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2016 Process Evaluation

The Board of Supervisors (BOS) directed staff to evaluate the planning process (Fairfax Forward) two years after its authorization in July 2013 to assess the efficiency, effectiveness, accessibility, and impact of the new Plan review process. The evaluation focused on whether the new process for amending the Comprehensive Plan (as a replacement to the Area Plans Review (APR) process) resulted in a better approach to land use planning in the county.  The staff report for the evaluation can be found here .  The Planning Commission held a public hearing on April 20, 2016, and the decision was deferred on May 25, 2016 pending additional public outreach.  Staff has been conducting this outreach, and the results are available on the What's New page.    

Work Program Development

Proposals for consideration to amend the Plan Amendment Work Program were accepted between April 2014 and January 2016. Twenty-four (24) nominations were received. You can review the nominations here.  Following a public workshop on April 27, 2016, the Planning Commission deferred decision on the Work Program.  The disposition of these items is anticipated to be determined as part of the upcoming public hearings on changes to the process.  Learn more on the What's New page.

History of Fairfax Forward

Fairfax Forward resulted from the 2011 Area Plans Review Retrospective, an evaluation of the regular cycle of Comprehensive Plan review (the Area Plans Review process).  The results indicated minor changes to the existing process would not address recurring issues and a more substantial change should occur. 

Board of Supervisors’ Action

On July 9, 2013 the Board of Supervisors held a public hearing on Fairfax Forward.  The Board acted to:

    • Adopt the revised Comprehensive Plan review process, as outlined in the Fairfax Forward Staff Report dated February 20, 2013, subsequent Addendum dated April 3, 2013, and Board item dated July 9, 2013, and the Pilot Comprehensive Plan Amendment Work Program as a formal test of program operations,  
    • Direct staff to measure the efficiency, effectiveness, accessibility, and impact of the new process and the Pilot Work Program after two years of program operations,
    • Direct staff to develop a formal process to gather proposals for Plan amendments received outside of the work program, and 
    • Rescind a number of  outstanding Board-authorized amendments (Plan Amendment S11-CW-5CP also was rescinded). 

Read the July 9, 2013 News Release

Planning Commission Public Hearing and Recommendation

On April 3, 2013, the Planning Commission made a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors on Fairfax Forward.  The Planning Commission public hearing was held on March 27, 2013.  Watch the March 27th and the April 3rd Planning Commission meetings.

Community Outreach


The schedule for Fairfax Forward was as follows:

    • Spring 2012: Initial meetings with Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors; development of preliminary recommendations
    • Summer/Fall 2012: Public outreach meetings
    • December 2012-January 2013: Publication of preliminary recommendations; public comment period
    • February 2013: Final staff recommendations
    • March 2013: Planning Commission public hearing
    • June 2013: Board of Supervisors' Development Process Committee meeting
    • July 2013: Board of Supervisors public hearing

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