Federation Land Use Committee temporary chair Jeff Parnes
On March 23, 2023, the Supreme Court of Virginia invalidated the adopted ZMOD amendment, and declared it void. The court ruling invalidating ZMOD also invalidated all subsequent amendments to it.
On April 11, 2023, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors authorized readvertising the ZMOD amendment, together with all purported subsequent amendments, including Agritourism, for public hearings with the Planning Commission on May 3, 2023 and with the Board of Supervisors on May 9, 2023
When the proposed county's original Zoning Ordinance Modification Project (ZMOD) was being considered in February 2021 the Federation objected to the process objected to its approval
Im May of 2021 resolution considered a resolution that would indicate the Federation support of rescinding the recent ZMod ordinance approval.
The Federation also objected to the subsequent Agritourism amendment which the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, again over numerous citizen objections, adopted on June 22, 2021
Graham Owen, a planner with the Fairfax County Department of Planning and Development
SSPA is land use planning process through which anyone in the community may submit proposals (called "nominations") to amend the Comprehensive Plan for individual sites. SSPA will kick off in October 2022, and as this will be a countywide cycle, most of the county will be eligible. He will brief on the process and how residents can participate.
Prince William County is proposing a plan for the development of certain parcels in what was once an environmental corridor in their county as data centers.
The residents in the county, concerned about this proposed usage, have joined together as the HOA roundtable of Prince William county to work to build their coalition of county and regional residents in opposing the PW Digital Gateway CPA data center project (resulting in the largest data center industrial corridor in the world at build out). Their mission is to employ the force multiplier of our HOAs and HOA umbrella organizations to educate and bring overwhelming numbers of residents to the opposition, which we estimate is in the tens of thousands, or even more if they only knew of this threat. Once educated about the magnitude and detrimental impacts, the opposition comes naturally.
They are concerned that the PWC Digital Gateway Comprehensive Plan Amendment allowing data center projects in what was their environmental corridor would be detrimental to the Occoquan Reservoir watershed which is managed by the Fairfax County Water Authority, providing water to surrounding settlements in northern Virginia to 1.2 million people, including over half of the population of Prince William County. Both the Mt Vernon and Sully districts CCA have passed resolutions expressing concern.
An ad hoc group of Federation, Western Fairfax CCA and HOA roundtable of Prince William county representatives is working to develop a resolution based on the MVCCA/SDCCA resolutions for adoption by the Federation. The proposed resolution would focus, as the MVCCA and SDCCA resolutions,
on the expected impacts of data centers on the Occoquan Watershed and the significant
consumption of water and power calls for studies, planning and standards to accommodate the
needs of energy and water for the siting of data centers as neither Fairfax County nor Prince
William County currently have plans to accommodate data centers as recommended by Fairfax
Water, Fairfax County's Department of Planning and Development. The resolution asks that both Fairfax and Prince William
Counties conduct appropriate land use, environmental and cultural impact studies, and adopt
policies to address data centers, prior to approval, and the resolution urges the Prince William County Board of
Supervisors to postpone approval of the data center proposed near Haymarket or other data
centers until appropriate studies and due diligence has been completed, and comprehensive
County plans have been adopted to address impacts, and to accommodate all energy, water and
other resource needs of proposed data centers and the other needs of the County
The Prince Willam County proposal is opposed by more than 30 environmental and historic preservation nonprofits, thousands of community members, the National Park Service, the Virginia Department of Forestry, and dozens of regional Homeowner Associations. They have sent two letters on this matter, the first to US Representative and Senators representing Virginia, and the second, sent to Virgina state legislators and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. Both letters ask the recipients to "add your voices and work with the Board of County Supervisors to guide this type of proposal to a more suitable location in the County, such as the existing Prince William Data Center Overlay District."
When the Federation board reviewed the draft resolution at their September 2022 meeting, they directed that the resolution be repurposed as a letter (Word)(Pdf).
The Federation membership will consider a revised version of the letter (Word)(Pdf) at its 22 September members meeting.
