Fairfax County, Virginia, Extends Emergency Ordinances Permitting Flexibility During COVID-19

July 28, 2021

The Fairfax County, Virginia, Board of Supervisors recently approved an extension to the emergency ordinance that permits flexibility for uses impacted by COVID-19. This includes extending temporary approvals for outdoor dining and outdoor fitness and exercise activities, thereby suspending any requirement for individualized approval of such activities.

The Board of Supervisors’ action also extends the Zoning Administrator’s ability to allow temporary modifications needed to address COVID-19-related impacts. Specifically, the ordinance continues to suspend any proffer, development condition or ordinance provision to the extent it would otherwise preclude a temporary modification to an activity, use or structure where the Zoning Administrator determines the modification is needed to respond to the COVID-19 emergency or its impacts.

In addition, the Board of Supervisors adopted an amendment to the emergency ordinance to reduce or waive certain zoning and development fees for hospitality businesses — such as hotels, restaurants, craft beverage establishments, health and exercise facilities, and commercial recreation establishments — as they work to re-establish, reconfigure or expand their spaces during the emergency and its aftermath. Fees for special permits, special exceptions, building and trade permits, site permits, and construction-related fire marshal fees generally will be reduced by as much as 75 percent.