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.
UNIVERSAL DESIGN: The design of products and environments to be usable by people of all ages and abilities, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for significant adaptation or sepcialized design.
URBAN DESIGN: An aspect of urban or suburban planning that focuses on creating a desirable environment in which to live, work and play. Design analysis includes the relationship between buildings, streets, land use, open space, circulation, height, natural features and human activity. A well designed urban or suburban environment demonstrates the four generally accepted principles of urban design: clearly identifiable function for the area; easily understood order; distinctive identity; and visual appeal.
URBAN PARKS: Public spaces in densely developed areas that offer the opportunity for passive and active recreation.
URBAN PLANNING: The discipline of distributing urban or suburban functions spatially, in terms of activity patterns of people in the physical setting. This includes the physical facilities or improvements to the land which are made to accommodate these activity patterns. Urban or suburban functions addressed in planning are broad, encompassing land use; transportation; housing; open space and recreation; public and human services; and conservation of environmental and heritage resources.
V/C: See Volume to Capacity Ratio.
VDOT: Virginia Department of Transportation.
VDOT SIX YEAR PROGRAM: The State's six year Capital Improvement program for transportation. Each year, VDOT adopts a Primary and Secondary budget following public hearings throughout the State. Both budgets are derived from Six Year Programs, which are updated annually, for the Interstate and Primary Systems, and bi annually for the Secondary System, following public hearings in each case. Many projects appearing in the Six Year Program are not fully funded within the Program.
VDRPT: Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation.
VHDA: Virginia Housing Development Authority. A state housing finance agency.
VIRGINIA BYWAY: A designation given by Virginia's Commonwealth Transportation Board to a roadway which is of historic significant and/or scenic interest or links areas of historic significant and/or scenic interest.
VIRGINIA RAILWAY EXPRESS: Commuter rail service in the Southern Railway and Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac rail corridors.
VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS: Fairfax County should encourage a dynamic and diverse arts presence by supporting the works, participants, and audiences in the areas of dance, creative writing, choral and instrumental music, theater arts, film and new media, two and three-dimensional visual art in traditional and contemporary cultural iterations, but also in the ways that these areas may overlap and interact with new and emerging technologies.
VOLUME TO CAPACITY (V/C) RATIO: A measure of the level of service or adequacy of roadways, intersections, or transit services, usually expressed during peak periods of travel. The V/C ratio is a comparison of traffic volume to capacity. As used herein, a V/C ratio of 1.0 or greater connotes a congested (LOS E) or failing (LOS F) facility, with long delays.
WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREA (MSA): The Bureau of Census designation for the metropolitan region that includes Fairfax County. It also includes the District of Columbia; Montgomery, Prince George's, Charles, Calvert and Frederick Counties, Maryland; the Cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas and Manassas Park; and, Arlington, Loudoun, Prince William and Stafford Counties, Virginia.
WASTE STREAM REDUCTION PROGRAMS: Programs that reduce the volume of waste through conservation and recycling efforts.
WETLANDS: Any land characterized by wetness for a portion of the growing season. Wetlands are generally delineated on the basis of physical characteristics such as soil properties indicative of wetness, the presence of vegetation with an unusually strong affinity for water, and the presence or evidence of surface wetness. Wetland environments provide water quality improvement benefits and, in most cases, are ecologically valuable.
WMATA: Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
WORKFORCE HOUSING: Rental or for-sale housing units that are affordable to households with maximum income limits up to and including 120 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) for the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area, as determined periodically by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The intent of the Workforce housing initiative is to encourage this and other types of affordable housing in the County’s planned Mixed-Use Centers. Workforce Housing should be provided in accordance with the guidelines specified in Appendix 1 of the Housing Section of the Policy Plan. In return for proffered Workforce housing units, additional development density or intensity will be made available. Workforce housing should be subject to administrative requirements that are set forth in the Zoning Ordinance and are similar to those of the Affordable Dwelling Unit program.