Code Compliance

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Code Compliance is open 8AM - 4PM Mon-Thurs and 9:15AM - 4PM Fridays.

703-324-1300
TTY 711

12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 1016
Fairfax, VA 22035

Jack W. Weyant, P.E.,
Director

Glare

The Zoning Ordinance defines glare as “The sensation produced by a bright light source within the visual field that is sufficiently brighter than the level to which the eyes are adapted, which causes annoyance, discomfort, or loss in visual performance.”

Section 14-901 of the Zoning Ordinance establishes outdoor lighting standards that reduce the impacts of glare, light trespass and over lighting; promote safety and security; and encourage energy conservation.

Upon receipt of a glare or lighting complaint, DCC staff will respond first during daytime hours and attempt to contact the homeowner or responsible party. The investigator will assess the situation to include:

  • Establishing the use of the property
  • Taking photographs
  • Determining lumens of light fixture
  • Establishing whether the light fixture is full cut off or not
  • Obtaining information on light standards.

Upon assessment of this information the case may be closed if no violation is determined to exist, or a nighttime visit will be scheduled to obtain additional information should that be warranted.

All outdoor lighting fixtures must comply with the following:

  1. Full cut-off lighting fixtures shall be mounted horizontal to the ground and shall be used for all walkway, parking lot, canopy and building/wall mounted lighting, and all lighting fixtures located within those portions of open-sided parking structures that are above ground.

  2. Lighting used to illuminate flags, statues, signs or any other objects mounted on a pole, pedestal or platform, spotlighting or floodlighting used for architectural or landscape purposes, shall consist of full cut-off or directionally shielded lighting fixtures that are aimed and controlled so that the directed light shall be substantially confined to the object intended to be illuminated. Directional control shields shall be used where necessary to limit stray light. In addition, such lighting shall be shielded to protect motorists and pedestrians from glare.