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.

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.

examples of seals

 

A small house surrounded by water

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).

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In a major expansion to make Fairfax County’s land planning and development system more integrative and customer responsive, agencies launched the first phase of the online Planning and Land Use Systems (PLUS) on October 13. 

This first release includes a new interface for customers seeking the following transactions with the county: 

  • Food Establishment Permit and Mobile Food Permit applications, inspections, renewals, and payments. (Environmental Health) 

  • Address Change and Street Name Change (Land Development Services) 
  • Pre-application for Zoning Cases for potential Zoning Applications, Comprehensive Plan Amendment, Interpretations of Zoning Ordinance, Noise Waivers, Home-Based Business (Planning and Development)

Customers can access PLUS through the Fairfax County website to complete their zoning, building, permitting or other land development processes, at www.FairfaxCounty.gov/plan2build/PLUS

New users must register for a free Citizen Access account, to see their complete history of applications, pending activities and more.

 

We encourage you to register for a Citizen Portal account to track current applications, make changes to these applications or to start a new application. 

For more information, please visit www.FairfaxCounty.gov/plan2build/PLUS or reach out to the PLUS Support Center at PLUSSupport@FairfaxCounty.gov.

 

Update: Expansion of Building ePlans Platform

Launches mid-November

Land Development Services (LDS) is on track to expand the electronic plan review platform ProjectDox to simplify the building permit application process. Launching in mid-November, the expansion will eliminate the current process that requires a second “plan review only” permit for many types of projects. The planned expansion will have the following implications.

Added to ProjectDox. 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).

Eliminated from FIDO. 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, will no longer be available in FIDO with the ProjectDox expansion. However, for those permits already started in FIDO they will progress accordingly. See the sample below for decks. The Permit Type Guide, attached, shows how the expiring residential building permits will convert to one of the 13 permits.

To help you better understand the new process, let’s compare the current and new permit application process for a deck:
Current
• Apply for Deck permit in FIDO
• Apply for a New Single-Family Dwelling “plan review only” permit in FIDO
• Upload plans in ProjectDox for New Single-Family Dwelling permit
New
• Apply for a Residential Addition permit in FIDO
• Upload plans in ProjectDox for the Residential Addition permit

Virtual training to assist with the changes will be offered during the dates and times listed below. To register for the date most convenient for you, sign-up here. 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.

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.

Read the previous July 29, 2020, Notice about this upgrade.

If you have questions about the current or future building plan submission process, please call 703-222-0801, TTY 711.

 

Coming Soon New ProjectDox Residential Permit Types

Site Development Pre- and Post-submission

Virtual Appointments Now Available

Fairfax County’s Site Development and Inspection Division (SDID) has introduced a new form for requesting Pre- and Post-submission meetings. These virtual meetings will be useful for discussing site projects under review or pending submission.

“We look forward to a clear, easy way for customers to request ‘face time,’ said Acting Site Development and Division Director Elleanor Eleanor Ku Codding. “We think this new service will save time because it gets all required information sent to a centralized scheduling staff.”

The ideal time to schedule a pre-submission meeting is when you are ready to outline the project and identify challenges that might become difficult issues upon formal submission. The purpose of post submission meetings is to reach agreement between reviewers and submitting engineers on how first submission comments will be addressed on the second submission plans, as required with plans in the Designated Plans Examiner process.

Please note the following:

  • Meetings are scheduled on a first come-first serve basis.
  • Meeting times are Wednesday through Friday 9 a.m. - Noon.
  • A GoToMeeting or Microsoft Teams link will be sent within three business days of meeting requests.
  • Cancellation is required 48 hours before the scheduled date.

Additional options for reaching LDS staff regarding site development in Fairfax County:

  • Speak to an engineer regarding basic engineering requirements when developing your site: 703-324-2268, TTY 711, sitequery@fairfaxcounty.gov (Engineer of the Day/EOD)
  • Speak to an engineer regarding your site-related plan or report that has been submitted and is under review, 703-324-1720.

