Planning, Permitting and Construction

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Permitting Business Hours: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. (M-Th), 9:15 a.m. - 4 p.m. (F)

TTY 711

12055 Government Center Parkway
Fairfax, VA 22035

Multiple Development Agency Directors,

Is Non-RUP a Use Permit or a Certificate of Occupancy? It’s both!

non-rup use permit image

Clarity and simplification: These are two of the goals of Fairfax’s ongoing improvements to the development review process, most recently achieved during the revamp of the Non-Residential Use Permit or Non-RUP. The Zoning Ordinance has for many years required commercial properties to obtain an occupancy permit, referred to as a Non-RUP.  The Non-RUP, however, is not issued until all the requirements of the building code have been met. 

Because the former Non-RUP certificate did not explicitly state that it was also a certificate of occupancy, this process led to confusion.  Also, the previous certificate provided limited building code information.  This summer, the Fairfax County Departments of Planning and Development (DPD) and Land Development Services (LDS) developed a new Non-Residential Use Permit certificate that clearly serves as both a use permit, from a Zoning Ordinance perspective, and a certificate of occupancy, from a building code perspective.  The certificate is signed by both the Zoning Administrator and the Building Official and will have both the words “Non-Residential Use Permit” and “Certificate of Occupancy” in its title.  The certificate also includes, when available, building code information, such as sprinklers or code modifications. 

A second change simplifies the process for obtaining a new Non-RUP when a business is changing its name. When a change in the name of a business establishment is proposed and there is no change in the owner, use, physical layout or operational characteristics of the business establishment, DPD will no longer require a fee and requests can be submitted via mail at 12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 250, Fairfax, Virginia, 22035-5505 or email at   The Fire Marshal will no longer require a pre-occupancy inspection under these circumstances but will still require a post-occupancy inspection.

Fairfax Virtual Assistant