Fairfax County is holding its first community meeting on Jan. 24 as it moves forward to modernize its 40- year old Zoning Ordinance.
The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. in conference rooms 4 and 5 at the Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax.
The public is also encouraged to take an online survey that will be available through Jan. 31.
Dubbed “zMod,” the project will revamp the county’s zoning laws that were first adopted in their current form in 1977. zMod will help the county carry out its strategic plan to grow and diversify its economy.
This effort started in March 2017, and zoning officials began work with proposing key updates to specific provisions of the ordinance, like the recently approved update that offers greater flexibility to make minor modifications to previously approved developments.
Now, officials are focusing on making the overall ordinance easier to use and establishing new, more general zoning use categories. To make it more user friendly, the county is looking at incorporating more charts, graphs and illustrations into the ordinance, reducing redundancies in the text and using language that’s easily understandable.
New zoning categories will be proposed to combine uses of similar impact into broad categories for consistency and ease of understanding and implementation. This shift will permit for greater agility, so the county won’t need to make zoning updates to accommodate specific new uses.
The county has hired Clarion Associates, a nationally recognized planning and land-use firm, to lead these two major components of zMOD.
Public input will help guide the process. The initiative will include an extensive outreach component embracing community-wide participation, education, and an evaluation process that will include numerous meetings and workshops.
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