At the 18 May 2022 Fairfax County Planning Commission public hearing on the matter, the SDCCA and other citizens spoke against the amendment, chief among them Clyde Miller of the Holmes Run Valley Citizens Association.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Public hearing on this amendment is 28 June and the Land Use committee is working to develop a Federation position on this matter. This draft word version, dated 3 June, was used as a starting point.
Comments received on the 3 June draft were incoporated into a 16 June draft for the Federation's board review before authorizing it for consideration by the Federation membership.
The membership approved the resolution 23 June 2022. Our transportation chair, Jeff Parnes, presented our position before the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on 28 June 2022. This video clip is the public hearing in its entirety, Jeff's testimony, given in conjunction with the Sully District Council of Citizens Associations', starts at 9:33. You can see only his testimony here.
Fairfax County is proposing Agritourism and Related Changes — Proposed Zoning Ordinance Amendment
Section 3.2-6400 of the Code of Virginia defines agritourism activity as "any activity carried out on a farm or ranch that allows members of the general public, for recreational, entertainment, or educational purposes, to view or enjoy rural activities, including farming, wineries, ranching, historical, cultural, harvest-your-own activities, or natural activities and attractions. An activity is an agritourism activity whether or not the participant paid to participate in the activity." The Code goes on to address local regulation of agritourism activities in Section 15.2-2288.6 and states that no locality is allowed to regulate agritourism activities unless there is a substantial impact on the health, safety, or general welfare. However, the Code of Virginia does not identify any criteria by which to measure those impacts. Therefore, the Zoning Administrator has had to determine on a case-by-case basis whether such activity has a substantial impact on the health, safety, or general welfare of the public. Setting thresholds in the Zoning Ordinance will provide a predictable and consistent path for future agritourism activities in Fairfax County.
This amendment proposes to explicitly list, and define, agritourism as a permitted accessory use to agriculture while establishing use limitations that address concerns surrounding the health, safety and general welfare of the community. The following activities, and similar uses as determined by the Zoning Administrator, are under consideration to be permitted as an agritourism use in conjunction with an agriculture operation:
Farm tours including educational programs, workshops or demonstrations related to agriculture
Seasonal festivals including crop mazes or hayrides
Special events including but not limited to corporate and other private events, fundraising activities and weddings
Hiking, equestrian trails and other similar passive recreational activities
Other changes included in this amendment are related to farm worker housing, the Purpose and Intent of the R-A District, and the acreage required to establish agriculture in the R-1 District.
The Board of Supervisors Public Hearing is scheduled for 22 June 2021 at 4:30 p.m.
At the planning Commission public hearing all the testimony presented was in opposition. The this is a board-approved proposed resolution based on the Sully District Council of Citizens Associations position.
The Joint Sully District Land Use and Transportation Committee and others testified in opposition to the county's zoning ordinance modification at the Planning Commission's 12 May public hearing
The original Joint Committee position was the work of Jim Hart, past At-Large PC member and current member of the county's Board of Zoning Appeals,
The proposed resolution is based on the Joint Committee's position modified to remove the Sully-specific text and be more applicable to the county as a whole.
On Wednesday, 19 May, the PC took final action on the modification, but as of this meeting, the modified text of the amendment was not available to for review.
Jeff reached out to Jim Hart for his view on how to move forward with the resolution based on the PC actions of the night before.
Jim's comments follow:
You are shooting at a moving target. The PC made some changes at the last minute, took out the weddings/corporate events/party venue and reduced impervious surface in the R-C. The audio was cutting out and the meeting was somewhat incoherent. But despite the PC edits, everything is still on the table, and the BOS could put it all back. And last night [Sully PC] Evelyn Spain in particular seemed annoyed at some of the last minute changes about deleting weddings etc. so maybe [Sully Supervisor] Kathy Smith, who is making the motion, would put those back in.
I think by right "bed & breakfast" is still part of it.
