Fairfax County Approves Parking Reform

The new parking policy creates a new, tiered framework for parking requirements and reduces the required number of parking spots near transit.

1 minute read

October 3, 2023, 6:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Empty asphalt parking lot with white lines.

Maha Heang 245789 / Adobe Stock

Fairfax County officials unanimously voted to reduce parking requirements under a policy known as ‘Parking Reimagined,’ reports Margaret Barthel in DCist.

“The new parking minimums depend on a variety of factors, including whether the project is residential, retail, or office, where it is located, and whether it’s close to transit.” The policy also requires bike and pedestrian infrastructure for large parking lots.

In addition to lowering the cost of housing construction, “County leaders hope the change — while modest — will ultimately mean more space for housing, parks, and other public amenities, instead of large, mostly-empty suburban parking lots that become heat islands in the summer and produce stormwater runoff when it rains.”

According to Barthel, “Most significantly, the new policy imposes a tiered structure for determining parking minimum requirements, cutting them back particularly in mixed-use areas near transit and in places designated by the county’s comprehensive plan for revitalization, such as Annandale and the Route 1 corridor.” The policy also simplifies rules around parking when a building changes hands.

Barthel notes that the policy does not change the amount of parking required for single-family homes or most townhomes, but could add new parking in areas around townhomes due to its requirement for visitor parking.

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