Plan. Permit. Construct.

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Fairfax County's planning, permitting and construction website provides information and resources for navigating through the county’s development review process. If you're a homeowner looking for details on how to complete renovations or a commercial developer looking to build a new subdivision, the resources and information found below will help you determine your project's feasibility and what steps are required to reach your goals successfully.

New to the process?

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If you're new the process or haven't built in Fairfax County before -- regardless whether you're a homeowner, business owner, contractor or other kind of builder -- this resource can show you what to expect and what is needed to reach a successful outcome.

Applications & Forms

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Not what you're looking for? Try searching our forms library.


January 9, 2019 | 10:53AM
*/ On January 9, Land Development Services took a great leap forward to improve speed, consistency and predictability for our customers with three major process changes: ePlans Launch: The following plan types may be submitted via ePlans software: New commercial structures (New Multi-Family (R2) projects coming soon). Commercial interior alterations (Plans that include exterior work need to be applied for and submitted via the paper process). Projects eligible for review in the Fast Track Program will grow from 4,500 to 10,000 square feet for business and mercantile occupancies, but only if the construction documents are submitted through ePlans. Visit our ePlans web page for more details. Commercial Walk-Thru Program: For the project types listed below, customers are now able to apply for a permit and obtain a same-day, face-to-face review with county staff. Systems furniture Tenant space demolitions Sales trailers Sales offices in model home garages Kiosks requiring sprinklers (non-sprinklered kiosks do not require a plan review) Awnings (canopies with posts are ineligible) Visit our walk-thru program web page for more details. Residential Truss Shop Drawings Online Submission: Truss shop drawings for residential construction, which are currently paper-centric, are only accepted electronically on a new online submission page. The approval workflow is now paperless with customers obtaining their electronically-stamped shop drawings without ever having to step foot in our building.  

December 17, 2018 | 03:17PM
This weekend’s rain pushed the annual rain totals for the Washington metro area to over 62 inches – breaking the record set in 1889. All this rain wreaks havoc on the many constructions sites in the area. As a result, Fairfax County received more than twice as many complaints about erosion and sediment control problems on construction sites in the first ten months of 2018 than were received in all of 2017. Currently, more than 1,500 construction sites are active in Fairfax County, each of them monitored by inspectors from the Site Development and Inspections Division (SDID) of Land Development Services (LDS). When construction disturbs the ground, it is much more susceptible to eroding.  Rainfall events can loosen soil and carry it with the rainfall runoff to adjacent properties or streams.  The Fairfax County Erosion and Sediment Control Law requires that anyone who disturbs more than 2,500 square feet of land must prepare an erosion and sediment control plan to protect communities and local waterways from the impacts of construction. This is a state-mandated program that is enforced by localities. In July alone, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recorded over 11 inches of rain at the Washington Dulles International Airport. July’s average during the last ten years has been about four inches. Adding to the challenge: There has rarely been a break in between rain events, which would allow time for contractors to repair the erosion and sedimentation controls. To respond to this situation, county inspectors are proactively reaching out to site managers to help them maintain compliance with erosion and sediment control regulations. In addition, inspectors rely on residents to report construction sites that may have erosion and sediment issues. Inspectors respond to resident complaints within 24 hours. Before construction begins, the contractor must install controls around the perimeter of the active construction area. The controls include a series of measures that trap the sediment before it leaves the site. For example, silt fence is a permeable fabric stretched between wooden stakes that allows water to pass through but traps most sediment particles before leaving the site. Even when the controls are operating, brown-colored water may still be seen leaving the construction area.  The best system of controls is only about 75 percent effective.  After a rain event, the contractor on the site is responsible for repairing and replacing any damaged controls, such as broken silt fencing or clogged sediment traps. The excess rainfall seen this year presents even more challenges to construction managers’ attempts to capture the sediment and clean and maintain the controls. SDID conducts a series of on-site inspections to make sure construction is moving ahead correctly and the erosion and sediment controls are working properly. Inspectors will also visit the site after a significant rainfall event to make sure the contractor is maintaining the controls in compliance with regulations. LDS is committed to protecting communities and the environment from excessive sediment leaving construction sites. If you observe a construction site that seems to have malfunctioning erosion and sedimentation controls, you can submit your concern online via the Site Construction Hotline Submission Form or call 703-324-7470, TTY 711.

December 17, 2018 | 03:15PM
Fairfax County reached a milestone in its journey to achieve greater flexibility and clarity in the development review process. On December 4, 2018, the Board of Supervisors adopted amendments to Chapter 101 (Subdivision Provisions) and Chapter 122 (Tree Conservation Ordinance) of The Code of the County of Fairfax, Virginia, and to the Public Facilities Manual (PFM). The PFM changes are a result of the “PFM Flex Project,” a Fairfax First initiative to improve the speed, consistency and predictability of the county’s land development review process, which incorporated months of stakeholder input and staff review. The amendments became effective at 12:01 a.m. on December 5, 2018.   The PFM Flex Project amendments include technical and non-technical changes.   Technical changes include: Adding a streamlined certification process for in-ground pools, in lieu of a soils report; Updating the exploration requirements for buildings smaller than 5,000 square feet; Revising the factor of safety for slope stability in problem soil areas; Eliminating curvilinear pipe design requirements; Revising outfall requirements in floodplains; Updating requirements for stabilizing ground cover; Defining aerial access requirements for high rise buildings; Clarifying hydrant requirements for fee simple townhouses; Accommodating emergency access for rooftop, indoor and courtyard pools; And increasing flexibility for counting tree canopy.   Non-technical changes include: Replacing the term “shall,” throughout the PFM, based on terms in the updated interpretations section of Chapter 1; Adding hyperlinks to internal and external references; And removing outdated and extraneous text.   The updated PFM can be found on the PFM website at: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/landdevelopment/public-facilities-manual   A copy of the staff report and amendments showing the approved edits to the PFM can be found at: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/landdevelopment/public-facilities-manual-flexibility-project/staff-report-and-proposed-amendments   If you have any questions, please contact Don Lacquement, with the Site Code Research and Development Division, at 703-324-1780, TTY 711, or email us.

Staff is Available for Assistance

County staff is available on-site in the Customer Information Center or via phone at the following numbers:

  • Zoning: Planner of the Day, 703-324-5387/5372, TTY 711
  • Site and Subdivision Plans: Engineer of the Day, 703-324-2268, TTY 711
  • Building Permits: Permit Application Center, 703-222-0801, TTY 711

Need Assistance With Your Project?

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Fairfax County provides a Project Management Program to help customers achieve their goals by guiding them through the land development process. It is focused on facilitating an environment of enhanced communication and cooperation among all project stakeholders. The program’s key components for success are mutual accountability in communications, quality and schedule.