I think it is reasonable to say that the Federation:
Reviewed the original staff proposal, which generated very serious objections;
Appreciated the PC making changes, eliminating some of the objectionable items [party venues by right] and attempting to limit impervious surface, but that the Federation has not had a chance to digest the new PC wording from last night, which was not available for public review and comment, and reserves the right to offer further input;
Shares its continued objections to the original proposal, recognizing these issues are still on the table; and
may follow up again, after review of the new wording recommended by the PC, text not yet available
The Board approved the resolution, to be modified by Jeff to incorporate Jim Hart's suggestions, then sent to Bill and Nancy for final review before distribution to the membership (to be found at Board Approved Resolution Agritourism
Here are the approved resolution and letter to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors conveying the resolution.
Mark Crawford introduced a resolution written by Doug Birnie, cochair of the Human Services Committee, that would indicate the Federation support of rescinding the recent ZMod ordinance approval. The move to rescind the zMOD modification is based on the fact that the county was acting under an emergency operations proclamation by the commonwealth, and the zMOD modifications should not have been approved as an emergency action.
The proposed resolution was approved by the board for submission to the Federation membership.
It will be reviewed will be reviewed by Nancy prior to posting.
The Federation sent the following statement on zMOD to the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors.
Dear Chairman Murphy and Members of the Planning Commission,
The Fairfax County Federation of Citizen Associations (Federation) urges all Planning Commission members to vote NO on your pending zMOD approval decision. The prudent action is to TABLE your decision for at least six months. The current document requires both public and Commissioners to better understand the range of problematic issues.
Fairfax needs modernization and simplification of its zoning ordinance and we acknowledge the dedicated and massive effort already done by county staff. However, the Federation has observed a groundswell of reasonable objections by residents, leaving many exposed problems and unanswered questions. This loud collective dissent about the current zMOD release compels to defer its passage at this time.
The Federation recognizes several dominant issues needing citizen, county staff and Planning Commissioners public resolution. These unresolved issues range from high-impact rulings concerning Accessory Living Units, Short Term Lodging, Home-Based Businesses, citizen compliance, and county enforcement, to rulings which affect neighborhood quality such as residential parking, percolation of stormwater, home flag poles, and signs in the yard. With outstanding issues like these, what is the rush for approval this month?
Given the fact that we are in the midst of a pandemic, citizen review of zMOD has been a challenge. Concerned citizens and businesses must have more time to review this ever- changing complex 700-page document. Note that its most recent release was just days before the virtual session for public comment. In the future, to make reviewing easier and to be consistent with both transparency and modernization itself, the Commission should release a draft version earlier with all its hyperlinks active.
The Federation strongly recommends the Planning Commission to TABLE its decision regarding zMOD for at least six months to allow citizens to continue reviewing the proposed changes, to continue holding transparent presentations, and to incorporate comments from all communities.
Thank you for your consideration and action on this economic and quality-of-life issue.
If you prefer to listen to the meeting on your phone, you may call 1-844-621-3956 and use access code: 179 933 2960. This is also the number to use if accessing TTY 711. (Please note each meeting has a unique link and call-in information.)
You will also be able to watch a live stream of the meeting on YouTube Live, which is also where you can watch the Jan. 25 meeting.
Kelly Atkinson, Department of Planning and Development
Judith Cabelli, Department of Housing and Community Development
Our speakers will cover a very active issue in Fairfax — accessory dwelling units, workforce dwelling units, etc. They will provide a clarification and status update as well as talk about revisions to the Comprehensive Plan Amendment, the policy for rental units, and recommendations considered to the Housing and Land Use Policy Plan volumes.
The WDU policy encourages residential proposals in development centers to commit 12% of the units in their projects to affordable levels for households with incomes ranging from 80%-120% of the Area Median Income (AMI) for the Washington DC metro area. A task force was established by the Board of Supervisors in March 2019 to recommend policy changes to reform the program and better match it with the housing needs in the county. In July 2020 the Board authorized staff to draft a Comprehensive Plan Amendment to revise the policy for rental units and to consider related changes to the Housing and Land Use Policy Plan volumes. They will introduce the proposed change to the community and solicit your feedback.
How does the county advertise the WDUs? Is there a web site that tells everyone when a unit opens up and is available for rent? — The owner's property/leasing staff market the units, and the ADU/WDU applicants apply through the properties standard application process. The county's HCD's website has the ADU/WDU Rental Program brochures (see below). The page also lists available rental ADUs/WDUs and is updated every month. Finally, some properties maintain a waiting list and contact applicants on the list when an ADU/WDU becomes available. See this site:
The Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations members and Board of Directors had previously recommended that all utility lines and communication lines be placed undergroundrecommended that all utility lines and communication lines be placed underground, particularly during Fairfax County road projects. This letter encourages their support to make this important planning action a reality.
The letter mentions the following reasons for our support of undergrounding:
Carmen Bishop, Principal Planner and Casey Judge, Senior Planner, with the Zoning Administration Division of the Department of Planning and Development
Mary Paden, South County Task Force
David Levine, President/CEO Good Shepard Housing
The speakers will present information about the housing needs in Fairfax County, specifically addressing the affordability and assisted living units programs. The Q&A is expected to clarify housing-related issues Federation members may have.
ADUâ€™s are only allowed for single-family detached homes in the county and currently require an occupant to be over the age of 55 or a person with a disability. The proposed regulations will remove the age and disability requirement, update the size limitations and ease the approval process for interested homeowners.
The county is looking at ways to consolidate the home-based business approval process and create a more equitable system. The proposed regulations will allow most home-based business owners to apply through an administrative process instead of the traditional public hearing before the Board of Zoning Appeals.
The proposed changes are part of zMOD , an effort to modernize zoning ordinances in Fairfax County.
Learn about the proposed changes and share your feedback here by 31 May.
At the Board of Supervisors meeting of 14 April they considered which activities they would allow to go forward during these pandemic times.
The item is worded as "Adoption of an Emergency Uncodified Ordinance to Extend the Validity of Certain Development Approvals to Assure Continuity in Fairfax County Government During the Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Emergency".
The Federation. as did many other citizens groups, requested that they defer, as did many other local governments, all consideration of land use cases until full and open citizen input could be solicited and given.
This letter was sent to the BOS stating our position.
Chairman McKay made a motion to adopt the emergency ordinance. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Foust. The motion carried by unanimous vote.
Here is the response we received from Chairman McKay
The Site-Specific Plan Amendment Process (SSPA) is an opportunity to participate in Fairfax County's land use planning process by submitting proposals (called Nominations) to amend the Area Plan volumes of the Comprehensive Plan (the Plan) and/or the Comprehensive Land Use Plan Map through the Plan Amendment Work Program. The Comprehensive Plan is the guide used by the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors to make land use decisions.
Background - This Resolutions, as adopted by its Membership on October 24, 2019, is the result of extensive research and review of the undergrounding of utilities by the Federation Environment and Land Use Committees, the Federation 2nd Vice President, and several Federation members. It is submitted to the Board for consideration and action which will impact the future wellbeing of Fairfax communities.
WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisor's (BOS) adopted a Policy Plan Objective 41 which encourages County citizens to "Construct underground transmission and distribution lines, whenever possible, along existing or planned utility or road rights-of-way, preferably on lot lines which will least disturb future development of the site"; and that "Visual impact should be a key element in the evaluation of proposed transmission line locations."; and,
WHEREAS, the BOSâ€™s Board Matter (dated March 5, 2019) directed the County Executive to invite the utility companies (Dominion, Cox, Comcast, Verizon, etc.) to attend a future Revitalization Board Committee Meeting to address undergrounding; and,
WHEREAS, the utility companies joined the BOSâ€™s Revitalization Committee on June 18, 2019 and stated that they were willing to work with the County on this matter for the Route 1 corridor; and,
WHEREAS, the Virginia Legislature passed and the Governor signed a bill on March 22, 2019, establishing a pilot program, running until June 30, 2022, for the undergrounding of utilities that allows local governments to request undergrounding of utilities in areas of transit oriented development, and for which the County, in a letter to the Governor, stated the costs to underground utilities cabling should be shared by the entity, the County and the utility; and,
WHEREAS, 75% of the Fairfax County Citizens that responded to the 2019 Fairfax Federation Legislative survey were in favor of undergrounding of utilities in conjunction with road widening and improvements and were willing to financially support such undergrounding; and,
WHEREAS, Washington, DC, is pursuing a 7 year project of undergrounding its utilities; and,
WHEREAS, Maryland has completed a thorough analysis of undergrounding its utilities; and,
WHEREAS, James City County and Prince William County have undergrounded utilities using a variety of funding measures; and,
WHEREAS, the value added to hardening the grid by undergrounding of utilities and communication lines is multifold; that is, undergrounding
Improves safety and reduces maintenance risks;
Reduces vehicular utility poles accidents and the consequent related injuries,
fatalities, and outages;
Reduces outages from storms, from which damages are costly for business and citizens;
Removes overhead power and communications lines and their supporting structuresand fencing, thus reducing deaths of birds and other wildlife;
Improves environmental and property aesthetics for communities and businesses.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations supports the undergrounding of utilities and communication lines throughout the County during the widening of or improvement to roadways and transportation projects; and,
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations urges the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and staff to make undergrounding an infrastructure improvement priority throughout Fairfax County.
This Resolution On Supporting the Flood Plain and Chesapeake Bay Ordinances was not presented for consideration at the 25 October 2018 membership meeting nor any subsequent meetings
This committee brought to the October 2018 Board meeting the proposed Plan Amendment to allow construction in the flood plain/resource protection area. Below is the draft resolution for Board Consideration in opposition. The resolution was drafted by Environmental Committee Co Chair and has been reviewed by the Environment Committee.
The planning commission public hearing is October 24th and the November 20th (tentative date) so it will need to be considered at the October membership meeting.
WHEREAS, Fairfax County is a leader in the protection and restoration of our local streams initiated by the Environmental Quality Corridor (EQC) policy that set aside stream valley buffers for protection, ultimately improving the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay;
WHEREAS, the purpose of the Floodplain Ordinance is "to protect against loss of life, health, or property from flood or other dangers";
WHEREAS, the proposed PA includes two lots that are in the 100-year floodplain, Environment Quality Corridor (EQC) and Resource Protection Area (RPA);
WHEREAS, it is expected that the mid-Atlantic region will experience more intense storms in the future due to climate change;
WHEREAS, Fairfax County is one of just two (2) jurisdictions in Virginia with a FEMA rating entitling Fairfax County residents to a discount on flood insurance;
WHEREAS, the FEMA rating is based on the strength and vigorous enforcement of the Floodplain Ordinance;
WHEREAS, implementation of Fairfax County watershed improvement plans will involve hundreds of millions of dollars of expenditures of monies collected from the Stormwater Utility fee that is paid by every property owner in Fairfax.
WHEREAS, land use decisions that allow for new residential lots within the Environment Quality Corridor (EQC), Resource Protection Area (RPA) and Floodplain (FP) without satisfying Comprehensive Plan Policy Guidance criteria jeopardize present stream protection will likely increase costs for future protection and restoration.
WHEREAS, there are other sites in the county with similar levels of degradation, this proposed Comprehensive Plan change has the capacity to create a precedent that would undermine EQC policy that has been in place since the mid-1970s.
WHEREAS, the EQC Policy has resulted in a significant number of acres of stream valley land being protected and remaining in a natural vegetated buffer state, providing ecosystem services in support of improved public health;
WHEREAS, the EQC guidance further states that disturbances should only be supported in "extraordinary circumstances" and result in a clear and substantial net environmental benefit;
WHEREAS, in 1993 the County adopted a Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance in which lands adjacent to the perennial portion (as delineated by USGS maps) of streams were designated as Resource Protection Areas (RPAs);
WHEREAS, at this time, County staff cannot conclude that the proposed rezoning application would result in an overall environmental improvement;
WHEREAS, the staff report states that county staff do not recommend approval of this Comprehensive Plan Amendment.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, The Fairfax Federation of Citizens Associations urges the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors to deny this amendment to the comprehensive plan which potentially creates a county-wide precedent with significant adverse impact to local environmental and stream protections reversing policies that have been successful and risks that County residents may lose valuable flood insurance discounts.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, The Fairfax County Federation of Citizen Associations fully supports the August 2018 position of the Environmental Quality Advisory Council urging the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors to deny this proposed change to the Comprehensive Plan.
