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.

In light of the Declaratory Ruling and Order adopted by the Federal Communications Commission on September 26, 2018, the Board of Supervisors withdrew this Zoning Ordinance amendment and directed staff to review and revise the amendment, and bring the revised amendment to the Board for authorization to advertise.

Related Documents Staff Report

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. In order to facilitate building repurposing and accommodate emerging land use trends, the proposed amendment defines a new use: Small-Scale Production Establishments. The amendment extends the ability to have an establishment for production, processing, or manufacturing to most commercial and planned development districts and the light industrial district, but only in accordance with the proposed use limitations. Additional information on the proposed amendment can be found on the Small-Scale Production Establishment ZOA page.

PC Public Hearing Date

October 25, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. 

BOS Public Hearing Date December 4, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.
Related Documents Staff Report

Editorial and Minor Revisions

Description The proposed amendment addresses the 2017 Priority 1 Zoning Ordinance Amendment Work Program, corrects an error that resulted from the adoption of a previous Zoning Ordinance amendment, updates terminology and practices, and makes other clarifying and minor revisions. 
PC Public Hearing Date October 25, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. 
BOS Public Hearing Date December 4, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.
Related Documents Staff Report

Continuing Care Facilities, Adult Day Care Centers and Related Provisions

Description The proposed Zoning Ordinance amendment includes changes that will (1) create a new planned development zoning district along with all ancillary regulations specifically for continuing care facilities; (2) create a new use for a continuing care facility in the PDC, PRM, PRC and PTC Districts; (3) create a new adult day care center use  to be located in multiple zoning districts by special exception or when approved as part of a development plan in a P-District; and (4) modify existing provisions related to independent living, assisted living, congregate living, medical care, and nursing facilities to clarify, update and codify the intent of the provisions and to further clarify the distinctions between these uses and the new continuing care facility use. 
PC Public Hearing Date October 25, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. 
BOS Public Hearing Date December 4, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.
Related Documents

Staff Report

Addendum Dated October 15, 2018

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 allow them to be kept as pets without obtaining any permit. This amendment would also include an amendment to Chapter 41.1 of the Fairfax County Code as it pertains to the definition of “wild or exotic animals.”

PC Public Hearing Date November 29, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. 
BOS Public Hearing Date January 22, 2019 at 4:00 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
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
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
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).