Future Scenario Planning

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The purpose of scenario planning is to understand the impacts of various types of development scenarios on the future shape, pattern and direction of growth in the city. The scenario planning effort will assist in developing the city’s Future Land Use Map as part of the 2035 Comprehensive Plan.

Below is the timeline of public meetings and public comments received. Click on the link to view associated materials.

  • Wednesday, November 15, 2017 - City staff held a public meeting seeking community input on proposed future growth and development scenarios and inviting the public to develop their own future development scenario.
  • Public Comments - Maps Staff received 18 proposed scenario maps and comments completed by citizens during and after the November meeting.
  • Thursday, December 7, 2017At a follow-up public meeting, city staff presented analyses of each scenario. The outcomes include land use, housing, demographics, economic growth, fiscal impacts, transportation, and environmental factors.
  • Public Comments - SurveyStaff received a total of 94 responses to the online survey that was available from December 13, 2017 until February 1, 2018.

Public Comments

The public was encouraged to provide feedback on the five scenarios through an online survey or by completing a paper survey. The results of the survey can be viewed, including comments received, by clicking on the charts below.

 Feb 12 Scenario Survey Results_Page_1    Feb 12 Scenario Survey Results_Page_2


The feedback received will help the Planning Commission and staff in preparing the 2035 Comprehensive Plan future land use map, which shows the desired future land uses organized by category. The future land use map informs zoning and development decisions. 

Second Public Meeting - December 7

The presentation given at the beginning of the meeting can be viewed as a slideshow below or by clicking here to download the PDF version.


Staff analyzed five possible development scenarios. Parcels were chosen as part of the analysis based on locations that met the intent of the scenario and size of parcels needed to produce the desired amount of housing or commercial uses in that area. These maps are for illustrative purposes only to demonstrate location and concentration of development. Click on any of the images below to view a PDF of the packet handed out at the meeting.

Analyzed Scenario1Analyzed Scenario2Analyzed Scenario3


Analyzed Scenario4Analyzed Scenario5


Public Comments

Staff received 18 proposed scenario maps and comments completed by citizens. Those public comments and maps can be viewed here or by clicking the example map below.

Citizen Scenarios



First Public Meeting - November 15

The presentation given at the beginning of the meeting can be viewed as a slideshow below or by clicking here to download the PDF version.


Staff presented four possible scenarios for the future growth of the City as shown below.

Scenario Planning - All-4-Scenarios

Now it is your turn to create your own future development scenario for the city by placing color coded dots on ANY  location on the map of the city where you think new retail (RED), office (BLUE) and housing (YELLOW) developments should occur in the City over the next 20 years. Use your imagination!

Next to the dots, write the letter of your preferred development type (A through T) from the examples shown on the handout. This tells us what you want that use to look like and what scale of development.


Click on the images to the right of the map and development types to view PDF versions to print and complete.

If you are able to scan your completed map please email it to

You can also drop your map off at our office in room 207 of City Hall or mail it to City of Fairfax, Community Development and Planning, 10455 Armstrong St, Fairfax, VA 22030. 

Please have any proposed scenario maps to our office by close of business on Monday, November 27 so we can incorporate your thoughts into our analysis for the December 7 meeting.

Scenario Planning Handout - Blank Map

Scenario Planning Handout - Development Types

Information Presented at the Meeting 

Click on the images below to view PDF versions that can be printed.

Scenario Planning Handout - What is Development Scenario Planning_Page_1Scenario Planning Handout - What is Development Scenario Planning_Page_2

Scenario Planning -Background-InfoScenario Planning  - Recent-Projects-Board




Questions Asked at the Meeting

 Question/Comment  Response
Does the Envision Tomorrow software allow for goal-setting? E.g., if a goal is dealing with traffic and transportation between land uses 

Yes and no. The software has some traffic inputs (trip generation) and we can evaluate how different land use patterns affect internal traffic, but does not address external traffic (which is addressed in separate processes) 

Do the different sized “blobs” on the scenario maps indicate types of development? (E.g. big circles = mixed use/commercial, smaller circles = residential?)

Not necessarily. Trying to represent both character / development type and intensity / quantity of development. 

The current comp plan (land use map) seems to align mostly with scenario 1, while other scenarios represent more change?

Correct – purple on the current future land use map is mixed use, in/around Fairfax Circle, Northfax, etc. 

What are Mt Vineyard, Paul VI shown as under current comprehensive plan?

Mt Vineyard is shown as residential (high density) on the future land use map; Paul VI is institutional.

Thinking back to the University charrette (a few years ago) – discussed another town center off of University Drive. That made sense (“new town” south of “old town”) – where is that now? There seems to be a lot of parking lot land on south University 

Incorporated in Scenario 3 and Scenario 4 (south of downtown, Inova Sunrise)
Davies property – is that considered part of downtown? Is the area down to School St. included in downtown

The south downtown area (discussed in the charrette/considered in these scenarios) approximately incorporates the area from Armstrong to Sager 

Why is there development in the Army Navy Country Club? Is the City actively looking to develop there? Seems unlikely that the club would sell

The City is not advocating for or actively working to develop there – this is more of a theoretical / hypothetical scenario in the future 

How does this plan relate to developers? I.e., could this help encourage redevelopment of existing properties?

The comp plan helps align future site development plans with the community’s goals for the location and character of development/redevelopment.

How does the scenario planning fit into the comp plan update? When will the comp plan update be complete?

Scenario planning feeds into the comp plan recommendations. Estimate that the updated comp plan will be adopted in spring/summer 2018

Green Acres planned for development?

Not currently, for a number of reasons. 1) it’s City owned, 2) it’s outside the main area, isn’t really viable for busy commercial / retail activity, and 3) the school board has first right of refusal if/when it is sold – they may want to put another elementary school there

When changing land use designations, how does that affect current property owners?

Current property owners not adversely affected by comp plan changes. There is a distinction between zoning codes (legal requirements) and comp plan (recommendations/guidelines)

Does the city center area include the Safeway center? Or the Willard Health Center? 

The exact boundaries of these areas are undefined, but generally the concept of old town includes the area up to Layton Hall Drive

George Mason University thinks of themselves as an “economic engine” for the city. Are there options for bringing them more into the city (e.g. leasing a building in the city for a business school expansion instead of Mason building up in their area?)

Potentially there are opportunities to integrate Mason more into the city, but they do have their own land use plan as well
The Northfax area shows a desire for mixed use – we’ve tried to do that before, how do we get there? 

The planning commission has had many debates on this, trying to define what mixed use is/should be (e.g. first floor retail with residents above vs retail next door to residential)

Will there be opportunities for people to comment on the scenario plans if they aren’t here tonight?

Yes – we will also have a table at the Van Dyck public meeting tomorrow (11/16), and people can also go online / email comments.