Zoning Ordinance Modernization (zMOD)

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our office hours are 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

TTY 711

12055 Government Center Pkwy.
Fairfax, VA 22035

Leslie Johnson,
Zoning Administrator

zMOD - Fairfax County Zoning Ordinance Modernization Project

Zoning Ordinance ModernizationIn 2017, Fairfax County launched a major initiative to modernize its Zoning Ordinance that was first established over 40 years ago. Dubbed “zMOD,” the effort will help the County carry out its strategic plan to grow and diversify its economy.  The modernization plan was presented on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ Development Process Committee.

“We want to be sure that our ordinance is forward thinking in terms of being able to accommodate uses that we don’t know about today that will be here in the future,” said Barbara Byron, Director of the Department of Planning and Development.  zMOD will work in tandem with the County’s existing process for amending its zoning laws by prioritizing proposed changes of county-wide significance.


Proposed zMOD Drafts

Zoning Ordinance Consolidated Draft

The proposed Zoning Ordinance consolidates the current 20 articles and six appendices into nine articles and one appendix. The draft below represents a consolidation of the previously released installments, with revisions as a result of feedback received throughout the process and additional work by staff and Clarion, as described in Attachment 1.  A zMOD project update video outlining the changes to the Consolidated Draft is also available.


Related Resources

zMOD Consolidated Draft Project Update Video - EnglishEn Español  

Proposed zMOD Changes to Accessory Dwelling Units FAQs

Summary of Proposed Changes to General Provisions & Administration, Procedures, and Enforcement

This document includes draft new Article 1, General Provisions, and Article 8, Administration, Procedures, and Enforcement. The new articles represent a reorganization of the procedures, submission requirements, enforcement, and other content found throughout the Zoning Ordinance.


Related Resources

Overview of General Provisions & Administration, Procedures, and Enforcement Video

Summary of Proposed Changes to Development Standards, Parking, and Signs

This document summarizes the proposed changes to the Fairfax County Zoning Ordinance included in the attached Development Standards, Parking, and Signs draft. The significant proposed changes are summarized and more detailed descriptions of the changes can be found in footnotes in the draft.


Summary of Proposed Changes to Districts

Specific zoning district regulations are currently found in Articles 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, and Appendices 1 and 7 of the Zoning Ordinance. Regulations that apply generally to all zoning districts such as density/intensity calculations, open space, and bulk regulations, or that apply specifically to P Districts are currently found in Articles 2 and 16. This draft consolidates those regulations into a new Article 2 –Zoning Districts, and Article 3 – Overlay and Commercial Revitalization Districts. This partial draft of Article 9 – Definitions includes those definitions relevant to these new Articles 2 and 3.


Summary of Proposed Changes to Use Regulations

The consolidated draft was developed over the past 18 months through the combined work of the County’s consultant, Clarion Associates, and the Fairfax County zMOD staff, with the input gained through extensive public outreach and engagement.

Based on the feedback received on the consolidated draft released in May, additional revisions have been incorporated into the revised consolidated draft - available below.



The first phase of zMOD focuses on the following goals:

  • Modernizing the permitted uses and their regulations
  • Making the Zoning Ordinance easier to understand
  • Removing gaps and inconsistencies
  • Creating a streamlined, user-friendly document
  • Using more tables, graphics, and hyperlinks
  • Being usable on multiple platforms

To help implement zMOD, the County has hired consultant services, and has added two new staff positions to work on the project.

zmod timeline

Fairfax Virtual Assistant