Department of Planning and Development

703-324-1380 TTY 711
12055 Government Center Pkwy, Suite 730
Fairfax, VA 22035
Daniel White
ARB Administrator

Rewrite of the Historic Overlay District Design Guidelines

The Fairfax County Architectural Review Board (ARB) is preparing to adopt updated district-specific design guidelines documents for thirteen Historic Overlay Districts (HODs), as well as a new General Design Guidelines document, which will apply to all current and future HODs. Once adopted, the documents will be available for use by applicants and design and construction professionals in the design phase of a project, and will be used by county staff, and ARB members during the ARB application review process.

The updated draft documents include:

The Wellington at River Farm and Hollin Hills HODs were established in 2021 in 2022, respectively. Both HODs were established with district-specific design guidelines which were not updated as part of this project.

Project Goals

Many of the HOD-specific design guidelines are unchanged since first established. This project, which traces to 2016, was undertaken to create more detailed design guidelines for all HODs, while simultaneously making the documents easier to use. The ARB identified project goals including: 

  • creating a General Design Guidelines document, 
  • updating and revising the existing district-specific design guidelines, 
  • creating user-friendly documents with visual examples and enhanced definitions, 
  • providing guidance documents for applicants, county staff, and ARB members’ use.

The updated district-specific design guidelines include maps, photographs, histories of the HOD and its contributing or historic resources, and recommendations for appropriate treatments based on project type. The General Design Guidelines document, which is applicable to all current and future HODs, contains similar information.

Community Engagement

Department of Planning and Development staff will hold a series of in-person and virtual information sessions throughout Fairfax County this summer. The sessions will cover the updated design guidelines, how the design guidelines are meant to be used, and the ARB application and review process. All sessions will include the same information, so residents can join when the time and location are most suitable.

Information Session
Monday, July 8, 2024 at 7:00 p.m.   
Reston Community Center Lake Anne - Jo Ann Rose Gallery
1609-A Washington Plaza, Reston, VA, 20190  

Information Session
Monday, July 22, 2024 at 7:00 p.m.     
Great Falls Library - Great Falls Meeting Room
9830 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls, VA, 22066

Information Session
Monday, July 29, 2024 at 7:00 p.m.
VFW Post 8469
5703 Vogue Rd, Fairfax Station, VA 22039

Virtual Information Session
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 12:00 p.m.
Virtual Meeting - MS Teams
Call-in Number: 571-429-5982
Access Code: 593611102#

Information Session
Tuesday, June 18, 2024 

Information Session
Thursday, June 20, 2024

Virtual Information Session
Wednesday, June 26, 2024
Meeting Video

Fairfax Virtual Assistant