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

Multiple Occupancy/Multiple Dwelling

MULTIPLE OCCUPANCY

Multiple Occupancy flier
Multiple Occupancy Flyer

The zoning ordinance (Article 2, Part 5) establishes and limits how many people can live in a single residence. In general:

  • No more than one family, plus two renters, may live in one house.
  • Or, no more than four unrelated people may live in one house.

However, the rules define that more than one person can live in a residence:

  1. One family, which may consist of one person or two or more persons related by blood or marriage with any number of natural children, foster children, step children or adopted children and with not to exceed two roomers or boarders.
  2. Two single parents or guardians with not more than a total of six of their dependent children, including natural children, foster children, step children or adopted children, functioning as a single housekeeping unit.
  3. A group of not more than four persons not necessarily related by blood or marriage functioning as a single housekeeping unit.
  4. A group residential facility (Group Home).
  5. Any group housekeeping unit which may consist of not more than 10 persons as may be approved by the Board of Zoning Appeals.
  6. One person or two persons one of whom shall be elderly and/or disabled, and one or both of whom own the dwelling unit, plus one family, which may consist of one person or two or more persons related by blood or marriage, and with any number of natural children, foster children, step children or adopted children.
  7. A bed and breakfast, as may be approved by the Board of Supervisors, or an accessory dwelling unit subject to a special permit, as may be approved by the Board of Zoning Appeals.

 

MULTIPLE DWELLING UNIT

Multiple Dwelling Units flyer
Multiple Dwellings Flyer

The Zoning Ordinance allows no more than one (1) dwelling unit per lot, regardless of the size of the lot, with some limited exceptions. By Zoning Ordinance definition, a dwelling unit is any accommodation where one or more rooms in a residential building or residential portion of a building are arranged, designed, used, or intended for use as a complete, independent living facility which includes permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation. Accordingly, the creation of a small apartment in the basement of a house or townhouse would constitute the establishment of a second dwelling unit on the lot and would be a violation of the Zoning Ordinance unless it met the criteria for one of the exceptions.