Vol. 23, No. 1 February 9, 2015

City of Fairfax Rewriting Zoning Ordinance

The City of Fairfax is currently in the process of rewriting the City’s Zoning Ordinance. Three committee meetings were held in 2014, and another took place in January of this year. Full details and draft documents can be found here. WSSI staff participated in the process and helped develop the changes to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation section. It should be noted that all aspects of the Zoning Ordinance are being reviewed, and many changes and additions are proposed (e.g., new zoning section for food trucks). The changes to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation section are significant, but should serve to make the process simpler for those submitting Water Quality Impact Assessments.
Under the current Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance, Water Quality Impact Assessments (which incorporate the site's Resource Protection Area boundaries) are required to be certified as complete and accurate by a class IIIB land surveyor and a professional wetlands expert. This is problematic to complete, as there are only 104 class IIIB land surveyors in the Commonwealth. The proposed ordinance would allow the certification to be completed by a professional engineer, land surveyor, landscape architect, soil scientist, or wetland delineator certified or licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia, as allowed by state regulations. Additionally, the proposed language now requires a jurisdictional determination or verification letter from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for all waters of the U.S. as part of the RPA boundary determination, which is consistent with the Fairfax County's Public Facilities Manual (PFM).
The public is invited to attend and listen to the committee meetings. A public hearing will be held once the committee meetings are complete (date to be determined). The City anticipates adopting a revised Zoning Ordinance in 2015.
Please contact Ben Rosner or Mike Rolband with any questions regarding these proposed changes.