commercial buildings in arlington county

TDM for Site Plans

Transportation Demand Management for Site Plan Development (TDM for Site Plans) is a division of ATP and Arlington County Commuter Services that coordinates the design and implementation of transportation elements in large building projects and partners with developers and property managers to ensure that transportation requirements and services enhance the mobility of residents, employees and visitors. TDM for Site Plans works directly with developers and property managers to mitigate the transportation impacts of residential and commercial development by increasing the availability, awareness, and use of transit, ridesharing, carsharing, biking, bikesharing, and walking.

Like other ACCS programs and services, the underlying goal of TDM for Site Plans is to reduce single-occupant vehicle (SOV) trips in Arlington by offering more and better choices at the building level. A major strategy to achieve this goal is incorporating important physical infrastructural features, such as bike parking facilities and van-accessible garages, into new or renovated development at the time of construction. TDM for Site Plans also actively assists and monitors over 200 site plans properties to ensure they meet ongoing transportation management program responsibilities.

More: Site Plan Process | Annual Site Visit | Transportation Performance Monitoring Study | Resources

Site Plan Process

The Site Plan Incorporates TDM Conditions

For site plan applications submitted in accordance with Administrative Regulation 4.1, the County evaluates a site plan proposal, including site characteristics, proposed land-use, the traffic impact analysis and proposed parking plan, to determine likely impacts and opportunities of the proposal.

The 1990 TDM Policy, a result of a joint task force of the Arlington County Planning and Transportation commissions provided the original matrix of recommended TDM strategies based on a site’s land-use and transportation characteristics. The 1990 TDM Policy focused on changing commuter travel habits, and in particular aimed to reduce peak-hour traffic by reducing single-occupant vehicle trips. As part of the routine coordinated County review and negotiation with a developer, a standard base set of site plan conditions is built upon, with TDM strategies tailored further as needed to address the transportation impacts of the project. From 1990 to the present, the TDM Policy matrix has provided the foundation for TDM conditions that become a part of a site plan’s approval. The final set of agreed upon TDM strategies are written into the site plan conditions that are ultimately adopted by the County Board along with the site plan. These strategies as a whole are typically known as “the approved TDM Program.”

Site Plan Development proposals are administered and processed by the Arlington County Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development (DCPHD). Arlington County has additional resources that may be useful to developers and property managers seeking to understand how TDM works in the context of site plans:

Developer, Owner, Applicant, Successors and Assigns

The first condition of a site plan typically begins with an explanation of who is responsible for ensuring that all conditions are met:

“The developer (as used in these conditions, the term developer also includes the owner, the applicant and all successors and assigns) agrees to comply with the standard conditions set forth in Administrative Regulation 4.1 and the revised plans … reviewed and approved by the County Board and made a part of the public record… together with any modifications proposed by the developer and accepted by the County Board or vice versa.” (emphasis added)

This language supports mobility in the long-term because it commits properties to implementation year after year, regardless of changes in property ownership or management.

Implementation is an Ongoing Process

The developer of an approved site plan must prepare a TDM Plan, complete with a schedule and details of implementation of the “TDM Program” of strategies outlined in the adopted site plan condition. This Plan must be approved by the County TDM Planner before the County will issue the first Certificate of Occupancy for the building. If you need guidance on how to prepare a TDM Plan, please refer to our sample plan template.

It is also typical for installation of any required infrastructure, such as bike parking facilities, to be required prior to issuance of this first Certificate of Occupancy. Subsequent to occupancy, the developer is responsible for implementing the Plan as a whole, including management components such as designating and training an on-site Property Transportation Coordinator (PTC), programmatic elements such as carpool/vanpool programs, or annual contributions or reporting, if required.

The Arlington County Zoning Ordinance describes the ramifications of not complying with site plan conditions adopted as a part of the site plan approval process.

Questions? Contact Arlington County

Melissa McMahon, Transportation Research and Site Plan Development Manager
Arlington County | 2100 Clarendon Boulevard, Suite 900 | Arlington, Virginia 22201
703.228.0651 | mmcmahon@arlingtonva.us

Back to Top