Land Development Services

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our offices are open to the public by appointment only from 9 a.m. - noon. Regular hours for calls and emails are 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 9:15 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Friday.

703-324-1780
TTY 711

12055 Government Center Pkwy
Fairfax, VA 22035

Bill Hicks,
Director

Land Development Notices

Notices provide details of procedural and program changes impacting the land development and permit application process.

You can receive email updates when new information is available by subscribing to the Letters to Industry email list.

Starting January 4, 2021, if you submit your truss shop drawing package after permit issuance, you must do so as a revision in ProjectDox1. Standard revision fees will apply. Learn more about how to submit a revision to an issued ePlan. Please name the revision workflow “Truss Submission.” To avoid the review fee,  you may submit the truss shop drawings with your construction plans during initial permit application.

The truss shop drawing package must be placed in the ProjectDox “Documents” folder and include the following to pass prescreen review:

  • Profile sheets for all truss types in a single PDF file with a valid electronic signature of the Virginia-licensed designer.
  • Truss layout plan.
  • A completed Fairfax County Truss Plan Cover Sheet.

1 For permit applications originally submitted as paper plans before March 25, 2020, please submit your truss shop drawing package here.

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Land Development Services Streamlines Building Permit Process

Changes Launch Today Nov. 16, 2020

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Description automatically generatedIn a change that will make it easier for customers to apply for building permits in Fairfax County, Land Development Services (LDS) has upgraded ProjectDox, its plan review system. With this upgrade, LDS has simplified the permit application and plan upload process so all building plans can be submitted through ProjectDox. The county’s review of plans for compliance with the building code is a critical step in the permit process for multiple permit types.

“We are proud to be able to offer residential and commercial builders and home improvement DIYers a streamlined, all electronic, building plan review process,” said William D. Hicks, P.E., Director of Land Development Services. “We understand getting a permit is not the fun part of improving our homes and commercial buildings, so staff are working hard every day to find ways to continuously improve the process,” said Hicks.

Information for Returning Users

Ten new permit types have been added to ProjectDox:

  • Commercial Electrical
  • Commercial Mechanical
  • Commercial Plumbing
  • Commercial Pool
  • Demolition
  • Interior Alterations Residential
  • New Townhouse
  • Residential Addition
  • Residential Pool
  • Retaining Wall

These additions do not eliminate the existing permit types already in ProjectDox:

  • New Commercial Buildings
  • Commercial Alterations
  • New Single-Family Dwellings

The permit types above apply only to building permits; there have not been any changes to the site permits in FIDO such as site plan permit or the infill lot grading plans permit.

To efficiently expand ProjectDox, LDS had to reduce the number of permit types in FIDO. Many previously used permit types, such as the deck permit, are no longer available in FIDO with the ProjectDox expansion.

Visit our Residential Permit Type Guide and our Commercial Permit Type Guide to determine which permit you will apply for under the new, upgraded system.

We understand all change – even positive change – can be a little frustrating at first. LDS staff are standing by to offer additional ePlans support:

The overall permit process has not changed. All permits start in FIDO. The following web pages have been updated to show the process for accessing ProjectDox to upload your plans:

In addition to the residential and commercial permit-type guides referenced above, returning users may also find the following charts helpful:

ProjectDox Residential and Commercial Permit Types

Now Accepting Requests for Pre-Construction Meetings and Shell Only Non-Residential Use Permit (Non-RUP) Inspections Electronically

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Fairfax County, Site Development and Inspections Division (SDID), is now accepting Pre-Construction Meeting requests and Shell Only Non-RUP Inspection requests electronically.

Pre-construction meetings must be scheduled before beginning any land disturbing activities associated with your approved site grading plans. Please note that before your pre-construction meeting you will need the following:

  1. A current Miss Utility or One Call ticket available to provide the site inspector.
  2. Limits of clearing and grading or limits of disturbance flagged with continuous ribbon by a licensed surveyor as seen on your approved plans (consult the Erosion and Sediment control plan sheet).
  3. A project arborist (International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist) should be available to attend the meeting if your plan calls for one (consult your tree preservation or landscape plan sheets).
  4. If your plan requires a Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) permit for work in the Right of Way (ROW), provide the approved permit to the site inspector.

