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Fairfax County Zoning Open House July 26, 2017


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Fairfax County held an open house on proposed zoning changes on July 26, 2017. The county is considering amendments for restaurants, signs, rear yard coverage, minor modifications, agricultural districts and continuing care communities.

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Fairfax County Zoning Open House July 26, 2017

  1. 1. Open House Zoning Ordinance Hot Topics Zoning Administration Division Fairfax County Department of Planning & Zoning
  2. 2. Who Are We? Herrity Building 12055 Government Center Pkwy Fairfax, VA 22035 Zoning Administration Division Ordinance Administration Branch Suite 807 Phone: 703-324-1314 Fax: 703-803-6372 Zoning Permit Review Branch Suite 250 Phone: 703-222-1082 Fax: 703-803-2301 Zoning Inspections Branch Suite 829 Phone: 703-324-4300 Fax: 703-324-1343
  3. 3. Who Are We?
  4. 4. ZAD MISSION STATEMENT The primary mission of the Zoning Administration Division is to interpret and implement the adopted Zoning Ordinance in a fair, consistent and accurate manner. When necessary, ZAD prepares amendments to the Zoning and Noise Ordinances to better reflect the community’s needs, values and goals.
  5. 5. What Do We Do? • Prepare Zoning Ordinance and Noise Ordinance Amendments • Prepare responses to request for Zoning Ordinance interpretations • Prepare responses to zoning compliance letter requests • Prepare and present staff reports for appeals of Zoning Administrator decisions
  6. 6. What is Zoning? Means of implementing the Comprehensive Plan. Regulates land uses and structures. Creates distinct districts to allocate land uses.
  7. 7. What are the Purposes of Zoning? • Orderly development of land. • Protect health, safety & general welfare. • Encourage preservation of the natural environment and conservation of natural and historic resources, • Encourage positive economic development.
  8. 8. Zoning Ordinance History First Fairfax County Zoning Ordinance was adopted in 1941. The most recent edition of the Zoning Ordinance was adopted in 1978. To date this edition has had over 450 amendments.
  9. 9. CURRENT HOT TOPICS!! Zoning Ordinance Modernization (ZMOD) Short Term Rentals Restaurants Minor Modifications Minimum Required Rear Yard Coverage Agricultural Districts and Uses Sign Ordinance Continuing Care
  10. 10. The current definitions are based on detailed operational characteristics: Restaurant types have evolved and many, such as the popular fast-casual establishments, blur the previous distinctions. Future changes in operational practices are likely to continue this trend. The proposed definitions would classify restaurants as: • Restaurant • Restaurant with Drive-through, or • Carryout Restaurant Restaurants
  11. 11. Min. Required Rear Yard Coverage • Applicable only to single-family detached residential lots; • Currently limited to 30% maximum coverage; • Increasingly common to have more hardscaping and other outdoor amenities in rear yards, including patios, pool decking, and hardscape features; • Amendment proposed to provide residents increased flexibility and a means of requesting additional coverage; • Problematic for Planned Development (“P District”) lots with very small rear yards.
  12. 12. Min. Required Rear Yard Coverage Amendment as Proposed Would: • Distinguish between lots in Conventional (“R”) Zoning Districts vs. Planned Development (“P”) Districts; • Exempt P District Lots below 5,000 square feet; • Increase the coverage allowed on each lot type; • Create Special Permit to exceed permitted coverage; • Clarify what is counted as coverage and how it is counted, using graphics.
  13. 13. Short Term Rentals Why changes are being proposed? The General Assembly passed Senate Bill 1578, giving localities the authority to require registration of Short- Term Rentals. As a result, a working group has been established to draft zoning regulations for Short-Term Rentals & establish a registry of Short-Term Rentals. The working group seeks to balance residents' interests to protect the character of their neighborhood with the interests of persons wanting to operate Short-Term Rentals within their residence.
  14. 14. Short Term Rentals (STR) Please visit rentals.htm for more information on the proposed Zoning Ordinance Amendment on STRs, where you will find: • Link to Survey on STRs • Upcoming meeting & public hearing calendar • FAQs • And other information regarding the STR review process
  15. 15. AGRICULTURAL DISTRICTS AND USES (INCLUDING AGRITOURISM) The Board of Supervisors adopted the Zoning Ordinance Amendment Work Program for 2017 to include amendments that will establish/revise the regulations related to agricultural uses and agritourism uses. As a result, staff will review zoning districts in which agricultural activities are permitted; address trends to include more community-based and urban agricultural forms; address agritourism uses as set forth in the State Code; and review provisions allowing for the sale of agricultural/garden products.
  16. 16. CONTINUING CARE COMMUNITIES The Zoning Ordinance accommodates independent living facilities and a variety of assisted living/nursing care/memory care facilities as separate uses. The Board of Supervisors adopted the Zoning Ordinance Amendment Work Program for 2017 to include amendments to establish a use/district the combines all elements of a continuing care community
  17. 17. Zoning Ordinance Modernization Project Re-formatting/restructuring the Zoning Ordinance Processing of prioritized Zoning Ordinance Amendments of county-wide priority Implementing process improvements related the processing of Zoning Ordinance Amendments and other zoning- related activities Integrating with, but not replacing, Zoning Ordinance Amendment Work Program
  18. 18. Minor Modifications Amendment • What are Minor Modifications? • Limited changes that can be made to approved zonings by the Zoning Administrator upon a determination of substantial conformance • Designed to address final engineering and design issues, or other changes that occur over time
  19. 19. Minor Modifications Amendment • The proposed Amendment: • streamlines and reformats the text to be more user friendly; eliminates duplicate text and unnecessary verbiage; uses more understandable language • For proffered rezoning's, special exceptions and special permits • adds more staff flexibility to the existing provisions in four areas
  20. 20. Why Are We Proposing This Amendment? • United States Supreme Court decided Reed v. Town of Gilbert on June 18, 2015 • The Supreme Court decided that an ordinance that is “content-based” could not survive the strict scrutiny required by the First Amendment to protect freedom of speech. Signs
  21. 21. Why Are We Proposing This Amendment? • Fairfax County’s sign ordinance needs to be amended to respond to the Gilbert decision • Primary areas of concern include prohibited signs, exempt signs and broad sign categories Signs
  22. 22. Resources Please visit the following websites for information on each topic: Board of Supervisors’ Development Process Committee: committees/meetings/ Department of Planning and Zoning: Zoning Ordinance: Proposed Zoning Ordinance Amendments: zMOD: Short-Term Rentals: