Arlington County Board To Hear Comments on Amazon HQ at Public Hearing

Estimated $51 million pay-for-performance incentive package proposed.

The County Board will hold a public hearing on a proposed performance agreement with Amazon and consider other items at its Saturday, March 16, meeting. The meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m.

Due to anticipated public interest in the proposed performance agreement with Amazon, the board encourages those who wish to comment at the public hearing to sign up in advance online. Advance sign-up will close at 4 p.m. on March 15. Advance online sign-up speakers will be called first, in the order in which they are received. Speaker forms will be available at the meeting starting at 8 a.m., and may be submitted to the Clerk before the first speaker on the agenda item is called.

The board meets in Room 307 on the third floor at the Ellen M. Bozman Government Center, 2100 Clarendon Blvd.

All County Board meetings are live-streamed on the county website, and broadcast live on the county’s cable channel, ATV, with live captioning. Residents can watch the board meetings on Comcast 25 & 1085 (HD), and Verizon FiOS 39 & 40, or live-streamed on YouTube. Videos of Board meetings are archived on the county website (with captions and reports) and on YouTube.

The board will hold a public hearing, at 1 p.m. or as soon thereafter as possible, and consider adopting a pay-for-performance incentive package for Amazon. In November, 2018, the company announced its plans to build a second headquarters in Arlington.

If approved, the performance package would grant the company up to 15 percent of net new hotel tax revenues associated with increased business travel to Arlington related to the Amazon headquarters. The grant will begin to be paid out in the second year of the performance period. Its total value over 15 years is estimated to be $23 million. The tax is paid by tourists or business travelers on the total cost paid on hotel rooms or other paid lodging in the county.

The county also would agree to set aside up to 50 percent of the growth in incremental tax revenue in the existing Crystal City, Potomac Yard and Pentagon City Tax Increment Financing Area for up to 10 years to finance public infrastructure projects serving, or near, Amazon’s headquarters. The value of this revenue is projected to be $28 million over 10 years. Amazon is expected to create 25,000 jobs with an average annual salary of $150,000, and to occupy 4 million square feet of office space in Arlington by 2030. The county estimates that the 16-year cumulative gross tax benefit to Arlington from Amazon’s expected growth here will be $342.26 million.

The board also will hear public testimony and consider adopting changes to the Zoning Ordinance and local child care codes related to the county’s Child Care Initiative.

The proposed Zoning Ordinance changes address topics related to center-based and family-based child care programs including: child care definitions; maximum number of children and development review process for family day care homes; family day care home use standards; child care center parking requirements; and other changes.

The proposed changes to Chapter 52 of the Arlington County Code incorporate the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) Standards for Licensed Child Day Centers (with the exception of teacher-to-child ratios, group sizes, and lead teacher qualifications). The proposed changes to Chapter 59 of the Arlington County Code incorporate the VDSS Standards for Licensed Family Day Homes (with the exception of teacher-to-child ratios).

The board also will consider authorizing advertisement of public hearings before the Planning Commission and the board in April on the proposed update of the Master Transportation Plan’s Bicycle Element, and to amend the MTP Map section “Arlington County Bike and Trail Network.” The Bicycle Element of the MTP guides long-term transportation planning, including future project concepts for Arlington’s bicycle transportation infrastructure.

The board also will consider a proposed licensing agreement with WMATA that will allow Arlington to run ads for the county’s public art, and cultural events such as the Rosslyn Jazz Festival, on new digital screens in Metro stations.

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