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Vienna Launches Survey to Gauge Support for Changes to Residential Zoning Laws

The Town of Vienna has launched an online survey asking renters and homeowners what they think of various potential changes to the town’s residential zoning laws.

The 10-minute survey will be open through Feb. 19. Questions can be submitted to [email protected].

It is the first survey to gauge support or opposition to specific changes that have been proposed as a part of the town’s effort to simplify and update the Town’s subdivision and zoning ordinances.

“We will share all the results on our website, and they will be shared with [a] consultant, as well as the planning commission and the town council,” Vienna Principal Planner Kelly O’Brien said in a virtual meeting on Wednesday (Jan. 13). “This is really getting the overall thoughts of the community.”

Town planners said they are starting with a focus on residential zoning, since a majority of Vienna is residential. More surveys, forums, and meetings are slated for this year to gauge approval for changes to residential and commercial codes.

The initiative is facilitated by Code Create Vienna, the town’s online engagement platform for the zoning code and subdivision ordinance update. The process began in the summer of 2020 and will end in the winter of 2021, when the consultant ZoneCo will present a new code for zoning and subdivision.

Survey questions cover topics such as adding front porches and accessory living units, increasing the space allotted for back patios, requiring open spaces for multifamily dwellings, and building age-restricted cottage housing.

“This is ongoing, iterative process,” O’Brien said. “You don’t have to wait for special meetings.”

ZoneCo recommended these and other potential changes to the Vienna Town Council during a work session on Dec. 3.

Residents can also share their thoughts by taking a more general survey or writing down suggestions for zoning changes, such as preserving outdoor dining, that they come up with while walking or biking around town. Town planners have been hosting regular webinars on specific topics as part of Code Create Vienna’s Lunch & Learn series.

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