Zoning Division

About Zoning

The City of Falls Church Zoning Office maintains and administers the provisions of the Zoning Code and Property Maintenance Code of the City of Falls Church. The office informs homeowners, businesses, and developers of relevant zoning and land use regulations, and reviews building permits, construction plans and certificates of occupancy, as well as large scale land use and development applications. The Zoning Division also provides technical assistance and recommendations to the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA).

Zoning Code

The City of Falls Church Zoning Code regulates zoning in the City. It is intended to promote the health, safety, and general welfare of the public and to implement the adopted Comprehensive Plan for the orderly and harmonious development of the City.

Property Maintenance Code

The City of Falls Church Property Maintenance Code establishes minimum standards to promote the maintenance, upkeep, and repair of homes and businesses to encourage the prevention and elimination of blighted, unsightly conditions not addressed by the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code. 

Plan Review

The Zoning Division reviews building and occupancy permits to ensure that proposed uses and building projects in the City are safe and follow land use regulations. All permits are submitted and reviewed through the City’s Permits Counter.

Zoning & Property Maintenance Enforcement

Zoning staff is also responsible for addressing property maintenance and zoning code violations upon complaints. Enforcement staff investigate complaints, conduct inspections, and work with property owners to correct such violations. The enforcement team also monitors the use and placement of signs throughout the City.

Code Violations and Inspections 

Zoning complaints must be researched and investigated to determine if zoning violations exist and may initially result in a verbal or written warning. The warning provides an opportunity for the violator to correct the violation before any formal enforcement activity is required. If voluntary compliance does not occur, a formal violation notice requiring compliance is issued within approximately 10 days. Failure to comply with a violation notice may result in the issuance of a monetary fine for civil penalties or prosecution as a criminal misdemeanor.

Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA)

The BZA is a quasi-judicial body appointed by the City Council. The BZA can grant relief from zoning regulations (Variances) and Special Use Permits when warranted. The BZA also hears appeals of the Zoning Administrator’s decisions. Please visit the BZA page for meeting information and agendas.