Historic Overlay District Notification
In July of 2014, the Department of Planning and Zoning sent out postcards to all property owners within a county-designated Historic Overlay District (HOD). These postcards were sent to remind owners that their property is within a HOD and that unique zoning requirements may apply to their property.
These zoning requirements stipulate county approval for certain exterior renovation or construction work done on properties within these districts. In general, approval is needed if a building permit is required for the project. These reviews are conducted by Fairfax County's Architectural Review Board (ARB).
ARB approval is required even for properties that were built after the creation of a Historic Overlay District. The county's Historic Preservation Planner can help you determine if ARB approval is required. The Historic Preservation Planner can be contacted at (703) 324-1380, TTY 711.
Once it is determined that a project needs ARB approval, the ARB application process should begin early in the design process. Early review can:
- Save time and money by eliminating potentially expensive design changes and delays during the permitting process.
- Avert inappropriate changes that may detract from the historic or visual character of the historic district or the property.
- Allow alternative design suggestions prior to construction.
In 1969, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors enacted Zoning Ordinance Article 7 that created Historic Overlay Districts (HOD). Thirteen Historic Overlay Districts were created between 1970 and 1986. Each HOD has its own individual zoning ordinance, and design guidelines. Click on the thumbnail map for an enlarged view of the Historic Overlay Districts Map and detailed maps of each district.