Economic Success

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our office is open 8AM-4:30 PM M-F

703-324-5171
TTY 711

12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 432
Fairfax, VA 22035

Rebecca Moudry,
Director, Department of Economic Initiatives

Development Review Time

Description: The need to provide relatively predictable outcomes at a relatively predictable pace is important in creating a climate conducive to economic investment and sustainability.

There are two groups of performance measures that capture the development review time – (1) the entitlement process for mixed use applications and (2) multi-use commercial project review process.

Performance Measures:

  • Average Number of Months a Mixed-Use Application is Filed to Acceptance – once an application is filed with the Zoning Evaluation Division (ZED), acceptance staff work with the applicant through an iterative process to ensure applications are complete and ready for review.
  • Average Number of Days a Mixed-Use Application is Accepted to Assigned – when an application has been formally “accepted” it is reviewed and assigned by a ZED branch chief to an appropriate staff coordinator.
  • Average Number of Months a Mixed-Use Application is Accepted to Staff Report – staff coordinators work with county review agencies to coordinate a comprehensive analysis of the application. Once complete, staff coordinators create and publish a staff report that describes the application, outlines the analysis and provides a staff recommendation of approval or denial to the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors.
  • Average Number of Months a Mixed-Use Application is Filed to Staff Report – measures the application’s life cycle steps interfacing with ZED, from filing up until the staff report is published by ZED staff coordinators.
  • Average Number of Months a Mixed-Use Application is Filed to Public Hearing – measures the application’s life cycle steps interfacing with ZED, from filing up until the staff report is published by ZED staff coordinators.  Staff reports are published approximately two weeks prior to the Planning Commission Public Hearing.
  • Average Number of Months a Mixed-Use Application is Filed to BOS Public Hearing – measures the application across all of its life cycle steps leading up to approval by the Board of Supervisors - acceptance, assigned, staff review/report, and public hearings before the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors.

Data: All data provided below is related to mixed-use applications approved in the fiscal year noted.  To qualify as a mixed-use project, zoning applications have to be for large-scale, mixed-use construction – either as a new build or as a significant addition to an existing development. The mixed-use applications approved in FY18 included two of the “original” Tysons cases (cases filed in the first year of the new Tysons plan) and one case filed in anticipation of the zoning ordinance amendment to increase the allowable intensity in the PDC (Planned Development Commercial) zoning district

Average number of months filed to accepted.

Interpretation: The average number of months a mixed-use application approved in FY18 took to move from filed to acceptance was 2.9, based on ten applications.  This may reflect the quality of the initial submission, the length of time or level of complexity in staff review, or the length of time it took an applicant to respond to comments.

Average number of days accepted to assigned.

Interpretation: The average number of days a mixed-use application approved in FY18 took to move from acceptance to assigned was 11.4, based on ten applications.   This measures how quickly an application can start being reviewed by staff, and how quickly an applicant knows who their contact will be.

Average number of months accepted to staff report.

Interpretation: The average number of months a mixed-use application approved in FY18 took to move from acceptance to staff report was 13.4, based on ten applications.  This measures the staff review portion of the case lifecycle, and may reflect the length of time or complexity of staff review and/or the length of time it takes an applicant to address staff comments and resubmit.

Average number of months filed to staff report.

Interpretation: The average number of months a mixed-used application approved in FY18 took to move from filed to staff report was 15.9, based on ten applications. This measures the acceptance and staff review portions of the case lifecycle, and may reflect the length of time or complexity of staff review and/or the length of time it takes an applicant to address staff comments and resubmit.  Staff reports are usually published two weeks prior to the scheduled public hearing before the Planning Commission.

Average number of months to public hearing.

Interpretation: The average number of months a mixed-use application approved in FY18 took to move from filed to public hearing was 16.6, based on ten applications.  This measures the total life cycle of the application.

Source: Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning

Performance Measures: Multi-Use Commercial Project Review

  • Major Site Plans Approved – measures the number of major site plans that were approved in two (2) submissions and three or more submissions during the fiscal year.
  • Average Processing Time of Major Site Plan Reviews (days) – measures the average processing time for both county and customer processes for major site plan reviews.
  • Average Processing Time of Building Plan Reviews (days) – measures the average processing time for both county and customer processes for building plan reviews.
  • Average Processing Time of Major Site and Building Plan Reviews (months) – measures the average total processing time (site and building plan review) for multi-use commercial projects.

Data:

Major site plans approvd in two or three submissions.

Interpretation: In FY 2017, a total of 72 major site plans were approved. Of those, 85% (61) were approved in 2 submissions. In FY 2018, a total of 55 major site plans were approved. Of those, 82% (45) were approved in 2 submissions.

Average site plan processing review time in days.

Interpretation: In FY 2017, below, projects with 2 site plan submissions averaged a total of 285 days, distributed between County review (2.75 months) and Customer review (6.75 months).  In FY 2018, projects with 2 submissions averaged a total of 272 days, distributed between County review (3 months) and Customer review (6 months).

Average buildings plan processing review time in days.

Interpretation: On the building plan side, based on a review of major commercial building permits approved in FY 2017, the total process took approximately 190 days (plus an average queue time of 70 days), split between the County (4 months) and the Customer (2 months). In FY 2018, the total process takes approximately 180 days (plus an average queue time of 20 days), split between the County (4 months) and the Customer (2 months).

Average total processing time in months.

Interpretation: In FY 2017, the total processing time averaged 16.75 months for commercial projects (site and building plan review and approval. In FY 2018, the average total processing time improved to approximately 13 months.  The total process was reduced from FY 2017 as there was significantly more overlap between the site and building plan reviews. This effectively reduced the total plan review time by 3.75 months.

Source: Fairfax County Land Development Services

 

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