The Town of Vienna’s last major zoning code changes occurred in 1969, the year man first walked on the moon and the Beatles released “Abbey Road.”
Now, 50 years later, Vienna is gearing up for another zoning change. At the Vienna Town Council meeting on Monday, Jan. 7, the council is scheduled to vote on a $120,000 funding request to the Fairfax County’s Economic Development Support Fund to support updates to Vienna’s zoning and subdivision ordinances.
According to the staff report, one of the largest benefits of updating the zoning code would be a “reduction in the amount of time and money required by the private sector to gather information about development rights and zoning regulations.”
“By more closely aligning the zoning and subdivision ordinances to the comprehensive plan, the town will be more likely to attract the type of development so desired here,” according to the staff report, “i.e., more mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented development, rather than automobile-oriented, strip-mall development that currently dominates the Maple Avenue corridor.”
The funding is half the total cost, $240,000, of retaining a planning consultant. The remaining $120,000 would be paid by the Town of Vienna in the FY 2019 and FY 2020 budget.
There have been zoning changes for specific areas of the town, like the Church Street Commercial Zone in 1999 and the Maple Avenue Commercial (MAC) Zone in 2014, but according to the staff report much of the town’s zoning code outside of those streets is “outdated and cumbersome.”
Those zoning changes haven’t occurred without significant pushback, however. A controversial four-story development was approved in October amid outcry from nearby citizens that the building was too big for Maple Avenue. Some of the side-streets off Maple Avenue still feature green yard signs opposing the scale of the new development.
“This results in uncertainty for citizens, elected officials and the development community,” according to the staff report. “The current zoning and subdivision ordinances need to be comprehensively updated so the regulations are logically organized and easier to understand and navigate through the use of clear language, charts, tables and illustrations.”
There is also a legal component for the push, as the staff report notes that parts of the zoning code are inconsistent with state law and recent Supreme Court decisions with regards to sign regulations, changes that recently forced Fairfax to adjust its sign ordinance.
“An updated zoning code would incorporate contemporary zoning and best practices, providing more opportunity for redevelopment,” the report said.
Changes to the Vienna zoning code were first broached in 2015 as part of a recommendation to update the town’s comprehensive plan. An update to the town’s zoning code is estimated to take between one and two years.
A Youth Art Exhibition at Dulles Airport showcases work by Fairfax County students (courtesy McLean Project for the Arts) Before enduring the indignities of modern airport security, people flying out…
Live Fairfax is a bi-weekly column exploring Fairfax County. This recurring column is sponsored and written by Sharmane Medaris of McEnearney Associates. Questions? Reach Sharmane at 813-504-4479. Are you an inspired foodie like…
The clock is ticking for Fairfax County and the D.C. region to adopt a new transportation plan aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This past June, the National Capital Region…
Giant Food in Vienna (via Google Maps) A man who allegedly fired a gun during a family dispute in the parking lot of Vienna’s Giant Food has been arrested, the…
Chris Green is one of the DMV’s finest fitness instructors. A Lululemon and South Block ambassador, he is a coach and mentor to so many. He embodies grace, positivity and motivation in ways that no one else can. If we could all learn a thing or two from him, the world would be a much better place. He does so much for others, and does so with a smile on his face 99% of the time.
He recently ruptured his Achilles and has an incredibly long and tough journey ahead. As if COVID hadn’t impacted fitness professionals enough, throw this in the mix and it’s a double, even triple whammy. CG is no longer able to work and do what he loves for the time being because of this and we’d love your support.
The Rhea Baker State Farm Agency is proud to support Shelter House in providing safe places to be during quarantine. Shelter House’s mission is to prevent and end homelessness and domestic violence. Right now they are providing over 200 hotel rooms to those in need in our community. In the past year, across all programs, Shelter House served nearly 500 households comprised of over 1,500 individuals, 60% of which were children.
Of the households that exited shelter, over 70% moved to permanent housing. The Baker Agency has served Vienna and Tysons residents and business owners since 2007 and proudly offers insurance solutions for you home, condo, auto insurance, life insurance and more. We offer complimentary reviews and coach teen drivers to safer, better drivers, and to help keep your auto insurance rates down! We are always happy to talk or text at 703-847-6880.