Department of Planning and Development

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Regular hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday - Friday. Check the DPD Operating Status webpage for more information.

TTY 711

12055 Government Center Parkway
Fairfax, VA 22035

Tracy Strunk,

Historic Preservation and Heritage Resources

Historic Fairfax CountyOlder buildings and neighborhoods in Fairfax County are part of Fairfax County's "heritage resources" and are economic and social investments that pay dividends. These sites and buildings also tell the history of the built environment in the county, which includes Native American hunting camps and long-term settlements, the tidewater plantations of George Washington and George Mason, Civil and Spanish-American War campsites and training grounds, as well as the 20th century planned town of Reston and its 19th century counterpart Dunn Loring. Recording, preserving, and studying this evidence enriches the quality of life in Fairfax County by putting residents in touch with their heritage, providing residents and property owners with a sense of temporal stability and continuity, and instilling in both young and old a loyalty and commitment to place and community. This public stewardship responsibility has been recognized for over thirty years and continues today. 

Historic Preservation

Architectural Review Board (ARB) - The ARB is responsible for public interest(s) as embodied in the Historic Overlay District Ordinance. Its job is to protect and enhance the resources that give a district its historic, architectural, or archaeological significance.

History Commission - The Fairfax County History Commission, established in 1969, helps identify, document, record, and preserve our county's history.

Preservation Easements - Conserving open space and historic resources through easements.

Historic Overlay Districts - Historic Overlay Districts provide regulations over and above the regular zoning protection to better protect those unique areas, sites, and buildings that are of special architectural, historic, or archaeological value to local residents and visitors.

Inventory of Historic Sites - A catalog of historically significant sites within Fairfax County.

Laurel Hill (Former Lorton Prison) - The former Lorton Prison is treated as a Historic Overlay District under a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) since 2001.

African American Historic Resources Survey and Report - Fairfax County African American resources were surveyed as part of a Virginia Department of Historic Resources’ (VDHR) survey program. The survey looked at properties associated with African American history in Fairfax County. 

Reston Historic Resources Survey and Report - Preservationists surveyed Reston in 2020 as part of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources’ Survey. The survey covered all of Reston except the land within the existing Lake Anne Historic Overlay District.

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