Friday, Mar 18, 2016

Fairfax Resumes Long-Awaited Dulles Area Planning Effort

Map of affected area
Source: Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning

After a brief hiatus, the Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning (DPZ) is reviving its Dulles Suburban Center Study (PA 2013-III-DS1) to analyze the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan’s land use recommendations for the Dulles Suburban Center. Like a business plan, a jurisdiction’s comprehensive plan, which provides the framework for how a community will grow, must evolve over time to be effective.

The Dulles Suburban Center area, which comprises approximately 6,000 acres in the Chantilly, South Herndon, and Oak Hill areas, is generally located east and south of Dulles International Airport and includes the Route 28, Route 50, and Centreville Road corridors. An interactive map of the Dulles Suburban Center may be found here (note that Land Units “A” and “B” (located north of Frying Pan Road) are excluded from the study).

Street map of affected area
Source: Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning

The planning effort will review current land-use conditions within the Dulles Suburban Center and determine the viability of the existing Comprehensive Plan recommendations. Where appropriate, the study will suggest new land-use recommendations as well as alternative visions for future growth and development.

Originally authorized by the Board of Supervisors in 2013 as part of DPZ’s Comprehensive Plan Amendment Work Program, the study was placed on hold until the commencement of the Board’s 2016 term. Acknowledging the need for flexibility to respond to market demands and changing conditions, the study represents the first area-wide editorial update to the Dulles Suburban Center’s policies since they were first crafted in March 1993. The study’s timing seems particularly appropriate, given that four out-of-turn, project-specific plan amendments were approved within the Dulles Suburban Center area in 2015.

Throughout the study process, DPZ staff will work directly with community residents, local businesses, and area landowners to solicit input and ideas for textual changes. Property owners and citizens interested in submitting suggested revisions may do so between March 20 and May 31, 2016. Following this submission period, suggestions will be analyzed by staff before being forwarded to the Planning Commission for review. Ultimately, the Planning Commission’s recommended text will be sent to the Board of Supervisors for action, likely in mid 2017.

An informational kick-off meeting will be held March 29 at 7:00 p.m. at the Sully District Community Room, 4900 Stonecroft Boulevard, Chantilly, Virginia 20151. Additional information may be found on DPZ’s Dulles Suburban Center study website.