Arlington Sets Design Guidelines For New Homes, Additions

diagram, engineering drawing: Arlington set its Residential Design Guidelines after a year-long development process.

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Arlington set its Residential Design Guidelines after a year-long development process.

ARLINGTON, MA — The town has set its Residential Design Guidelines after a year-long development process, outlining community-informed design preferences for new construction of and additions to single-family and two-family homes in low-density residential zoning districts.

The process included virtual public workshops, surveys and remote input opportunities. While the guidelines are advisory in nature, they will be considered by the Zoning Board of Appeals when evaluating requests for Special Permits.

The aim of the guidelines is to balance the “streetcar suburb” history of Arlington’s residential neighborhoods with the changing needs of the community; encourage creative, sustainable renovations and additions that complement the house and neighborhood in scale and style; encourage new houses that are consistent with the neighborhood; and maintain, protect preserve and promote historic and diverse cultural resources.


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The Residential Design Guidelines can be viewed on the town’s website. They will be incorporated as a reference document into construction checklists, available at the Inspectional Services Department, and shared with local realtors, builders and developers.

The DRWG is collaborating with DPCD on identifying additional opportunities for informing the community about this new resource, so it can be incorporated early into the design of residential projects.

Project information may be found on the Design Review Working Group’s website.

For more information, contact Kelly Lynema, Senior Planner in Arlington’s Department of Planning and Community Development at 781-316-3096 or [email protected].

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