'Missing Middle' housing plan approved in Arlington

Arlington ended single-family-only-zoning on Wednesday as the county board approved the "Missing Middle" housing reform – giving it the green light to move forward.

Arlington has been studying "Missing Middle" for more than three years. The proposal has caused intense debate and now this controversial topic is officially a reality.

The plan will allow townhouses, duplexes, and small buildings with up to four – and in some cases six units – to be built in neighborhoods that for decades required one house with a yard on each lot.

Following the vote, the Arlington County Board Chair Christian Dorsey shared his remarks with the crowd:

"The why was simply a recognition that growth and change are, period — not good, not bad, just are," Dorsey said. "It’s our responsibility to make sure that it works well for as many people as possibly can."

What is the goal?

Well, first – to address the lack of available housing in Arlington and second, to make different types of housing more readily available. 

Tom Huson has lived in the city since 1995.

"I think it’s a big relief," he told FOX 5. "It’s been a really contentious issue, really long-drawn-out, really thoroughly studied and long thought over, and it was divisive of the community. But I think the result they’ve come up with is a good result."

However, Dixie Duncan has lived in the city for 40 years and is disappointed with this outcome.

"It’s a great concept, I wish it would work, but it’s not gonna make it affordable," she said. "Arlington has never been affordable and it never will be affordable. You cannot be affordable if you’re one mile from the nation’s capital."


Arlington 'Missing Middle' homes debate continues

A hot button housing issue in Arlington continues to divide residents as officials prepare to meet to decide what to do about 'Missing Middle' homes.

A main concern is whether this would diversify or destroy neighborhoods. 

Bryan Coleman, second vice president with the Arlington NAACP, said he's "elated and comforted knowing that a policy which does advance racial justice and economic equity and inclusion just passed."

Starting July 1, Arlington will issue 58 permits each year for "Missing Middle" housing.