Zoning Permits Branch

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Mon-Thu, 9:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Fri

703-222-1082
TTY 711

12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 250
Fairfax, VA 22035

Leslie Johnson,
Zoning Administrator

Temporary Outdoor Activities and Uses

Temporary outdoor activities and uses may require either a Temporary Special Permit or a 21-Day Non-Residential Use Permit.  Please refer to the information below to determine which type of permit is required for your particular activity or use. 

Temporary Special Permit (TSP)

A TSP may be required for certain temporary outdoor uses and activities pursuant to Part 8 of Article 8 of the Fairfax County Zoning Ordinance. Such activities and uses include:

  1. Carnival, circus, festival, fair, horse show, dog show, steeplechase, music festival, turkey shoot, sale of Christmas trees or other seasonal commodities and other similar activities.
  2. Construction material yards accessory to a construction project.
  3. Contractors' office and equipment sheds to include trailers accessory and adjacent to an active construction project.
  4. Promotional activities of retail merchants.
  5. Subdivision and apartment sales and rental offices.
  6. Temporary dwellings or mobile homes.
  7. Temporary farmers markets.
  8. Temporary portable storage containers.
  9. Community gardens.

A complete TSP application should be submitted at least six (6) weeks prior to the start date of the proposed event in order to ensure timely review and processing by this office.  Further, an application that is received less than three (3) weeks prior to the start date of the proposed event or that is incomplete as described in the submission requirements will not be accepted for review and will be returned to the applicant with no further action. 

Additional documents may be requested during the course of the application review process if deemed necessary. Such documentation may include a copy of an approved road closure permit from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) if applicable.

The Zoning Administrator may deny any application which he or she believes may have an adverse effect on the surrounding community. If denied, an appeal may be made to the Board of Zoning Appeals within thirty (30) days.  For further information regarding temporary special permits, refer to Part 8 of Article 8 of the Fairfax County Zoning Ordinance (Chapter 112 of the Fairfax County Code).

TSP application forms and submission requirements are available below.  Please fill out the appropriate application form and review the associated submission requirements.

Non-Profit Sponsored Uses

Application Form

Completed applications may be delivered, mailed or emailed to: 

Department of Planning and Development
Zoning Permits Branch
12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 250
Fairfax, Virginia  22035-5508
DPZMailforZPRB@fairfaxcounty.gov

For further information, please call the Zoning Permits Branch at 703-222-1082.

 

Submission Requirements

All applications must include:

  1. A completed application form signed by a member or employee of the sponsoring organization or by a designated agent.
  2. A signed and dated narrative statement with the following information (as applicable)
    • General Description - provide a general description of the activity or use.  Please include the maximum estimated number of people expected to attend the event at any one time and the times that setup and break down will occur.
    • Parking - identify the total number of available parking spaces that will be on-site, off-street.  If off-site, off-street parking will be provided, describe how event attendees will get from the off-site parking area to the event site (ie. walking, shuttle service).
    • Sanitary Facilities - identify the location of the facilities and who will be providing them.
    • Structures - identify all structures that will be used for the event, including tents, trailers and canopies.
    • Lighting/Speakers - describe the type of temporary lighting/speakers, the approximate height at which they will be placed and how they will be used.
    • Rides, Games, Food Vendors and/or Animals - identify all uses and participants.
    • Road Closures - identify any section of road that will be closed as part of the event, if the road will be completely or only partially closed, and what types of activities will take place in the road.
    • Security - identify who will be providing security.
    • Trash Removal - describe how trash remove will be addressed during and after the event.
  3. A plat or plan showing the location of the following (as applicable):
    • entrances and exits to the site.
    • at least one adjacent public roadway.
    • rides, games, vendors.
    • structures, including tents, trailers and canopies.
    • on-site, off-street parking spaces.
    • sanitary facilities.
    • proposed signs.
    • lighting/speakers, including the direction that temporary lighting/speakers will be pointing.
    • the plan may be hand drawn.
  4. A filing fee of $205.00.  Payment may be made online or by check made payable to Fairfax County. If online payment is used, a copy of the online receipt is required with submission of application. All email submissions require online payment.
  5. All required letters of permission and/or contracts as described in the following section.

