Learn About Proposed Zoning Changes

Learn About Proposed Zoning Changes

That May Affect You

at July 26 Fairfax County Open House

  • Come to an open house on July 26, 2017, at 7 p.m., at the Herrity Building to learn about proposed zoning changes that may affect you and your community.
  • You will be able to talk to zoning staff one-on-one, and learn about specific upcoming changes that are proposed, including rules for short-term rentals like Airbnb.

Short-term rentals, like Airbnb, adding structures to your back yards, restaurants, signs and senior living communities—these are some of the topics where Fairfax County is considering changes to its zoning rules.

On July 26, 2017, at 7 p.m., come to an open house to learn how these proposed changes may affect you and your neighborhood. The event will take place at the Herrity Building, Room 106/107, 12055 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax.

Every year, the Board of Supervisors adopts a work program for zoning ordinance amendments, and this program guides what zoning changes are considered. The 2017 program contains 14 topic areas for consideration and includes efforts to modernize the Zoning Ordinance, known as zMOD.

At the open house, you’ll be able to hear short presentations on each of these topics, including a presentation on how zoning regulations are amended. You will also have an opportunity to learn about how zoning affects land use and development and talk one-on-one with staff or ask questions about zoning issues.

This year, some of the first priority zoning amendments include:

  • Short-term rentals: These are properties that are rented less than 30 days on websites like Airbnb, Flipkey, Homeaway, VRBO and many others. We are looking at changes that regulate where these rentals would be allowed, what kinds of properties could be rented and how often they could be rented out. You can take a short survey to provide input that will help to shape the proposed rules.
  • Rear Yard Coverage: It is increasingly common for residents to add hardscaping, like patios, to their yards, but current zoning rules make it difficult for homeowners with small backyards to do so. We are proposing changes to give homeowners living in single family detached homes more flexibility to add these features.
  • Restaurants: We are considering changes to give fast casual restaurants, like Panera, Chipotle, or Pei Wei, more flexibility to open in commercial areas.
  • Signs: Because of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, we must rewrite our sign rules to make sure they are “content neutral.” Our current ordinance regulates or classifies certain sign types based, in whole or in part, on the message on them.
  • Agricultural Districts and Uses: We are proposing to update our zoning rules to accommodate increasing interest in establishing community gardens and opportunities for urban agriculture and to address agritourism activities on farms such as harvest-your-own activities, farm festivals and other special events.
  • Continuing Care Communities: The proposed changes are to consider creating a new use or zoning district to accommodate “full spectrum” care and accomodations, such as memory care or assisted living facilities.

Public input is key to shaping proposed zoning amendments that ultimately must be approved by the Board of Supervisors. Residents are encouraged to offer their thoughts early in the process, and the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors also hold public hearings on proposed amendments.

For questions about the July 26 open house, reasonable ADA accommodations or to offer feedback on proposed amendments, contact the Zoning Ordinance Administration Division by email or call 703-324-1314, TTY 711.

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