Fairfax considers limiting size of home gatherings, events

WASHINGTON – The Fairfax Board of Supervisors is considering two zoning changes aimed at curbing nuisance crowds in residential areas.

One of the changes up for consideration would limit the number of people who can visit a home to 49 per day, and not more than three over-sized gatherings could occur within 40 days.

According to the county, residents have complained about large and frequent events at houses, which can cause parking, traffic and noise problems. Events have ranged from religious meetings, social clubs and family gatherings.

Supervisor Pat Herrity is worried about the unintended consequences of the bill, including a constitutional challenge that the county is interfering with residents’ right to assemble.

“This is yet another instance where we appear to be punishing the many for the actions of the few. I believe this proposal also has the potential to impact many large families that gather on a regular basis, community group meetings and holiday gatherings,” he said in a statement.

The board is also considering adding more categories to its noise ordinance including yard equipment, landfill operations, and animals among others.

Public meetings are scheduled this week and next to gather feedback on both the noise ordinance changes and the crowd limits.

  • Alexandria: 7 to 9 p.m., Wednesday, May 7 South County Government Center, 8350 Richmond Highway, in the main conference Room
  • Fairfax: 7 to 9 p.m., Monday, May 12 Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, in the board auditorium
  • Falls Church: 7 to 9 p.m., Monday, May 19 Lemon Road Elementary School, 7230 Idylwood Road, in the school cafeteria

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