Proposed 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.
The proposed Zoning Ordinance Amendment is on the 2017 Priority 1 Zoning Ordinance Amendment Work Program (ZOAWP), as part of the review of state code changes. In 2017, the General Assembly enacted Virginia Code § 15.2‑983, affirming a locality’s right to regulate the short-term rental of property through its general land use and zoning authority. As a result of this law, on March 14, 2017, the Board of Supervisors (Board) directed staff to form a workgroup to analyze the short-term rental of property in Fairfax County and recommend possible changes to the County Code and Zoning Ordinance.
Please visit the Short-term Lodging (STL) website for additional information on the proposed STL Zoning Ordinance Amendment.
Planning Commission Public Hearing: May 3, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. **The Commission intends to defer decision only on this item to June 21, 2018**
Board of Supervisors Public Hearing: June 19, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.
Recently Adopted Amendments
Click here to view the Zoning Ordinance amendments that have been adopted since the publication of the Zoning Ordinance Reprint dated June, 2017.
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.
Zoning Ordinance Modernization (zMOD) Project
The following topics are being considered as part of the Zoning Ordinance Modernization Project:
1. Planned Development Housing (PDH) Districts
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.
3. 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. Additional information on the proposed amendment can be found on the Small-Scale Production Establishment ZOA page.
2017 Zoning Ordinance Amendment Work Program (ZOAWP)
Additionally, the following topics are being considered as part of the 2017 Zoning Ordinance Amendment Work Program:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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. Additional information on the proposed amendment can be found on the main Reston PRC ZOA page.
4. 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.”