Zoning Permits Section

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, Suite 250
Fairfax, VA 22035

Leslie Johnson,
Zoning Administrator

Department Resources

Related Resources

Zoning Related Permits

Zoning related permits issued by the Department of Planning and Development are listed below:

Accessory Living Unit (Administrative Permit)

An accessory living unit is a secondary dwelling unit established in conjunction with and clearly subordinate to a single-family detached dwelling unit. These living spaces include areas for eating, sleeping, living, and sanitation. Accessory living units within the principal dwelling (not in a detached structure) and that meet all of the applicable standards, including access and entrances, size, and parking, may apply for approval through an administrative permit.

Administrative Comprehensive Sign Plan (ACSP)

In accordance with Subsection 7102 of the Fairfax County Zoning Ordinance, the Zoning Administrator may authorize a different allotment of sign area to the various tenants of a building through the approval of an Administrative Comprehensive Sign Plan (ACSP).

Agritourism (Administrative Permit)

An administrative permit for agritourism is only required when the property is 80 acres or greater and the number of attendees exceeds a total of 350 per day.

Agritourism is defined as any activity accessory to an agricultural operation that allows members of the general public to view or enjoy rural activities for recreational, entertainment, or educational purposes, regardless of whether the participant paid to participate in the activity. 

Family Health Care Structure

A family health care structure is defined as a transportable residential structure that is permitted by Va. Code Section 15.2-2292.1, is primarily assembled at a location other than its site of installation, is accessory to a single-family detached dwelling, and provides an environment that facilitates a caregiver’s provision of care for a mentally or physically impaired person.

Food Trucks

Food Trucks are any readily movable mobile food service establishment, to include vehicles that are self-propelled, pushed or pulled to a specific location. Food Truck Location Permits and Occupation Permits are issued by the Department of Planning and Development, Zoning Administration Division.

Home-Based Business

A home-based business is an occupation, profession, or trade that is conducted by a resident of the dwelling unit and is clearly incidental and subordinate to the residential purpose of the dwelling unit. Examples of home-based businesses include home offices, music lessons, art studios, home crafts, and home-based food production.

Limited Riding or Boarding Stable

A limited riding or boarding stable is defined as a use accessory to a residence, where horses or ponies, not including those owned by a resident of the property, are kept, maintained, or boarded, or where riding lessons are made available to the general public or members of a private club. These services may be offered for a fee or free of charge. The keeping of horses or ponies as an accessory use in accordance with subsection 4102.7.J and subsection 4102.7.K is not considered a riding or boarding stable.

Noise Waiver

The Noise Ordinance (Chapter 108.1 of the County Code) regulates noise sources by prohibiting certain activities at night, by exempting certain activities from the Noise Ordinance altogether, or by subjecting certain noise sources to a maximum decibel level. Per Section 108.1-6-1 – Waivers, any person responsible for any noise source may apply to the Zoning Administrator for a waiver or partial waiver from these provisions. 

Short-Term Lodging

Short-term lodging (STL), also known as short-term rental (STR), is any occupancy of a dwelling for a period of less than thirty days.  Prior to the adoption of the Short-Term Lodging Amendment, the Zoning Ordinance did not permit such uses in any dwelling unit.  The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors adopted the Short-Term Lodging Zoning Ordinance Amendment on July 31, 2018. 

Sign Permits

The Zoning Permits Branch, Sign Permits Section (ZPB/SPS), among other duties, accepts and reviews sign permit applications for compliance with the sign regulations of the Fairfax County Zoning Ordinance Article 12 and Chapter 10 of the Code of the County of Fairfax and issues sign permits for the installation of signs to be installed on private property located in Fairfax County.

Special Permit Extended Hours Request

A Special Permit Extended Hours Request applies only to community pools or swim clubs subject to special permit approvals that include conditions specifically limiting the number of nighttime events.

Temporary Outdoor Uses & Activities

Temporary outdoor uses and activities may require an Administrative Permit and a Nonresidential Use Permit. An AP may be required for certain temporary outdoor uses and activities pursuant to Article 4 of the Fairfax County Zoning Ordinance. 

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