Land Development Services

CONTACT INFORMATION: Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Friday, 9:15 a.m. - 4 p.m. Please note that visitors may not be added to in-person queues past 3:45 p.m.
703-222-0801 TTY 711
12055 Government Center Pkwy
Fairfax, VA 22035
Bill Hicks

Forest Conservation

treeThe Forest Conservation Branch within Land Development Services plays a pivotal role in upholding Fairfax County's dedication to enhancing the quality of life within its communities by prioritizing the vitality of the urban forest and preserving the natural environment by acting as the primary County agency responsible for ensuring that development plans comply with the Tree Conservation Ordinance. This ordinance includes:

  • Regulations and guidelines aimed at preserving existing trees,
  • encouraging tree planting in new developments, and
  • mitigating the adverse impacts of construction on the local ecosystem.

By enforcing these regulations, the Forest Conservation Branch ensures that development projects strike a balance between growth and environmental stewardship.


Plan Review and Inspections

The Forest Conservation Branch of Land Development Services maximizes the opportunities for tree preservation on development plans and ensures that new tree plantings satisfy the balance of required tree canopy on development sites.

Tree protection area fenceThe services provided by the Forest Conservation Branch are an integral part of the land development process and include review of the following plan types:

  • entitlement cases,
  • zoning applications,
  • infill lot grading plans,
  • conservation plans,
  • site plans,
  • minor site plans,
  • subdivision grading plans,
  • public improvement plans,
  • rough grading plans,
  • interpretations, and
  • waivers.

Forest Conservation staff are involved with development plan review from the first submission of the plan to the plan's final approval.

The Forest Conservation Branch also conducts site meetings and inspections in coordination with the Site Development and Inspection Division’s Site Inspections Group. Forest Conservation staff are involved with field inspections of approved plan sets, beginning with preconstruction meetings, and ultimately ending with final landscape inspections at the time of bond release.


Policy and Ordinances

The policies and ordinances that regulate proper protection of our urban forest resources must be reviewed and updated periodically to optimize tree conservation and reflect current best management practices for trees and forest communities. Some of the work Forest Conservation has done to support this goal is reflected in the updates to the Fairfax County Public Facilities Manual, Zoning Ordinance, Comprehensive Plan, and other County public health, livability, and sustainability initiatives and programs.

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