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Crystal City Sector Plan

Crystal City Sector Plan

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The Crystal City Sector Plan represents the results of a community planning effort to develop a preferred vision for the next generation of development in Crystal City.
The Crystal City Sector Plan represents the results of a community planning effort to develop a preferred vision for the next generation of development in Crystal City.

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Published by: CrystalCityStreetcar on Nov 07, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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For Crystal City to become a place that meets
its population’s daily needs, it must ofer
an array of community and civic amenities.
The facilities and services listed below help
create a successful, safe and self-sufcient
community. As Crystal City grows, ongoing
monitoring and planning is needed to ensure
service provision keeps up with increased
demands. Program requirements for County
services were reviewed to gauge perceived
need. The Plan recognizes that community
services could be public or private, provided
in existing or new development, and possibly
collocated for convenience and efciency.
The anticipated near-term and potential
future needs and areas to monitor are
described below, along with preferences on
potential locations or site characteristics for
these services.

Future community facilities and services in
Crystal City will likely be achieved as part of
private redevelopment projects (possibly
through public-private partnerships),
or programmed in existing spaces, and
discussions in Chapter 4 identify density
exemptions as one of the incentive-
based strategies to realizing such spaces.
The full-block PDSP approach provides
the opportunity to discuss potential
accommodations for any needed community
facility. The incremental nature of PDSPs
provides fexibility to try to achieve specifc
facilities at a point in time that optimally
matches anticipated demands. In this
way, the Plan’s recommendations ofer the
fexibility to align needs with spaces as
circumstances arise over time.

anticiPateD neaR-teRm neeDS

(listed in no particular order)

Police Substation – the Police Department
identifed a need for a police substation
in Crystal City, to service the growing
population. Ideally, the substation space
would be centrally located, be at ground level
with a public entrance, and ofer direct access
to below grade parking for police vehicles.

Target Locations: East of Jeferson Davis
Highway, generally between 15th and 20th
Streets, with street frontage near the Metro
Station; may be a hybrid space also having
Underground frontage.

emS/fire Station – Crystal City is served
by the newly constructed Fire Station 5
– Jeferson District/Aurora Highlands.
Additional service capacity may be needed
to support Crystal City, particularly its
southern extent (including Potomac yards),
due to increases in vertical response times,
population, and density. The exact need
relating to additional service capacity should
be determined through future studies.

Target Locations: If needed, several options
for a future fre station include: 1) On Site:
within the base of a redevelopment project,
south of 23rd Street with easy access to major
arterials; 2) Of-site: new station on County
property at the intersection of S. Glebe Road
and S. Lang Street, either as an additional or
relocated station; or 3) Of-site: expansion of
existing facilities at Station 5.

Day care facilities – Increased residential
and employee populations in Crystal City
will likely increase demand for child day care
facilities. The several existing facilities in

Crystal City will likely need to be supported
by additional facilities to meet demands.
Recently, Arlington Economic Development
studied the issue of achieving child care
facilities in the County’s transit corridors,
and developed recommended policies and
actions to overcome existing challenges. The
study’s recommended potential strategies
include development incentives for additional
density, modifying the County’s retail
policies to allow child care centers to occupy
appropriate retail locations, and identifying
partnership opportunities for child care
work force development. Regardless of the
outcome of these recommended actions,
various strategies should be explored to
ensure an adequate supply of child day care
facilities in Crystal City.

Target Locations: Within existing or new
development, preferably street level or hybrid
retail space in the Underground, or part of
a larger multi-purpose community or civic
venue. Space also needed to provide required
outdoor play area.

grocery Stores – As of 2009, there are no
full-service grocery stores within the Crystal
City study area. (Full-service grocery stores are
considered those that stock a wide array of
food products, typically including vegetables,
fruits, meat, poultry, dairy products,
breadstufs, etc.) Nearby stores in Pentagon
City and Potomac yard are nearly a mile away
from the center of Crystal City. Grocery stores
in urban areas can become cornerstones
of great places to live and key components
of a neighborhood’s center. These stores
can be successful at a smaller scale (such as
between 15,000-30,000 square feet), sized
appropriately to accommodate the local
population. This Plan envisions one or more
full-service grocery stores to better serve
the Crystal City population. Achieving this
will ofer Crystal City residents fresh, healthy,
and afordable food options, and increased
proximity to these stores will encourage more
walking or bicycling trips. Additional growth
should increase the market demand for such
uses in Crystal City.

Target Locations: Within existing or new
development, preferably street level or
hybrid retail space in the Underground,
highly visible and accessible from the public
realm. A central site near 18th Street would
be well situated to serve the neighborhood.
Additional establishments elsewhere may also
be established as the population increases.

urgent care facilities – While virginia
Hospital Center is within fve miles of Crystal
City, the community strongly desires a local
urgent care facility. In addition to traditional
walk-in medical care facilities, the growing
trend among pharmacy retailers that provide
walk-in clinic services through their retail
outlet should be explored.

Target Locations: Within existing or new
development, preferably street level or hybrid
retail space in the Underground, that is highly
visible from the public realm.

POtential futuRe neeDS / aReaS tO

(listed in no particular order)

Schools –The ability to plan for adequate
school capacity amid fuctuations in student
populations is critical to the health and
stability of schools countywide. As a matter of

course, the County will continue to regularly
monitor student populations and proactively
plan for future service and facility needs.
Based on current district boundaries, students
residing in Crystal City would attend Oakridge
Elementary School, Gunston Middle School
and Wakefeld High School.

