Zoning Permits Section

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

TTY 711

12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 250
Fairfax, VA 22035

Leslie Johnson,
Zoning Administrator

Temporary Outdoor Uses and Activities

Beginning July 1, 2021, the new submission deadline is 30 days prior to the start date of the proposed event.

Temporary outdoor uses and activities may require an Administrative Permit and a Nonresidential Use Permit. Please refer to the information below to determine which types of permits are required for your particular activity or use. Once you have determined which type of permit is required, please download and complete the appropriate application form and read through the associated submission requirements document.

Administrative Permit for Temporary Uses (AP)

An AP may be required for certain temporary outdoor uses and activities pursuant to Article 4 of the Fairfax County Zoning Ordinance. Such activities and uses include:

  1. Community Garden
  2. Construction Site Office and Storage
  3. Farmers Market
  4. Model Home Sales or Leasing Office
  5. Portable Storage Container
  6. Special Events
  7. Temporary Dwelling or Manufactured Home

Please refer to subsection 4102.8 of the Zoning Ordinance for the specific standards associated with each of the above AP uses.

A complete AP application should be submitted at least 30 days prior to the start date of the proposed event in order to ensure timely review and processing by this office.  Unless the Zoning Administrator approves a lesser time period, an application that is received less than 30 days 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.

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

All Activities and Uses listed above except for Portable Storage Containers

Temporary Portable Storage Containers

Administrative Permits (AP) for temporary portable storage containers (POD) may be issued when a dwelling has been damaged by casualty for a period not to exceed six 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 an AP to locate a temporary portable storage container(s).  

Note that an administrative permit can only be issued in instances where a dwelling has been destroyed or damaged by casualty and only when such dwelling is to be rebuilt or repaired as well as the standards in subsection 4102.8.H(7) of the Zoning Ordinance.

An administrative permit is not needed when it is a temporary use and will only be located for the following time periods:

  • On a lot containing 36,000 square feet or less and developed with a single-family detached dwelling, for a period not to exceed 30 consecutive days within a six-month period. 
  • On a lot containing more than 36,000 square feet and developed with a single-family detached dwelling, for a period not to exceed 60 consecutive days in a six-month period. 
  • On lots developed with a single-family attached, stacked townhouse, or multifamily dwellings for a period not to exceed seven consecutive days within a six-month period. 

If you want to locate the portable storage container within the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) right-of-way, contact VDOT at 703-259-2787 or 800-367-7623. 

Additional Permits May be Required

In addition to an administrative permit from Zoning, your temporary activity or use may require a permit from other agencies. Contact information for other agencies is listed below:

Permit Application Center   |   703-222-0801   |   LDSBuildingPermits@fairfaxcounty.gov
Health Department (Sanitation)   |   703-246-2201   |   hdehd@fairfaxcounty.gov
Health Department (Food Service)   |   703-246-2444   |   hdehd@fairfaxcounty.gov
Fire Marshall   |   703-246-4849   |   fire.revenuepermits@fairfaxcounty.gov
Animal Protection Unit   |   703-691-2131   |   chief@fairfaxcounty.gov    
VDOT   |   703-259-1773   |   NOVAFairfaxPermits@VDOT.Virginia.gov

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