An update to one of Alexandria’s oldest housing types is headed to the Planning Commission (item 4) with changes that could make it a little more flexible.
Alexandria is seeking to update its zoning for accessory apartments in commercial zones, that is: housing typically build above commercial spaces as commonly seen in Old Town and other parts of Alexandria.
“The Zoning Ordinance currently allows for ‘Accessory apartments’ across all commercial zones, so the concept of housing above commercial uses is not new, and in fact, dates back hundreds of years,” a staff report said. “Staff found the regulations could allow for more flexibility while staying within the spirit of the Zoning Ordinance.”
According to the staff report, the current ordinance is very prescriptive with a limited number of apartments in each commercial zone. Staff are hoping for a “slight increase” in the number of those units and the location of those units, opening up more housing options for residents.
Some of those suggested changes are:
- Allow auxiliary dwelling above, below or behind commercial uses
- Allow up to four auxiliary dwelling units
- Continue to classify those units as non-residential for some regulation purposes
- Ground floor dwellings only permitted 50 feet or further from the front wall of the building
According to the report:
Up to four auxiliary dwelling units shall be categorized as nonresidential for the purposes of applying the area and bulk regulations of this zone. Such dwellings shall provide the parking required for a multifamily dwelling unit of equivalent size with the following exceptions: parking spaces may be compact size or tandem; parking shall be located either on the site or within 500 feet of the dwelling. Auxiliary dwellings are allowed behind a first floor commercial use, if the depth of the building is more than 50 feet measured from the front building wall and the building is setback no further than 30 feet from front property line.
Part of the ordinance is a name change that seems deceptively minor. This use is being renamed from “accessory apartments” to “auxiliary dwellings.” That change, though, carries some weight in zoning decisions. In the City code, accessory uses are generally defined as being less than 33% of a building’s principal use or gross floor area.
Photo via Google Maps
The biggest news throughout the region was the smoke from the Canadian wildfires that descended on Wednesday and stayed through yesterday. Air quality reached dire levels and the City of…
The Director of the Federal Housing Finance Administration visited Southern Towers in the West End this week, signalling to housing advocates that years of protests against rent hikes and evictions…
(Updated 1:15 p.m.) The Mount Vernon Avenue Bridge was closed to traffic due to police activity, though as of 1:15 p.m. is has reopened. A foot pursuit across the Mount Vernon…
A 4 BD/3 BA updated home with hardwood floors, covered porch and remodeled lower level is featured in Just Listed.
Are you seeking a confidential space where you can explore your emotions, overcome challenges, and find inner peace? Look no further than our dedicated psychotherapy service! We understand that life can be overwhelming at times, and we’re here to support you every step of the way.
At Peaceful Mind Solutions, our passion lies in helping individuals like you navigate life’s complexities and find the strength to thrive. Our skilled and compassionate therapist is committed to creating a warm, non-judgmental environment where you can express your thoughts and feelings openly. With our personalized approach, we tailor each session to address your unique needs and empower you to overcome obstacles.
Through evidence-based techniques and a deep understanding of the human mind, our therapist will guide you on a transformative journey of self-discovery. Whether you’re dealing with anxiety, depression, relationship issues, or simply seeking personal growth, we’re here to provide guidance and practical tools for lasting change.
Time flies when you’re having fun! The T.C. Williams High School Class of 1973 will hold its 50th reunion July 21-23, 2023 in Alexandria. All graduates and their adult nears and dears are welcome. Events include a Friday evening icebreaker, Saturday dinner dance, and a Sunday brunch. For more information: tcwilliams73.com, 770.789.3534.