Shell Only Non-Residential Use Permit (Non-RUP) Inspections are required for commercial buildings, apartments, condominiums, and mixed-use developments.

  1. Schedule a building inspection: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fido/permits/insp_schedule.aspx
  2. If you need to apply for a Residential Use Permit (RUP)/Certificate of Occupancy for single family detached or attached development call 703-631-5101, TYY 711. Inspections associated with RUPs must be scheduled by emailing your request to LDSbuildinginspections@fairfaxcounty.gov.
  3. If you need to apply for a Non-RUP/Certificate of Occupancy call 703-222-0801, TYY 711.
  4. More information is available at the link below: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/plan2build/development-process-overview/5-construction-and-inspection

The new request forms are available at https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/landdevelopment/site-development.

Contact your site inspector or admin staff with any questions: LDSSDIDAdmin@Fairfaxcounty.gov.

Fairfax County Board Adopts Amendments to Update Standards and Guidelines for Land Development

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Description automatically generated2020, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors (Board) adopted amendments to the Public Facilities Manual (PFM). The adopted PFM amendments update the minimum standards and guidelines applicable to land development in Fairfax County. The update fulfills a Board of Supervisor’s Strategic Plan for Economic Success initiative to improve the speed, consistency and predictability in the land development process. These amendments became effective at 12:01 a.m. on October 21, 2020.

The key changes: 

 Incorporate the county’s Urban Design Guidelines, Bike Network Map and Bike Parking Guidelines of the Comprehensive Plan.

  • Update the submission requirements for preliminary plats to align with the Comprehensive Plan and Transportation Design Standards for the Tysons Corner Urban Center.
  • Modernize the geotechnical exploration requirements for deep foundations, the guidelines for sanitary and storm sewer installations, the tree preservation and planting specifications and the trail requirements of the Park Authority.
  • Align the PFM with the state code as it relates to the application of sidewalks for subdivisions.
  • Strengthen the policies related to setting basement floor elevations, verification of soil reports and supporting data and the use of lime for drying, modifying and stabilizing soil.
  • Eliminate outdated guidelines and processes. Clarify and streamline current ones.
  • Align the PFM with state and federal standards, such as those administered by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and Department of Environmental Quality.
  • Incorporate easily navigable hyperlinks that point users to external documents such as American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) standards, the Comprehensive Plan, VDOT and related PFM standards and details. 
  • The updated PFM is at: www.fairfaxcounty.gov/landdevelopment/public-facilities-manual.

Overall, the updated PFM is flexible and incorporates new and improved products and technologies to ensure that the PFM keeps pace with current markets and conditions. The updates are necessary to ensure that the PFM remains relevant to the evolving nature of development in the county and sets the stage for consistency in the implementation of the Board’s goals, policies and vision set forth in the county’s land development regulations and Comprehensive Plan.

Expanded ProjectDox Launches November 16

Reminder: Sign up for New ProjectDox Training

To ensure a space during your preferred ProjectDox training date, please register soon.

  • The following training dates/times are still available:
    • November 12, 2020, 10 a.m. – noon
    • November 12, 2020, 2 – 4 p.m.
    • November 13, 2020, 10 a.m. – noon
    • November 13, 2020, 2 – 4 p.m.
  • Once registered, you will receive an email invitation with instructions on how to connect to the online training.
  • The registration deadline is Friday, November 6.


Read More about the ProjectDox Expansion

Land Development Services (LDS) is on track to expand the electronic plan review platform, ProjectDox, to simplify the building permit application process. Launching November 16, 2020, the expansion will eliminate the current process that requires a second “plan review only” permit for many project types. (See the October 5 Letter to Industry.) The planned expansion will have the following implications:

Ten new permit types, as listed below, will be added to the ProjectDox platform:

  • Commercial Electrical
  • Commercial Mechanical
  • Commercial Plumbing
  • Commercial Pool
  • Demolition
  • Interior Alterations Residential
  • New Townhouse
  • Residential Addition
  • Residential Pool
  • Retaining Wall

These additions do not eliminate the existing permit types already in the ProjectDox platform: New Commercial Buildings, Commercial Alterations and New Single Family Dwellings in addition to those plan types related to site permits (e.g., Site Plan, Infill Lot Grading Plans).

