Plan guidance for the Fairfax Center Area has not undergone a comprehensive review since its initial adoption in 1982. Since then, the area has evolved into a thriving activity center to live, work, and play. A primary goal of the Fairfax Center Area Study is to evaluate the Comprehensive Plan for this area to verify that factual information is current and that recommendations remain consistent with current policy and practice.
The study is divided into three phases based largely on planned land use guidance. The first phase looked at the 'Transition' areas on the periphery of the study area. Staff worked within each supervisor district to gather input that assisted with determining what changes needed to be made. The second phase focused on area-wide recommendations and the 'Suburban Center' area found in the center of the study area. Staff worked with an area-wide taskforce to gather input and discuss proposed Plan changes. The third phase focuses on the Core Area of the Suburban Center and will refine the transportation, land use mix and intensity recommendations for the area.
Land use changes under consideration are proposed changes to the Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan is a guide for decision-making about the county's land use, and serves as a long term vision. This is not the same as the rezoning process, which serves as the tool for a property or group of properties to implement Plan recommendations. Rezoning applications require a more detailed development concept, and must go through additional public hearings before the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors, allowing additional opportunities for public comment.
There are multiple ways to stay connected with the Fairfax Center Area Study. The study website contains historical and current documents related to the study, meeting announcements, and archived presentations. Other options include signing up for the Fairfax Center Area Listserv (see "Fairfax Center Area study news" under Land Use & Development) or by 'liking' the county's Land Use Planning Facebook page.