Fairfax County's Updated Zoning Ordinance: New Uses and Use Regulations Take Effect July 2021 - Wells + Associates

Fairfax County’s Updated Zoning Ordinance: New Uses and Use Regulations Take Effect July 2021

Fairfax County, Virginia’s updated Zoning Ordinance (Zoning Modernization initiative, or “zMOD”) took effect on July 1, 2021. The Ordinance regulates land use and is intended to promote the health, safety, and general welfare of the public and to implement orderly and controlled development via the County’s Comprehensive Plan.

What Has Changed in the Updated Zoning Ordinance?

As we’ve been tracking the progress of the County’s zMOD initiative, we note that little has actually changed with regard to specific standards and regulations that impact most of our traffic and transportation work and our clients.

It should be noted, however, that the entire structure of the Ordinance has been revised so that references to articles and sections have changed. Other more substantive changes to use regulations (especially parking requirements) are currently under study by Fairfax County. We will continue to track these developments.

Fairfax County Updated zMOD Zoning Ordinance - thumbnail image of executive summary
An executive summary of the notable Ordinance changes can be found in the zMOD Executive Summary.

Several notable uses and use regulations that have been added in the new version:

  • Live-work units – New use and development standards
  • Stacked Townhouses – New use and development standards (including updated parking requirement to 2.3 spaces/DU)
  • Adult Day Care – New standards
  • Banquet Hall – New standards
  • Indoor and Outdoor Commercial Recreation – Consolidates previous land use categories and introduces new standards and limitations
  • Data Center – New use and development standards
  • Goods Distribution Hub – New use and development standards
  • EV Charging – Adds and formalizes standards to encourage more EV Charging facilities; EV spaces ‘officially’ count towards a site’s parking requirement.

Finally, it should be noted that any zoning application that was submitted prior to July 1, 2021 may still apply the former version of the Zoning Ordinance.

For complete access to information about the ordinance, visit the Fairfax County Zoning Ordinance website. Feel free to reach out to us for more information on how this may impact your plans.