zMOD: Fairfax County Zoning Modifications

On March 23, 2021, the Board of Supervisors adopted a new and modernized Zoning Ordinance as a part of the Zoning Ordinance Modernization (zMOD) project. This new Ordinance, which replaces the previous 1978 Ordinance, is easier to read and understand and includes more tables, graphics, and hyperlinks. By this summer, the Ordinance will be integrated into a user-friendly online platform that will be easy to navigate and usable on multiple devices, including cellphones and tablets. The new Ordinance includes modernized land uses and regulations, and corrected gaps and inconsistencies in other regulations. The regulations become effective on July 1, 2021.

Notable changes include:

  • Removing the age and disability requirement for accessory living units (previously known as accessory dwelling units) and changing the process from requiring special permit approval to an administrative permit for interior units

  • Modernizing the home-based business use and permitting customers with special permit approval

  • Adding a maximum flagpole height of 25 feet for lots with single-family dwellings or manufactured homes and 60 feet for lots with all other uses, with the ability to request a special permit for an increased height. No limit on the size of flags was added

  • Allowing accessory structures, such as sheds, children’s play equipment, and gazebos, up to 12 feet in height to be located five feet from the side and rear lot lines.

For more information, visit: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/planning-development/zmod

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