The new form is available on the following LDS web pages:

Designers Should Also be “Applicants” on Their Building Projects During the County’s ePlans Review Process

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated

As recently discussed in the Building Official’s Blog, staff in the LDS Building Division routinely see a missed opportunity for streamlining the project review timeline for building plans.

Frequently, permit expediters are the sole applicants in ProjectDox, a system built to accommodate multiple applicants. “I encourage all designers and even building owners to have access to their own plan reviews,” said Fairfax County Building Official, Brian Foley.

Now that the building plan review process in Fairfax County is completely electronic using ProjectDox, having additional applicants working within the system will allow staff and project leads to engage directly during the process. Granting system rights to the entire design team allows up-to-date access to review comments including “changemarks,” which are comments shown in the precise location on a plan sheet of a potential code violation. Then, upon subsequent submissions, the designers themselves can respond to the comments in ProjectDox rather than use the permit expediter as the go-between. “This is a timesaver for designers and permit expediters and can ultimately speed up permit issuance,” said Foley.

screenshot of adding group members in ProjectDox


Instructions for adding additional applicants:

1. The original permit applicant, in most commercial cases this is the permit expediter, adds the designers’ names and email addresses during the initial plan upload in the “Add Group Members” fields as shown in the image above.

2. In the pull-down under the “Invite to Group” heading, select “Applicant” so designers can have access to view changemarks and provide comment responses. For owners, contractors and other interested parties, select “Contractor” for read-only rights.

Expanding a group after plan upload cannot be easily accommodated, so please ensure all designers and interested parties are identified early.

For additional questions about the ePlans process, call 703-222-0801, Option 2, TTY 711, or email LDSePlans@fairfaxcounty.gov.

Update: Expansion of Building ePlans Platform

Launches mid-November

Land Development Services (LDS) is on track to expand the electronic plan review platform ProjectDox to simplify the building permit application process. Launching in mid-November, the expansion will eliminate the current process that requires a second “plan review only” permit for many types of projects. The planned expansion will have the following implications.

Added to ProjectDox. 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).

Eliminated from FIDO. 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, will no longer be available in FIDO with the ProjectDox expansion. However, for those permits already started in FIDO they will progress accordingly. See the sample below for decks. The Permit Type Guide, attached, shows how the expiring residential building permits will convert to one of the 13 permits.

To help you better understand the new process, let’s compare the current and new permit application process for a deck:
Current
• Apply for Deck permit in FIDO
• Apply for a New Single-Family Dwelling “plan review only” permit in FIDO
• Upload plans in ProjectDox for New Single-Family Dwelling permit
New
• Apply for a Residential Addition permit in FIDO
• Upload plans in ProjectDox for the Residential Addition permit

Virtual training to assist with the changes will be offered during the dates and times listed below. To register for the date most convenient for you, sign-up here. 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.

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.

Read the previous July 29, 2020, Notice about this upgrade.

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.

This fall Fairfax County’s land planning and development agencies will be launching the first phase of an upgrade to our online Planning and Land Use Systems, called PLUS. PLUS will be the new central platform customers can access through the Fairfax County website to complete their zoning, building, permitting, or other land development processes.

PLUS will have multiple releases, each adding new features and functionality to achieve increased reliability and capabilities in zoning evaluations, plan review, approval, permitting and inspections. Fairfax County expects to launch the first release of PLUS in October of 2020.  This first release will have a positive impact for customers seeking the following transactions with the county:

  • Food Establishment Permit and Mobile Food Permit applications, inspections, renewals, and payments. (Environmental Health)
  • Address Change and Street Name Change (Land Development Services)
  • Pre-application meetings for potential Zoning Applications, Comprehensive Plan Amendment, Interpretations of Proffers and Development Conditions, Noise Waivers, Home-Based Business (Planning and Development)

As we release PLUS functionality, our existing systems may be down for a day or more.  As those details become clear, we will keep you apprised. We are excited to bring you this announcement and encourage you to look for additional information on this first release in the coming weeks.