To efficiently expand ProjectDox, LDS will reduce the number of permit types in FIDO. Many previously used permit types, such as the deck permit, will no longer be available in FIDO with the ProjectDox expansion. However, for those permits already started in FIDO they will progress accordingly.

If you have questions about the current or future building plan submission process, please contact Steve Kendrick or Nicole McMahon via email or by calling 703-222-0801, TTY 711.

 

Effective today, the Site Development and Inspections Division (SDID), Land Development Services, is instituting a new policy requiring that all site-related plans submitted to our office be signed and sealed by the submitting professional as completed work. This will better define the design professional’s role as “designer” and the county reviewer’s role as “code compliance reviewer.” By enforcing this policy, the county’s plan approval process should be quicker for quality plan submissions.

The county will continue to occasionally entertain reviews outside of official submittals (i.e., “courtesy reviews”). However, documents must be thoroughly reviewed by the submitting professional and bear their signature and seal, which enable more efficient processing of such requests.

Under the new policy, SDID will not review incomplete, advance or preliminary work. All drawings submitted in response to SDID comments, drawings sent with requests for courtesy reviews and drawings submitted following our signature set policy must be final documents that the submitting professional has reviewed and signed. Signatures are required on final documents per the Virginia Administrative Code 18VAC10-20-760.B.

Professionals are reminded that electronic drawings must comply with 18VAC10-20-760.C regarding use of verifiable digital signatures.

If you have any questions, please contact the Site Development and Inspections Division at 703-324-1720, TTY 711.

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Description automatically generatedLDS has Updated the Floodplain Use Determination (FPUD) Request Form

In our continuing efforts to ensure submitters have the tools they need for successful submissions, LDS has updated the Floodplain Use Determination (FPUD) Request form.

The Hold Harmless Agreement (HHA) is no longer required at the time of submission.

The signed and notarized HHA will now be collected once the Site Development and Inspection’s Division stormwater specialist has completed their review of the FPUD and determined an HHA is required. If required, an original, notarized HHA executed by all legal landowner(s) as identified by the Fairfax County Real Estate Assessment website, must be provided before the formal use determination approval will be issued to the applicant.

As a reminder, when an HHA is required, the original must be provided via mail or placed in the secured drop box located at the front of the Herrity Building at 12055 Government Center Drive, Attn: Site Development and Inspections Division.

The updated FPUD form is required as of December 1, 2020, and may be submitted electronically to ldssdidadmin@fairfaxcounty.gov.

Either the current or the updated FPUD form may be used until December 1, 2020.

Street Acceptance Packages Now Accepted Electronically

On October 1, 2020, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Northern Virginia District Fairfax/Arlington Permits Office and Fairfax County Site Development and Inspections Division (SDID) began accepting Street Acceptance Packages electronically, as part of the bond release process. The submittal checklist for each Street Acceptance Package has been updated to reflect this new option. You may still submit a paper copy if you prefer.

The submittal checklist for the Post Construction Package has been updated to include additional requirements for non-standard items in the Right of Way, underdrain pipes, pavement compaction and backfill material. Further, if you submit the package electronically you must still submit a CD or DVD for the inspections of storm sewer and underdrain pipes. The final package will require the paper submittal for the payment check. All Street Acceptance Packages must be delivered to Fairfax County SDID for review before the submittal to VDOT. For all submissions please coordinate with your SDID Inspector or Technical Specialist. Electronic submissions will require your SDID Inspector or Technical Specialist to provide you with a Sharefile link to upload your files.

For questions and coordination of submittals, please contact your Site Inspector, the Technical Specialist or Admin Staff at (LDSSDIDAdmin@Fairfaxcounty.gov).