Comprehensive Plan Glossary
This Glossary, updated June 19, 2012, contains an alphabetical
listing defining terms as they are used in the context of the
Comprehensive Plan. These terms are not intended to be the same
definitions as used in the County's Zoning Ordinance. Rather,
they are intended only to explain terms used in the Plan.
FAIR SHARE FORMULA: A system developed by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments which is used to make recommendations to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on the allocation of Federal housing assistance within the Washington region.
FAIRFAX COUNTY INVENTORY OF HISTORIC SITES: See Inventory of Historic Sites.
F.A.R.: Floor Area Ratio. An expression of the amount of development (typically non residential uses) allowed on a specific parcel of land. F.A.R. is determined by dividing the total square footage of buildings on a site by the amount of site square footage. Thus, a permitted floor area ratio of 3.0 on a 10,000 square feet lot would allow a building whose total floor area is 30,000 square feet.
FASTRAN: A County sponsored transportation service contracted by the Department of Human Services for eligible disabled, elderly, and low income Fairfax County residents.
FECAL COLIFORM: A harmless bacteria originating in the intestinal tracts of warm blooded animals that is measured in surface water and groundwater as an indicator of fecal contamination and of the possible presence of pathogenic organisms.
FETCH: The distance that the wind blows across the tidal body of water before it hits land. The fetch affects the momentum of wave action from a constant direction. The greater the fetch, the greater the potential force of wave action on the shoreline.
FIELD SURVEY: A systematic examination of a land area to gather information about environmental and heritage resources that may be present.
FLOODPLAIN: Those land areas in and adjacent to streams and watercourses subject to periodic inundation from flood events. For instance, the 100 year flood frequency event has a one percent chance of occurrence in any given year.
FREEWAYS AND EXPRESSWAYS: Controlled access highways providing for high volume travel. The concept of service to abutting land is subordinate to accommodating the through movement of vehicles.
FUNCTIONAL CLASSIFICATION: A system for classifying the transportation system in terms of the character of service that individual facilities are providing or are intended to provide, ranging from travel mobility to land access. Roadway system functional classification elements include Freeways or Expressways, Other Principal (or Major) Arterials, Minor Arterials, Collector Streets, and Local Streets. Transit system elements include line haul, collection and distribution, and specialized or community oriented transit services.
GEOMETRIC STANDARDS: Highway design criteria for road construction.
GOVERNMENT ASSISTED HOUSING: For purposes of the Comprehensive Plan, housing constructed and/or managed under programs which limit the amount of rent charged and the eligibility of occupants based on income. These limits are a condition for the provision of financial assistance from federal, state or local sources. Assisted housing is one means of providing affordable housing; however, not all assisted housing meets the definition of "affordable housing" provided above. The programs listed below are included as "government assisted housing."
GREEN BUILDING : Structures and their associated landscapes that are located, designed, constructed, operated and dismantled in an environmentally responsible manner to minimize short- and long-term negative impacts on the environment and building occupants.
GROIN: A shore protection structure built usually perpendicular to shoreline to trap sand moving along the shoreline in order to accrete sand and thus retard erosion of the shore.
GROUNDWATER RESOURCES: Subsurface sources of water in usable quantities for wells.
GROUP HOMES: Homes in which moderate amounts of support services are provided and appropriate for persons with physical, mental, emotional, familial or social difficulties who are somewhat self sufficient but who benefit from living in groups of five to eight persons.