Zoning Permits For Construction

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Zoning Permit Requirements

Anyone who may be considering property improvement projects requiring a Building Permit (BP) through the Office of Building Code Administration will need to obtain a Zoning Permit (ZP), pursuant to §6.20 of the Zoning Ordinance. In many cases, property improvements not requiring a BP still require a ZP.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to confirm Building Permit requirements. Please contact Building Code Administration (703-385-7830; for their requirements.

Property improvement projects that require a Zoning Permit include, but are not limited to:





  • New & Existing Tenant Fit Outs (may also require Use & Occupancy permit)


  • Exterior Renovations


  • Landlord Improvements (may also require Use & Occupancy permit)


  • Interior & Exterior Demolition


  • Telecommunication Equipment (Bonding required)


  • Permanent Ground-mounted signs (requires separate Sign Permit)


  • Any items located in the floodplain
  • Building construction or modification


  • Parking Lot Restriping


  • Vehicular access modifications


  • Pavement improvements


  • Fences & Walls


  • Dumpster Enclosures


  • Site Lighting


  • Any items located in the Chesapeake Bay Resource Protection Area (RPA) or floodplain





  • Accessory Dwelling Unit Construction (requires residential accessory use application)


  • Electrical (i.e. emergency generator)


  • Other Exterior Construction not involving land disturbance (i.e. new HVAC)


  • Any items located in the floodplain
  • New homes (requires residential use application)


  • Additions and building projections


  • Walls requiring a Building Permit


  • Attached and detached garages


  • Carports


  • Private outdoor recreation structures


  • Any items located in the Chesapeake Bay Resource Protection Area (RPA) or floodplain


  • Exterior improvements, visible from the public right-of-way or adjacent residential properties, may require approval by Board of Architectural Review (BAR).

  • If the proposed improvements are located in a community with a common association, check with your association on any restrictions or design guidelines.


Zoning Permit Submission

To submit a ZP, contact the Zoning Office:  All submissions must be made electronically and include a copy of submittals made to Building Code Administration. Each resubmission must also be provided to Zoning, including drawings and the comment response letter.


Each ZP application contains a list of minimum submission requirements, and must include:

  • All required signatures

  • A copy of the BP, as submitted to Code Administration

  • A copy of the building plans, as submitted to Code Administration

  • A scaled plat (residential) or modified site plan (commercial) showing the current conditions of the site, with proposed improvements shown (where exterior improvements are proposed).

  • All supporting documents as requested by staff

  • Comment response letter (for resubmissions)

Review of ZPs may result in comments, which must be adequately addressed prior to approval. Upon approval, Zoning approval will be provided and the ZP will be forwarded to Code Administration. ZPs may contain conditions of approval. Approved permits must be displayed at all times during construction.


The information provided in this document is intended as a guide only. These webpages have no legal status. The City of Fairfax Zoning Ordinance is the legislative act adopted by the City Council.