Interpretations of Approved Zoning Applications
Guidelines for Submitting Requests for Interpretations Related to Approved Zoning Applications (Rezonings, Special Exceptions, Special Permits and Variances)
Subsequent to the approval of a zoning application, all site plans, subdivision plans, building permits and occupancy permits are required by the Zoning Ordinance to be in substantial conformance with the application as approved by the Board of Supervisors, the Planning Commission or the Board of Zoning Appeals, respectively.
"Substantial conformance" is defined in the Zoning Ordinance as follows:
The Zoning Ordinance provides that minor modifications to an approved zoning may be permitted when it is determined by the Zoning Administrator that such are in substantial conformance with the approved zoning and that such are in response to issues of topography, drainage, underground utilities, structural safety, layout, design vehicular circulation, or requirements of the Virginia Department of Transportation or Fairfax County; or are accessory uses; or are accessory structures or minor building additions.
Please refer to the specific Zoning Ordinance sections below related to minor modifications for:
Special Permits: Article 8, Section 8-004
The Zoning Ordinance does not contain specific minor modification provisions related to variances, although substantial conformance determinations may still be requested.
If a proposed change to an approved zoning is not in substantial conformance with an approved zoning, the filing of an application to amend the previously approved zoning application would be required to effectuate the change.
The determination of whether a proposed modification is in substantial conformance with an approved zoning is made through the interpretation process. In order to submit a request for an interpretation related to an approved rezoning, special exception, special permit or variance, please submit a letter to Barbara C. Berlin, Director of the Zoning Evaluation Division, who serves as the duly authorized agent of the Zoning Administrator for this process, at the Department of Planning and Zoning, 12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 801, Fairfax, Virginia 22035. The letter should include the following information.
By reviewing these guidelines and submitting materials that fully support and document your request, time will be saved in obtaining the answer to an interpretation question. When requests for interpretation lack one or more of the applicable elements listed above, unnecessary time is spent between staff and a requester to obtain additional information. The average turnaround time for interpretation requests is 30 days.
It should be recognized that these are general guidelines and you may be asked for additional information by staff assigned to review a particular request.Effective July 1, 2011, a fee of $520 is required for the processing of interpretation requests. A check for the fee amount must be included with your request made payable to the County of Fairfax.
If you have any questions, please contact the Public Information Planner in the Zoning Evaluation Division, Department of Planning and Zoning at 703-324-1290, TTY 711.