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

Plan Ahead

Before submitting, ensure you are aware of all applicable regulations and conditions that could affect your project to avoid surprises during the review process.


If you have more questions and would like to speak with someone, visit our Meet With Staff page for contact information.


Zoning Information

Zoning districts specify allowable uses, setbacks and other development limitations of a site. Previously approved rezoning, special exception, special permit or variance actions may include proffers (or conditions) that affect the property and must be accounted for when changes are proposed.

Monetary proffers are part of the rezoning process. Private developers and individual property owners voluntarily “proffer” funds with conditions and time triggers that qualify how and when they will be used, often as a prerequisite for earning approval for a project. Learn more about proffer compliance, or for additional information, contact  

Learn how to find your zoning district, or for more zoning-related information, contact a Planner of the Day.


Researching Site Conditions

Fairfax County provides general information on a number of geographic site features within JADE, one of our geographic information system (GIS) applications. This information may be beneficial when determining your project's feasibility.


Design Codes and Standards

Development regulations such as the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC) and the Public Facilities Manual (PFM) have been established to protect the health, safety and environmental sustainability of our community. Read through the relevant site and building standards to ensure your project complies with all applicable laws, regulations and policies. It is suggested that you consult with your project designer, and/or county staff to ensure the proper regulations are followed.

Learn more on our Codes and Standards page.


County Typical Details

The following typical details are provided by Fairfax County to ensure the design and construction of the below project types are consistent and code compliant. Prior to designing your project, review the associated publication thoroughly and pay attention to each applicable design detail. If you have questions, please contact the county at 703-222-0801, TTY 711, or via email.


Do I Need to Hire a Registered Design Professional (RDP)?

A Virginia licensed architect or registered engineer may be required to prepare your plans, depending on the scope of your project. Find out if an RDP is required before hiring a designer, so you can verify whether they possess any required credentials.

Learn more on our Signed and Sealed Drawings page.


Do I Need to Hire a Contractor?

If the project you are planning is valued at $1,000 or more, the person doing the work must have a valid Virginia Contractor's License issued from the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR).  Licenses are also issued with classifications and specialties that identify the type of work that may be performed.

Learn more on our Hiring a Contractor page.


BPOL - County License

If you’re a contractor performing work in Fairfax County, you may need a Fairfax County Business, Professional, and Occupational License (BPOL). 

For more information on the associated requirements and how to apply for your BPOL, please visit the Business Taxes webpage.



Federally and locally designated floodplains identify areas at higher risk of flooding during storms. Development should avoid impacts to floodplains wherever possible. In cases where floodplains could be impacted, a Floodplain Use Determination may be required and consultation with the Engineer of the Day is recommended.

Read more on our Flood Information page.


Resource Protection Areas (RPA)

RPAs are designated buffers along waterways, established to protect water quality, filter pollutants, reduce stormwater runoff, and perform other important biological and ecological functions. Development, certain uses and other activities are regulated when proposed in or adjacent to an RPA.

For more information regarding the type of approvals required and the appropriate forms, visit the Chesapeake Bay Ordinance page.


Types of Soils and Problem Soils

The type of soil on a property affects many design elements. Ensure that your designer understands the requirements that apply to your type of soil.

Learn more on our Soil Information page.


Grading/Site Plans

When a new structure or exterior changes to a structure are proposed, a site-related plan or survey/plat is required, in addition to building permits. Before beginning your project, find out which type of site-related plan you will need along with the associated requirements.

Read more about Site-Related Plans.


Parking Tabulation

Changes to a building may affect the amount of off-street parking required, and a parking tabulation may be necessary to account for the changes. Ensure that parking requirements are understood as you develop your design and that they are properly accounted for.

Learn more on our Off-Street Parking page.


Cross-Jurisdictional Authority

In limited circumstances, Fairfax County provides regulatory services to some of our local cities and townships through executed Memorandums of Understandings. The below infographic identifies which building and site-related services the county provides for each jurisdiction.

For example, projects located in the Town of Vienna must coordinate submissions between both the town and the county. Addressing of properties and building permit review, approval and inspections are processed by the county while site-related plans (i.e., grading plans) must be submitted directly to the town for review and approval. Building permit applications must be in the county’s PLUS system. To confirm what approvals are required prior to starting your project, contact our permits office by email or by phone at 703-222-0801, TTY 711. For details on Town of Vienna’s building permit process, visit Zoning Applications, Permits & Plan Reviews | Town of Vienna, VA

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