Code Compliance

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
Gabriel M. Zakkak

Grass Height

Grass Height flyer
Grass Height Flyer


What are the rules on grass height?

Unmaintained lawns are an eyesore and may harbor rodents and other pests. DCC enforces rules and helps property owners understand their responsibilities for their lawns and landscaping. DCC maintains a seasonal grass compliance program from Apr. through Oct. (exact dates are determined on an annual basis).

Grass height is regulated by the Fairfax County Vegetation Ordinance. Generally, grass should be kept below 12 inches in height. Depending on the type of property, different rules can apply.

Grass Height Rules for:

Residential parcels and lots under one-half acre (21,780 sq. ft.) must keep grass under 12 inches. On lots bigger than one-half acre, owners are encouraged, but not required, to keep grass under 12 inches.

Undeveloped residential properties under one-half acre (21,780 sq. ft.) must keep grass under 12 inches. Exception: properties in an undeveloped subdivision (fewer than 90% of lots have been developed) are not subject to the 12-inch rule.

Vacant developed commercial/industrial property must keep grass under 12 inches. If the property is occupied, then owners are encouraged, but not required, to keep grass under 12 inches.

How are these rules enforced?

During the seasonal reporting period (Apr. - Oct.), DCC accepts reports and complaints of tall grass throughout the County. Grass Inspectors will visit the property and measure the height and document their findings.

Residential properties less than one-half acre and vacant commercial/industrial properties found in violation will be issued a Notice of Violation (NOV).

If an owner cuts the grass, then the case is closed. If the grass isn’t cut, a County contractor will be directed to cut the grass. The property owner will be charged for the service.

For residential properties over one-half acre, DCC sends an informational warning letter asking for the grass to be cut, but no violation can be issued.


Anything else to know?

Rules for grass height don’t apply to certain types of property or features. Such exemptions include detention ponds; rights-of-way through residential, commercial, and industrial properties; park lands; and conservation and scenic easements approved by Fairfax County.

DCC can only enforce the ordinance on properties that are accessible. In some situations, the property owner may be found in violation, but because of constitutional protections, we will not conduct a cutting (e.g. behind closed gates in rear yards, etc.).

Wondering how large your lot is? Information on how to access this information and more about your property can be found on the county’s map website.

Fairfax Virtual Assistant