Arlington Forest Covenants
AFCA has discovered that most of Arlington Forest, the portions established in 1939 to 1942,have land covenants—13 in all. These covenants were established by the original property owner and developer, Meadowbrook, Inc. Land covenants are rules that apply to a property and affect how a landowner can use the land. The rules can either require a landowner do something or prevent the landowner from doing something on the land. These rules can apply for a set period of time or stay with the land forever. This means whoever owns the land will be affected by these rules.
One covenant is no longer valid because it excluded persons of any race except the Caucasian Race from living on a lot except as domestic servants. The courts struck down its enforcement in 1948, and it became illegal under the civil rights legislation of the 1960s; it is also illegal under the Virginia Fair Housing Law (Code of Virginia, paragraph 36-96.6(A)).
AFCA has not found comparable covenants for the portions of Arlington Forest developed and added to the civic association after 1942 by other developers. They may exist, but a more thorough search of land records is needed to establish this. The covenants and associated documents for Arlington Forest are kept on file by Arlington County and can be viewed and obtained at the Arlington County Courthouse.
AFCA is not in a position to provide legal advice regarding what these covenants mean to current homeowners and whether the restrictions outlined (not including the one about the Caucasian race) are still in effect.
Each part of Arlington Forest developed by Meadowbrook (Southside, Northside and Greenbrier) has covenants worded somewhat differently. In addition, the Southside's covenants set up a "neighborhood committee," whereas the covenants for the other two neighborhoods do not. Moreover, each neighborhood is divided into three sections, mentioned in the covenants.
- The Southside is divided into Sections 1, 2 and 3. View the Southside covenants here.
- The Northside is divided into Sections 4, 5 and 6. View the Northside covenants here.
- Greenbrier is divided into Sections 7, 8 and 9. View the Greenbrier covenants here.
- View map of Sections 1, 2 and 3 here. View map of Sections 4 through 9 here.