Do you have an idea to amend the Comprehensive Plan - the county's guide for land use and development? The deadline for submitting your comments is quickly approaching!
Fairfax County launched the 2017 North County Site-Specific Plan Amendment Process (SSPA) with an open period for land use Plan nominations (changes) extending through 5 December 2017. Areas eligible for the North County review cycle include the Dranesville, Hunter Mill, Providence, and Sully Supervisor Districts.
Explore the North County SSPA through the following links:
You are invited to a community meeting with County staff on March 29, 2016 at 7:00 pm to learn about the start of the Dulles Suburban Center Study. This study will assess current conditions and update recommendations for future land uses and development for the 5,000 acre area adjacent to the Washington-Dulles International Airport, along the R! oute 28 and Route 50 corridors. The last Comprehensive review of land use recommendations occurred in 1993. The meeting will take place in the Sully District Community Room at 4900 Stonecroft Boulevard. For more information, including a map of the area, please visit the study webpage: www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpz/dullessuburbancenter
In response to the request by Sharon Bullova, Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors,
the Federation reviewed the General Assembly's bill to limit the use of proffers.
After much study and discussion, the Federation passed the following resolution:
This resolution was approved by the Membership of the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations on February 18, 2016. It is the position of the Federation on PROFFERS and is forwarded to the Fairfax Delegation to the Virginia General Assembly, the Fairfax Board of Supervisors, the press (both media and written) and is available to all Fairfax County residents.
1) WHEREAS, the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations (Federation) appreciates communication and cooperation between Fairfax County citizens, Fairfax Countyâ€™s Board of Supervisors (BOS) and the Fairfax County Delegation to the Virginia General Assembly, and
2) WHEREAS, this resolution is predicated on the General Assemblyâ€™s current actions (see Reference below) impacting the use by county governments in dealing with proffers from the home building industry, and
3) WHEREAS, proffers are available to any Virginia local jurisdiction such as Fairfax County, which may require proffers, as warranted, due to the impact of new residential, commercial and institutional construction upon existing county and state facilities, infrastructure, social & public safety services, and
4) WHEREAS, limiting the use of proffers by county governments for residential, commercial and institutional development removes an important local land use control and decision making aspect for management and stewardship of existing and future county facilities, infrastructure and social and public safety, and
5) WHEREAS, while parks, schools, and certain transportation areas may be excluded from pending proffer legislation, the loss of proffers may cause the need to raise Fairfax County real estate taxes to fund initiatives to offset adverse consequences of new development or to force the County to completely forgo such newly needed initiatives because of budgetary constraints, and
6) WHEREAS, Fairfax County strives to work closely with its development community to balance the socio-economic impacts of new development with County services and public facilities for County residents, and
7) WHEREAS, Fairfax County is known for not requesting unreasonable proffers, and only requires proffers to be related to the impact of the development on the public facilities, infrastructure, and social and safety services of the County or the quality of residentâ€™s lives in the proximate vicinity of the development, and
8) WHEREAS, Fairfax County does not require proffers that are deemed to be unreasonable; and that the continued use of proffers for residential, commercial, institutional developers are currently incorporated into Fairfax Countyâ€™s existing budget and are presently relied upon in County budgets for FY 2017 and FY 2018, and
9) WHEREAS, in their February 2, 2016, letter to the Fairfax General Assembly Delegation members, Chairman Bulova and the Board of Supervisors requested Fairfax Countyâ€™s land use authority be retained, and
10) WHEREAS, Chairman Bulova, the Board of Supervisors, several community organizations and Federation members have asked for the Federationâ€™s position on the Countyâ€™s use of proffers with the development community, therefore be it
RESOLVED that the Federation requests the Fairfax Countyâ€™s land use proffer authority be fully retained; and be it further
RESOLVED that the Federation requests the General Assembly establish and fund an economic impact study by George Mason University on the use of development proffers within the Commonwealth and within Fairfax County.
