Zoning Evaluation Division

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our office is open 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday

703-324-1290
TTY 711

12055 Government Center Pkwy., Suite 801
Fairfax, VA 22035

Tracy Strunk,
Director

Special Exception Process

The Zoning Ordinance states that there are certain uses which by their nature or design can have an undue impact upon or be incompatible with other uses of land. These uses, described as special exception uses, may be allowed to locate within designated zoning districts under the controls, limitations, and regulations of a special exception approved by the Board of Supervisors.

The Board may approve a special exception that complies with all applicable standards, that will be compatible with existing and planned development in the general area, and that, as conditioned, will be compatible with the neighborhood where it is proposed to be located. If it determines that the use is not in accordance with all applicable standards of this Ordinance, the Board must deny the special exception. 

In order to request consideration of a special exception, an application must be filed with the County. A special exception must meet specific submission requirements, including the provision of a fee and an affidavit, as set forth in the Zoning Ordinance.

Process Overview

  1. Application is filed electronically through the PLUS application portal by the applicant.
  2. Application submissions are reviewed. When all Zoning Ordinance submission requirements are met, application is accepted and distributed to various County agencies.
  3. Application is scheduled for Planning Commission public hearing and is assigned to a staff coordinator.
  4. Pre-staffing of application/applicant will be contacted by staff about initial staff comments.
  5. Revisions relating to pre-staffing comments are submitted.
  6. Staffing of application/applicant. Will be contacted by staff about final staff comments.
  7. Revisions relating to the staffing comments are submitted.
  8. Final submission deadline (six weeks prior to Planning Commission public hearing. Staff report is published based on information received by this date).
  9. Notification to adjacent property owners (sent to applicant 30 days prior to hearing, notices mailed by applicant postmarked at least 15 days prior to hearing).
  10. Staff report published (two weeks prior to public hearing).
  11. Planning Commission public hearing.
  12. Application is scheduled for Board of Supervisors public hearing.
  13. Notification to adjacent property owners (sent to applicant 30 days prior to hearing, notices mailed by applicant postmarked at least 15 days prior to hearing).
  14. Board of Supervisors public hearing.

Zoning Application and Development Review Process

The development review process applies to all those seeking approval of a rezoning, a special exception, a special permit or a variance in Fairfax County.

 

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