Proposed Residential Studios Zoning Ordinance Amendment

Zoning Ordinance Icon On July 30, 2013, the Board of Supervisors (Board) authorized for public hearing the proposed Residential Studios Zoning Ordinance Amendment. The proposed Zoning Ordinance amendment establishes a new use of Residential Studios that will consist of efficiency (zero bedrooms) multiple family dwelling units of not more than 500 square feet in size and for not more than 75 units in a development, or as further limited by the Board. The residential studio use would be allowed with the approval of a special exception in most of the residential, commercial and industrial districts or as part of a rezoning or by approval of a special exception in all of the planned development districts. The amendment proposes a number of additional standards to address factors related to the operation of the development and compatibility of the use at the specific development site, among others.

Planning Commission Residential Studios Committee

On September 24, 2013, Chairman Bulova moved that the Board endorse the Planning Commission’s plan to defer its November 20, 2013, public hearing on the proposed RSU amendment and to support the establishment of a Planning Commission Residential Studios Committee.   The Residential Studios Committee meeting dates are listed below. All meetings will be open to the public and will allow opportunities for discussion.

Scheduled Meetings

July 24, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. Board Conference Room

June 9, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. Conference Room 106 Herrity Building

May 6, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. Conference Rooms 4/5 Government Center - cancelled

April 9, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. Shared Conference Room 120C (inside the cafeteria) Government Center

March 26, 2014, at 7:00 p.m. Shared Conference Room 120C (inside the cafeteria) Government Center

March 3, 2014, at 7:00 p.m. Conference Rooms 4/5 Government Center - cancelled

February 11, 2014, at 7:00 p.m. Conference Rooms 4/5 Government Center

January 22, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. Conference Rooms 2/3 Government Center - cancelled

January 6, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. Conference Rooms 4/5 Government Center

December 9, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. Conference Rooms 4/5 Government Center - cancelled

November 20, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. Conference Rooms 106/107 Herrity Building

October 28, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. Conference Rooms 4/5 Government Center


Questions and comments can be submitted through the Planning Commission's email

Residential Studios Workshops

To ensure that all interested parties had an opportunity to comment on the proposed amendment, the Board directed the Planning Commission to conduct additional outreach in the form of work sessions to evaluate the proposed amendment.  

Planning Commission Work Session #1:  September 25, 2013 at 8:15 p.m. (Work Session #1 Presentation)

Planning Commission Work Session #2:  October 2, 2013 at 8:15 p.m. (Work Session #2 Presentation)

(Each meeting was held in the Board Auditorium)

September 25th - County staff provided detailed information about the proposed Zoning Ordinance amendment to the Planning Commission.  Citizens had the opportunity to submit questions for staff to research and respond at the next workshop session.  

October 2nd - County staff gave presentations and responded to questions submitted by citizens from the previous public work session.  

RSU Workshop Questions and Answers

Public Hearings

November 20, 2013 Planning Commission public hearing (to be deferred)

November 19, 2013 Board of Supervisors public hearing (to be rescheduled) 

Residential Studios Information

Proposed Amendment Website

Sign up for Notifications

Comprehensive Plan

Zoning Ordinance

Staff Report


Residential Studio Resources

GMU Housing Study

2010:  1 person households in Fairfax County   - 75,158

Detailed information on annual income for employment sectors in the Washington Statistical Area

GMU Center for Regional Analysis Table 2:  Jobs in the County by Average Pay Level

GMU Linking Job Growth and Housing

Anticipating the Future:  A Discussion of Trends in Fairfax County 2006

American Community Survey 2012 Profiles for Fairfax County Virginia (Census/FFX)

Fairfax 50+ Plan

SRO Task Force

Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness

Forging a Path Home

Non-map resources for street designation

APPENDIX 8 - Listing of Roadways by functional classification

Roadway Classifications


Roadway Classifications By Magisterial Districts


QUASI-PUBLIC USE: Any use which is essentially public, as in services rendered, although it is under private ownership or control.

STREET, COLLECTOR:  A street which provides for principal internal movements at moderate operating speeds within residential developments, neighborhoods and commercial or industrial districts. It also provides the primary means of circulation between adjacent neighborhoods and can serve as a local bus route. A collector street functions to distribute trips from arterials to local and other collector streets. Conversely, it collects traffic from local streets and channels it into the arterial system. The collector street provides for the dual purpose of land access and local traffic movement. In line with its dual function, there must be continuity in the pattern of these streets.

STREET, MAJOR THOROUGHFARE: A public street including minor arterial, principal arterial, or primary highway, all as defined herein, or those roads, or portions thereof, as set forth in Appendix 8 of this Ordinance.

STREET, MINOR ARTERIAL: The minor arterial street interconnects and augments the principal arterial street system, and provides service to trips of moderate length at a somewhat lower level of travel mobility than a principal arterial. Such a street also serves intra-urban trips between smaller geographic areas than those associated with the higher system and may carry local bus routes providing intra-community continuity. It may also function as a principal arterial street when sufficient capacity is not provided on the principal arterial system. Ideally, a minor arterial street does not penetrate identifiable neighborhoods, and the facility is designed with greater emphasis on traffic movement or services than on providing access to abutting land.

STREET, PRIMARY HIGHWAY: Any street so classified by the Virginia Department of Transportation, bearing a route number less than 600. Primary highways shall not include interstate highways.

STREET, PRINCIPAL ARTERIAL: A street which carries the major portion of the trips entering and leaving an urban area, as well as the majority of through movements desiring to bypass a central city. Significant intra-area travel and important intra-urban and intercity bus services are served by this class of street. Because of the nature of travel served by a principal arterial street, almost all fully and partially controlled access streets are a part of this functional class, including freeways and expressways. On a principal arterial street, the concept of service to the abutting land is subordinate to the provision of travel service to major traffic movements.


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