Fairfax County recently announced it will accept site-specific Comprehensive Plan Amendments for the northern portion of the County. The deadline for such nominations is Dec. 5, 2017.

This opportunity applies to property within the Dranesville, Hunter Mill, Providence and Sully Magisterial Districts. Significantly, this process does provide an opportunity to re-evaluate planned uses and density in strategic submarkets such as Tysons, Merrifield and portions of the Route 50 corridor.

There are a number of procedural requirements and limitations. The timeframe for decision-making is also somewhat protracted. Notwithstanding these realities, opportunities for owners or potential contract purchasers to propose changes to the plan historically have been limited. For that reason alone, this tool is worth exploring to address properties and circumstances that are clearly out of step with current or anticipated market realities. In addition, the procedural requirements for making a nomination are generally manageable.

Filing a nomination and potentially changing the Comprehensive Plan does not change existing zoning or affect the lawfulness of existing uses, but can be a critical first step in positioning property for future land use changes and creating long-term value

If you have questions or would like to discuss the nomination procedural process and possible strategies for specific properties, please contact one of the authors listed below or another lawyer on McGuireWoods’ real estate and land use team.