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Massive housing reform process for Alexandria kicks off this month

The Eisenhower Square townhouse development (staff photo by Brandi Bottalico)

Alexandria is preparing to launch a massive overhaul of its housing zoning with a kickoff event later this month.

The Zoning for Housing/Housing for All initiative was announced late last year but has been in the works since 2020. The initiative is essentially a top-t0-bottom review of the city code to rewrite the city’s zoning code to emphasize affordability and equity.

According to a release:

The Zoning for Housing/Housing for All initiative began in 2020 and supports the City’s commitment to housing production and affordability and acknowledgement that Alexandria’s zoning policies have perpetuated historic and systemic discrimination, and how those policies can be changed to reflect our tenet that housing is a human right.

Housing for All, the equity component of Zoning for Housing, will explore the extent of past discriminatory housing policies and their continued impact, especially on people of color and/or low income.

According to the release, the initiative’s focus is a gallery of some of the most discussed housing and density issues in Alexandria over the last years, from the trade for bonus height to questions about housing in single-family zones.

According to the release, the initiative will examine:

  • Historic Development Patterns
  • Coordinated Development Districts and Affordable Housing
  • Expanding Housing Opportunities in Single Family Zones
  • Industrial Zones Analysis
  • Expansion of Transit Oriented Development
  • Residential Multi-family Zone Analysis
  • Townhouse Zoning Analysis
  • Office to Residential Conversions
  • Bonus Height Text Amendment

Kickoff events are scheduled for Monday, March 20, from 5-9 p.m. and Tuesday, March 21, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Alexandria – Carlyle (2460 Eisenhower Avenue). The kickoff events are the start of a community and civic engagement process scheduled to run through the rest of the year.