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Board of Supervisors will give zoning overhaul another go after code struck down by Virginia courts

In front of the Fairfax County Government Center (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is going to take a second stab at its ambitious Zoning Ordinance Modernization Project (zMOD) after Virginia’s Supreme Court struck down the prior approval.

The county’s zMOD overhaul involved a variety of sweeping changes to the zoning ordinance, from loosening limits on accessory dwelling units to changes in regulations governing flags and flagpoles.

Unfortunately for the Board of Supervisors, the Virginia Supreme Court voided the 2021 approval of zMOD because the meeting where it was approved and prior public hearings were held virtually, which it said violated the county’s Virginia Freedom of Information Act requirements.

The ruling raised questions about development and land use decisions made in the wake of the zoning code update, though Virginia passed a new law last year that loosened restrictions on virtual public meetings.

Tomorrow (Tuesday), the board is set to start the public hearing process to give zMOD approval another go. An administrative item at the board’s meeting for tomorrow would grant “authorization to advertise public hearings on the readoption of the zoning ordinance.”

According to the docket:

If the Board’s 2021 adoption of the zMOD Ordinance was void, so was the contemporaneous repeal of the 1978 Zoning Ordinance (as amended), leaving that earlier Ordinance still in effect. As a result, new public hearings are required for reconsideration of the zMOD Ordinance as previously adopted on March 23, 2021. And while subsequent Zoning Ordinance amendments are not addressed in the opinion, staff recommends that they be included as part of the complete Zoning Ordinance being considered.

Unsurprisingly, the county executive is recommending that the board authorize advertisement of public hearings for an ordinance it already approved in a 7-3 vote on March 23, 2021.

If the advertisement of public hearings is approved, those will come at the May 3 Planning Commission meeting and the May 9 Board of Supervisors meeting, meaning zMOD could be reapproved less than two months after the original approval was struck down.

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We invite you to visit our website and explore our full Summer Session schedule, brimming with a diverse range of classes and camps. Classes and camps begin June 20th. Unleash your inner artist, broaden your horizons, and embark on a summer adventure like no other. Let’s make this a summer to remember at Art House 7!

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Potomac Harmony Chorus has a new director! We’re ready
to kick off the season with new music, a new approach, and YOU!

Potomac Harmony is one of 500 choruses in Sweet
Adelines International. We’re a vibrant,
contemporary, inclusive, welcoming, and open community of women singers who
perform four-part harmony, barbershop style, committed to a high level of
achievement through teaching, mentoring, personal growth, and performance. Our vision is to entertain, educate, and
enrich lives through musical expression while promoting the barbershop art

Potomac Harmony recently had our first performance
with our new director, receiving rave reviews! We invite you to stop by any Wednesday
evening and be part of the fun and harmony!

Read More

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Army Birthday Festival – Free and Fun

Make Saturday, June 10, 2023 a great day!

Come celebrate the Army Birthday Festival at the National Museum of the U.S. Army from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Rain or Shine!

• Experience outdoor and indoor fun activities, for all

Unveiling of West Ford historical highway marker

Gum Springs will be celebrating 190 years of its founding by freedman West Ford on Saturday, June 17, 2023. To kick-off the celebration, there will be an unveiling of a Virginia historical highway marker for West Ford on Fordson Road


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