Provide the following letters of permission and/or contracts (as applicable):

  1. Designated Agent - If the sponsoring organization would like to designate an agent to act on its behalf, provide a signed and dated letter of authorization written on letterhead from the sponsoring organization.  Please note that a designated agent is defined as someone who is not a member or employee of the sponsoring organization but who will be acting on behalf of the sponsoring organization.  If an agent is designated, all correspondence and communication will be directed to the agent rather than to the sponsoring organization.
  2. Property Owner - if the sponsoring organization is not the owner of the property where the event will be held, provide a signed and dated letter of permission from the property owner granting the sponsoring organization permission to use the event site for the designated use, dates and times of the proposed event.
  3. Sanitary Facilities - If using temporary facilities, provide a signed and dated copy of the vendor contract.  If the facilities will be provided inside a store or building that is not owned or managed by the sponsoring organization, provide a signed and dated letter of permission from the property owner or manager granting the use of the facilities for the dates and times of the proposed event.
  4. Parking - if parking for the proposed event will be provided off-site, provide a signed and dated letter of permission from the property owner of the off-site parking area allowing event attendees to park during the dates and times of the event.  Additionally, if a third-party vendor will be providing shuttle service from the parking area to the event location, provide a signed and dated copy of the vendor contract.
  5. Security - If the activity is a circus, carnival, road race, serves alcohol or will close traffic lanes, a signed security contract with the Fairfax County Police Department will be required.  For other types of events, a security contract may be requested on a case by case basis.
  6. Trash Removal - if the property is not owned by the sponsoring organization and trash removal will be handled by a third party vendor, provide a signed and dated trash removal contract.

For-Profit Uses

Application Form

Completed applications may be delivered, mailed or emailed to: 

Department of Planning and Development
Zoning Permits Branch
12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 250
Fairfax, Virginia  22035-5508
DPZMailforZPRB@fairfaxcounty.gov

For further information, please call the Zoning Permits Branch at 703-222-1082.

 

Submission Requirements

All applications must include:

  1. A completed application form signed by a member or employee of the sponsoring organization or by a designated agent.
  2. A signed and dated narrative statement with the following information (as applicable)
    • General Description - provide a general description of the activity or use.  Please include the maximum estimated number of people expected to attend the event at any one time and the times that setup and break down will occur.
    • Parking - identify the total number of available parking spaces that will be on-site, off-street.  If off-site, off-street parking will be provided, describe how event attendees will get from the off-site parking area to the event site (ie. walking, shuttle service).
    • Sanitary Facilities - identify the location of the facilities and who will be providing them.
    • Structures - identify all structures that will be used for the event, including tents, trailers and canopies.
    • Lighting/Speakers - describe the type of temporary lighting/speakers, the approximate height at which they will be placed and how they will be used.
    • Rides, Games, Food Vendors and/or Animals - identify all uses and participants.
    • Road Closures - identify any section of road that will be closed as part of the event, if the road will be completely or only partially closed, and what types of activities will take place in the road.
    • Security - identify who will be providing security.
    • Trash Removal - describe how trash remove will be addressed during and after the event.
  3. A plat or plan showing the location of the following (as applicable):
    • entrances and exits to the site.
    • at least one adjacent public roadway.
    • rides, games, vendors.
    • structures, including tents, trailers and canopies.
    • on-site, off-street parking spaces.
    • sanitary facilities.
    • proposed signs.
    • lighting/speakers, including the direction that temporary lighting/speakers will be pointing.
    • the plan may be hand drawn.
  4. A filing fee of $205.00.  Payment may be made online or by check made payable to Fairfax County. If online payment is used, a copy of the online receipt is required with submission of application. All email submissions require online payment.
  5. In addition to the temporary special permit, a Non-Residential Use Permit (Non-RUP) is required for the occupancy of each trailer or model home. A separate Non-RUP filing fee and payment of $70 is required for each trailer or model home.  Payment methods are described in Par. 4 above.
  6. All required letters of permission and/or contracts as described in the following section.

