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Maple Avenue Vision

The Maple Avenue Vision has evolved over the past decade with significant input from Town of Vienna residents.  It ensures that the corridor will continue to maintain and promote Vienna’s small-town character while supporting the viability of surrounding residential neighborhoods. The new Maple Avenue Commercial (MAC) zone reinforces Maple Avenue’s role as the Town’s Main Street.  It simply encourages a higher quality hometown experience for residents, visitors and businesses by using a balanced, community-oriented, collaborative approach. The Town Council approved the proposed MAC ordinance at their September 22, 2014 meeting. It was adopted by the Town Council on October 20, 2014. On January 9, 2017, Town Council adopted several amendments. These amendments include the following:  

  • Application procedure amended to allow for conceptual plans in place of fully engineered site plans (site plans are still required after rezoning);
  • Application procedure amended to require 3D renderings of the development and surrounding buildings, a public engagement plan, and a multi-modal transportation impact analysis;
  • Side street setbacks increased from 11 feet to 15 feet between face of curb and front building wall;
  • Minimum rear yard setback increased to 20 feet for all abutting residential development, not just single-family detached dwellings;
  • Encroachment for stoops increased to five feet into a required yard setback;
  • Surface parking is no longer allowed in between a building and Maple Avenue;
  • Minimum distance between bicycle parking and primary building entrance decreased to 75 feet;
  • Seasonal color requirement for landscaping screening off-street surface parking lots;
  • Requirement for street trees along all adjacent public streets, not just Maple Avenue;
  • Minimum amount of open space increased from 10% to 15% of the total site;
  • Clarification on transparency requirement for Maple Avenue ground floor façade; and
  • Clarification on bus shelter incentive feature.

The MAC establishes that vision and the framework for progress by encouraging compact, pedestrian-oriented development and high-quality, eclectic architecture that is consistent with Vienna’s small-town identity.  It promotes improved environmental quality and sustainable building practices along the corridor, and supports the Town’s economic vitality in the face of change and competition by providing opportunities for our local businesses to expand and prosper while maintaining the community culture that makes Vienna unique. Further, it aims to incorporate those elements currently lacking along Maple Avenue, including parks, bicycle facilities, public art and housing. These are essential to cultivating the high quality of life and harmony that we appreciate in the Town of Vienna.

Implementing the MAC zone does not approve any new development.  In fact, the MAC establishes a much more rigorous review process for any proposed development. The current process requires only Town staff review for projects that meet the Town regulations. The MAC institutes a multi-step process with increased public engagement and public hearings. This enhances the opportunity for community involvement and a collaborative spirit in shaping the long-term character and resiliency of Maple Avenue and our beautiful town.

Submitted and Approved MAC Applications

Maple Avenue Vision Video

Maple Avenue Corridor FAQ 

Summer 2014
The consultant team, in coordination with the Maple Avenue Steering Committee and various Town Board & Commissions, has developed a draft zoning code that will become the primary tool for implementing the Maple Avenue Vision. The proposed code creates the "Maple Avenue Commercial" (MAC) zoning district which can be used for any commercially-zoned property located along Maple Avenue East and West. The new zoning will be voluntary, meaning that current property owners can choose to remain under their current zoning with no changes. Other properties; however, may choose to take advantage of the new MAC district to create more pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use developments, subject to certain requirements and approval by the Town Council. Any new zoning code will require the approval of the Town Council.

Previous Meeting Information
Maple Avenue Corridor Visioning History: 2001 - Present

Summer 2001
The Maple Avenue visioning process began in 2001 with a suggestion from then Councilmember Al Boudreau that town staff work with the Northern Virginia Regional Commission (NVRC) to hold a workshop with the community to explore the current features of the Maple Avenue (East and West) corridor and provide a vision as to how it might develop in the future.

November 1, 2 and 3, 2001
In conjunction with NVRC, the Town held a two and one-half day workshop called "Vision Vienna" to explore the Maple Avenue corridor. Along with Town staff, members from the community were involved in the visioning process and produced a comprehensive report detailing the information gathered during the event.
January 28, 2002
During the January 28, 2002 meeting, Town Council approved a resolution establishing the "Maple Avenue Vision Committee” for the purpose of studying the commercial corridor of Maple Avenue and the preparation of recommendations for the possible revitalization, redevelopment and future enhancement of the corridor.

March 14, 2005
During the March 14, 2005, Town Council meeting, the Maple Avenue Vision Committee provided a report to the Town Council on their work over the previous three years. Based on the report and other factors, Town Council opted to take the process slowly and took the Committee’s report under advisement. The Maple Avenue Vision Committee was disbanded.

March 2005-November 2006
Town Council moved forward with undergoing a study to evaluate the feasibility of some form of mixed-use zoning along the Maple Avenue corridor.

November 2006
During a November 2006 Town Council meeting, the consultant presented the Maple Avenue Feasibility Study. Town Council took the study under advisement.

October 18, 2010
In 2006, Town Council took the work performed on the Maple Avenue Vision under advisement and in 2009, interest on Council increased in moving forward with this project.  Subsequently, several Work Sessions were held to evaluate the overall corridor and based upon a suggestion by the Town Attorney to obtain a three-dimensional look at what building heights might do to Maple Avenue before a two-dimensional ordinance is written, photo renderings were commissioned.  At the October 18, 2010 meeting, Town Council approved a photo rendering project to illustrate what the Maple Avenue corridor would look like based on specific building heights (35, 50 and 54-feet and 15-foot or 30-foot setbacks).

June 13, 2011
At the June 13, 2011, Town Council meeting, staff presented the results of the photo rendering project. The renderings include various depictions of what the ‘big street’ would look like with certain building heights and setbacks.
Photo Renderings

Winter 2011
Town Council held two work sessions to discuss the photo renderings and the next steps in the Maple Avenue Visioning process. Town staff developed a four step plan to
February 2012
Town staff issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a qualified vendor to assist the Town in rewriting the Zoning Code for the Maple Avenue corridor. Staff is currently reviewing the bids. 

June 2012
The Town Council hired Lardner/Klein Landscape Architects, along with Clarion Associates and Seth Harry & Associates, to make recommendations regarding potential zoning changes which would help to implement the Town’s vision for the Maple Avenue corridor.

July 2012
A 17-member Steering Committee was created to work with the Town’s consultants. It is made up of members from throughout the community, representing a variety of backgrounds and interests, with the intention of providing guidance and increasing public involvement. The Steering Committee has already met several times to discuss elements of the corridor, and the consultants are presently working on an outline of recommendations.

January 2013
On January, 14, 2013, the consultant team, along with members of the Steering Committee provided an update before the Mayor and Town Council at their regular Work Session meeting. The consultants described the work thus far and outlined some of the discussion and details to be considered as work progresses. View presentation.

March 2013
On March 26, 2013, the consultants and the Steering Committee met to discuss the project's status including code updates and key concepts. View presentation.

November 2013
On November 11, 2013, the consultants and the Steering Committee met with the Mayor and Town Council at their regular work session to review the proposed zoning code for the new "Maple Avenue Corridor" (MAC) district. View presentation.