Richmond Highway: Design Guidelines


Project Overview

County Staff is in the process of developing urban design guidelines for the Richmond Highway Corridor.


In March 2018, the Board of Supervisors adopted the Embark Comprehensive Plan (the Plan) amendment (Plan Amendment 2015-IV-MV1). The Plan envisions the revitalization of the Richmond Highway corridor through mixed-use redevelopments that support walking, biking and a bus rapid transit (BRT) system that runs along Richmond Highway. The corridor is envisioned to be transformed into a series of distinctive and vibrant urban environments that are integrated into a range of multimodal transportation options, including a connected street network, pedestrian and bicycle connections, and nine potential BRT stations. Among its many components, the Plan contains a number of urban design principles and recommendations.

About The Urban Design Guidelines

Following the adoption of the Plan, the Board directed County staff to work on a number of implementation tasks. One of these is the creation of urban design guidelines to elaborate on the urban design guidance in the Plan, to include the overall design, appearance, character and function of streets and streetscapes, parks, and plazas; the form of buildings and their relationship to streets and public spaces; and, specific information related to street furnishings and other streetscape details.

This effort builds on Volume I: Urban Design Guidelines for Commercial Revitalization Districts and Areas , which includes broad recommendations and urban design ideas applicable to all of the County’s Commercial Revitalization Districts (CRDs) and Commercial Revitalization Areas (CRAs). The Design Guidelines for the Richmond Highway Corridor will serve as a companion document that is tailored to the community’s specific preferences for the Richmond Highway corridor area.


It is anticipated that the Design Guidelines for the Richmond Highway Corridor will be completed and presented to the Board for its endorsement by the summer of 2019.

Get Involved

Community participation is an essential part of the development of these urban design guidelines. To that end, an advisory group representing a broad spectrum of stakeholders has been created. Currently scheduled meetings of the Advisory Group are:

Thursday, November 29, 2018
7:00 – 8:30pm
Mount Vernon Governmental Center
2511 Parkers Ln, Alexandria, VA 22306

Thursday, December 13, 2018
7:00 – 8:30pm
South County Government Center, Conference Room 221A
8350 Richmond Hwy, Alexandria, VA 22309

In addition, there are a number of other ways in which we will be engaging with community stakeholders. The first of these is a meeting in which the community is invited to participate in an Urban Design Workshop to share design ideas for Richmond Highway. Participant input will inform the development of the urban design guidelines.

Community-wide Charrette

Saturday, December 8, 2018
10:00am – 12:30pm
Walt Whitman Middle School Cafeteria
2500 Parkers Ln, Alexandria, VA 22306

We encourage you to attend the charrette. In addition, please check this page for information about the project, including future public events, which will include two pop-up studios and a community open house.

For More Information:

JoAnne Fiebe
Program Manager at the Office of Community Revitalization

Related Links and Resources:

Embark Comprehensive Plan

Volume I: Urban Design Guidelines for Commercial Revitalization Districts and Areas

Richmond Highway Bus Rapid Transit

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