You should have received a letter with the details of the zMod in it. Here is the letter:
December 19, 2020
Dear Pine Ridge Community Member:
SUBJECT: zMod Changes to the Fairfax County Zoning Ordinances,
Summary of PRCA’s concerns.
We are sending this information to you because the proposed changes to the Fairfax County's Zoning Ordinance Modernization project (zMod) will impact each and every one of us and our community. Some of these changes are very significant and could have a negative impact on our community. Below is a summary of the PRCA Board’s concerns. Please read the summary and use the links to access the zMod documents that are posted on the Fairfax County website.
If you, too, have concerns with the proposed zMod zoning changes, please take action and let your Planning Commissioner and Supervisor know in advance of the planning commission public hearing on Jan 28th. You can use any and all parts of this summary when writing to them. The Board of Supervisor's public hearing is currently scheduled for Tuesday, March 9, 2021.
Also, join via ZOOM, the PRCA Board meeting on Jan 6th to get up-to-the-minute information concerning the zMod changes. The needed meeting information is on the PRCA website http://pineridgecivicassociation.org
At the end of this summary are the mail and email addresses for Supervisors Palchik and Gross and the Fairfax County Planning Commission.
The Board of Directors for the Pine Ridge Civic Association (PRCA) have been closely following the progress of Fairfax County’s Zoning Ordinance Modernization project (zMod). Our review of the most recent draft of the new ordinance has indicated some key areas of concern that directly affect the Pine Ridge community.
While the PRCA Board applauds the effort to update and clarify the zoning ordinances, we are dismayed by some of the significant changes and the lack of transparency and clarity of the effort. This letter presents a high-level summary of those changes that are the most concerning to the PRCA Board of Directors. The zMod executive summary, appendixes and ordinance can be obtained at this address: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/planning-development/sites/planning-development/files/assets/documents/zmod/proposed-ordinance-annotated.pdf.
1. The County did not provide adequate notice to the public to ensure that every property owner was aware of the proposed zMod changes. Because of the complexity, most will not have time to read the 700+ pages of the proposed zoning ordinance issued November 24, 2020.
Zoning regulations are difficult to understand and it takes time to fully understand what is being proposed. However, before these significant and lasting changes are made, all property owners must be notified, and the changes should be understood and agreed to by the community.
The upcoming Planning Commission hearings on Thursday, January 28, 2021 have not been adequately advertised and the changes have not been made available to the public in a timely manner to allow for adequate review and comment.
2. The changes proposed in the zMod will increase the uses allowed on Residential properties with only administrative approval and without neighbor notification.. The changes would increase the types of home-based businesses allowed and increase the number of clients/customers allowed to visit the business. More information can be found in the zMod Executive summary on pages 47- 49. This causes concerns for several reasons:
Additionally, much of the Pine Ridge community does not have fire hydrants. In an emergency, multiple vehicles need to respond to provide the water needed. If cars are parked along the streets will they be able to get through? What is the additional risk, do we know?
3. Currently there is a 55+/disability requirement required to obtain a permit for an Accessory Living Units (ALUs) in your home. The proposed zMod changes would remove this requirement. The proposal will also allow ALUs with only an administrative approval, thus without any public hearing or notification to the neighbors. More information can be found in the zMod executive summary on pages 40 - 46.
The PRCA Board of Directors does not support the proposed zMOD changes as they stand today. The proposed changes are significant and will have many long-term impacts to our community. The Board feels that some of the proposed changes should be delayed until all home owners have had a chance to understand and comment on these changes.
The January 6th meeting of the PRCA Board will be via ZOOM at 7:30. The meeting will be reserved for a discussion of the zMod proposed zoning changes. Please join us. The ZOOM session information is available on the PRCA website http://pineridgecivicassociation.org.
If you have questions before the meeting, please send them to the PRCA Board at: firstname.lastname@example.org .
To show your opinion of the proposed changes, the PRCA Board is asking you to take action and write or e-mail your elected Fairfax County Supervisor and the Fairfax County Planning Commission.
In your letter, please reference zMod public hearing AND ask that your comments be shared with the planning commission and be made part of the public record.
PRCA Board of Directors
More to come