Fairfax Forward - Concept for Future Development

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Since the adoption in 1990, the Concept for Future Development has been an important element of the county's Comprehensive Plan by establishing fundamental planning principles to guide future development and preservation of land. On June 19, 2012, the Board of Supervisors adopted revisions to the Concept to reflect current Plan guidance. The Concept for Future Development has two components:


The Concept for Future Development was developed as part of the Fairfax Planning Horizons, a major revision of both the policy and land use recommendations of the County's Comprehensive Plan, adopted in 1990 (Policy Plan) and 1991 (Area Plans). During Planning Horizons, six land use concepts that represented possible futures for Fairfax County and three different transportation systems were evaluated to understand the potential impacts of each. A preferred alternative was developed and formed the basis for the Concept for Future Development.

The Policy Plan, which was also adopted as a part of Planning Horizons, explains the underlying goals and rationale for land development and preservation as set forth in the Concept as well as other policies related to public health, safety, welfare, and quality of life. The Policy Plan and Concept for Future Development express the envisioned future of the County. Together, they encourage a balanced and efficient land use pattern, and enhance the ability for the County to achieve this by providing the framework for the review of the Area Plans guidance of the Comprehensive Plan.


The Concept for Future Development is comprised of the Land Classification System and the Concept Map which divide the County into the categories of Tysons Corner Urban Center, Suburban Centers, Community Business Centers and Transit Station Areas, all of which are characterized as mixed-use centers. There are two types of neighborhoods, Suburban Neighborhoods and Low Density Residential Areas. These neighborhood areas are recommended to be protected and maintained. The remaining two categories are Industrial Areas and Large Institutional Areas. The Large Institutional Areas include Fort Belvoir, George Mason University and the portion of the Washington Dulles International Airport that is within Fairfax County.

The Land Classification System guidelines suggest land use characterizations for each planned category and provide guidance regarding the environment, transportation, heritage resources, public facilities, and parks and recreation. The system is intended to give direction for making planning decisions, and is meant to be used in conjunction with the Countywide Objectives and Policies that are in the County's adopted Comprehensive Plan.  


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