WHAT IS zMOD? zMOD is
short for Zoning Modernization. Fairfax County’s zoning ordinance is
the law that describes permitted uses for various sections of land
(residential, commercial, or industrial areas, density of uses, building
heights, placement of buildings, parking, acceptable uses, etc.)
ISSUE: Fairfax County staff is rewriting its zoning laws. County residents were told that the modernization would not introduce substantive changes.
GET THE FACTS: The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has a lot to think about after the community spoke yesterday on why a one-size-fits-all approach to zoning is simply misguided! Reston residents, led by the CPR team, did a great job covering the key problems with zMOD and what it could mean for planned communities like Reston. Tell us what you think.
Right NOW, the Board of Supervisors are deciding if they want to make any changes to the proposal presented by staff.
NO LATER THAN SUNDAY NIGHT MARCH 21st
Please write to our Supervisor Walter Alcorn and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to let them know what changes you want to see most before their meeting on March 23, 2021.
695 pages of zoning language can be a daunting task to analyze. For example, the mandated zoning language, Article 9: 9100.2 "Must" and “Shall” must not be removed from the zoning laws that protects Reston's density (page 627 of zMOD).
Other recurring themes we see include:
- Proposals that change regulations without thinking through unintended consequences and without providing effective protections for neighborhoods from over-development,
- Proposals that nullify current regulations that protect neighborhoods from poor or unplanned growth,
- Proposals that promote the Board’s authority to modify on a case-by-case basis (aka spot zoning by special exception),
- Proposals that use administrative permits where now permits are currently required. Special permits allow resident participation in shaping developments in their community’s administrative permits do not even require notification,
- Proposed uses that are insufficiently limited in scope by ordinance language, and
- Inadequate provisions for county inspections or
enforcement where uses have a potential to damage communities, pitting
neighbors against neighbors and instigating disputes where none exist