Board of Architectural Review (BAR)

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Click here for updates on the Design Guidelines Rewrite

BAR Meetings 

The Board of Architectural Review (BAR) meets on the first and third Wednesdays of each month with the exception of August when all boards and commissions are in summer recess. The meetings are held at City Hall, in the City Council chambers at 7:00 P.M.

Meeting Date Agendas Reports  Actions Minutes
7/18/18 Agenda

Item 4

Item 5

7/11/18 (Special Meeting) Agenda


6/20/18  Agenda

Item 4

Item 5, Attachments 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d1, 2d2, 3

Item 6

Actions Minutes
6/6/18 CANCELED       
5/23/18 (Special Meeting) Agenda Item 4
Item 5
Item 6, Attachments 2a, 2b, 2c, 3a, 3b, 3c, 4
Actions Minutes
5/16/18 CANCELED      
5/2/18 CANCELED       
4/18/18 CANCELED       
4/4/18  CANCELED       
3/28/18 (Special Meeting) Agenda

Item 4, Attachments 2, 3, 4, 5a 1, 5a 2, 5b

Item 5

Actions Minutes


If you have questions concerning the BAR submission process, the scheduling of hearings, or design guidance, please contact the BAR Liaison:

Tommy Scibilia    703.385.7892

Click here to download the BAR application, which includes information regarding Guidelines for Submission, Review Criteria and a Submission Checklist.

General Information

The BAR assesses all significant improvements or changes to architectural and landscape features visible from public places (rights-of-way, squares, parks, government sites, and similar) prior to construction or installation with the exception of:

  • Repair work or exact replacements
  • Construction of and modifications to single-family detached houses outside the Historic Districts
  • Construction of and modifications to single-family attached housing, duplexes, and town houses outside of the Historic and Transition Districts
  • Modifications to single-family attached housing, duplexes, and town houses in the Transition Overlay District after their initial construction

Approved projects are awarded a major certificate of appropriateness (COA). Certain minor improvements may not require BAR review, and may be approved administratively and awarded a minor COA.

In Special Use, Special Exception, Rezoning, and Planned Development reviews where a COA is required, the BAR must provide a recommendation to City Council who may then approve the COA themselves, or refer it back to the BAR for final approval.

BAR approval does not take the place of construction permits, sign permits, or other required permits and licenses. If a site plan is required, final approval and building and construction permits may not be issued until after BAR approval. Please ensure that plans submitted for these permits reflect any conditions of approval adopted by the BAR.

Design Review Documents

Staff and the BAR, among other users, assess the appropriateness of a project using either the Design Guidelines for the Old Town Fairfax Historic and Transition Districts if the property lies within the boundaries of one of those overlay districts, or the Community Appearance Plan if it does not. These documents can be accessed from the Community Development web page.

Projects are also reviewed for compliance with the provisions of both the Zoning Ordinance and the Comprehensive Plan.

BAR Members

The Board of Architectural Review is composed of seven members appointed by the city council.

In the event of a vacancy on the Board, interested parties may contact the BAR Liaison for desired qualifications and application instructions.


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