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 - Adopted Amendment to Sign Provisions ZO-19-479

Effective 3/20/2019

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that sign regulations may not make restrictions based on their content or message (at least on non-commercial speech). The county’s existing zoning ordinance regulates and/or classifies certain sign types based, in whole or in part, on the message of the sign.

For example, the Fairfax County Zoning Ordinance (Par. 13.B) says:

One (1) freestanding building identification sign may be permitted for each detached building which houses a principal use within an office park. Such sign(s) shall be limited to identifying the name of the building and/or the individual enterprises located therein, the address, trademark or identifying symbol or any combination thereof. No such sign shall exceed twenty (20) square feet in area or eight (8) feet in height or be located closer than ten (10) feet to any lot line.


Repeals and replaces Article 12, Signs, to include:

  1. a rewrite of all provisions in a content-neutral manner, to include new provisions for the regulation of minor (temporary) signs and the prohibition of off-site signs;
  2. reorganization of all provisions in a more user-friendly format to include graphics and a new section of defined terms;
  3. establishment of new regulations for electronic display signs; and
  4. establishment of more uniform regulation of signs in all zoning districts. 

In addition, related sign provisions found throughout the Zoning Ordinance have been amended accordingly.

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