Site-Specific Plan Amendment Process

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 Site-Specific Plan Amendment (SSPA) Process

SSPA is an opportunity to participate in Fairfax County's land use planning process by submitting proposals (called Nominations) to amend the Area Plan volumes of the Comprehensive Plan (the Plan) and/or the Comprehensive Land Use Plan Map through the Plan Amendment Work Program. The Comprehensive Plan is the guide used by the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors to make land use decisions.

Scope of SSPA

The SSPA process, including the appointment of Task Force members, is organized by the county's Supervisor Districts. In the 2017 SSPA cycle, Comprehensive Plan land use guidance for the northern portion of the county, including the Dranesville, Hunter Mill, Providence and Sully Supervisor Districts, will be reviewed. The southern portion of the county, which includes Braddock, Lee, Mason, Mount Vernon and Springfield Supervisor Districts, is anticipated to begin in 2019. A map depicting the nine supervisor districts is shown on here.

The SSPA process concerns site-specific land use recommendations. There are limitations on what properties can be proposed for a Comprehensive Plan change. Review the eligibility criteria for proposals that cannot be submitted for the SSPA process. A nominator may submit only one nomination for the specific land area that he or she proposes for consideration in the SSPA process. This land area may consist of one or many parcels.

Nominators must complete a Nomination Form and justify the nominated change to the Comprehensive Plan. The justification should explain how the proposal would:

  • Address an emerging community concern;
  • Better implement the Concept for Future Development and not be contrary to long-standing county policies;
  • Advance major policy objectives such as:
    • Environmental protection;
    • Revitalization of designated areas;
    • Economic development;
    • Preserving open space;
    • Affordable housing; or
    • Balancing transportation infrastructure and public facilities with growth and development;
  • Respond to actions by others, such as Federal, State, or adjacent jurisdictions (if applicable);
  • Reflect implementation of Comprehensive Plan guidance; and/or,
  • Respond to or incorporate research derived from technical planning or transportation studies.

During the submission period, DPZ staff will be available to answer questions about preparing nominations. For more information about the Nomination process, visit the Submitting a Nomination page.

Nomination Review

Once nominations have been reviewed and accepted into the process, a community screening will take place with the task force to evaluate how the nomination compares to long-standing county policy and the merits and urgency of the nomination. County staff and the task force will make recommendations to the Planning Commission about which nominations should be added to the work program. A public hearing will be held to review these recommendations and adopt a new work program. The work program will be sent to the Board of Supervisors as an information item. A formal review and impacts analysis for those nominations that are added to the work program will follow. Both staff and the task force will make recommendations to adopt or modify the nomination, or to retain the Plan to the Planning Commission at a public hearing. Only those nominations that are supported by the Planning Commission will move forward to the Board of Supervisors where the Board will take action on the nomination following a public hearing. For more information, review the Nomination Review page.

Timeline for the North County SSPA

Open Nomination Period - September 5, 2017 to December 5, 2017:
Nominations for potential Plan amendments may be submitted to the Planning Commission office.

Nominations that have been accepted for review into the SSPA will be available here for review in early 2018.

Community Screening Phase - Tentatively March/April/May 2018:
A high-level review of each nomination will take place with community task forces that are appointed by each district supervisor.

Planning Commission SSPA Public Hearing - Tentatively June 2018:
The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing to review the recommendations made by the community task forces and staff, and decide which Plan amendment nominations will be added to the Comprehensive Plan Amendment Work Program. An action item will be sent to the Board of Supervisors on the Planning Commission recommendation of the revised Comprehensive Plan Amendment Work Program tentatively in July 2018.

Work Program Implementation - Summer 2018 to Winter 2019:
The formal review and the impact analysis of the Plan amendments that were added to the Plan Amendment Work Program will be conducted. This will include coordinated review and recommendations by community task forces.

Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors' Public Hearings - Winter 2019 to Spring 2020:
The Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors will hold public hearings and take action on the nominations to amend the Comprehensive Plan.

Stay Informed!

Like us on Facebook: The Fairfax County Land Use Planning Facebook page will provide timely announcements about the SSPA process, as well as announcements related to the Comprehensive Plan, Plan Amendments, special studies and other planning activity.

Subscribe to the Comprehensive Plan Announcements E-mail Service under the "Land Use & Development" heading: This email service will provide timely announcements about the SSPA process, as well as announcements related to the Comprehensive Plan, Plan Amendments, special studies and other planning activity.


For answers to questions, call the Planner of the Day in the Planning Division of the Department of Planning and Zoning: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, 703-324-1380, TTY 711 (Virginia Relay), or visit the Planner of the Day in the Herrity Building 12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 730, Fairfax, Virginia 22035.


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

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