Provide the following letters of permission and/or contracts (as applicable):

  1. Property Owner - If the applicant is not the owner of the property where the work, activity or use will take place, provide a signed and dated letter of permission from the property owner granting the applicant permission to use the property for the designated use, dates and times of the proposed work, activity or use.
  2. Sanitary Facilities - If using temporary facilities, provide a signed and dated copy of the vendor contract.  If the facilities will be provided inside a store or building that is not owned or managed by the applicant, provide a signed and dated letter of permission from the property owner or manager granting the use of the facilities for the dates and times of the proposed work, activity or use.
  3. Parking - If parking will be provided off-site, provide a signed and dated letter of permission from the property owner of the off-site parking area allowing the workers or event attendees to park during the dates and times of the proposed work, activity or use.  Additionally, if a third-party vendor will be providing shuttle service from the parking area to the location of the work, activity or use, provide a signed and dated copy of the vendor contract.
  4. Security - If the activity is a circus, carnival, road race, serves alcohol or will close traffic lanes, a signed security contract with the Fairfax County Police Department will be required.  For other types of activities, a security contract may be requested on a case by case basis.

Temporary Portable Storage Containers

Application Form

Temporary Special Permits (TSP) for temporary portable storage containers (POD) may be issued for a period not to exceed six (6) months or for the period of an active building permit, whichever is shorter in duration. This limit commences at the time the applicant places the container(s) on the subject property.  There is no fee assessed for a TSP to locate a temporary portable storage container(s).

Completed applications may be delivered, mailed or emailed to:

Department of Planning and Development
Zoning Permits Branch
12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 250
Fairfax, Virginia  22035-5508
DPZMailforZPRB@fairfaxcounty.gov

For further information, please call the Zoning Permits Branch at 703-222-1082.

 

Submission Requirements

All applications must include:

  1. A completed and signed application form.
  2. A narrative statement describing the nature of the accident or casualty which has necessitated the need to locate the container(s) for a longer period of time than permitted under Par. 28 of Sect. 10-102 of the Zoning Ordinance; the dimension(s) of the container(s); and the height(s) of the container(s).
  3. In order to verify the above-described accident or casualty, we ask that you provide a copy of either a Fire Damage Report issued and signed by an agent of Fairfax County or a claim filed by the property owner or applicant with an insurance company (other evidentiary documentation may be requested if needed).
  4. A copy of a plat or plan showing the location(s) of the container(s).
  5. A letter from the property owner or a home owner's association granting the applicant permission to place the container(s) on the property as proposed (required only if the applicant is not the property owner).
  6. A copy of the contract/agreement with the POD provider which specifies the date at which the container(s) will be placed on the property.

21-Day Non-Residential Use Permit (Non-RUP)

Temporary stands and structures for retail sales of seasonal items are permitted pursuant to Paragraph 15 of Section 17-104 of the Fairfax County Zoning Ordinance but require a 21-Day Non-Residential Use Permit (Non-RUP) issued by the Zoning Permits Branch (ZPB).  The 21-Day Non-RUP may be issued for a maximum of 21 consecutive days and requires a minimum of 30 days between temporary uses on the site.  Seasonal items include:

  • Plant stands
  • Christmas tree stands
  • Fireworks stands
  • Pumpkin stands

A complete 21-Day Non-RUP application should be submitted at least six (6) weeks prior to the start date of the proposed activity or use but no later than three (3) weeks prior, in order to ensure timely review and processing by this office.  Further, an application that is incomplete as described in the submission requirements will not be accepted for review and will be returned to the applicant with no further action.

The Zoning Administrator may deny any application which he or she believes may have an adverse effect on the surrounding community.  If denied, an appeal may be made to the Board of Zoning Appeals within thirty (30) days.  

The 21-Day Non-RUP application form and submission requirements are available below.  Please fill out the application form and review the associated submission requirements.  

21 Day Non-RUP Application Form

Completed applications may be delivered, mailed or emailed to: 

Department of Planning and Development
Zoning Permits Branch
12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 250
Fairfax, Virginia  22035-5508
DPZMailforZPRB@fairfaxcounty.gov

For further information, please call the Zoning Permits Branch at 703-222-1082.

 

21 Day Non-RUP Submission Requirements

  1. A completed and signed application form.
  2. A copy of a plat or plan showing the location of any structures, ingress and egress to the structures, and distance(s) from the structures to the nearest right-of-way(s) (a minimum of 40 feet is required in commercial zoning districts).
  3. A copy of a contract from the vendor providing sanitary facilities or a letter of permission from the business or retailer permitting the use of their sanitary facilities.
  4. A certification of insurance (fireworks stands only).
  5. A signed and dated lease agreement with the property owner or management company identifying the terms (dates), location, and use(s).
  6. A filing fee of $70.00. Payment may be made online or by check made payable to Fairfax County.  If online payment is used, a copy of the online receipt is required with submission of application.  All email submissions require online payment.
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