The Board of Supervisors (BOS) has underway a program to "urbanize" the county. "Urbanizing" means increasing the population density
and the amount of commercial floor area. Here are some recent actions by the county as part of this program:
Increasing FAR from 2.5 to 5.0 in Transit Station Areas, Commercial Revitalization Districts, Commercial Revitalization Areas and
Community Business Centers, as the proposed 2015 Zoning Ordinance Amendment allows (the FAR 5 ZOA), could double densities in such areas.
On 13 January 2016, the Federation held a workshop on the county's urbanization program at which the following presentations
Special zoning districts should be established in any area where county planners require floor area ratios approaching five. Blanket application
of FAR 5 is especially inappropriate in Commercial Revitalization Districts and Areas where developers are permitted to propose Comprehensive Plan amendments concurrently with rezoning applications
It's important that the citizens work with staff, planning commissioners, and our Supervisors to ensure redevelopment including mass transit, higher
density and mixed uses come to our Districts. Density is not a bad word.
The proposed FAR 5 density is excessive for most urbanizing areas. The density in these areas should not exceed that recommended in the area's local plan
and the associated infrastructure should be delivered at the time development occurs.
Plans for Tysons show that tall, closely packed buildings can be built even with FAR's much less than 5.0.
Seven planned redevelopments are shown, mostly from East Tysons, five of which have a FAR of less then 5.0.
The McLean Community Business Center is a revitalization area for which a concept plan has been developed.
The proposed Zoning Ordinance Amendment (ZOA) would enable much taller buildings to be built than the plan envisions.
The Fairfax County Park Authority has published the Draft Tysons
Park System Concept Plan, putting in motion the opportunity for public
review and comment on this planning document. The Tysons Park System
Concept Plan will guide future park development by the public, private
and non-profit sectors that will serve Tyson's residents, workforce and
visitors well into the future. The plan is available online at Tysons Park Planning. Publication of this draft document opens a 60-day comment period which closes on June 16, 2014.
Creating an urban park system as Tysons transforms to the
county's downtown will require vision, collaboration and a plan. A
connected network of urban parks will help to distinguish Tysons from
other urban areas and bring benefits to the local economy as well as
improving the quality of life. To help ensure that happens, the Park
Authority embarked upon an effort to develop a comprehensive park system
concept plan that will complement and refine the existing Tysons Urban
Most residents of Tysons will live in high-rise buildings and
may have different recreational needs than those who live in
traditional suburban neighborhoods. Without yards, these residents will
have a greater need for common open spaces that meet their needs for
socializing, exercising, dog walking, gardening and outdoor leisure. In
addition, Tyson employees and visitors will benefit from urban parks
that serve social, recreation and leisure needs in close proximity to
work and other attractions.
Currently, there are 89 acres of public parkland within
Tysons, mostly within stream valleys at the western and eastern edges of
the area. With no existing urban park spaces in the transit-oriented
core of Tysons, it is vital that redevelopment projects add accessible
urban park spaces.
The plan is the result of collaborative efforts between
multiple county agencies and an advisory group of citizens, park
planners and design professionals who guided the development of the
Conceptual Park System Map. The Concept Plan is organized according to
several key elements of the park system, including park placement and
typology, connectivity, athletic fields and other recreational
facilities, civic spaces and community building features, and
cultural/natural resource preservation.
Over the next few months there will be several opportunities
for the public to comment on the draft plan. Comments may be forwarded
On May 19, 2014 a Tysons Open House will take place at 7 p.m. at Spring
Hill Elementary School located at 8201 Lewinsville Road in McLean. An
additional day-time meeting will be scheduled between now and the close
of the public comment period.
For more information about the plan call Andi Dorlester at 703-324-8692 or visit Tysons Park Planning online.
