In 1969, the Board of Supervisors amended the Zoning Ordinance creating thirteen Historic Overlay Districts to 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. Since then, the Board of Supervisors has created two additional Historic Overlay Districts, bringing the current total to fifteen. The Districts promote the general welfare, education, and recreational pleasure of the public, through the perpetuation of those general areas or individual structures and premises that have been officially designated by the Board of Supervisors as having historic, architectural, or cultural significance.
Regulations within the districts are intended to protect against destruction of or encroachment upon such areas, structures, and premises; to encourage uses which will lead to their continuance, conservation, and improvement in a manner appropriate to the preservation of the cultural, social, economic, political, architectural, or archaeological heritage of the County; to prevent creation of environmental influences adverse to such purposes; and to assure that new structures and uses within such districts will be in keeping with the character to be preserved and enhanced.
These heritage resources continue to be recognized as major contributors to the quality of life in Fairfax County and to its reputation as one of the major centers for cultural tourism in Virginia and the United States.