Architectural Review Board Application Procedure

Clolvin Run MillAll applications to appear before the Architectural Review Board should be accompanied by appropriate support materials at the times specified. Late or incomplete applications cannot be placed on the ARB agenda. The applicant bears the responsibility of ensuring that all applications are complete and on time. The agenda is set two weeks prior to each meeting. It is not uncommon for applicants to appear before the ARB at two or more meetings. This may be necessary if documentation is inadequate or substantial design revisions are required.

Two groups of submission materials are required: materials to be mailed by the applicant to all ARB members and DPZ staff prior to the meeting, and materials to be used during the presentation before the ARB. Based on the complexity of the proposal, the ARB, through the DPZ staff administrator, may waive or modify some or all of these requirements.

Types of Review

The ARB conducts two types of review—informal and formal. The ARB will review development concepts or proposals and give general guidance at an informal "workshop" session. There is no formal recommendation made by the ARB at a workshop session and the only requirement for supporting materials is that the idea be clearly presented whether in written form, drawings, or other graphic form. Supporting documentation may be mailed to ARB members prior to the meeting but this is not a requirement for a workshop session.

When the ARB formally reviews more fully developed and detailed proposals, every aspect is looked at in terms of protecting the heritage resources and historic character of the district. In addition to exterior architectural design elements—such as form, material, and color—elements to be reviewed will include plans for site design, grading, clearing, parking, travelways, access points, landscaping, outdoor lighting, signage, fences, walls, and other site features. As a practical matter, all elements of a proposal need not be reviewed at the same time. This is the choice of the applicant. When the formal review of each element of the proposal–site design, architectural design, landscape design, for example, is completed, the ARB will recommend approval, approval with conditions, or disapproval. Their recommendation and comments will be recorded in the minutes of the meeting or meetings at which the review takes place.

Materials to be Mailed to ARB Members by Applicant

A package containing a completed application form and a description of the proposal should be mailed by the applicant to each ARB member and two copies to DPZ staff TWO WEEKS before the meeting at which the applicant wishes to present the proposal. An address list of the ARB members and DPZ staff is available by e-mail or fax (call the DPZ staff administrator, 703-324-1380 (TTY 711, Virginia Relay). Some proposals are more complex than others and the documentation presented should reflect this. At a minimum, documentation should clearly communicate to the ARB, and for the record, the nature of the proposal and its impact on the historic character of the district. DPZ staff will be able to clarify this for each applicant. If the nature of the submission makes it appropriate, copies of the following should be mailed:

  1. The application form with a map showing the location of the subject property within the Historic Overlay District;
  2. Site and grading plan, including as appropriate building footprints and limits of clearing and grading, Resource Protection Area (RPA) delineation and/or Environmental Quality Corridor (EQC) limits, trails and/or other pedestrian paths; any easement boundaries and in-ground features, such as swimming pools, or unusual features such as high fences or other structures. Minimum scale should be 1" = 30'.
  3. Landscape plan, including a tabulation of the plant and tree species and size at time of planting. Minimum scale should be 1" = 30'.
  4. Architectural drawings, including elevations of all building facades and floor plans as necessary to help interpret the form of the building. Minimum scale should be 1/4" = 1' (1/8" = 1’ may be appropriate for structures larger than a single-family house). If a proposal is particularly complex, a perspective drawing may be helpful.
  5. Photographs of the subject property and adjacent land and/or development.

If more detailed information is available, this may be included in the package.

Additional Materials to be Used in Presentations Before the ARB

  1. A cross section of the subject property showing the proposed development in relation to the historic structure(s) in the historic district. This is to give an idea of what can be seen of the development from the historic site. Sight lines should be shown on this cross section and any existing or proposed vegetation within the view line should be shown.
  2. Samples of materials and colors. Only one set needs to be provided and it does NOT need to be sent in the package of materials to individual ARB members.
  3. Outdoor lighting and sign plan. Provide a drawing or photograph of outdoor lighting fixtures with industry specifications and show the location of fixtures on buildings or within the development property. Provide a drawing or photograph to show the type of sign (building mounted, ground mounted) dimensions, placement, and colors. Provide industry specifications for sign lighting.
  4. Drawings of accessory features, such as street furniture, fences, retaining walls, dumpsters, showing appearance and location.

To facilitate presentations and review by the board, it may be appropriate to mount drawings on illustration or foam-core boards. Please bring your own audiovisual equipment if necessary for your presentation. Contact DPZ staff if you have special needs.

Materials for the Record and for Review by other Agencies

As approved by the ARB, two copies of all drawings (folded, not mounted) and other application materials (with the exception of actual product samples or models) should be given to DPZ staff. One copy will be included in the record and the second returned to the applicant for required permitting or review by other County agencies as appropriate.

For complex or phased projects, certain elements of a proposal, such as a site and grading plan, may receive preliminary approval by the ARB prior to approving all elements of a proposal. However, before a building, sign, or other construction permit may be granted by a County reviewing agency, all elements within its jurisdiction (per Part 2, Section 7-200 of the Zoning Ordinance) must be approved by the ARB. If the building permit submission differs in any way from that approved by the ARB, the applicant must bring all relevant materials back to the ARB for re-approval.

(Pictured on right - Colvin Run Mill)



Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
Technical Questions: Web Administrator

ADA Accessibility | Website Accessibility
Awards | FOIA | Mobile | Using this Site | Web Disclaimer & Privacy Policy | Get Adobe Reader
Official site of the County of Fairfax, Virginia, © Copyright 2015

Website Feedback Website Feedback    Globe with various flags representing Web site language translations   Language Translations

Return to Graphic Version