Important Information about Cluster Subdivisions


Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935, FAX 703-324-2010

Jan. 15, 2004

Important Information about Cluster Subdivisions

On Saturday, Jan. 24, at 9 a.m., in Conference Rooms 9 and 10 in the Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, the public is invited to an information session to introduce the staff recommendation for amendments to the Zoning Ordinance, Subdivision Ordinance and Public Facilities Manual concerning cluster subdivisions. This session will be hosted by a multi-agency team consisting of staff from each division of the Department of Planning and Zoning, the County Attorney's Office, and the Urban Forestry Division, the Code Analysis Division and the Environment and Facilities Review Division of DPWES.

The need to amend the cluster subdivision regulations is prompted by new legislation adopted by the Virginia General Assembly in 2002 entitled, “Provisions for Clustering of Single-Family Dwellings so as to Preserve Open Space (HB 346).” This legislation, contained in paragraph 12 of section 15.2-2286 of the Code of Virginia, sets forth the framework for regulations that a locality may include within its Zoning Ordinance or Subdivision Ordinance to regulate cluster subdivisions, should a locality elect to permit a cluster development option. It provides that in the event a locality elects to permit a residential cluster development option as a means of preserving open space, then approval of the cluster subdivision shall be an administrative process if density above the applicable conventional district is not provided, or approval of a cluster subdivision may occur through the special exception or rezoning process, provided a bonus density above that of the applicable conventional district is provided.

Under the Fairfax County Zoning Ordinance, cluster subdivisions are distinguished from conventional subdivisions by minimum open space requirements, minimum district sizes, reduced lot sizes and reduced yard requirements. Cluster subdivisions currently are allowed with the approval of a special exception by the Board of Supervisors in the R-C, R-E, R-1, R-2, R-3 and R-4 Districts. As a result of the new legislation, any Virginia locality which currently provides for cluster subdivisions through a special exception or rezoning process must amend the applicable local ordinances to comply with the Code of Virginia no later than July 1.

In preparation for the cluster subdivision public information meeting, staff has prepared a summary of the history of the current cluster subdivision Zoning Ordinance provisions and prepared draft text amendments to the Subdivision Ordinance, Zoning Ordinance and Public Facilities Manual. These documents can be accessed online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpz/projects/clustersubdiv.htm. A public hearing on these amendments is tentatively scheduled before the Planning Commission on March 11.

For more information, contact the Fairfax County Zoning Administration Division at 703-324-1314, TTY 711, Planning Commissioner Laurie F. Wilson at 703-324-2865, TTY 711, or visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpz/projects/clustersubdiv.htm.

 

FAIRFAX COUNTY IS COMMITTED TO A POLICY OF NONDISCRIMINATION IN ALL COUNTY PROGRAMS, SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES AND WILL PROVIDE REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS UPON REQUEST. TO REQUEST SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS, CALL 703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935. PLEASE ALLOW FIVE WORKING DAYS IN ADVANCE OF EVENTS IN ORDER TO MAKE THE NECESSARY ARRANGEMENTS.

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