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Arlington County Considers Allowing More Senior Housing Development

Sunrise at Bluemont Park, one of Arlington County's six senior living facilities

A person reaching retirement age today was in their 40s the last time a new senior housing community was built in Arlington County, but local leaders are trying to change that. 

The Arlington County Board approved a request for public hearings on a proposal to change zoning regulations to allow the development of senior living facilities in more areas, ARLnow reports

The county has more than 35,000 residents over the age of 60, but it has just over 1,000 beds for seniors across its six assisted living facilities and four nursing homes, according to a county staff report. No new residential projects have been built specifically for seniors since 1999, the report said. 

Senior living facilities are now only allowed in a special zoning district designed for hospitals, the report said, but it recommends the board consider allowing the projects to be built in some areas zoned for multifamily and commercial use. 

Developers have increasingly sought to build senior housing in more urban areas as millions of baby boomers reach retirement age and want to live near amenities. A senior housing project approved last month in Tysons is planned to include two high-rise towers of 27 and 18 stories within a half-mile of the McLean Metro station.