“Parking Reimagined”: A Fresh Approach to Modernizing County Parking

Real Estate, Land Use & Construction Law

“Parking Reimagined”: A Fresh Approach to Modernizing County Parking

Oct 19, 2023 | Real Estate, Land Use & Construction Law

In a practical move towards modern urban planning, Fairfax County’s Parking Reimagined project has taken a big step in reshaping the local parking landscape. Having received approval from the Board of Supervisors following a public hearing on September 26, 2023, the initiative targets modernizing off-street parking and loading requirements, ensuring they’re in sync with current and future needs.

Spotlight on the Innovative Changes

  1. Tiered Parking Framework

The tiered system prioritizes areas, offering reduced parking rates in zones with robust public transit or a versatile mix of land uses.

  1. Residential Rightsizing

The updated regulations refine parking rules across housing varieties. Now, certain homes will have mandatory visitor parking spaces, while multifamily structures will see a dip in parking demands, echoing current housing trends.

  1. Promoting Bicycle Parking

In a bid to prioritize sustainable transportation, minimum bicycle parking requirements will apply across the county’s new and redeveloped zones.

Delving into the Zoning Ordinance Amendment

The Parking Reimagined project culminated in some significant changes to Article 6.

Here’s a snapshot:

  • A clear definition for parking tabulation submissions, simplifying procedures.
  • The introduction of the Tiered Parking Framework, enabling flexible parking solutions tailored to regional density and transit accessibility.
  • An extended range of parking adjustment options, giving the Board and Director the latitude to tweak parking as required.
  • Streamlined loading requirements, eliminating unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles.
  • The debut of bicycle parking requirements, underscoring the push towards eco-friendly transit solutions.

Potential Development Opportunities

With the decreased parking requirements for commercial properties and retail centers, Parking Reimagined has provided an opportunity for projects with excess surface parking to redevelop. Office and retail centers provide the most opportunity and are often located in areas ripe for mixed-use development.

Furthermore, the approval of Parking Reimagined paves the way for a transformative shift in urban development. Areas previously dominated by vast parking lots now hold the potential for vibrant, mixed-use spaces that can cater to the evolving needs of the community. With reduced parking requirements, developers have a unique opportunity to reimagine these spaces, fostering environments that blend commercial, residential, and recreational elements. This not only revitalizes underutilized areas but also aligns with contemporary urban planning principles focused on walkability, sustainability, and a sense of place. By embracing this progressive approach, Fairfax County positions itself at the forefront of forward-thinking, adaptable urban development.

Parking Reimagined demonstrates the county’s commitment to adaptability, sustainability, and community engagement. These changes will take effect on January 1, 2024.

If you have questions about this development or other land use concerns, please contact Andrew Gregg at (703) 284-7254 or agregg@beankinney.com.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not contain or convey legal advice. Consult a lawyer. Any views or opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and are not necessarily the views of any client.


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