Zoning Ordinance Modernization

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 - Fairfax County Zoning Ordinance Modernization Project

Zoning Ordinance ModernizationIn 2017, Fairfax County launched a major initiative to modernize its Zoning Ordinance that was first established 40 years ago. Dubbed “zMOD,” the effort will help the County carry out its strategic plan to grow and diversify its economy.  The modernization plan was presented on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ Development Process Committee.

“We want to be sure that our ordinance is forward thinking in terms of being able to accommodate uses that we don’t know about today that will be here in the future,” said Barbara Byron, Director of the Office of Community Revitalization, who will lead the project in collaboration with the Department of Planning and Zoning.  zMOD will work in tandem with the County’s existing process for amending its zoning laws by prioritizing proposed changes of county-wide significance.

The first phase of the zMOD focuses on three areas:

  • Prioritizing key Zoning Ordinance amendments for updates
  • Restructuring the ordinance to make it more user friendly, such as including more charts, tables and links, as well as more easily understandable language
  • Improving the County’s overall process for how the zoning ordinance is updated

To help implement zMOD, the County has hired consultant services, and has added two new staff positions to work on the project.

zMOD Amendments

The following amendments have been prioritized:

Approved Amendments

  • Updating minor modification provisions to make them more flexible, allowing the County to more efficiently approve minor changes to proffers and development conditions. This amendment was adopted on November 21, 2017.
  • Revising restaurant provisions to modernize definitions and streamline parking calculations. This amendment was adopted on January 23, 2018.

Pending Amendments

Restructuring the Ordinance and Revising Land Use Categories

The County has hired Clarion Associates to assist with the reformatting of the Zoning Ordinance and the development of improved graphics to create a more user friendly document.  Clarion will also assist in the updating and revision of land use categories for permitted, special exception and special permit land uses and their regulations. 

  • A draft of the modernized Zoning Ordinance is anticipated to be completed within 18 months to be followed by the formal adoption process. View the Restructuring Work Plan.
  • Multiple opportunities and channels for public engagement will be provided throughout the process. View the zMOD Engagement Plan.

Stay Informed

As additional information becomes available it will be posted here on this site.  If you have any questions please contact the Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning - Zoning Administration Division at 703-324-1314 (TTY 711) or send an email to the zMOD team.

To receive periodic announcements regarding the Fairfax County Zoning Ordinance Modernization Project, subscribe to the zMOD e-mail service below.  (Under the Land Use & Development topic area, select DPZ-zMod).