Fairfax Co. seeks public input on parking regulations at virtual town halls

Fairfax County, Virginia, is asking for the community’s input and feedback as it begins to reassess off-street parking and loading regulations.

“The term that was created for this is right sizing parking, which is to not under-build or over-build parking supply for our land use,” said Michael Davis, parking program manager with Fairfax County’s land development services department.

Davis spoke at a virtual town hall the county hosted earlier this month as part of the “Parking Reimagined” project. The county said these town halls will help inform proposed changes to the parking rates and regulations.

Local, regional and national parking and loading trends will be taken into consideration when drafting any amendments to the zoning ordinance, officials said. Any proposals would require approval from the county’s Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors.

“We want people to begin to think about priorities related to parking. Should a large amount of convenient parking be the ideal? Or can we think about balancing car parking against other desirable features like a quality urban streetscape that’s inviting to safely walk and bike or more open green space to enjoy cooling shade,” Davis said.

Some residents said that while they agree that the county should be taking land use design, environmental factors and other community values into consideration, for many, driving and parking is still the easiest transportation option.

“Good transit might be an acceptable substitute, but how good can the transit be if the destinations are all spread out,” said Burton, a Reston resident. “It takes forever to get to where you want to go.”

This is the first time the county is conducting a full review of off-site parking regulations in over 30 years.

More town halls will be held in the coming weeks.

  • Nov. 18, 7-8:30 p.m.: Mason District
  • Nov. 22, 7-8:30 p.m.: Providence District
  • Nov. 30, 7-8:30 p.m.: Dranesville District
  • Dec. 1, 7-8:30 p.m.: Sully District
  • Dec. 16, 7-8:30 p.m.: Mount Vernon District

Shayna Estulin

Shayna Estulin is an anchor/reporter for WTOP. She started her career in New York City as a local TV reporter and has since covered foreign affairs and national politics as a Washington correspondent. She also anchored a nightly news show for an international network.

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