Several public meetings have been scheduled to obtain community
feedback on proposed changes to both the Fairfax County Noise Ordinance
and the Group Assembly in Residential Dwellings Ordinance.
The suggested amendments to the Noise Ordinance propose to
better define appropriate and prohibited noises in all areas of the
county, officials said. The group-assembly proposal would more clearly
define in the Zoning Ordinance what would be considered an appropriate
group assembly use in conjunction with a dwelling, officials said.
Meetings will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at the following locations:
Wednesday, May 7 at South County Government Center, Main Conference Room.
Monday, May 12 at Fairfax County Government Center, Board Room.
Monday, May 19 at Lemon Road Elementary School.
"The overall goal of the proposed Noise Ordinance is to minimize
nighttime noise and guarantee residents a certain level of quietness
within their homes," county officials said. "The Zoning Ordinance does
not currently identify guidelines for the frequency or scale at which
group-assembly is considered to be a permitted accessory use to a
dwelling. Without such specificity, managing and addressing impacts of
these large, frequent gatherings becomes problematic."
The draft Zoning Ordinance text will limit the number of persons and frequency of large gatherings at a home, officials said.
The Fairfax County governmentâ€™s Department of Planning
and Zoning (DPZ) is considering a change to the Zoning Ordinance that
will permit "Residential Studios" in all residential areas under
"Special Exception" rules.
These 250-to-500 sq.ft. rental units would provide
affordable housing for households earning less than approximately
$60,000 (i.e., 60% of the area median income).
Single family homes could be converted to multi-family
buildings with Residential Studio apartments. The proposed ordinance can
be found at: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpz/zoningordinance/proposed/residentialstudioinputmemo.pdf.
On 19 September 2013, Federation members approved a
resolution concerning the Residential Studio Units, recommending
limiting their usage. Click here to see the resolution.
Although the last Planning Commission hearing was
held on January 6, 2014, a Residential Studios Committee was established
for further investigation. The dates and times for the Committee
meetings are listed below. All meetings will be open to the public and
will allow opportunities for discussion.
The outreach meeting schedule is:
Tuesday, February 11, 2014, at 7:00 p.m. Conference Rooms 4/5 Government Center
Monday, March 3, 2014, at 7:00 p.m. Conference Rooms 4/5 Government Center
Wednesday, March 26, 2014, at 7:00 p.m. Shared Conference Room 120C (inside the cafeteria) Government Center
These meetings will be followed by a public hearings before the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors.
These hearings have not yet been scheduled.
Fairfax Forward, the replacement for the Area Plan
Reviews (APR's) process, is being applied on a pilot basis to
5,550 acres along Route 29 between Centreville and
Fairfax City and
to areas along Route 28 from Centreville to the Dulles
Airport Access Road. As of January 2014, studies are just starting.
Chairman Sharon Bulova, in partnership with the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce
and the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations, sponsored a
three-part series on where we are, where we are going, and where we
want to be. For three nights in June panels of experts to examined our
shared past, our current state, and our exciting future.
First, look back at the last 40 years of land use trends,
patterns of development and community building in Fairfax County.
Second, examine the revitalization of Fairfax County's commercial
centers, the redevelopment of Tysons Corner, and the rise of
transit-oriented development. Last, a keynote speech led to breakout
sessions to answer the question: where do we want to go?
Critics complain that developers will do anything and
everything to maximize profits. The Federation's December 15 Membership
meeting will feature Mr.Peter Otteni, Vice President - Development,
Boston Properties. Boston Properties is a major developer in the Reston
Dulles Corridor and elsewhere in the D.C. area. As a Vice President in
the Development department in Washington, DC, Pete has direct
responsibility for all aspects of development projects throughout the
greater DC region, including land acquisition, financing, entitlement,
design, construction, and leasing. Since joining Boston Properties, Mr.
Otteni has managed or been directly involved with over 3 million square
feet of completed or in process office and retail development.
The evening gave folks a chance to interact with a
representative from the development community. Pete described the
developer's approach, debunked some myths, answered questions, and
looked for feedback about the development process.