Planned Development Districts Zoning Ordinance Amendment

Updated Dec. 2, 2004

To view or print portable document format (PDF) files on this page, you will need Adobe Reader installed on your computer. 


Over the past several months, staff has met several times with the Planning Commission's Policy and Procedures Committee, the Fairfax Committee of the Engineers and Surveyors Institute (ESI), the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association (NVBIA) and citizen groups to discuss the proposed Planned Development Districts Zoning Ordinance Amendment. During this time, the proposed amendment has evolved from a concept to draft ordinance text. On Sept. 16, 2004, staff conducted a public information session to describe the proposed amendment, respond to questions and obtain comments from interested parties. The draft amendment discussed at the information session was dated Sept. 13, 2004. The information session was attended by members of the Planning Commission, one member of the Board of Supervisors, County staff, builders, developers, engineers, attorneys, planners and citizens. Session participants openly shared their thoughts, comments and concerns; and afterwards, several groups and individuals provided County staff with comments. Based on these comments, as well as further staff review, a revised version of the proposed amendment, dated Dec. 2, 2004, has been prepared and released for review.

Primary Changes

This amendment was prompted by the Infill and Residential Development Study which recommended that infill PDH District developments be more compatible with surrounding residential developments to minimize adverse impacts. To address the concerns raised in the Infill Study, staff proposed that the amendment include more detailed submission requirements for P district applications in order to allow staff, Commissioners, Board members and citizens to better evaluate applications. Staff also proposed that the amendment be extended to include the PDC and PRM Districts, in addition to the PDH District. The primary changes proposed in this amendment include:

  • Procedural Changes – a revised review process for new P district applications involving the submission of a single development plan, the planned district plan (PDP), with a P district rezoning application, which would be approved by the Board of Supervisors. The PDP takes the place of the conceptual development plan (CDP) and final development plan (FDP) currently required for rezoning applications for new P district developments.

  • Submission Requirement Changes – additional level of detail of the existing conditions on the subject property and surrounding properties, as well as greater detail of the proposed development, including building footprints, required yards, architectural elevations and other graphic information.

  • General Changes – modifications to the Purpose and Intent sections of the P districts to encourage environmental sensitivity and tree preservation, and a new requirement that applicants demonstrate how a proposed P district development satisfies the Residential Development Criteria set forth in the adopted Comprehensive Plan.

Latest Revisions

Based on comments staff received from the aforementioned interested groups, changes have been made to the Sept. 13, 2004 draft. These changes are incorporated in a revised draft dated Dec. 2, 2004, and include:

  • Replacement of the "Building Envelope" concept – rather than depicting "Building Envelopes" on individual lots shown on a PDP or FDP, this change would require applicants to depict minimum yards on each lot. Unlike the "Building Envelope" concept, accessory structures would continue to be allowed, subject to the provisions of Article 10 of the Zoning Ordinance, and the permitted extensions (such as eaves, carports, decks and bay windows) into minimum required yards would still be allowed pursuant to Sect. 2-412 of the Zoning Ordinance.

  • Revisions to the PDH District's Purpose and Intent section – proposed language suggesting that the PDH District is intended to "provide for developments that are in harmony with the character of the area" has been replaced with language such that the PDH District should provide for developments that do not result in adverse impacts on surrounding properties.

  • Building Footprint Flexibility – due to concerns about the amount of flexibility in the interpretation of the footprint drawn on the PDP or FDP, the proposed text has been modified to require approximate building footprints, and to specify in the minor modification provisions that changes to the building footprint or the location of driveways or front doors are allowed, provided such changes do not adversely impact the relationship of the P district development or part thereof to the adjacent property.

Not Addressed in this Amendment

A number of other issues raised by the Committee or participants at the public information session will not be addressed in this amendment as they are issues that have impacts beyond the P districts, and thus are more appropriately accommodated through other Zoning Ordinance Amendments that are currently under review by staff. Such topics are listed below.

  • Require a minimum driveway length of 18 feet – to be addressed as part of the residential parking requirements amendment.

  • Remove "patio" from the "deck" definition – issue concerns the limitations for extensions into the minimum required yards for decks. This issue is currently being addressed as part of a series of amendments that are in response to the Board's request that a process be created to provide for relief from certain Zoning Ordinance requirements, including the minimum yard requirements.

  • Review the open space provisions – to be addressed in an amendment concerning the definition of open space and the types of areas that should be included as open space.

Related Documents

Proposed Draft Amendment Dated Dec. 2, 2004 (PDF, large file, )


  Additional Information

The latest version of the draft text, dated December 2, 2004, is available below. Should you have any questions, please contact Diane Johnson-Quinn or Lorrie Kirst of the Zoning Administration Division at 703-324-1314, or by email at The next steps in this process include the preparation of the staff report and obtaining the Board of Supervisors' authorization of the amendment for public hearing. Authorization is currently anticipated sometime in early 2005.

Related Documents


E-MAIL SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE: Subscribe to Planned Development Districts Amendment Announcements e-mail list to receive periodic announcements about the status of the P districts Zoning Ordinance Amendment.

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

ADA Accessibility | Website Accessibility
Awards | FOIA | Mobile | Using this Site | Web Disclaimer & Privacy Policy | Get Adobe Reader
Official site of the County of Fairfax, Virginia, © Copyright 2015

Website Feedback Website Feedback    Globe with various flags representing Web site language translations   Language Translations

Return to Graphic Version