.
You can testify at the meeting, which starts at 9 am tomorrow at 2100 Clarendon Boulevard, Room 300. (Who schedules meetings for 9 am on Saturdays? Apparently Arlington.) According to the Web page, you can still speak as long as you arrive and turn in your slip before the last speaker, so it’s probably fine to get there a little later. You can also comment online.