Route 1 South Housing Affordability Strategy 2017-2018

This planning effort, focusing on the Route 1 area south of Duke Street, will explore options and tools for preserving the neighborhood’s housing affordability, strengthening the character of the neighborhood, prioritizing safety and accessibility along Route 1 South, and creating a more welcoming gateway to the City. This planning initiative, directed by City Council in its adopted FY2018 Interdepartmental Long-Range Planning Work Program, will launch in January 2018.

Page updated on Jan 18, 2018 at 4:02 PM

Why a Planning Process Here, Now?Route 1 South Pop Up Flyer 01 04 18

In May 2017, City Council adopted its FY2018 Interdepartmental Long-Range Planning Work Program, which includes the Route 1 South Housing Affordability Strategy planning effort focused on a portion of the Southwest Quadrant Small Area around Route 1 south of Duke Street. The timing of this effort is closely tied to the expiration of affordability contracts on two large rental communities in the corridor – the Heritage at Old Town and Olde Towne West III. This initiative will explore opportunities to maintain housing affordability in the plan area through the future preservation, renovation and/or redevelopment of these properties. Working with the community and commercial property owners, this planning effort will develop strategies and identify public and private resources and tools to preserve housing affordability and diversity, including existing expiring long-term subsidies that provide deep affordability for many of the rental units. It will also explore strategies to strengthen the character of the neighborhood, prioritize safety and accessibility along Route 1 South, and create a more welcoming gateway to the city.

Meeting Information

How Can I Participate?

The planning process will consist of a variety of participation opportunities designed to engage all members of the community who wish to participate, in the ways that work best for them. This will include in-person community events at different times of day, as well as opportunities to participate remotely via email or the web. Accommodations for childcare and language interpretation will be provided upon request.  

To kick off the process, Staff will host a series of neighborhood “pop-ups” for residents to ask questions and  give their insights on the community.  Each pop-up will be a drop-in type of event, and neighbors need only attend one at the time and place that best suits their schedule. See the calendar above or click here for pop-up dates, times and locations. The City will also host a Charrette and Process Orientation Meeting and up to two community meetings where staff will further describe the planning process, gain more of the community’s insight on the neighborhood and discuss the upcoming charrette.

After these community events in January and February geared toward orienting neighbors to the planning process, the City will hold a five-day intensive community planning “charrette” the week of February 26-March 2, 2018. A "charrette" is a collaborative planning and design exercise to develop the principles and strategies for the Plan. Members of the community are invited to participate and share their ideas on-site at public meetings and open houses as part of the charrette, or online. Instructions for online participation will be provided one week prior to the charrette. 

Curious about what a charrette looks like? Take a look at these photos from the 2015 Old Town North charrette.

What is a Charrette Group Volunteer?

To ensure consistent participation in the development of the Plan, the City is soliciting community members to serve as Charrette Group Volunteers. Charrette Group Volunteers, alongside all those interested in the planning process, will help develop the principles and strategies of the Plan during the charrette slated for February 26-March 2, 2018. All members of the public are invited to participate in the charrette in person or remotely. Volunteers of the Charrette Group will be expected to commit to participating in most of the public engagement events, and in the charrette in particular. Charrette Group Volunteers will represent the geographic and demographic diversity of the planning area.

As a Charrette Group Volunteer, you should be prepared to:   

  • Participate in the five-day planning and design charrette by attending daily morning meetings as well as some evening meetings
  • Share information with and gather feedback from your neighbors
  • Participate in community events

Additional details regarding date, time and location for all the events will be posted in the City Calendar.



This planning effort is jointly supported by the Department of Planning and Zoning and the Office of Housing. Questions may be directed to Ashley Labadie, Urban Planner, 703.746.3801.