Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield) and Fairfax County Staff will hold a community meeting regarding the County’s proposed Agritourism Zoning Ordinance Amendment, changes to the requirements for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and the addition of a Rural Resort use. Supervisor Herrity will share his concerns on the impact of these changes on our residential neighborhood.
Community meeting, staff presentation, and question and answer session will inform residents and obtain feedback on the County’s proposed Agritourism Zoning Ordinance Amendment, changes to the requirements for ADUs.
The meeting will be held at the Clifton Town Hall, 12641 Chapel Road in Clifton, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 7:30 p.m.
The Code of Virginia permits agritourism by-right when associated with an agricultural operation. However, localities may regulate agritourism activities when there is a significant impact to the health, safety, or general welfare of the public. Agritourism activities are carried out on a farm for recreational, entertainment, or educational purposes. County staff has proposed definitions for agritourism and use limitations to provide thresholds for a predictable and consistent path for future agritourism activities. Also, the County is considering proposing a new land use, “Rural Resort” as a special exception use in certain zoning districts on 20 acres or more. This would allow for the hosting of events such as weddings and corporate retreats on rural properties. Supervisor Herrity has significant concerns with the proposed Rural Resort use, especially in the Occoquan Watershed (R-C).
Staff is also proposing revisions to standards for ADUs. Currently, all ADUs require special permit review before the Board of Zoning Appeals. Staff is proposing a more streamlined process that would allow administrative approval of an ADU when located within the principal dwelling. Staff is also proposing to limit the size to 1200 square feet. Currently, an ADU is only allowed if someone on the property meets certain age or disability restrictions, but the Board and staff are looking to eliminate those constraints which may result in an increase of these units in our residential neighborhoods. Supervisor Herrity supports easing the requirements for ADUs with the current age and disability restrictions but opposes eliminating these restrictions. Eliminating these restrictions would give most residential housing the ability to add an additional dwelling unit and has the potential to significantly increase the density in our residential neighborhoods.
Supervisor Herrity plans to inform the community of the details of these proposals and get its feedback. Staff will be making a brief presentation on these proposals followed by a questions and answer session and an opportunity to provide feedback.