Zoning Glossary R-S

Zoning GlossaryThis Glossary is provided to assist the public in understanding the staff evaluation and analysis of development proposals. It should not be construed as representing legal definitions. Refer to the Fairfax County Zoning Ordinance, Comprehensive Plan or Public Facilities Manual for additional information.


A-B   C-D   E-F   G-L   M-Q   R-S   T-Z  
Common Abbreviations

RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AREA (RMA): That component of the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area comprised of lands that, if improperly used or developed, have a potential for causing significant water quality degradation or for diminishing the functional value of the Resource Protection Area. See Fairfax County Code, Ch. 118, Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance.

RESOURCE PROTECTION AREA (RPA): That component of the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area comprised of lands at or near the shoreline or water's edge that have an intrinsic water quality value due to the ecological and biological processes they perform or are sensitive to impacts which may result in significant degradation of the quality of state waters. In their natural condition, these lands provide for the removal, reduction or assimilation of sediments from runoff entering the Bay and its tributaries, and minimize the adverse effects of human activities on state waters and aquatic resources. New development is generally discouraged in an RPA. See Fairfax County Code, Ch. 118, Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance.

SITE PLAN: A detailed engineering plan, to scale, depicting the development of a parcel of land and containing all information required by Article 17 of the Zoning Ordinance. Generally, submission of a site plan to DEM for review and approval is required for all residential, commercial and industrial development except for development of single family detached dwellings. The site plan is required to assure that development complies with the Zoning Ordinance.

SPECIAL EXCEPTION (SE) / SPECIAL PERMIT (SP): Uses, which by their nature, can have an undue impact upon or can be incompatible with other land uses and therefore need a site specific review. After review, such uses may be allowed to locate within given designated zoning districts if appropriate and only under special controls, limitations, and regulations. A special exception is subject to public hearings by the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors with approval by the Board of Supervisors; a special permit requires a public hearing and approval by the Board of Zoning Appeals. Unlike proffers which are voluntary, the Board of Supervisors or BZA may impose reasonable conditions to assure, for example, compatibility and safety. See Article 8, Special Permits and Article 9, Special Exceptions, of the Zoning Ordinance.

STORMWATER MANAGEMENT: Engineering practices that are incorporated into the design of a development in order to mitigate or abate adverse water quantity and water quality impacts resulting from development. Stormwater management systems are designed to slow down or retain runoff to re-create, as nearly as possible, the pre-development flow conditions.

SUBDIVISION PLAT: The engineering plan for a subdivision of land submitted to DEM for review and approved pursuant to Chapter 101 of the County Code.


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

ADA Accessibility | Website Accessibility
Awards | FOIA | Mobile | Using this Site | Web Disclaimer & Privacy Policy | Get Adobe Reader
Official site of the County of Fairfax, Virginia, © Copyright 2015

Website Feedback Website Feedback    Globe with various flags representing Web site language translations   Language Translations

Return to Graphic Version