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The County Proposes Changes to Accessory Dwelling Unit Policy


As part of its Zoning Ordinance Modernization (zMOD) project, Fairfax County is looking for feedback on accessory dwelling units. In response to current trends, the proposed regulation would streamline the approval process and better address affordability concerns for homeowners. The modification of the Accessory Dwelling Unit Policy is among the suite of strategies adopted by the Board of Supervisors as part of phase one of the Communitywide Housing Strategic Plan.



Accessory dwelling units are currently only allowed in single family detached homes in the County with special permit approval by the Board of Zoning Appeals and require an occupant of either the main house or the accessory unit to be over the age of 55 or to be a person with a disability. The proposed regulations would remove the age and disability requirement and update the size limitations from 35% of the size of the principal home to a maximum of 1,200 square feet.

For accessory dwelling units located within a home, the proposal replaces today’s special permit and public hearing process with an administrative approval. Detached accessory dwelling units would continue to require at least two acres of land and special permit approval.

Please submit your feedback online by taking this survey.

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