Rezoning, Special Exception, Special Permit and Variance Applications Acceptance



Zoning Application ProcessThe Applications Acceptance Branch within the Zoning Evaluation Division ("ZED") of the Department of Planning and Zoning ("DPZ") reviews rezoning, special exception, special permit and variance applications for compliance with the Fairfax County Zoning Ordinance’s submission requirements and to identify any additional applications or waivers that are necessary with the filing of such applications. The Zoning Ordinance, which is Chapter 112 of the Fairfax County Code, governs the use of land in Fairfax County. The Zoning Ordinance is adopted to promote the health, safety and welfare of the public and to implement the adopted Comprehensive Plan for the County. The following provides you with general information about the requirements you must fulfill for acceptance of your application. An application must be accepted before it can be processed. The County provides application packages, which are available on the internet, or by contacting the Zoning Enforcement Division at 703-324-1290, TTY 711.

The rezoning and special exception processes require a public hearing before the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors with a processing time of approximately 6 months from the official date of acceptance. The special permit and variance processes require a public hearing before the Board of Zoning Appeals ("BZA") with a ninety (90) day processing time from the official date of acceptance, which is the date that all the submission requirements have been submitted and have been deemed to be acceptable.

In general, the following items, which are detailed in the Variance application packages, are required:

  • A layout plan must be prepared by a certified architect, landscape architect, engineer, or land surveyor that is licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and must include information, such as: boundaries of the property; locations, dimensions and height of existing and proposed structures; ingress/egress from a public street; parking, proposed landscaping and screening; stormwater management facilities; and the presence of any floodplains or Environmental Quality Corridors ("EQC").

  • A written statement detailing the proposed uses, including operational characteristics, such as hours of operation.

  • An application form. If the applicant is not the owner of the property, you must provide written authorization from the owner notifying the County that you have the authority to file the application. Where a contingency contract exists, we encourage you to provide a copy of this contract.

  • An affidavit setting forth ownership and other interests in the proposal.

You may find the following hints and time saving measures helpful when filing an application:

  • Call the Zoning Evaluation Division at 703-324-1290 to determine if a pre-application meeting is necessary. This meeting can help to provide early identification of land use, transportation or environmental issues that may have to be addressed later by the application and/or the plat layout. To be the most helpful, it is important to schedule a pre-application meeting as early as you can, for example when you are contemplating purchasing a particular piece of property. The Application Acceptance Branch also provides pre-submission meetings that will assist you with the actual filing of the application. The pre-submission meetings are encouraged for all applicants because it will help determine if your application materials are complete and may avoid delays in the acceptance process. Please call the Church Ombudsman 703-324-1720 to schedule both a pre-application meeting and a pre-submission meeting.

  • Establish a key point of contact or representative within your organization who will be responsible for the application. This person should be responsible for obtaining information and relaying it back to all other interested parties.

  • Ensure that all parts of the application submission are filed at the same time and that the submission is accurate and complete.

Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
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