Phase 4 - Bond Release & Public Street Acceptance

image showing four phases of the land development process in Fairfax County Phase 1 Zoning Phase 2 Site and Subdivision plan review Phase 3 Phase 4

Fairfax County requires developers to execute an agreement and post a security – commonly called a bond – if they are constructing public improvements in a new residential or commercial project.

Public improvements include:

  • Public streets
  • Public sidewalks
  • Public sanitary sewers
  • Storm drainage facilities in a county easement
  • Public waterlines
  • Traffic signals
  • Landscaping required by county ordinance
  • Streetlights

After the public improvements are constructed and accepted for maintenance by the state, the county returns the security to a developer in a process called “bond release.”

View a chart of the Bond Release process.

What are the conditions for releasing a bond?

  1. The public improvements must have been constructed to meet minimum county and state codes and construction standards.
  2. The Virginia Department of Transportation must accept any street improvements that they will maintain, and Fairfax County must accept any storm or sanitary sewer they will maintain.

Before a bond can be released, county and state agencies will inspect the public improvements to ensure they meet minimum standards. Urban Forestry will also conduct a tree inspection to verify that all proposed trees have been planted and all existing trees are in good condition, and if necessary, trees that were required to be planted or existing trees that were damaged during construction must be replaced.

If these inspections are not approved, the county will provide a “punch list” of items that must be completed in order to allow bond release to proceed.

How is a bond released?

After the public improvements pass final inspection, and appropriate agencies accept them for maintenance, county inspectors submit paperwork to Bonds and Agreements. Assuming all the conditions are met, the bond will be released after this paperwork is reviewed and any outstanding fees to the county are paid.

For additional information, contact the Bonds and Agreements Center staff via email or telephone at 703-222-0801, TTY 711.

Process for Street Acceptance Inspections for Developer Projects in Fairfax County

  1. Developer completes all street construction per the approved plans and obtains VDOT approval of the Post Construction Package.
  2. Developer contacts the SDID Senior Engineering Inspector to schedule the First Joint Inspection. The Senior Engineering Inspector promptly informs the Technical Specialist of this request. The developer completes the Public Streets Inspection Guidelines for Bond Release Checklist and provides it to the SDID Senior Engineering Inspector prior to the scheduling of the Joint inspection.
  3. The Technical Specialist sends an email to the VDOT Street Acceptance Staff (Inspector & Admin) with a request to schedule the First Joint Inspection, attaching the completed Public Streets Inspection Guidelines for Bond Release Checklist to the email, and copies the SDID Inspector, the Supervising Engineering Inspector, and the Developer on the email. VDOT responds to all by email with the date of the scheduled First Joint Inspection. Upon receipt of the email the Technical Specialist enters the date of inspection in the VDOT Street Package Tracker.
  4. As it is considered to be a joint-effort between VDOT and the County, VDOT will lead the inspection to establish punch list items but the County may also suggest items during the inspection, which may also be added to the list. The VDOT inspector, however, will make the final decision on the items to be included on the punch list and the SDID Inspector will write down all punch list items on a triplicate form. The final punch list shall be signed by the VDOT Inspector, the SDID Inspector and the Developer and one copy provided to each party.
  5. The outcome of that inspection, would be either:
    • Deficient Punch List Items that must be completed by the Developer (Steps 6, 7 & 8).
    • Or Zero (0) Punch List Items (Steps 7 & 8).
  6. Once the Deficient Punch List Items are completed the Developer shall notify the Senior Engineering Inspector and the Technical Specialist to request that a Second Joint Inspection be scheduled. Steps (3) and (4) would be repeated. This inspection process will continue until there is Zero (0) Punch List Items.
  7. Once there is Zero (0) Punch List Items the Technical Specialist will enter that date in the VDOT Street Package Tracker.
  8. Upon determination of Zero (0) Punch List Items, VDOT will issue the appropriate forms and fee calculations necessary to have the Developer prepare for the Final Package submittal. Also, VDOT will forward the project to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors for the resolution process.
  9. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors issues a Resolution requesting VDOT to add the project streets to the Secondary System of Fairfax County.
  10. Developer submits the Final Package to the SDID Technical Specialist to include County Certification, Fee Payment and BOS Resolution.
  11. Upon review for completeness, the SDID Technical Specialist forwards the Final Package to VDOT.
  12. VDOT processes the Final Package and obtains the acceptance date from Central Office in Richmond. VDOT will notify the County and Developer of the effective date of state maintenance and assigned route numbers.
  13. Fairfax County completes the bond release process.


Related Information

Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
Technical Questions: Web Administrator

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