Zoning Administration Division

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our office hours are 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Permit counter hours are 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Mon-Thu and 9:15 a.m. - 4 p.m. Fri.

TTY 711

12055 Government Center Pkwy.
Fairfax, VA 22035

Leslie Johnson,
Zoning Administrator

Proposed Zoning Ordinance Amendments

Authorized for Public Hearing

The following proposed amendments to the Fairfax County Zoning Ordinance are scheduled to be authorized or have been authorized for advertisement of public hearings before the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors. Please note that hearing dates and times may be subject to change.

For the convenience of the public, copies of the Staff Reports for the Proposed Zoning Ordinance Amendments are available for review in portable document format (PDF) below.  Some attachments to the Staff Reports may not be available in electronic format. If you are interested in viewing these documents, please contact the Zoning Administration Division at 703-324-1314.

Wireless Telecommunication Infrastructure


The proposed amendment is on the 2018 Zoning Ordinance Amendment Work Program and is in response to new telecommunications legislation that became effective on July 1, 2018, after the 2018 Virginia General Assembly adopted House Bill 1258 and Senate Bill 405.  The Virginia Code now defines the term “administrative review-eligible project” (AREP) to include two types of projects: (1) installation or construction of a new that structure that is not more than 50 feet in height and meets all other applicable criteria; and (2) the col-location on an existing structure of a wireless facility that is not a small cell facility.  The legislation prohibits localities from requiring a special exception for AREPs, but allows localities to require administrative review for the issuance of a zoning permit for these projects.  The legislation also allows localities to continue requiring special exception approval for projects that do not quality for AREPs or small cell facilities, subject to limits.  The proposed amendment would implement House Bill 1258 and Senate Bill 405.

PC Public Hearing Date September 20, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
BOS Public Hearing Date

September 25, 2018 at 5:00 p.m.

Related Documents Staff Report

Under Consideration

The following topic areas are actively being researched and evaluated by staff to develop a proposal for an amendment to the Zoning Ordinance.  These potential amendments have not been formally authorized by the Board of Supervisors for public hearing at this time.  

Topic Description Category
Planned Development Housing (PDH) Districts

These districts created in the 1980s were intended for larger housing subdivisions in greenfields. In recent years, however, this zoning category has been used for smaller, infill developments.  Among other things, this has created long-term issues for homeowners when restrictions are placed on how they can use their yards and maintenance issues when a limited number of homes can include the responsibility to own and maintain features like retaining walls, athletic facilities and roads.

Signs On June 18, 2015, the United States Supreme Court decided the case of Reed v. Town of Gilbert, which drew a very distinct line concerning the use of content-based sign regulations.  The facts concerned an ordinance in Gilbert, Arizona that had differing restrictions on political, ideological and directional signs.  The Supreme Court decided that the Gilbert ordinance was "content-based" and could not survive the strict scrutiny required by the First Amendment to protect freedom of speech.  As such, the Court found that the Gilbert regulations applied to particular speech because of the topics discussed and/or expressed on the sign itself - thereby regulating some kinds of speech differently from others.  Fairfax County's sign ordinance needs to be amended to respond to the Gilbert decisions. zMOD
Small-Scale Production Establishments The Zoning Ordinance currently limits manufacturing to Industrial Districts and the Planned Tysons Corner District when shown on an approved development plan. The amendment will consider permitting production uses on a small scale and with appropriate use limitations in commercial districts. zMOD
Agricultural Uses and Districts The Zoning Ordinance currently defines agriculture and permits such use in various low intensity residential districts.  Today's market has indicated a desire for more "agritourism" related uses (such as wineries, farm markets, seasonal farm festivals, etc.), which are currently not specifically set forth in the provisions.  Additionally, new forms of agricultural activity, such as urban community gardens and container farms, need specific designations in the Zoning Ordinance to accommodate them in appropriate zoning districts other than low density residential districts. ZOAWP
Commonly Accepted Pets The Zoning Ordinance currently prohibits hedgehogs and requires chinchillas and hermit crabs to obtain Special Permit Approval. This amendment proposes to include all three animals under the definition of “Commonly Accepted Pets,” which would permit them to be kept as pets without obtaining any permit. This amendment would also include a concurrent amendment to Chapter 41.1 of the Fairfax County Code as it pertains to the definition of “wild or exotic animals.” ZOAWP
Continuing Care Communities The Zoning Ordinance accommodates independent living facilities (dwellings) and a variety of assisted living/nursing care/memory care facilities (medical care) as separate uses. Today's market is increasingly seeing these uses in combination, which presents some challenges given the zoning regulations applicable to each use. ZOAWP
Outdoor Lighting The Zoning Ordinance performance standards for outdoor lighting were adopted in 2003 and require, in most instances, full cut-off lighting to reduce glare and over-lighting. Based on concerns identified since then, the Zoning Ordinance Work Program recommends consideration of revisions pertaining to security lighting, outdoor sports facilities, single family residential lighting exemptions, and Architectural Review Board review of sports illumination plans in Historic Overlay districts. The review should also include construction site lighting and issues related to the increased use of LED lights, particularly “color temperature.” ZOAWP
Reston Planned Residential Community (PRC) District Based on recommendations from a 40-member community task force, the Comprehensive Plan for Reston was updated in 2014 and 2015. The plan calls for future growth to be focused in the Town Center, the Village Centers, and the areas around the three Metro Stations. An update to the Zoning Ordinance is needed to implement the new plan, because some of its current provisions limit the growth of Reston by capping its population to 13 persons per acre.  ZOAWP

zMOD - Zoning Ordinance Modernization Project

ZOAWP - Zoning Ordinance Amendment Work Program


Recently Adopted Amendments

For Zoning Ordinance amendments that have been adopted since the publication of the Zoning Ordinance Reprint dated June, 2017, visit the Recently Adopted Amendments page.

Zoning Ordinance Announcements

To receive periodic announcements about proposed amendments to the Zoning Ordinance, subscribe to the Proposed Zoning Ordinance Amendments e-mail service.  (Under the Land Use & Development topic area, select Zoning Ordinance Amendments - Proposed).