Based on generation rates prevalent today
in Crystal City (0.03 students per housing
unit), the Plan is projected to increase student
fgures by 170 students by 2040, or an
average increase of approximately 5 students
per year. Alternative student projections were
also developed using the current generation
rates in Clarendon, Courthouse, and virginia
Square (0.07 students per housing unit),
to estimate potential impact if Crystal City
attracts more family households over time.
Based on this assumption, there would be a
net increase of 360 students by 2040, or an
average increase of 12 students per year

Target Locations: If needed, additional school
capacity could be created by: 1) Expanding
or reconstructing an existing school; 2)
Constructing a new school at an of-site
location; or 3) Constructing a new school
on-site, incorporated into a redevelopment
project with an urban form. Under this
option, all opportunities to include other
community-oriented facilities, such as an
adult education center, preschool child
development center, or district energy
system, could be explored.

Polling Places – County polling places are
venues at which voters may cast their vote
on election days. As of 2009, the two polling
places in Crystal City include the Water
Park Towers building and the Crystal Plaza
apartments. As it has grown in the past, the
County has addressed an increase in voters in
the Metrorail corridors by using larger venues,
redrawing precinct boundaries, and creating
new precincts (with new polling places). As
Crystal City’s population grows in the future,
the potential need for additional polling
places should be monitored.

Target Locations: If additional polling places
are needed, such places could be achieved
through redevelopment. While the two
existing venues are residential apartment
buildings, future polling places could be
located in public facilities if they were to
be built in Crystal City. Otherwise, locating
polling places in multifamily residential
buildings could sufce, so long as they are
open to the public on all Election Days and
handicap accessible. Ideally, the selected
location should be centrally located to the
precinct it serves.

community center/learning center/civic
– A place(s) with a number of venues
and programs that enrich an active civic
lifestyle would be an amenity for Crystal
City. These types of centers could cater to a
spectrum of the population, with a diverse
array of programming and facility oferings.
Elements could include meeting rooms,
classrooms, lecture halls, a library/technology/
media center, and/or supporting retail
such as a bookstore and café, and relevant
programming based on population interests
and needs.

Target Locations: An ideal location for such
a facility would be adjacent to Center Park
or Metro Market Square, or another location
having a quality of civic prominence.



3.9.6 Parking

The Master Plan proposes that future parking
be provided primarily below-grade, but may
allow above-grade structures embedded
within building podiums where warranted.
Locations to construct additional parking
capacity, even in the full build-out of the
Master Plan are limited. Providing parking
at current (2008) parking space ratios will be
difcult to sustain. As density increases, the
parking load coming from single occupancy
vehicle (SOv) trips could potentially grow
beyond the physical capacity for structured
parking within the Plan. Since other costs
are associated with SOv trips such as
trafc congestion, infrastructure wear and
maintenance, increased fuel consumption,
and diminished air quality, the Master
Plan includes provisions for encouraging
reduced reliance on the car, consistent with
established County policy.

Arlington has adopted and continues to
employ TDM policies to reduce dependence
on the car. In general, these policies use
strategies that shift person-trips away from
SOvs to a mode split that favors public
transportation, ride-sharing, and other modes
of transport. Furthermore, in the County’s
recently updated Master Transportation
Plan – Parking and Curb Space Management
Element, there is wide recognition that
current parking requirements in the zoning
code are more geared towards auto-oriented
areas and by-right development. In transit
oriented areas, there has been a recent trend
to reduce the required amount of parking
in new site plan developments, consistent
with the County’s vision of encouraging
more efcient modes of travel and reducing
the share of SOv trips. To avoid provision of
excessive parking in future projects, parking
requirements in these areas will be adjusted
to match anticipated travel patterns. In this
Master Plan, a range between a maximum of 1
space per 750sf and/or a minimum of 1 space
per 1,000sf for ofce uses, and between 1 and
1.125 spaces per residential dwelling units are
recommended to adequately accommodate
anticipated parking demand, prevent the
provision of excessive parking, and refect
and support other transportation policies.
Parking is currently provided in Crystal City
in a number of ways. On the east side, most
parking is located in below-grade garages,
with some metered spaces located on-street
and other reserved spaces in small surface
lots. Below-grade garages primarily provide
parking capacity for ofce workers, residents,
and hotel patrons, with some additional
capacity to park business and retail visitors.
Retail and business visitors are the principal
users of on-street parking. The easy access to
these spaces, their time constraints, and their
adjacency to retail make them an attractive
alternative to spaces in parking garages.

On the west side, which is dominated by
residential uses, a mix of below-grade
garages, above-grade structured parking,
surface lots, and on-street parking is present.
Retail parking is provided on the street and
in surface lots associated with particular
business establishments. Parking for
residential uses is mostly provided below-
grade, or in surface parking lots.

Generally speaking, below-grade structured
parking is the preferred treatment for any new
of-street parking resources associated with

development per the Master Plan. Above
grade parking is strongly discouraged, but
may be permitted if all the parking needed
to meet the requirements could not be
accommodated underground. Additionally,
above grade parking, where it occurs, should
be lined either with active programmed
space or treated with enhanced architectural
façades, depending upon its relationship to
the public realm.

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